Nicholas Hoult’s knack for mixing things up | Inquirer Entertainment

Nicholas Hoult’s knack for mixing things up

By: - Reporter
/ 12:09 AM September 05, 2016

A quick look at Nicholas Hoult’s impressive and still expanding filmography will tell you that, when it comes to choosing acting projects, the British actor has a knack for mixing things up.

In his 20-year-career, Hoult has played—among others—a fanatical War Boy on the constant verge of death in “Mad Max: Fury Road,” a zombie dealing with existential crisis in “Warm Bodies,” and a beast of a mutant that possesses superhuman strength in the “X-Men” movie series.

Perhaps it’s a mere manifestation of his “weirdness,” Hoult jested. That or the utter dread at the prospect of his profession turning into an exercise in monotony. “I’ll be bored if I just did the same things—and people watching me would feel similarly,” he said at the recent AsiaPop Comicon Manila 2016 at the SMX Convention Center, where he was invited as one of the event’s main celebrity guests.


“Apart from working with lots of talented people and being able to tell great stories, my goal is to take on varied roles and styles of films,” related Hoult, a former child star who made his debut at age 7 in the movie, “Intimate Relations,” in 1996.


Big difference

“If you can transform physically and emotionally for whatever it is you’re doing, then that would make a big difference,” he added.

For his coming film, “Rebel in the Rye,” where he plays the reclusive and enigmatic writer JD Salinger, Hoult doesn’t need to put on an outlandish costume, makeup or prosthetics. But the role, the 26-year-old artist said, is challenging just the same.

“I enjoyed playing Salinger, because while I loved reading his works, I didn’t know a lot about his personal life. He was a rebel, got kicked out of schools. He wrote about the phoniness of the world that surrounded him, and that lit the fire within him to just write what he thought was a more truthful depiction of the world,” he said of the author of “The Catcher in the Rye,” which is deemed one of the 20th century’s most important pieces of literature.

NICHOLAS Hoult   Kimberly de la Cruz

NICHOLAS Hoult Kimberly de la Cruz

One of the things that made preparation for the biopic quite the task, Hoult said, was the absence of audio and video material about Salinger, who lived a very private life until his death in 2010.

“That’s why I did a lot of reading—biographies, his novels. A lot of his writings were autobiographical, so even though he wrote fictional characters, you could still glean something from them,” Hoult said. “On an emotional level, at times I would just sit at home in front of a typewriter, writing stories, trying to understand what that felt like.”


However, it seemed that no amount of conditioning—emotionally, mentally or otherwise—could have convinced him to eat balut or duck embryo, whose mere description made the actor squirm. “There are feathers? I saw photos of it, and it looks disgusting,” he said, drawing laughs. “But if I muster enough courage, maybe I will try it.”

He did get a taste of fried pig intestines…and of Manila’s excessive humidity and horrible traffic. And despite his first day in the metro being quite stormy, he managed to make a trip to Rizal Park, ride a kalesa around Intramuros (where he visited old churches), and went bar-hopping. As a souvenir, he bought a jersey of a local basketball team.

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“I’ve had an incredible time,” said Hoult, who made his fans swoon and scream with those three obligatory words for visiting foreign stars: “Mahal ko kayo!”

TAGS: Celebrities, Entertainment, Nicholas Hoult

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