Aaron Taylor-Johnson Backflips Surprisingly Well Under Pressure

Advice

Don’t try this at home, folks. As one of the cover stars for Vanity Fair‘s star-studded Hollywood Issue, Aaron Taylor-Johnson showed off his best party trick . . . or maybe learned one right in front of us. “I’m gonna attempt to do a backwards somersault,” the “Bullet Train” actor prefaced the Feb. 16 video. “Probably something you shouldn’t try after hours, but let’s hope it goes well,” he said, trying to work up the courage to execute an actual backflip in all its glory.

“Right now, under pressure, it doesn’t feel that great, but maybe just stretch out a little bit,” he began, holding a lunge in black tailored slacks and a matching tank top. “These really aren’t the pants you really want to be doing [backflips] in,” he noted as he warmed up. Although he seemed nervous at first, Taylor-Johnson did have some advice for others watching. “There really isn’t any skill involved,” he said. “It’s just belief. Innate belief in yourself that it’s possible.”

With this in mind, he took a deep breath and asked the camera crew to pray for him as he made his first attempt. “The idea is to just breathe and go backwards and hope that I land on my feet,” he reiterated, before throwing himself up in the air in an impressive flip. “OK, gonna give that another try. That was just a bit too close to the kneecaps there,” he joked. His second attempt was even better, with a more solid landing, eliciting a smattering of applause from the other side of the camera. Watch the full video above and remember to trust the process.

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