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Who is Aaron Taylor-Johnson and what are his James Bond credentials?

He’s being touted as the next 007, but who is Aaron Taylor-Johnson – and does he have the action and acting skills to be the next James Bond?

Taylor-Johnson at a premiere in 2022. Pic: AP
Image: Pic: AP

First off, who is he?

The 33-year-old British star was born Aaron Perry Johnson in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, in 1990.

Excelling at drama, dance and singing, he was a successful child actor – with his first professional stage appearance aged just six in a London production of Macbeth.

As a teenager he appeared in movies including Shanghai Knights in which he played a young Charlie Chaplin, and The Illusionist, where he was the child version of Edward Norton’s lead character Eduard Abramovich.

He also took the role of the young love interest in comedy drama Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging.

But his breakthrough role was just around the corner…

More on James Bond

What’s he been in?

Taylor-Johnson’s first big lead role came in 2009 when he was chosen to play Beatles legend John Lennon in Nowhere Boy.

Aaron Taylor-Johnson in Nowhere Boy.
Pic: Alamy
Image: Taylor-Johnson in Nowhere Boy. Pic: Alamy

The performance would be an important milestone in his life – seeing him not only receive critical acclaim and win the Empire best newcomer award, but also meet the woman who would become his wife.

While playing Lennon may have required a certain cerebral sensitivity, there’s no doubt over Taylor-Johnson’s physical credentials for a 007 role, having gone on to play a range of parts requiring him to quite literally, kick ass.

He played the superhero title character in the 2010 hit, Kick-Ass, and its 2013 sequel Kick-Ass 2, and staying in the Marvel cinematic universe he went on to play Pietro Maximoff in Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Aaron Taylor-Johnson had his first breakthrough in 'Kick-Ass' , a superhero satire that earned cult fame. Pic: AP
Image: Taylor-Johnson at Comic Con in 2013. Pic: AP
Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Chloe Grace Moretz in Kick Ass
Pic: Alamy
Image: Taylor-Johnson and Chloe Grace Moretz in Kick-Ass. Pic: Alamy

Plus, he had a part in 2014 monster reboot Godzilla – it’s always good to boost your on-screen bravery score.

And proving there’s more to him than just running around and fighting, he’s appeared in crime thriller Savages, period drama Anna Karenina, and psychological thriller Nocturnal Animals for which he won a Golden Globe.

Brian Tyree Henry and Aaron Taylor-Johnson in Bullet Train.
Pic: Alamy
Image: Brian Tyree Henry and Taylor-Johnson in Bullet Train. Pic: Alamy

Then on to Christopher Nolan’s time-bending movie Tenet in 2020, and action-comedy Bullet Train in 2022.

As for his current acting status, Taylor-Johnson has just finished Marvel superhero film Kraven The Hunter after playing the title character and Spider-Man villain.

Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Ford Brody in Godzilla.
Pic: Alamy
Image: Taylor-Johnson as Ford Brody in Godzilla. Pic: Alamy

He is also set to appear in The Fall Guy, starring man of the moment, Ryan Gosling, and writer Robert Eggers’s historical vampire horror Nosferatu.

What do we know about his personal life?

Taylor-Johnson met his wife, director Sam Taylor-Johnson, on the set of Nowhere Boy.

Sam Taylor-Johnson and Aaron Taylor-Johnson attend a special screening of 'A Million Little Pieces;.
Pic:AP
Image: Sam Taylor-Johnson and Aaron Taylor-Johnson in 2019. Pic: AP

He was the 18-year-old star of the film, and she was more than 20 years his senior when they met. They tied the knot three years later.

The couple have two daughters – Wylda Rae, 13, and Romy Hero, 11, plus Taylor-Johnson is stepfather to Angelica, 26 and Jessie, 17, who are from Sam Taylor-Johnson’s marriage to her first husband, art dealer Jay Jopling.

Shaken and not stirred?

Taylor-Johnson previously told Nylon Guys magazine he used to “smoke 30 [cigarettes] a day” and “drink nonstop”, but put an end to his partying ways after meeting his wife.

While it’s not known if he’s a fan of martinis (of either the gin or vodka variety), it seems likely his earlier drinking practice will have put him in a strong position to convincingly knock back 007’s favourite tipple.

Taylor-Johnson at the Governors Awards in 2016. Pic: AP
Image: Taylor-Johnson at the Governors Awards in 2016. Pic: AP

Can he pull off a tux?

Quite frankly – yes.

Taylor-Johnson was named one of GQ’s 50 best-dressed British men in 2015.

So, he’s definitely got the fashionistas’ approval.

Aaron Taylor-Johnson with Cate Blanchett at the Giorgio Armani women's Fall-Winter 2024-25 collection show. Pic: AP
Image: Taylor-Johnson with Cate Blanchett at the Giorgio Armani women’s Fall-Winter 2024-25 collection show. Pic: AP

And what’s he said about Bond?

Last week, he was asked about Bond by Numero Magazine and said: “I find it charming and wonderful that people see me in that role. I take it as a great compliment.”

Taylor-Johnson is yet to confirm or deny reports he’ll be playing the seventh James Bond.

Sky News has contacted his representatives, as well as Eon Productions, who produce the Bond movies, for comment.

Sky News Source