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13 Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Interview, Giorgio Armani, The Fall Guy, Kraven the Hunter

Meet Aaron Taylor-Johnson, the actor who could become the next James Bond


A fascinating mix of strength and sensuality, the British actor has conquered Hollywood by alternating demanding films d’auteur, such as Nowhere Boy or Nocturnal Animals, with blockbusters such as Avengers: Age of Ultron. Tipped as the next James Bond, the rising star is also the new ambassador for Giorgio Armani’s Acqua di Giò perfumes. As he prepares for the release of three movies in 2024 – The Fall Guy, Kraven the Hunter, and Nosferatu – he told Numéro about the year ahead.

Aaron Taylor-Johnson, the actor who coul the new James Bond


For several months now, the movie world has been buzzing with rumours about who will play the next 007. Though several names have been suggested, only one seems to receive unanimous approval: Aaron Taylor-Johnson. And it must be said that the 33-year-old British actor has everything it takes for this exacting mission, for which he has apparently already been auditioned. A rising Hollywood star, he possesses the perfect combination of bulging muscles, piercing blue eyes, and unsettling charisma for the role of the mythic gentleman spy.


But then it seems that every costume and every genre – comedies and tragedies, charmers and weirdos, super-productions and indie projects – perfectly fit the intense and versatile Taylor-Johnson. Ready to take risks and radically change his physique, he has played a teenage superhero nerd (Kick-Ass), the angry young John Lennon (Nowhere Boy), a redneck Texan murderer (Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals, for which he won a Golden Globe), a mutant blond (Avengers: Age of Ultron), a military commander (Christopher Nolan’s Tenet), not to mention a moustachioed hitman stuck in a carriage with Brad Pitt (Bullet Train).



A must-see actor, soon to star in The Fall Guy and Kraven the Hunter


And these represent perhaps only a tiny fraction of his possibilities and the mere beginning of his rise to stardom. This year, Taylor-Johnson will make three major appearances on the silver screen: as a cinema superstar who suddenly disappears in the action movie The Fall Guy, alongside Ryan Gosling; as a Marvel antihero in Kraven the Hunter; and in the dark remake of FW Murnau’s 1920s classic Nosferatu. And yet, working non-stop is not what nourishes the soul of an actor who one imagines as an old head on a young body, given the apparent depth of his wisdom. When interviewed, he says the thing he likes best is spending time with his wife, the photographer, video artist, and film director Sam Taylor-Johnson (Fifty Shades of Grey), who is 23 years his senior and whose name he has adopted. 


He also says he likes nothing better than taking his children to school (he is the father of two daughters and step-father to two others), before talking about how normal their life is on a Somerset farm (he divides his time between England and Los Angeles) full of bees, dogs, chickens, and pigs. Indeed, the man who was once a turbulent and self-destructive teenager has even refused blockbusters in order to spend more time with his offspring. With his mix of authenticity, sensuality, and strength, Taylor-Johnson could not fail to seduce fashion house Giorgio Armani, and, as the new face of the Acqua di Giò perfumes, he represents a masculinity at once athletic and sensitive, connected to the world and to nature. In other words, an ultramodern, ultra-desirable man...

Interview with Aaron Taylor-Johnson, new ambassador for Acqua di Giò fragrances


Numéro: In The Fall Guy, which comes out in May, you play a movie star who suddenly disappears, alongside Ryan Gosling in the role of a stuntman who tries to find you. What made you accept this role?

Aaron Taylor-Johnson: I had already worked with the director, David Leitch, on Bullet Train [2022]. Two weeks before shooting started on The Fall Guy, with Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt, David had the idea of calling me to offer me a role he thought I would be great for and thatwould amuse me. At the beginning, it was only going to be a simple appearance, even if a little more than just a cameo, rather a sort of MacGuffin that would recur throughout the story. So it was for laughs and, we had a lot of fun. It’s an audacious film that sets out to make the audience smile.


In August, you’ll be appearing on screens as the antihero in Kraven the Hunter, a super-villain from the world of Marvel, who becomes the arch enemy of Spider-Man. To play the role – that of a hunter who establishes relationships with animals to track his prey – you muscled up, learned to run on four legs like a dog, and studied the life of the photographer Peter Beard... 

Yes, the character is immersed in the animal world and is capable of connecting to animal minds. The last two years were very intense for me because I built the character from scratch. I had to film a lot of stunts and action scenes, and follow a whole training programme to put on bulk so that I would look like the character from the comic strip. My body was my costume, so I really had to work hard to get these muscles. But it was also fun to work on that. Since the film is R rated [under 17s must be accompanied by an adult], I guess it’s going to be a bit gore at times. [Laughs.]


In the trailer, we hear phrases such as “You’re not born evil you become it” or “There’s an animal in each of us.” Did the script’s meta-physical side attract you?

Yes, there were a few challenges to take up in this movie. The idea was to make a Sony Marvel feature with a story audiences could identify with, that was about a complex family dynamic, as well as about a tradition of hunting that we cling onto today, and what it means to be a hunter in the 21st century. It’s an interesting concept when you join it to the world of Spider-Man’s enemy. The philosophical concepts were an additional reason for making this film. We wondered how we could get those ideas across and also make the character fresh, new, and real.

"I find it charming and wonderful that people see me in the role of james Bond." Aaron Taylor-Johnson


At the end of the year, we’ll be seeing you in Nosferatu, a reworking of FW Murnau’s 1922 movie by Robert Eggers [The Witch, The Northman]...

Yes, Robert Eggers, the director, has a very artistic eye when it comes to horror films, so I was very keen to work with him. He’s one of those filmmakers whose vision you follow with your eyes shut, however big or small your role. I also adore Willem Dafoe and Lily-Rose Depp. All the actors in the film are fantastic, and it’s brilliantly shot in a very interesting way. I feel very lucky to have been part of this adventure.


Rumour has it that you will be the next James Bond...
I find it charming and wonderful that people see me in that role. I take it as a great compliment. [Laughs.]


The characters you play are often intense and multi-faceted. How do you choose your roles?
First you look for a script that tells a new, fresh, or interesting story. Then you ask yourself if the character is one you’d like to explore, because you’re going to have to live in his skin for a few months or even years. You really have to believe in it otherwise you won’t give your best. And then there’s the director, the creator of the story, the one who brings everything together, and whose vision plays an important part in my decision.

La bande-annonce (2024) de The Fall Guy.

"I think a lot of people are constantly looking for something and don't realize what they have in the present." Aaron Taylor-Johnson



On the red carpet you show a very interesting masculinity that owns its share of femininity...

Personally, I’ve never felt restricted by norms. We all have our own freedom. As Giorgio Armani, for me the most influential designer of the century, put it: “Less is more.” I agree: simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. That’s style. It’s when you’re no longer self-conscious. If you can wear a garment with ease, especially if it’s an Armani suit [laughs], then that’s the height of discreet cool.


What relationship do you have with the Giorgio Armani brand?
I feel a profound connection with the values of Giorgio Armani, which has always exalted nature, masculinity, and sensitivity, as well as a certain fluidity between the two. I’m very happy to be the new ambassador of a brand that proposes such a beautiful message and a feeling of empowerment. The Giorgio Armani man is connected to nature and concerned for the environment. He is aware of our impact on the world around us. And the fragrance bottle is of course rechargeable.


Acqua di Giò conjures up the idea of a man connected to the elements. What does it represent for you? 

Acqua di Giò symbolizes the freedom to explore who you are. That’s what we try to say in the new film we made to accompany the perfume. In it we see a person undertaking a journey that will make him discover new aspects of himself, as though emerging from the ocean. Because that’s Acqua di Giò. It’s the saltiest sea, and the minerals in the rocks at the foot of the cliffs. It’s citrus, it’s wild rosemary, it’s the cedar trees growing on the coastline. It’s the rough and the smooth, the crash of waves against the rocks, the cold and earthy stone. It’s the duality of things. And it’s also man and nature. In the film, there’s a beautiful whale, powerful and moving. It seems to light the young man’s way and lead him onto a path where there is something so much bigger than us.


The Fall Guy, directed by David Leitch, out on 1 May; Kraven the Hunter, directed by JC Chandor, out on 28 August.