Rising thesp stars in 'Kick-Ass,' 'Nowhere Boy'

Backup plans are for wimps, says “Kick-Ass” star Aaron Johnson. “The moment you make your backup plan, you fall back on it,” he warns. Ever since he began acting as a youngster in local theater productions, Johnson has thought of little else, building a modest profile with small roles in British TV and such films as “The Illusionist,” Sundance selection “The Greatest” and the U.K. teen hit “Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging.”

That should change with Lionsgate’s “Kick-Ass,” in which Johnson plays a teen who discovers that becoming a superhero is more painful than you’d think in the real world, followed by a turn as the young John Lennon in “Nowhere Boy.” Wrapping his head around these disparate roles in a relatively short span wasn’t easy, Johnson says. “I auditioned halfway through ‘Kick-Ass’ where I was playing this nerdy, comicbook sort of role with an American accent. During breaks I’d go back to the room and go on YouTube picking up clips of John Lennon and trying to learn his accent and how he talks.”

Johnson has also wrapped the indie thriller “Chatroom” from “Ringu” director Hideo Nakata.

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