Aaron Taylor-Johnson on Taking on a Psychopathic Role for 'Nocturnal Animals'
Aaron Taylor-Johnson is not known for roles such as the one he took on for Tom Ford's Nocturnal Animals. He plays East Texas man Ray, who, along with some buddies, attacks Tony Hastings on a dark and ill-fated night. Variety spoke with Taylor-Johnson, who was humbled by the offer for the role.
“I got a call saying Tom was interested in me and I was extremely flattered. And also slightly perplexed why he thought of me for this role, considering [Ray’s] a psychopath. I was very grateful for the opportunity — [the role is] very complex, very different and a real challenge."
He described the opportunity as "too good to pass up," saying that "ultimately, I fell in love with [Ford's\ presence and what he had to say." He goes on to talk about his preparation, and how he began to research serial killers and psychopaths, and lost a lot of weight in order to sink into the role (including drinking and smoking to "feel toxic on the inside out").
“Psychologically it got quite abusive; it took a toll on our minds and our bodies. [The roadside confrontation] scene was three nights in a row where we literally pushed each other to the brink of madness. That was my job, to manipulate and provoke Jake to get a reaction.
“Each take was completely different and each take we shot until the film ran out and we had big rolls. One take probably went on for about 13 minutes. The choreography and geography of that scene — trying to match so the editor could have fun cutting it together — wasn’t easy. "