Magazine article Variety

Aaron Taylor- Johnson

Magazine article Variety

Aaron Taylor- Johnson

Article excerpt

Best known for his roles in comic-book hits "Kick-Ass" and "Avengers: Age of Ultron," Aaron Taylor-Johnson delivers a strikingly transformative performance in Tom Ford's "Nocturnal Animals." His character, East Texas psychopath Ray, targets family man Tony Hastings (Jake Gyllenhaal) one dark and tragic night and changes both of their lives forever. It's a despicable role, and TaylorJohnson makes an indelible impression in the part - the end result of intensely focused preparation and a grueling, but fulfilling, shoot. geoff Berkshire

Taylor-Johnson: "I got a call saying Tom was interested in me and I was extremely flattered. And also slightly perplexed why he thought of me for this role, considering [Ray's] a psychopath. I was very grateful for the opportunity - [the role is] very complex, very different and a real challenge.

"I was a little hesitant, to be honest; the aura of darkness surrounding this character was going to be intense. I was a little worried, with a family, how I would go about doing my job and put that much focus and time and preparation into it? But I guess the opportunity was too good to pass up, especially with someone like Tom, who I had many discussions with. He was very open about his vision for the film and the role and the character. Ultimately, I fell in love with his presence and what he had to say.

"We had the luxury of having three months prior to making this movie. These things take time - you're Play-Doh to begin with and you're molding yourself together. It's always quite scary when you dive into a job and think, 'I don't know this person.' You've got three months to discover him.

"Tom said, 'Grow your hair out, grow your beard out, and I really want you to grow your fingernails out.' I said, 'Don't cut them?' He said, 'Yeah, for three months, just to see what we get.' I thought, 'This is gonna be bloody disgusting.'

"I started to research and study serial killers and psychopaths. I dropped weight, about 20 pounds. I wanted to pick up dirty habits - smoking and drinking. I wanted to feel toxic on the inside out. I wanted to start seeing it on my skin. I had this pale, milky, sweaty sort of skin. I started to inhabit what that character would wear, how he'd walk, how he'd smell. The sort of things I was soaking in were not very pleasant. I wasn't very approachable in that time. …

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