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Actor Aaron Johnson has appeared in such films as Kick-Ass, Nowhere Boy, Savages and Anna Karenina.
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Born in 1990 in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, England, Aaron Johnson started acting as a child. He made commercials and worked in theater before appearing in his first film, Tom & Thomas, in 2002. Johnson starred as John Lennon in 2010's Nowhere Boy. That same year, he played a teen-turned-superhero in Kick-Ass. Johnson also had leading roles in Savages and Anna Karenina, both released in 2012.
"I was always told at school that you had to have a back-up plan, but all I ever wanted to do was act. There was no 'Plan B' for me."
"I'm kind of like the typical blond in [Anna Karenina] ... I'm this dashing blond young officer in a white uniform."
Actor Aaron Taylor-Johnson was born Aaron Perry Johnson on June 13, 1990, in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, England. Johnson spent his early years in Holmer Green, England. He later described his childhood to the Globe &Mail, saying "I grew up in a pretty rubbish area outside of London, and I knew I didn't fit in. I had to break out and find what I wanted to do." Johnson soon found his calling as an actor, appearing in commercials and on stage.
At the age of 8, Aaron Johnson hit the London stage in a production of Shakespeare's Macbeth starring Rufus Sewell. He made his film debut in 2002's Tom &Thomas with Sean Bean. For the project, the twelve-year-old actor spent six months in Amsterdam. "I had a tutor and all that," Johnson told the Guardian newspaper. "My mum quit her job and came with me. That's the way it was for a few years with the acting. I'd travel a lot then come back home and try to slip back into the school routine really quickly."
Johnson also landed work on television, appearing in such dramas as The Bill and Casualty. Back on the big screen, he had a supporting role in the Jackie Chan-Owen Wilson western Shanghai Knights (2003). But it was Johnson's role in the teen dramatic comedy Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging (2008) that really helped raise his profile, especially with younger British movie-goers.
Johnson began a new phase of his career in 2010, with American audiences receiving a double dose of this rising star in two very different film projects. In Nowhere Boy, he played a young John Lennon. Johnson worked hard to overcome what his initial obstacles in playing the character. As he explained to Vogue, "I couldn't sing. I couldn't play guitar, and I couldn't do a Liverpool accent."
The film explored the legendary music icon's teenage years and the emotionally charged family dynamics between Lennon, his mother, and his aunt who largely raised him. The independent drama was directed by artist Sam Taylor-Wood, and she and Johnson became off-screen.
Also in 2010, Johnson starred in the unusual action film Kick-Ass with Chloe Moretz and Nicolas Cage. He played a comic book devotee who turns into an unlikely superhero in the film. The quirky movie had an impressive opening weekend gross of more than $19 million, according to boxofficemojo.com. Since its release, Kick-Ass developed enough of a following to warrant a sequel, which is slated to debut in 2013.
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