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Sam Taylor-Johnson addresses 23-year age gap with husband Aaron Taylor-Johnson: ‘Love conquers all’

The director, 57, and the actor, 33, met working on the 2009 drama "Nowhere Boy."
Sam Taylor-Johnson and Aaron Taylor-Johnson
Sam Taylor-Johnson and Aaron Taylor-Johnson at the world premiere of "Back To Black" on April 08, 2024 in London, England.Kate Green / Getty Images
/ Source: TODAY

Sam Taylor-Johnson is making rare comments about the 23-year age gap between her and her husband, actor Aaron Taylor-Johnson.

The 57-year-old director, whose new Amy Winehouse biopic, “Back to Black,” hits theaters in May, told The Guardian that her age difference with the "Avengers: Age of Ultron" star, who turns 34 in June, has never been an issue at home.

"I mean, it’s coming up now because you’re asking. And it comes up on the outside perspective of people who don’t know us, because I guess people will always … ” Sam Taylor-Johnson said, trailing off.

“We’re a bit of an anomaly, but it’s that thing: after 14 years you just think, surely by now it doesn’t really matter?" added the artist and filmmaker.

The couple met when the former Sam Taylor-Wood, then in her early 40s and split from her first husband, art dealer Jay Jopling, cast the former Aaron Johnson, then 18, as a teenage John Lennon in the 2009 biographical drama "Nowhere Boy," per The Guardian.

The pair tied the knot in 2012 and welcomed two daughters: Wylda Rae, 13, and Romy Hero, 12.

Aaron Taylor-Johnson is also stepdad to his wife's two daughters from her first marriage: Angelica, 26, and Jessie Phoenix, 17.

During her interview with The Guardian, Sam Taylor-Johnson said she pays no attention to "abusive" online comments.

“It is just people upset with their own sadness; with misgivings about their own life,” said the "Fifty Shades of Grey" director, who added that the couple's daughters don't seem to care about negative comments either.

“They see two loving, happy parents, so it doesn’t really register. They just think people are a bit mean, or mad.”

Read on for a timeline of Sam Taylor-Johnson and Aaron Taylor-Johnson's relationship.

2008: Sam Taylor-Johnson and Aaron Taylor-Johnson meet when he auditioned to play John Lennon in 'Nowhere Boy'

Sam Taylor-Johnson met Aaron Taylor-Johnson in 2008 when the actor auditioned to play a teenage John Lennon in her debut feature film, 2009's "Nowhere Boy."

 "Honestly," the director recalled to The Telegraph in 2019, "I opened the door to Lennon."

She added, “I knew instantly — I could see how much research he’d done already just by the way he was standing and the few words he said."

For Aaron Taylor-Johnson, the meeting was as much an emotional milestone as a professional one.

“I knew instantly with Sam that I’d found my soulmate,” he recalled to The Telegraph, adding, "I knew instantly that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with this person."

Sam Taylor-Johnson and Aaron Johnson in 2009
Sam and Aaron Taylor-Johnson met in 2009.Dave M. Benett / Getty Images

2009: Aaron Taylor-Johnson proposes to Sam Taylor-Johnson

A year after meeting Aaron Taylor-Johnson popped the question to Sam Taylor-Johnson.

“I remember it very well, and a year to the day after I met her I proposed. I knew I wanted a family with her, I knew I wanted kids, and a month later she was pregnant with our first child," the "Godzilla" actor recalled to The Telegraph in 2019.

His wife also recalled the special day.

“We were very professional through the entire film. ... But everyone on set knew. And as soon as we finished, he told me he was going to marry me. We had never been on a date, or even kissed,” she recalled to Harper’s Bazaar in 2019.

July 2010: The couple welcome their first child together

The director and her actor husband welcomed their first child together, a daughter named Wylda Rae, in July 2010, according to The Telegraph.

January 2012: Their second child arrives

The couple's second child, a daughter named Romy Hero, arrived in January 2012, according to People.

June 2012: The couple tie the knot

After several years of dating, as well as welcoming two children together, Sam Taylor-Johnson, then 45, and her "Savages" star fiancée, then 22, married in June 2012.

Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Sam Taylor-Johnson
Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Sam Taylor-Johnson together in 2019 in New York City.Dominik Bindl / Getty Images

August 2013: Aaron Taylor-Johnson says his 'priority' is his family

Aaron Taylor-Johnson said in August 2013 that his "priority" in life was his family.

“My whole thing, my priority, is my family, my kids and my wife. That’s my future. I don’t really care about what role is next. That s--- couldn’t bother me in the slightest," he told The Independent.

He added that he would welcome "a good four or five years" off from movie making in order to spend more time with his wife and children.

"I’m not attached to things, I don’t have that ambitious thing that most actors my age have. They go from job to job, and when I’m filming with them, and we’ve just started filming, they’re like, ‘Oh, so what are you doing next?’ And I’m like, ‘What am I doing next? Just taking some time off!’ For me, I just want to spend time with the kids."

"I live for my wife and my kids and I wake up to them and that’s what I enjoy," he added.

April 2015: Aaron Taylor-Johnson says seeing his new surname in movie credits felt 'beautiful'

After the couple tied the knot, they hyphenated their surnames to create a new surname: Taylor-Johnson.

When Aaron Taylor-Johnson wanted to start using his new name in movie credits, some directors objected, he told The Guardian in April 2015.

“It was so important to me. Actually I wanted (the Taylor-Johnson surname) on 'Savages' as well but they told me the posters had already gone out. Then they said: ‘Look, we hired Aaron Johnson.’”

The same thing happened when it came time to list his name in the credits for the 2012 film "Anna Karenina." But the actor pushed back, and as a result he got to see his new name on screen for the first time in the movie's credits.

“It felt beautiful,” he said, sighing. “It felt right.”

March 2017: Aaron Taylor-Johnson says he and his wife are perfectly 'in synch'

“I don’t really analyze our relationship,” Aaron Taylor-Johnson told Mr. Porter about his marriage in March 2017. “I just know that it works. I just feel secure and loved and safe. We have this very deep connection. We’re just in synch.”

He told the publication that the couple's daughters were lucky to have her as a role model.

“When they are young women, they’re going to be ready,” he said. “I mean, their mum is one of the strongest, most independent women I know.”

April 2024: Sam Taylor-Johnson said the couple's age difference doesn't matter

While speaking to The Guardian for a profile published in April 2024, Sam Taylor-Johnson said the 23-year age difference between her and her husband was a non-issue at home.

“We’re a bit of an anomaly, but it’s that thing: after 14 years you just think, surely by now it doesn’t really matter?” said the filmmaker.

Aaron Taylor-Johnson is the more "grounded" one in the relationship, said Sam Taylor-Johnson.

“He gives me that sort of stability, calmness,” she told the publication. “I’m definitely the kind of frenetic, mad energy that needs someone to anchor me. Keep me a bit more grounded. Which he certainly does. He really loves being quiet, in nature. He’s a real stay-at-home person.”

The director also said that she responded instinctually, as she typically does, when Aaron Taylor-Johnson professed his love for her after filming wrapped on their 2009 film "Nowhere Boy."

“If I had been cynical for a second, it wouldn’t have worked. If I had questioned anything, it would never have worked. I’m quite instinctual. I’ve gone feet first into everything in my life. I’m always, ‘This seems amazing’, and I jump straight in and go through the experience, whether good or bad," she said.

"It’s definitely a ‘F--- it, let’s go with it’ approach," she added. "And I’m a great believer that the heart overrides everything. Love conquers all.”