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Overview for Aaron Taylor-Johnson
Aaron Taylor-Johnson

Aaron Taylor-Johnson

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Also Known As: Aaron Perry Johnson,Aaron Johnson Died:
Born: June 13, 1990 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: High Wycombe, England, GB Profession: Cast ... actor
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BIOGRAPHY

In less than a decade, actor Aaron Johnson went from well-regarded juvenile performer in his native England to the star of the Hollywood superhero movie "Kick-Ass" (2010). The trip from the UK to America was filled with impressive turns for the actor, who debuted on stage in "Macbeth" at age nine and logged critically acclaimed performances on UK TV, as well as in stateside films such as "Shanghai Knights" (2003) and "The Illusionist" (2006). He gained international attention for his sensitive portrayal of a teenaged John Lennon in "Nowhere Boy" (2009) before pleasing comic-book fans everywhere as a high school vigilante in "Kick-Ass." His casting in the gritty crime film "Savages" (2012) and the lavish "Anna Karenina" (2012) proved that he was a major actor on the rise.

Born in Holmer Green, a hamlet in Buckinghamshire, England, he developed an interest in performing at six, studying drama, dance and acrobatics at the Jackie Palmer Stage School in High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire. The experience of studying to be a performer was apparently not a pleasant one for Johnson, and he longed to get out and ply his newfound trade. He was soon in front of the cameras for television commercials, and at age nine, co-starring alongside Rufus Sewell in a production of "Macbeth" followed by a role in Arthur Miller's "All My Sons" coming a year later. He made his television acting debut as the younger version of James Frain's leading role in "Armadillo" (BBC, 2001); the following year, he played identical twins caught up in a child smuggling ring in the British-Dutch drama, "Tom & Thomas" (2002).

Johnson's Hollywood debut was in 2003's "Shanghai Knights," which cast him as a young street urchin who grows up to be screen legend Charlie Chaplin. More television followed, with 2004's "Feather Boy" (BBC 1) among the highlights. The supernatural drama featured Johnson as a school bully who torments a fellow classmate whose vivid dreams are connected to a local haunted house. In 2006, he was top-billed in "The Thief Lord," a German family film with fantasy overtones about two brothers who escape their cruel caretakers and become thieves in a stylized Venice. That same year, Johnson made a brief return to American features in "The Illusionist," where he played Edward Norton's character as a boy.

Television continued to yield most of Johnson's work in 2007 and 2008; he was a young student who becomes his teacher's lover in the adult-minded ITV drama "Talk to Me" (2007), and was top-billed in the teen drama "Nearly Famous" (E4, 2007) as a talented musician with a troubled past. Both projects helped to put him on the map as a teen idol, though Gurinder Chadha's charming teen comedy "Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging" (2008) sealed the deal. As one half of a pair of handsome fraternal twins lusted after by 14-year-old Georgia Groome and her schoolgirl friends, Johnson soon crystallized into bedroom wall pin-up material.

But as quickly as he materialized on the teen-idol scene, Johnson dove into more serious fare. The first of these was "The Greatest" (2009), an earnest drama with Pierce Brosnan and Susan Sarandon as the parents of a young man (Johnson) whose death nearly tears their world apart. It was soon followed by "Nowhere Boy" (2009), a moving biography of the young John Lennon (Johnson) in the years shortly before he helped to form the Beatles. The film earned four British Academy Award nominations, including Outstanding British Film, and considerable acclaim for Johnson's lead performance, which required him to learn how to sing early Beatles songs. However, controversy soon followed in its wake when it was revealed that the film's director, Sam Taylor-Wood, was not only romantically involved with Johnson - who, at 19, was some 23 years her junior - but pregnant by him. The couple soon announced their intention to marry.

In 2010, Johnson scored his first major hit in the United States with "Kick-Ass," director Matthew Vaughn's hyper-kinetic and ultra-violent adaptation of the comic book by Mark Millar and John Romita, Jr. In the boldly irreverent film, Johnson adopted a believable American accent as the title character, an unremarkable teen who decides to become a costumed superhero and fight crime. Relentless viral advertising and positive word of mouth helped to make the film a notable pre-summer hit, putting Johnson on the Hollywood map. That same year, Johnson was announced as the lead in "Chatroom" (2010), a thriller from director Hideo Nakata, who made the original Japanese version of "The Ring" (1998). While that film drew little attention, Johnson's next project, the period drama "Albert Nobbs" (2011), garnered a number of accolades and featured him performing in a supporting part, opposite fellow rising thespian Mia Wasikowska.

The following year was a big one for Johnson-he and Taylor-Wood married, and he adopted the new surname, Taylor-Johnson. Continuing to show his strengths in ensemble productions, he co-starred in Oliver Stone's drug-trade thriller "Savages" with Taylor Kitsch, Blake Lively and John Travolta, among others, and seduced Keira Knightley's restless title character away from Jude Law's Karenin in Joe Wright's stylized version of the literary classic "Anna Karenina." Shifting gears radically, Taylor-Johnson returned to bludgeon bad guys in "Kick-Ass 2" (2013), this time with comedy veteran Jim Carrey in the mix and lukewarm reviews. Continuing to make himself at home in Hollywood, he signed on as one of the leads in the big-budget monster-movie reboot "Godzilla" (2014).

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