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Nicholas Hoult

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Nicholas Hoult

Nicholas Hoult

Nicholas Hoult portrayed Hank McCoy/Beast in X-Men: First Class and X-Men: Days of Future Past and will reprise the role in X-Men: Apocalypse.

Significant roles

  • Marcus Brewerin About a Boy (2002)
  • Tony Stonem in Skins (2007–2008)
  • Eusebios in Clash of the Titans (2010)
  • R in Warm Bodies (2013)

Quotes

  • "I've just started training for it and getting into physical shape for the character as there's quite a bit of action," "It’s just about getting prepared as much as I can in the very short time I have before we start filming."
  • "I'm very excited. I am a big fan of the X-Men films and have been reading a lot of the comics. It's a fascinating world with so many interesting characters when you get your head into it. The films are really well put together and it’s great to be a part of them. A lot of my friends are also fans and massively looking forward to it."
  • "He's very urbane and witty"
  • "There’s been great feedback so far. I think they’ve done a really cool job with the trailer. I can’t wait to see the final film."
  • "As a character, I find Beast is fantastic, he is my favourite in a way. There’s this inner tension, because he’s a scientist, and a careful man, and a worldly man, and he has this crazy exterior. He’s scary. ..I hope the fans will like this version as much (as the original). ..in this film it’s more, he’s a young scientist. He’s very intelligent, obviously, and creates great inventions. But there’s also this side of him where you have this conflict of wanting to be normal and wanting to fit in. That’s going on. And then there’s also the side, once he becomes the Beast. There’s a Jeckyll and Hyde aspect, where he’s scared of what he’s capable of."
  • "Before the transformation, when I’m just Hank, that’s me and there’s some CGI on the feet and toes. And then, once the transformation to Beast takes place, that’s four hours of make-up and prosthetics with a full mask and wigs and fur and a big rubber muscle suit. That’s quite a transformation."
  • "I watched Frasier, I watched the X-Men films. And then training was physically, athletics. I gained a little bit of weight and still managed to fit into my muscle suit (laughs). We lifted weights, did some boxing. It was also in part so that we stayed energized. That worked out pretty well. ..it was so that I could get Kelsey Grammer’s accent correctly. ..I feel they were very different characters. In the other film, Beast was a politician, and he’s been in this place for a long time. In this one he’s young and he’s a scientist. And when he changes, that comes with quite a bit of anger and embarrassment."
  • "To me, personally, I really wonder why he said that. We were doing a scene of hanking and waving, and Luffy said, do it like James Bond, say the line like James Bond. Well, he actually said, do it like James Bond, and I said, I don’t know if that will come off as cheesy or Bond-like. And he said, do it, and then we’ll decide. ..It’s a film that has its background in the great era of the 1960s. There is drama, and there are thriller aspects. It’s character-driven by Magneto and Xavier, because it’s about their relationship. It’s epic, but told with the characters in mind."
  • "Well, in this movie, the end of the world is coming, so there’s not that much to be upbeat about. Maybe, if we make another film, we can get into that contradiction, that someone who looks so scary is such a positive person. That’d be great. You know, the film isn’t out yet, and that’s stuff I’m not comfortable talking about at this time."
  • "I think they did a great job in designing the costumes. About why the colours are the way they are, you’ll have to see it in the film, but it’s a nice idea of why they are like that. Yeah, I liked the costumes and the reason behind them in this film. And I think they work, yeah. I think the X-Men characters and their universe is very important to the people, to their fans. We just hope that you know that we’ve been respectful, that we’ve got something new and interesting to see, and hopefully tell a great story. That’s kind of the main thing."
  • "The one I have in the film's pretty cool. Even just to be able to have an opposable big toe and to be able to do things with your feet would be great. But this is a really difficult question. Obviously being invisible would be great. Flying would be great. But there are better ones, probably, than that. I’d like to be able to control people’s destinies… That kind of sounds like I want to be God, doesn’t it? I want to be God! There we go. I just spit that out and realised in hindsight that was a ridiculous thing to say! I’d quite like morphing – Mystique’s one – actually. That’s quite cool."
  • "I play Dr. Hank McCoy and he later on becomes Beast. He's a young scientist - a very clever guy - but a little bit shy and awkward around the girls and just socially awkward around the group. He's a good guy, but it's hard work. He's a great scientist though and he comes up with all of these inventions that sometimes work and sometimes don't, and then he tries out a serum from Mystique's DNA to try and stop his feet from appearing apelike and massive, so he can fit in because he's very self-conscious about it, and unfortunately that goes wrong and he becomes the Beast that we know from the other films and cartoons and comics. He's very urbane and witty and a shrewd guy. It's fascinating to see the difference, when he becomes the Beast, from this very animalistic and scary-looking character. The Beast we've got is very different to Kelsey Grammar's Beast. People are quite intimidated by it, and it's great to have that with the contradiction of the character with somebody who's not that comfortable with himself."
  • "The costume is four hours. It's a mask, which is stuck onto my face with a headpiece, and that takes the majority of the time, getting it to look right with the teeth and contact lenses. They've done a fantastic job creating this face that moves with my expressions. I have to make the performance bigger underneath it, but it moves a lot. They give me a muscle suit, obviously, and that's pretty much the gist of it. Lots of fur, which I eat a lot of by accident."
  • "There was a lot in the script for the scenes Hank's in, but you can never do enough preparation. So I read a lot of the comics again and went over and tried to pick out words that he used a lot to try and build into the performance. The more you learn, the more you could say, 'No, I don't think he'd say this,' and just have more to play with, rather than making it up as you go along. Obviously, this character's not the same as in some of the comics, where he's a football player/athlete character and a bit of a jock. He's different in that sense."
  • "I get some very cool action. Azazel and I have a great fight at one point. So far the stunts that I've done I've been rubbish at. I took a big hit on my head, and a big hit on my foot so far. Spinning around on wires and stuff. There's definitely some very cool action. I'm in the Beast suit for the final fight, which we're about to shoot in Georgia, and that's going to be very tricky negotiating the suit and the heat and everything."
  • "I actually watched an X-Men cartoon when I was little. And while I was aware of Beast from the third X-Men movie, I definitely wasn't trying to play that character. Initially, my big concern before the audition was working on my best American accent. [Laughs] But I really started to research the character once I learned I'd gotten the part. I read as many of the comics as I could get my hands on and watched the films again. We worked from that."
  • "Oh, I think it's always important to have notes from outside the script so that if the script changes you can say "This doesn't work" or you can add things. Even if most of it doesn't end up onscreen, it's good to have the knowledge in your head so that you are prepared and you have a sense of the character outside of the scenes that are written in the script."
  • "Well, the intellectual side is something I can kind of relate to, being tall and lanky, yet not being anywhere near as intellectual as Hank. I did have a lot of fun playing with all of the scientific jargon that comes with the character, but his intellect is just staggering. As for the physical side of the character, it's always fun to be given a physical goal and be told you have to be strict with your body to get in shape."
  • "Even though I'm wearing a big fat mask and the makeup, and you can't see a single inch of my body, there are still human characteristics and a soul that we show that maybe wouldn't be there with CGI."
  • "We’ve gotten along really well. He’s fantastic on the X-Men films. He really knows what’s going on. And from what I’ve heard about the script, I think it’s going to be a really cool film. I’m looking forward to it. I like that character as well. I don’t think we start for another few months."
  • "There's bad blood because of everything Erik's done to Charles. Obviously Hank is on Charles' side completely."
  • It's become slightly smaller makeup, there's a bit more of my face underneath it. So yeah, it's a different design and slightly cooler than the last one as well in terms of heat. What's happened up to this point is between the time of the last movie and this movie my character has created a serum which basically controls his mutation so his appearance is normal as long as he doesn’t get worked up. Any animal instinct or urges, that kind of brings him out. So yeah, he changes into Beast a few times throughout the story and they've done some great action sequences with him this time, particularly in the mansion flying around on these chandeliers and stuff.It can be tough, it can be time-consuming. I did another big makeup job on MAD MAX as well, so it's one of those things where I seem to be doing a lot of it. And it's fun to be able to transform that much and you can play around with it a lot more and push the character in very different ways., but it is something whereby it's kind of trial and error. We'd be doing some scenes and then Bryan would be like, “Try and use the makeup more. Try and express.” And you have to do things that feel silly as well. You have to growl and jump around and do things which if you weren’t wearing the makeup would be completely ridiculous, but in the makeup luckily I think it's slightly more intimidating. And I've got a muscle suit on so it's maybe not as funny as me growling and roaring and stuff. But yeah, there's definitely a real “playing” element to it."
  • "When I was 11, I remember seeing the first X-Men movie, and I grew up with them, so the chance to be in one with the old cast and have some scenes with Hugh playing Wolverine... I remember the first day of shooting with him, I remember walking along and looking across at him and being like, “That's Wolverine!” who we've now nicknamed “Wolfie”. That's the strangest thing, doing a scene and then going to have a pee and he pulls up at your arm and you're like, “Wolverine, cool.”"
  • "Can I talk about Beast and Mystique? I don’t want to give too much away about the story, but obviously from the last film as well there's a set up where Mystique, Raven—Charles has a very close relationship with her and then at the end of the last film she obviously heads out with Erik, Magneto, and kind of believes more in his method of what mutants should be in the world. So there's those two relationships and Hank's relationship with her, which is maybe the most pure and simple, but there's also the thing whereby he's not happy and comfortable in his blue form where she's becoming more at peace with hers and understanding. She's kind of maturing a lot quicker than him."
  • "It's animal and athletic and gymnastic and fast and agile, basically. He’s very strong and throws people around a fair bit. Obviously, it's a seventies film and I would have loved to have more kung fu in it. That's something that Michael has been a big advocate of as well, getting some kung fu scenes in. The makeup guys just tried to look after me as best as possible basically. They had fur falling off and sticking it back on. There's been fur ending up in lots of amusing places on this film. I’ve eaten quite a lot of the stuff. So yeah, that's just a maintenance thing that once we get going on scenes like that, because I sweat a lot as well, so it's coming off all over the place and they do a great job of keeping it ready for the film."
  • "I thought it was amazing and that was the brilliant thing. I think it was in the studio just over here and Bryan was like, “Hey, come check this out.” And the size of it was something quite remarkable, but then just seeing all of the little details, the eyes, and the weapons they've got and everything. They're really- yeah, the scenes with those are going to be pretty epic. My favorite moment was we had a big scene where they were unveiling the Sentinels and one person in the crowd James and I heard, just as they were unveiled look at and go, “It's not as impressive as Optimus Prime.” And that was it. We pissed ourselves laughing."
  • "I think there is an element of that where that film had a great sense of humor, and the era and the history to it, and every character had a great arc throughout it. So it was a really made film and Matthew Vaughn did a great job of bringing it all togetherThere's that thing whereby you want live up to people's expectations. I think with that film people weren't really sure what to expect, but now obviously there is more expectation behind it. You kind of can't worry about that too much. That was something at Comic-Con I suddenly realized the enormity of it all. You see how much it means to the fans and you're suddenly like, “Oof, pressure.” And then it's like you can't be on set panicking about that and thinking about that, otherwise it would just completely mess with your head. So you just kind of get here and focus on your character and the story and try to do your best on the day of."
  • "James hit me in my pelvic region during a scene one day. I don't think he was aiming there, but we were shooting a scene whereby we were meant to be flinching and things were blowing up above us and all this, and the camera panned to me and it was the first time the camera had been on me all day. And I was like, “Yes. Acting. Here I go.” I was into it. I was there, acting, and then I suddenly just feel [THWUMP] and doubled over in agony. It was a proper punch. He was like, “Oh I was just trying to give you something to act with. I thought I'd hit you in the leg and you'd flinch and it would look really good on screen, but I missed.” So that was a nice moment."
  • "What's happened up to this point is between the time of the last movie and this movie my character has created a serum which basically controls his mutation so his appearance is normal as long as he doesn’t get worked up. Any animal instinct or urges, that kind of brings him out. So yeah, he changes into Beast a few times throughout the story and they've done some great action sequences with him this time, particularly in the mansion flying around on these chandeliers and stuff."
  • "It is very freeing. When someone has something they're trying to contain, they're very controlled and clear in what they're doing. Self-possessed in a way. So it's fun to suddenly be able break loose from that. And also when you're wearing the make-up, you can see how people respond differently to you, You can perform big - you can roar at people. When I roar at people like this, it's just funny. But when you're in that, if you roar at someone, they feel intimidated. It's scary. So you do get to have two very different techniques in your performance."
  • "I grew up watching the X-Men cartoon. That was my introduction to it. And Beast was always my favourite character to watch, so yeah, it was brilliant to get the chance to play him,"I was lucky enough the first time, but to come back into it with Bryan directing as well - I'm getting on really well with him, and he just loves the X-Men universe, really cares about it, and has some great ideas... It's easier [having met him before], definitely. Once you have a rapport with someone and an understanding of how they work, then it just makes communication a lot simpler. That's a great thing about this film, it's a bit like going back to school after the summer holidays."
  • "It is very freeing. When someone has something they're trying to contain, they're very controlled and clear in what they're doing. Self-possessed in a way. So it's fun to suddenly be able break loose from that. And also when you're wearing the make-up, you can see how people respond differently to you, You can perform big - you can roar at people. When I roar at people like this, it's just funny. But when you're in that, if you roar at someone, they feel intimidated. It's scary. So you do get to have two very different techniques in your performance."
  • "I grew up watching the X-Men cartoon. That was my introduction to it. And Beast was always my favourite character to watch, so yeah, it was brilliant to get the chance to play him. I was lucky enough the first time, but to come back into it with Bryan directing as well - I'm getting on really well with him, and he just loves the X-Men universe, really cares about it, and has some great ideas... It's easier [having met him before], definitely. Once you have a rapport with someone and an understanding of how they work, then it just makes communication a lot simpler. That's a great thing about this film, it's a bit like going back to school after the summer holidays."
  • "At times I’ll see superhero movies and admittedly be frustrated by them. It does feel like some are just packaging and they’re not trying hard enough because they know it’s a bankable formula."
  • "I love the X-Men films because they have a heart to them and you have actors like Michael Fassbender who brings so much to the characters. The superheroes in that world aren't smug. You don't want to watch someone who you know is going to win from the start just being awesome for two hours."
  • " First Class was the first time we went back in time with the younger cast. Days of Future Past dealt with time displacement and all that sort of thing, and blended casts. And this one I think is just going to be pretty huge in many ways. It’s set in the ‘80s. Introducing younger versions of Cyclops and Jean Grey and Storm and those characters so you get a bit of a back story to those guys. And then ApocalypseOscar Isaac – turns up and is a badass and it all goes quite extreme."
  • "To be honest with you, the times we were acting in the same scene were often quite distant. So I could sense the presence of him – and he’s certainly got a lot of presence, in life – he’s a really fun guy to be around. And that character’s a tricky one to play, you know, essentially a mutant from an era long ago, awoken in this modern day, very confused about what’s been going on around him and decides to do something about it. He certainly brings an intensity to it, in a great way."
  • "80s gear? You know what I felt like a bit of a kid wearing my Dad’s suits and stuff, because it’s very baggy the 80s style. Big pants and shoulder pads. I’d try them on in the costume fittings and I’d look ridiculous. I’d look like a three-year-old wearing my Dad’s clothes, but that’s what it was at the time."
  • "I haven’t really been tallying it up and obviously when they cut it all together who knows, but yeah it’s been around 50/50 I think. The last film it was more switching back and forth, this film just because of the pacing of the film and how it comes together it’s more Hank at the front and Beast towards the end of the film."
  • "Olivia went to like level-seven ninja. And then I kind of rolled up on the day and I was totally under-prepared — I must admit on that. I was so lucky it wasn’t a fight for real or she would have definitely done me in."

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