Aaron Taylor-Johnson: 'Disturbing' Nocturnal Animals role made me feel vulnerable as a father

Father of four Aaron Taylor-Johnson says his role in Tom Ford’s new film ‘Nocturnal Animals’ made him feel vulnerable as a parent.

In the film, Taylor-Johnson’s gang force a car off the road separating a husband (played by Jake Gyllenhaal, one of two dual roles) from his wife and daughter and leaving him stranded in the middle of the desert, and the actor admits it made him ask very uncomfortable questions about fatherhood and male responsibility.

Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Ray Marcus in 'Nocturnal Animals' - Credit: Universal Pictures
Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Ray Marcus in ‘Nocturnal Animals’ – Credit: Universal Pictures

“It’s a really difficult character to play for a male lead – to do something like that – it’s a very vulnerable place to be in,” Taylor-Johnson told Yahoo Movies, “and difficult for me also, to play the other side of that, to play that role, it’s pretty disturbing. And that’s what I felt when I watched it, it was uncomfortable. It taps into any male father figure, their fear.”

The 26-year-old Brit says he exposed himself to “disturbing, toxic energy” to get into character as the unpredictable redneck, with director Tom Ford being inspired by some of cinemas most charismatic antiheroes.

Michael Shannon's detective Andes closes in on his man in 'Nocturnal Animals' - Credit: Universal Pictures
Michael Shannon’s detective Andes closes in on his man in ‘Nocturnal Animals’ – Credit: Universal Pictures

“There’s a process [for getting into character],” Taylor-Johnson told us.

“I took a lot of research into psychopaths and serial killers. It was very disturbing, toxic energy, but that’s kind of the basis of everything. Tom [Ford] knew exactly what he wanted and he was inspired by characters like Jack Nicholson from ‘The Shining’ and [Robert] De Niro in ‘Taxi Driver’, characters like that who would be magnetic on screen and pop, but also be unpredictable and dangerous.”

‘Nocturnal Animals’, Tom Ford’s sophomore directorial film, has been greeted with universal critical acclaim on the festival circuit winning the Grand Jury Prize at the 2016 Venice Film Festival, and is released in cinemas 4 November.

Watch a trailer below.

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