How Aaron Taylor-Johnson Defended Major Age Gap With His Wife

Unlike many of his peers, Aaron Taylor-Johnson has mostly avoided being the subject of tabloid fodder — except when it comes to his relationship status. His marriage to director Sam Taylor-Johnson tends to raise eyebrows, largely due to their significant age gap. A May-December romance through and through, the couple has a whooping 23-year years between them, but over the years, the two of them have defended their love, with Aaron being adamant that age is just a number.

The couple met in 2008 when Aaron auditioned for Sam's film "Nowhere Boy," in her home, around the time she was newly divorced from her ex, Jay Jopling. She was 42 then, and Aaron was barely legal at 18. According to the pair, sparks flew instantly, but they kept it cool and professional on set, telling Harper's Bazaar that there was "no funny business at all", although the other cast and crew members felt the palpable romantic tension between them. When filming ended, Aaron wasted no time to kickstart their romance. "As soon as we finished, he told me he was going to marry me. We had never been on a date, or even kissed," Sam said, to which Aaron added, "And a year to the minute after we met, exactly one year to the minute, I got down on one knee and asked her to marry me."

The couple has since tied the knot, had children, and mostly retreated from the spotlight — though not from the criticism. Naysayers continue to be skeptical about their marriage, and per Aaron, he can't fathom why his personal life choices are up for public debate.

Aaron says he's mature for his age

According to Aaron Taylor-Johnson, he might as well be as old as his wife. Considering that he grew up in the public eye, he considers himself mature for his age, and that his experiences are incredibly drastic compared to his peers. He pretty much lived life on the fast lane. "What you gotta realize is that what most people were doing in their twenties, I was doing when I was 13," he told Rolling Stone UK.

In the same interview, he also said that he doesn't quite understand why spectators appear to have a hard time accepting that he fast-tracked through life milestones, at least in the marriage and parenthood department. He's just living at his own pace, after all. "You're doing something too quickly for someone else? I don't understand that. What speed are you supposed to enjoy life at? It's bizarre to me," the "Kick-Ass" star added.

To be fair, Aaron has always had this stance, telling the Irish Independent in 2009 that he's mature beyond his years, the total opposite of his wife. "I'm an old soul, and she's a young soul. We don't see an age gap, we just see each other," he explained at the time, adding that he's learned to live his life without minding what others would think or say.  "Its almost like other people live by a rule book and I don't," he said.

He's always wanted to be a young dad

Even if Aaron Taylor-Johnson hadn't married Sam Taylor-Johnson, he's pretty confident that he would still have married young, having made a commitment to early fatherhood even as a child. "I was going to have a big family. I knew I was going to be a young father," he told Esquire UK. And he hadn't regretted his choice one bit, telling the outlet that he finds fulfillment in being a parent. When he's not acting, he enjoys being a doting father to his children. "Getting my kids ready in the mornings, taking them to school and activities... That feeds my soul," he said.

Sam, for her part, also dismisses most of the concerns about the big age gap between her and Aaron, a sentiment echoed by their children. She revealed that their kids have become privy to the criticisms surrounding her marriage to Aaron, but they, too, have learned to brush them off. "I don't think they care. They see two loving, happy parents, so it doesn't really register," she told The Guardian. And now that she and Aaron have celebrated over a decade together, surpassing the tenure of many Hollywood relationships, the "Fifty Shades of Grey" director believes it's time for people to just let them be. "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?"