Aaron Johnson, the 19-year-old star of the upcoming film Kick-Ass may be relatively unknown in the U.S., but he’s a tabloid regular in his home of England, thanks in no small part to his relationship with a director 24 years older than him. “It’s hard to know which is more controversial: Aaron Johnson or his new film, Kick-Ass,” a recent Sunday Times profile of the actor began, going on to explain his relationship with director Sam Taylor-Wood, who is now pregnant with his baby.
The couple got together on the set of the John Lennon biopic Nowhere Boy, in which Sam, 43, cast Aaron as the lead role. The film was nominated for a slew of BAFTAs (the British equivalent of the Oscars), although it did not receive any. Still, the movie helped put Aaron on the map, and his relationship with Sam put the paps on his tail.
And as if his life couldn’t get more complicated, Johnson is starring in this new film, Kick-Ass, which has critics raising eyebrows on this side of the Atlantic because of young actress Chloe Moretz‘s inappropriate language in the movie. Well, you know what they say — all press is good press.
Aaron started on the stage at age six in Macbeth. At 15, he left school and started pursuing acting full-time. He’s has small roles in films you’d recognize like Shanghai Knights and The Illusionist and played a part in the British miniseries Angus, Thongs & Perfect Snogging. And after years in the biz, with the one-two punch of Nowhere Boy and Kick-Ass, it seems his moment has finally arrived.
In Kick-Ass, Aaron plays the lead character, Dave Lizewski, a teenager vigilante superhero who fights crime in his spare time. He pairs up with father-daughter DIY superhero team Big Daddy and Hit-Girl, played by Nicolas Cage and 13-year-old Chloe Moretz. Riding on this wave of popularity, Aaron has some projects coming up — the thriller Chatroom and, in real life, fatherhood.
(Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images for Jameson)