Aaron Taylor-Johnson, at Locarno 2022 to present the preview of Bullet Train, recounted his beginnings by analyzing the roles that launched his career in Hollywood.
After the comic book Kick Ass and the epic Avengers: Age of Ultron, Aaron Taylor-Johnson has returned to play the role of the action-man in a role of a completely different nature. In the choral Bullet Train by David Leitch we find him, mustache and pinstripe suit, in the role of a British killer with a tongue as fast as the gun. Aaron Taylor-Johnson has a reputation for being “difficult”. No press interviews, no questions from viewers. But when he arrives in a hot Locarno to meet the public of the Swiss festival after having collected the Excellence Award, Davide Campari wants to know everything about the uses of the festival, on the Piazza Grande that welcomed him in the embrace of almost eight thousand spectators and on the present. Attentive, curious, lively, the actor enthusiastically describes the experience on the set of Bullet Train, which he opened. Locarno 2022 despite the shooting in full health emergency.
“After you’ve worked with so many colleagues, you start making a list of those you never want to work with again” Aaron Taylor-Johnson said amused. “Brad Pitt definitely has that list, but he’s a legend. He’s a really nice person on set, he supports the rest of the cast. We all did our best, Bullet Train was shot in the first phase of the emergency, but we did. decided to have fun “. While it was very enjoyable, the experience did not go as the actor imagined: “When they offered me the job I thought ‘Wow, we’re going to Japan’, instead it was all filmed in Hollywood. They built four different train compartments, they created the Japanese landscapes and then they projected them. My Tangerine is a character. explosive, larger than life, but I didn’t really understand its nature until I found myself working with Brian Tyree Henry to build the background story of these different twins who grew up together in a foster home. “.
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Prototype of the eclectic contemporary actor capable of moving from blockbusters to small independent roles and author projects, Aaron Taylor-Johnson played Quicksilver in Avengers: Age of Ultron, but has also worked with authors such as Tom Ford and Sam Taylor- Johnson, his wife he met in 2009 on the set of Nowhere Boy. The British actor reveals that the long journey into the world of acting began when he was only six and Stephen Daldry chose him for a play in the West End. “As a kid I was very curious, I had a lively imagination, I loved dance, I loved to dress up and then I loved gymnastics” remembers Taylor-Johnson. “When I walked the scenes I discovered that I was not afraid, I was perfectly at ease. So I started doing commercials and at ten I was chosen for the first film”.
At the time Aaron Taylor-Johnson thought he was going to be an athlete, but passing casting, where he was surrounded by twins due to the role he was called upon to play two brothers in, prompted him to change plans: “My mom pushed me to take the opportunity because it might have been the only movie for me. It wasn’t an easy decision, but I decided to follow my intuition. Every time I didn’t do it I felt bad. “.
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From John Lennon to the nocturnal animal rapist
The role that launched Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s career, however, was that of young John Lennon in Nowhere Boy. Playing a legend like Lennon took a lot of preparation, as the actor admits: “When you play real people you have two options: imitation or you can try to embody the spirit of the character, as Sam did. The film is about John Lennon before he becomes John Lennon and the relationship with his mother. What music he listened to before. to found the Beatles? Who were his models? I saw documentaries, read books, I learned to play the guitar to get into his mind. Besides, I never studied acting. I learned by working and I always followed my instincts “.
Instinct that led him to accept the far from reassuring role of rapist Ray Marcus in Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals, a role that earned him a Golden Globe and a BAFTA nomination. “I don’t know why Tom wanted me for the role of a psychopathic rapist. I have four daughters, I’m a family man, I have no idea why he saw me like that.” confesses the actor. “A bit like Bullet Train’s Tangerine, when he proposed the role I was scared to death, I didn’t think I could do it. He was an unpredictable character, scary, but charismatic. I had to arrive on set well prepared, so for a couple of months I delved into the subject of serial killers. My family kept me away for a while, I was staying alone in a hotel in the middle of the desert, I smoked and drank, I wanted to feel dirty inside for the role. I studied Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer , all of them were charismatic figures, but devoid of empathy. My job is not to judge the characters I play, but to make each take fresh and different “.
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