Aaron Johnson was an unknown British actor. All that’s going to change when people see Kick-Ass. He plays the title character, an American teen who decides to become a costumed crime fighter like his fictional heroes. Director Matthew Vaughn really wanted an American kid, but Johnson impressed him, and he could do an accent.
Aaron Johnson is Kick-Ass
“There was a casting process in London, a few sides,” Johnson told an audience at the South by Southwest film festival. “You never got a script. I had to do a line reading for Red Mist, but as I heard, [they] didn’t want a British kid. So a couple months later, I was out in LA and got the script. The next day there was casting. I met Matthew later on in the day and then the next day was a screen test.”
The costume was an over the counter aqua attire, because it’s just what a teenager could actually buy for himself. “Mine was a wetsuit but I always seemed to sweat through it. We had about 10 different costumes that we have to keep changing in and out of. I mean, yeah, I guess you feel like you’re a bit overacting because I’ve got like a letterbox to look through really for the eyes.”
Johnson welcomed the challenge of the constricting suit. “It was exciting. It was good. It was good fun. You know, the whole costume thing, it’s part of the character. It just added more and I could just work with that; I liked jumping into it.”
Even in England, Johnson could relate to a boy who looked up to comic book heroes. “Yeah, as a boy growing up you always want to be whatever, Batman/Spiderman. This was a fantastic opportunity to put a twist on a superhero, not the typical superheroic muscles and things.”
The alter ego Dave was a juicy part too. “My character is a young sensitive guy who was a nobody in school and then he creates this alter ego as a different person that he wanted to be. I enjoyed going down that route and exploring that, him being a comic book fan, a mad vision, he designed his own costume and made something unique and original, not just a Batman costume.”