There was a couple years there where Aaron Taylor-Johnson looked like he was about to become one of the biggest leading men in Hollywood. After the first Kick-Ass was a surprise hit, he started popping up in tons of big movies. He was the lead (human) actor in 2014’s Godzilla, and he became one of the first additions to the Avengers lineup in Avengers: Age of Ultron, where he played the speedy Quicksilver.

And then it seemed like just as quickly Taylor-Johnson’s profile began to diminish — even though both of those movies were pretty substantial hits. Taylor-Johnson didn’t appear in any further Marvel movies, and he didn’t come back for any of the Godzilla sequels either. When he started popping back in larger projects again, it was often in smaller supporting roles, like in the recent films Tenet and Bullet Train.

In a new interview with Esquire promoting a new run of big movies he has coming in the next year or two, Taylor-Johnson reveals that right at the height of his fame he made a deliberate choice to step back from blockbuster movies in order to spend more time with his family. Plus, he said, these sorts of large-scale movies back-to-back were not particularly exciting to him.

“In my opinion,” he explained, “the actor that goes job to job becomes f—ing boring.”

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Taylor-Johnson added...

There was Kick-Ass, and then there was Godzilla and Avengers, and all of those things lined up for me. But I didn’t really care for them ... I wanted, purely, to be with my babies. I didn’t want to be taken away from them. I battled with what that would be like.

“I would say I was probably not ready to be in that position anyway—it was too early. But yeah, I also slightly didn’t give a f—,” he also said. Which is sort of funny, because I always thought he looked weirdly checked out in the first Godzilla, even when he was, y’know, battling a giant lizard with atomic fire breath, something that is arguably pretty interesting.

Clearly Taylor-Johnson’s feelings have changed, as he’s about to star in the title role in Kraven the Hunter, based on the Marvel Comics villain. After originally being scheduled to open in just a matter of weeks, the film has since been pushed back to August 30, 2024.

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