Aaron Taylor-Johnson profile in Vulture posted yesterday – did you read it? He’s quite self-deprecating. And I don’t think it’s dishonest. When ATJ was nominated and then won the Golden Globe, no one was expecting it, certainly not him. Partly because he wasn’t the one who was supposed to emerge from Nocturnal Animals as a contender. If anyone, it would have been Amy Adams. Or Jake Gyllenhaal. Or, as Oscar has decided, Michael Shannon. And, besides, as Sarah has repeatedly (and rightly) complained about, Nocturnal Animals wasn’t getting much award season play in North America. Instead, it’s Hacksaw Ridge. Those old white men in the Academy apparently LOVE Hacksaw Ridge. ATJ’s surprise, then, was understandable.
He says “there was relief” when he found out that he was not nominated for Oscar. That’s the opening line of the Vulture article. And at that point, I don’t blame you if you rolled your eyes. He elaborates on it afterwards though, and his explanation for the “relief” is really endearing – at least to me. But first, there’s a lot of talk about still feeling inadequate at work, not feeling confident enough to be able to play the parts he’s now being considered for. It’s a familiar sentiment, right? You hear this often from actors. Male actors though? Typically, when male actors reveal that they were worried about not being able to deliver on a role, that’s just a segue to them going full dude about how they then began the torturous process of becoming their character, and the pain that was endured in the process. ATJ does none of this. Instead he confides that, “Whenever I read a script,” he says sheepishly, “I start recasting the role that I might play. I’m like, ‘God, this should be played by Domhnall Gleeson, not me.’ I was reading something recently and thought Mark Rylance should be in it instead of me. Then someone was like, ‘The part is a bit younger than Mark Rylance.’ ”
This made me laugh. Because actors are typically such territorial narcissists, they rarely share any shine on their peers when it comes to imagining someone else doing the work they’ve already done. But all this leads us back to Aaron’s opinion. Aaron’s position on this kind of explains his “relief” about not getting an Oscar nomination.
“An Academy Award is still something to work toward,” he says. “It would’ve felt a tad greedy to get a nom from them this time around.” Then again, the award he’s already got will have some lasting benefits. “You know when you see trailers,” he says, “and it’ll say ‘Golden Globe winner’ and then the actor’s name? That’s awesome. It’s like a stamp that says THIS IS A FILM WITH A REAL ACTOR.”
What he’s saying, IN PRINT, is that he doesn’t think he’s ready for it yet. That OF COURSE he’d love to win one but his time is not now… and not yet. Click here to read more about ATJ at Vulture.
Attached – Sam and Aaron Taylor-Johnson in Santa Barbara last weekend.