"I've seen Kick-Ass 2. It's so violent"

Aaron Taylor-Johnson has revealed that no one thought Matthew Vaughan's 'Kick-Ass' would be a hit movie. The big studios balked at financing it, thanks to its gleeful embrace of violence and profundity.  "I remember Matthew, at one point, said, 'This could be one of the most expensive home movies ever made'."

But after it took $96m at the box office, they eventually agreed to do a sequel - something never originally intended. "We all backed away from doing it for quite a long time. Matthew included. He felt he had a cult movie that stands alone." They weren't going to rush it out like most franchises. "Whereas this one had four years for it to build up enough appreciation."

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This time Johnson, 23, says his character, nerdy Dave, is being trained up as the sidekick of vigilante Hit-Girl (Chloe Grace Moretz) - "like Batman and Robin" - socking it to the supervillain Red Mist, reinvented as the Mother F***** (Christopher Mintz-Plasse).

There's  a new director (Jeff Wadlow) but part two does not pull its punches, he insists. "I've just seen it. It's so violent."

Although co-star Jim Carrey (playing avenger Colonel Stars and Stripes) has now disassociated himself from the project, in the light of the real-life Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, Johnson has nothing but good to say about Carrey. "What he brought to it is what Nicolas Cage brought to the first one; that kooky odd humour, that darkness."

Currently beefed-up and sporting a buzzcut for filming his role in the $100m-plus 3D remake of Godzilla,  ohnson says he jumped at the chance to do Kick-Ass after his breakthrough role as the teen heart-throb in Gurinder Chadha's 'Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging'.

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"These One Direction-type kids - 'Kick-Ass' came out of that role because I wanted to be the complete opposite.  You know, a bit racy and spotty."

'Kick-Ass 2' opens 14th August.

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