Aaron Taylor-Johnson almost turned down his role in Nocturnal Animals.
Although has gone on to be nominated for a Golden Globe award for his performance, Aaron – who has two daughters with wife Sam Taylor Johnson and is also stepfather to her two daughters from a previous marriage – admitted he was hesitant to take on the part of rapist and murderer Ray Marcus.
He told The Hollywood Reporter: “I was very hesitant about this role. I’m a father to daughters, so I didn’t relate to the character. I was shocked that Tom Ford even thought of me for it. Later on in interviews he said there was some kind of charisma, some kind of edge that he saw in me. So when I first spoke with him, I asked, ‘What’s your vision for this? How do you see this [scene] happening?’ Tom is so eloquent about everything he wants and feels, it became instantly obvious that I wanted to be a part of this film, no matter how challenging it would be. I could put my trust in him and he’d guide me through. I’m not everybody’s first choice for a role like this. But it was a nice way to show versatility and something different.”
And Aaron did a lot of research for the part.
He explained: “My job was to manipulate and provoke Jake Gyllenhaal’s character, to get a reaction out of him. In the three months prior to making the movie, I spent a lot of time researching psychopaths and serial killers and watching documentaries on Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer and Charles Manson. They all have something in common, and it’s that they’re very charismatic and charming and unpredictable. This guy was unpredictable.”