Nicholas Hoult has a ton of high-profile movies in various stages of production. Jack the Giant Slayer and the sequel to X-Men: First Class are both worthy movies on their own, but he also has two that are of particular interest to us at the moment: the zombie rom-com Warm Bodies, and the post-apocalyptic actioner Mad Max: Fury Road.
The former child star, now 23, sat down with Collider to talk briefly about all of upcoming roles.
Speaking on the topic of Warm Bodies, Hoult talks about the particular challenges of playing a zombie, one who is largely mute. Many of his scenes are the young zombie R shambling around, and while the finished film is rife with voiceover, filming presented new obstacles. Without dialogue to lean on he had to “use different muscles,” so to speak, relying on the physicality of the character, and trying to find nonverbal ways to communicate.
While his costar, Teresa Palmer (I Am Number Four), has extended passages, Hoult would sit there and stare blankly at her. Sometimes this approach works well in Warm Bodies, though there are scenes when the voiceover gets to be too much and is a distraction.
In Warm Bodies, Hoult’s zombie has no idea who he was before he became a brain-eating walking corpse. Instead of creating a complete backstory, a common acting tool, he opted not to go that route, figuring if R doesn’t know who he was, neither should the actor playing him.
To be honest, the Mad Max: Fury Road information, though relatively minor, is my real reason for doing this. He has nothing but praise for director George Miller: “It was fantastic to film. I mean crazy. You know I’ve never seen anything like it: the landscape we’re in the, the vehicles, the stunts. But George Miller is a fantastic director and I think it’s going to be a really cool film.”
Hoult plays a character named Nux, who is “one of the drivers.” Fury Road picks up with Max Rockatanstky—the role made famous by Mel Gibson and now played by Tom Hardy—driving across the wasteland, and the Road War that follows. Nux is presumably one of these drivers, who has “got a few scenes” with Max.