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Casting is one of the most important processes in the entire entertainment industry. A filmmaker needs to look at an actor's full resume, and determine whether or not they are right for the role written in the script. In that regard, Aaron Taylor-Johnson had already developed a strong resume by the time he was up for his role in 2012's Savages, but it was the work of another actor who ultimately secured the part for him. The actor recently opened up and admitted that he received his role in Savages because the director of the movie, Oliver Stone, actually mistook him for 21 and Across The Universe's Jim Sturgess, saying:
He thought I was Jim Sturgess. Jim Sturgess did a fantastic performance, and that's the reason I got the job for Savages.
Aaron Taylor-Johnson made an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to promote the release of The Wall and admitted that he only received his part as Ben in Savages because the people behind the film thought he was Jim Sturgess, who had recently had a memorable turn in the card-playing movie 21. As it turns out, Oliver Stone was a little too confident in his ability to discern between Taylor-Johnson and Jim Sturgess because he insisted on heaping praise upon Johnson's body of work -- completely unaware that he was referring to Sturgess' work on 21. Even more embarrassingly, the director did so in front of a number of people. The actor explained:
It was the first time I got a straight-up offer for a role, especially for a leading role. It was actually quite shocking. It kind of transpired that he was trying to explain to the other cast how he'd cast me through this sort of fantastic performance. He said, 'I can't remember what it's called, but you're wearing a black leather jacket in it.' I said, 'Nowhere Boy.' He said, 'No, no, it wasn't that. It was this thing, you were playing cards. You did this thing and you laid it down.' I was trying to think, 'What is that?' And right at that time, 21 was really big, right. And I walked out--I was really kind-of embarrassed because he was bragging in front of a bunch of people.
Although Savages was not met with the most welcoming critical reception when it debuted in 2012, the film ultimately proved incredibly valuable for Aaron Taylor-Johnson's career by demonstrating his continued ability to deliver hard-hitting drama (and a healthy dose of action) in ways that we hadn't necessarily seen before. I wonder how Jim Sturgess feels about that?
That said, it is worth mentioning that there certainly is a notable physical similarity between these two actors. Just look at them side-by-side.
Admit it; that took you a second to figure out. For the sake of clarity, Aaron Taylor-Johnson is the one on the left, and Jim Sturgess is the one on the right.
All is well that ends well, of course. Aaron Taylor-Johnson ultimately ended up shining in Savages, and that role has led to a tremendous amount of success in recent years with roles in films like Nocturnal Animals and The Avengers: Age of Ultron. You can catch Johnson (and not Jim Sturgess) in theaters this weekend when The Wall opens on May 12.