Sam Taylor Johnson’s marriage to Aaron ‘works better than my last marriage’

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Sam Taylor Johnson has a new Netflix show and a new feature in the current issue of The Hollywood Reporter. In some ways, I feel sorry for Sam – while her marriage to 24-years-younger Aaron Taylor Johnson is accepted in their circle of friends, I’m sure there are some people who will always side-eye her for becoming romantically entangled with someone who was 18 years old (she was 42 at the time). I also feel sorry for her because Fifty Shades of Grey will probably be a big chunk of her epitaph and she absolutely loathed the experience. Those two subjects (Aaron and FSOG) tend to overshadow the fact that she was always a well-respected photographer/artist and she is definitely a wonderful director. Maybe her new show will bring a different dimension to her profile – it’s called Gypsy and it stars Naomi Watts as “a therapist who gets over-involved in her patients’ lives.” Still, the most interesting quotes from this THR piece are about Aaron and FSOG, so… good luck to her. Some highlights:

She’s ready to start exhibiting her photography again: “I’m almost ready to start showing them to galleries, if that’s even a possibility again… The California light has affected my work in such a positive way. I lived in gray for such a long time.”

Her first marriage:
In 1997, at age 30, she married a wealthy gallerist named Jay Jopling and started living the posh life. They had two children, but something was missing. “I lived it large for a little while,” she says. “But I wasn’t happy in the glitzy-glamour, high-market, fancy living. That was a big lesson.”

Beating colon cancer & then breast cancer: “The first time didn’t change my perspective. The second time, I changed everything. I went through all the treatments. I did chemotherapy. I lost hair. I did the mastectomy. And then I changed my diet, my world, my art.”

Her marriage to Aaron: “If I gave a second thought to other people, I would be the unhappiest person, probably still in a miserable marriage. People like to talk about it. I’m like, ‘Yeah, but it works better than my last marriage.’ It’s lasted longer than a lot of my friends’ marriages.”

Her beef with E.L. James: “Two different creative visions. Her vision versus mine, and they were polar opposite. Every scene was fought over. It was tough. It was like wading uphill through sticky tar. Her thing was, ‘This is what the fans expect.’ I’d be like, ‘Well, let’s try and hit those marks but create a new universe at the same time.’ ”

Even though FSOG was a box office success, she didn’t get any other offers: “There weren’t any flat-out [job] offers straight away. It was ego-denting, which may not have been a bad thing. At the same time, I was like, ‘Oh, I still have to keep fighting for stuff.’ I just thought it was going to come a lot easier.”

She wasn’t even asked to do Fifty Shades Darker: “There was a tentative plan that I would be involved with the following two. [But the studio] wanted to see how the first one went before any discussion. It went well in terms of box office. But less well with my relationship with Erika.”

She wants to work with Aaron: At the moment, she and her husband are finishing a screenplay together. She would direct and he would star. “We’re already a team,” says Aaron, best known as Quicksilver in Avengers: Age of Ultron (or, to a different crowd, as the sinister killer in Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals). “We are already parents that run our house, so when we work together it’s the best.”

Her dream project: “In my dreams. I would love to direct a James Bond movie. I grew up on James Bond. One day, who knows?”

[From The Hollywood Reporter]

We talk so much about dream-casting James Bond and who should be the next Bond and whether Daniel Craig is over it, but really: hiring a woman to direct a Bond film is a great idea. Even more specifically, hiring Sam to direct would be a great idea. Sam Mendes got good reviews for his Bond films, but I found them poorly directed overall (Spectre was trash). Sam could do some interesting things. And she’s friends/friendly with Daniel Craig already. Hm. As for what she says about E.L. James… I think she’s being quite diplomatic. As for what she says about her marriage… “Yeah, but it works better than my last marriage.” I understand that, truly. And I’m sure Sam and Aaron are happier right now than most married couples. But… I still have issues. He was just a boy when she seduced him.

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Photos courtesy of WENN.

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24 Responses to “Sam Taylor Johnson’s marriage to Aaron ‘works better than my last marriage’”

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  1. Basi says:

    If you look up “fart-sniffer” in the dictionary, a picture of these two pops up.

  2. Shijel says:

    It’s a happy marriage because she wrangled herself an impressionable 17-year-old and married him as soon after he was legal.

    Nope, still too much of an age gap for me to be comfortable with, especially considering that it all started when one of them was underage and the other was twice his age.

    • tracking says:

      Yes. (regardless of genders)

      • astrid says:


      • Craven says:

        But there are hundreds of reverse gender examples that the public are initially uncomfortable with but then get over with time. The scandal component here lingers precisely because the older partner is a woman. I mean Dustin Lance Black got with Tom Daley when he was around this same age and its not the consistent point of discussion every time either of their names come up. Dont get me wrong, this was weird but if age of consent is 16 and they met at 17, but are somehow still happy, then so be it.

      • Grant says:

        I think the Tom Daley and Dustin Lance Black relationship is extremely uncomfortable–and also, franky, doomed to fail.

    • Craven says:

      Age of consent in England is 16. So if she met him at 17 he was already of age, she wasnt waiting out some clock. Honestly this is one of those situations that are awkward but hey if it works for them, then whatever. They have two kids together now so its not my place to root for failure.

    • detritus says:

      Yeah, my mom always wants us to be ‘friends’ but what she really means is she wants a friend who listens to her, lets her plan all the activities and does everything she wants, exactly when she wants, funnily just like a child. She just gets to call them a friend, but she really doesn’t want one because that would be an equal. This strikes me as that but in a partner. It works well because one person calls all the shots.

      When you hold all the power in a relationship its easy to say its ‘good’.

      I will never be behind the older boss who preyed on their employee who also happenend to be a child.

    • Cleo says:

      No lies detected.

    • S says:

      Disagree. Scandal isn’t that she’s a woman, it’s that he was a child, with self-admitted substance abuse and serious familial (mommy) issues.

      They may still be married but I don’t recall anyone thinking Woody Allen & Soon Yi are any less gross now then when he married the woman he once raised as a daughter. Never. Not. Creepy.

      Gender isn’t the issue.

      • Snazzy says:

        Totally on board with everything you say S. She doesn’t get a pass for seducing a child

  3. nemera34 says:

    Why is she talking so much about her marriage. Him too. They haven’t in the past.

  4. NotSoSocialButterfly says:

    I thought Nocturnal Animals was a pretty bad and wooden film, badly written for JG and AA, but AJ did very well in his role. Essentially the only redeeming part.

  5. Alex says:

    I still find it gross and a huge imbalance considering she was his boss and he was a teen. So it doesn’t matter how much they talk up this marriage its gross. It would be gross if she were a man so she gets no pass from me.

  6. Hunterca says:

    I’m not saying long-term success is impossible, stranger things have happened, but 24/25 is kind of a critical age in terms of change/maturity in leaps and bounds. He’s no longer the person he was when he was 18, which is just one reason why marriage at 18 isn’t exactly advisable. I’m not saying that it’s an impossible situation, or that anyone who has married that young has made a big mistake, but generally speaking, marriage at such a young age will be very challenging. I hope the best for them, though. I’ve never seen either of the FS movies, nor read the book, so I can’t comment on the directing.

  7. Scout says:

    It’s easy to have a harmonious marriage when you get the chance to groom your spouse. I don’t care how “respected” she is – she is vile and if the genders were reversed no one would be wasting their breath pretending that a 42 year old openly admitting to being “obsessed” with a 17 year old kid to the point they just ” had” to cast them in their next film isn’t a huge problem. Couple in the fact he was drinking heavily at the time due to his strained relationship with his mother and you have an indisputable case for this woman being absolute trash.

    • KLO says:

      She was probably used in the same way somewhere in her past. So she is probably “making up for it” in this relationship. Does not make it any more right, It is just my assessment of the whole situation. I could be wrong though.

      If i dont think about it that much, I kind of like them as a couple. It could be abusive hell behind closed doors. We never know those things about other people.

      I wish their children the best.

  8. S says:

    Nope. I will never not sideeye adults, of either sex, who date teenagers, even those they claim are “legal” at 18. (Pro tip: if you have to consulate a legal expert on whether your relationship is OK or not; it’s not.) Even if you totally buy Aaron & Sam’s publicly promoted timeline (which I don’t) and they didn’t start “dating” until he was 18, it’s still wrong & gross. She held a position of immense power over him & they were at wildly different places in their lives. Grown adults — meaning educated, established people — with wide age discrepancies … like you’re 30 & he/she is 50? Whatevs. You’ve both had life experience to make that call. That same 30 year old, man or woman, dating a high school senior? Barf. It may be “legal,” but it’s still a terrible idea. It is the power imbalance and life experience gap that is the issue, not that she’s an older woman. (Also I am neither “jealous” of her, nor being sexist.) And because of WHEN they got together that ick never goes away. If she met and married him today I’d have waaaayyy less to say about it,because at least there would be SOME parity in their knowledge base to make that choice.

    Oh and, anyone who feels the need to say their marriage/relationship is SOOOO much better than “everyone else’s” is revealing just how wildly insecure they actually are about said relationship.

  9. Frigga says:

    “If I gave a second thought to other people, I would be the unhappiest person, probably still in a miserable marriage. People like to talk about it. I’m like, ‘Yeah, but it works better than my last marriage.’ It’s lasted longer than a lot of my friends’ marriages.”

    That’s one way of saying, “I groomed and took advantage of a teenager, but we’re seemingly happy, so no big deal.”

  10. scar says:

    OMG I just remembered something I saw on Twitter about these two. Someone who genuinely thought she was his mom made a four picture collage of how Aaron is the perfect gentleman/ mama-appreciating lad because for years now he only shows up to the Red Carpet with his mother not his perfect model girlfriend(s). Hilarious and almost troll-like right? Except this twitter didn’t know they were married. At all. He even went further to say that her mom is still kinda youthful to have a son that old. Of course the tweet was deleted in an hour when we toldnhim that’s actually his wife. Lol
    These two are only together because they want to prove something to the rest of us folks that just can’t understand that this is such a perfect marriage.
    This guy will cheat someday and I won’t loath him for it because she’s a predator. Yeah I said what I said

  11. Paris says:

    Ok, ok, ok! Sam, stop bragging about your husband.
    Yes, he is young and hot, he is talented, he won Golden Globes. You are happy.
    Now stop.
    And stop to talk about FSOG! Move along! Forget about it and be happy with your husband and your new screenplay.

  12. brincalhona says:

    The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child defines a child as “a human being below the age of 18 years unless under the law applicable to the child, majority is attained earlier”. Having worked for years with young people, I sometimes wish age of consent and majority were the same to protect the vulnerable from the creeps of this world.