Five Favorite Films with Aaron Johnson
The star of Kick-Ass and this week's John Lennon film Nowhere Boy shares his favorites.
Stepping into the shoes of a musical icon is never an easy role, particularly when that person is none other than The Beatles' singer-songwriter John Lennon, a bonafide 20th-century pop giant. Yet in this week's Nowhere Boy -- which explores the rocker's turbulent teenage life before he was famous -- British actor Aaron Johnson manages to move beyond mere impersonation, giving an affecting performance that captures the young Lennon's essence. That Johnson was just 18 at the time is impressive, as is the fact that he went directly from filming his lead in this year's superhero riff Kick-Ass to the very different role of a tortured teenager in 1950s Liverpool.
We spoke to Aaron recently about playing Lennon, and whether there'll be a Kick-Ass sequel; but first, we asked him to run through his five favorite films. "Obviously these are all a bunch of classic, cult movies," he points out. "It?s probably not that interesting for people to hear me say them, because they?re like the best f**king movies anyway."
Pulp Fiction was probably one of the first films I ever saw that really kind of took effect on me. I was about four years old -- obviously wasn?t supposed to be seeing that film; my sister kind of sneaked it out and we got to see it. She?s older than me. That was something I always used to watch. I loved the scenes with John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson; when I was older I could understand a little more. It was funny, me and my sister would have this little running thing where we?d know the lines to Ezekiel 25:17. My sister actually bought me a wallet that had ?Bad Mother F**ker? written on it. But yeah, Tarantino. That was where my appreciation of directors began. It was beyond the actors at that point. Everything he?s touched I?ve loved. I became a huge fan of him and his work.
David Fincher, man -- Fight Club, Se7en, those things. This was another film that when I watched it at the time I had to watch it again, to understand it almost. I was just entranced with it. The performances were fantastic -- Helena Bonham Carter, Brad Pitt, Ed Norton. I just thought it was brilliant and shot beautifully.
Francis Ford Coppola, man. Just the stories that happened on that set. And the soundtrack that they use in that film is so f**king cool. Great performances and a wonderful, entrancing movie -- Brando and Dennis Hopper and Duvall. ?I love the smell of napalm in the morning? -- what a great quote.
Paul Thomas Anderson -- what a fantastic director. These are all directors that I would love to work with, you know. I doubt any of them could give a sh*t. [laughs.] Boogie Nights. Pretty epic. It just captured that era so brilliantly. Mark Wahlberg, man -- great role. Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman -- they just blow me away. I could watch it again and again. Great movie.
I mean, Jeff Bridges, John Turturro -- so f**king funny, man. The Coens too.
Next, Aaron talks about a Kick-Ass sequel and how he got into character as John Lennon..