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Film

Six Definitive Films: The ultimate beginner's guide to Nicholas Hoult

@Russellisation

Having enjoyed an early career as one of the finest supporting actors in all of Hollywood, British actor Nicholas Hoult has been growing toward bigger and better things as he begins to change his image in the industry toward being a dominant leading actor. Beginning his career from a young age, audiences have seen Nicholas Hoult grow ever since his first considerable feature film role in 2002’s About a Boy.

His talent was discovered at the mere age of three by a theatre director who was so impressed by the young Hoult that he offered him a role in his upcoming production of The Caucasian Chalk Circle. This chance encounter sparked the actor’s interest in the industry, beginning auditions for film and TV at the age of five when he would appear in the 1996 film Intimate relations

In a 2009 interview with the Daily Telegraph, Hoult noted that from a young age he was not “in love with it … I just enjoyed it,” he said, before adding: “It was like playing for a football team. When you got a part it was great. And meeting new people. It was an exciting new world”.

His initial hobby has since turned into a series profession, with the actor working with the likes of Tom Ford, Matthew Vaughn, George Miller, Yorgos Lanthimos and more throughout his already glowing career. In his continued rise to industry prominence, let’s take a look back at the six definitive films that have helped revolutionise the career of Nicholas Hoult.

Nicholas Hoult’s six definitive films:

About a Boy (Chris Weitz, Paul Weitz, 2002)

The early theatrical success of a young Nicholas Hoult led the British actor to star in the likes of Casualty, Silent Witness and The Bill among other staple daytime TV shows that have since become a rite of passage for young burgeoning actors. 

Following his success on such television programmes, Hoult made the leap to the silver screen in About a Boy, his second feature film that starred the actor as the titular ‘boy’, a young, naive child named Marcus. Starring alongside the ever-popular Hugh Grant as well as a supporting cast that included Toni Collette, Rachel Weisz and Victoria Smurfit, the great success of About a Boy would help to establish Nicholas Hoult’s name on cinema’s world stage. 

A Single Man (Tom Ford, 2009)

After the release of About a Boy, Hoult went back for a stint in television, training his craft in smaller productions as well as independent films, The Weather Man and Kidulthood before he starred in Skins at the age of 17 and defined the lives of a whole generation of teenagers. 

The lead character in the controversial British teen drama, Hoult demonstrated all the attributes for a leading man and quickly became an icon of contemporary culture thanks to the show’s undeniable cultural pertinence. His first film following the breakthrough role would be in Tom Ford’s Oscar-nominated A Single Man where Hoult would feature as a supporting character alongside the likes of Colin Firth and Julianne Moore. It was the actor’s first major role following his success with About a Boy and would bookend an extraordinary debut decade. 

X-Men: First Class (Matthew Vaughn, 2011)

Having proved his worth on the independent circuit, it wasn’t long before Hollywood came calling, first in the form of action remake Clash of the Titans and secondly in superhero reboot, X-Men: First Class. 

Bringing the iconic Marvel characters to a new generation of superhero lovers, X-Men: First Class rejuvenated the action franchise thanks to a well-cast team of ensemble actors including Hoult, Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy and Zoë Kravitz. As his most significant debut blockbuster role, Hoult shone as the science-whizz Hank (aka Beast), showing an actor flourishing in his early 20s. 

Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)

Shrewd in his decision-making Nicholas Hoult didn’t simply start to seize any opportunity that came his way, he instead began to prioritise leading roles in Jack the Giant Slayer and Warm Bodies whilst continuing his success with the X-Men series in Days of Future Past.

A strong supporting asset to any film, Nicholas Hoult starred in the revolutionary action film, Mad Max: Fury Road after such success, showing more than ever that the young actor had a tight stranglehold over the direction of his own career. As Nux, the obsessive apocalyptic ‘war boy’, Hoult is an utter delight and one of the stand-out characters of George Miller’s insane, surrealist masterpiece. 

The Favourite (Yorgos Lanthimos, 2018)

Continuing to shape his career as a leading actor, Hoult seized the chance to work on Kill Your Friends, Rebel in the Rye and Sand Castle, building a considerable showcase of films that showed he could carry a film as the leading actor. 

Hoult also demonstrates this by being one of the most interesting supporting characters in Yorgos Lanthimos’ quirky period drama, The Favourite with Olivia Coleman, Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz. As Harley, the eccentric leader of the opposition in 1711 England, Hoult presents a compelling and captivating character, showing shades of the actor that audiences had not yet seen before with impeccable comic timing and a venomous sharp tongue. 

Tolkien (Dome Karukoski, 2019)

With the modern X-Men series coming to an apparent end in 2019 with Dark Phoenix, Nicholas Hoult had witnessed his career blossom into life, appearing in everything from independent dramas to big blockbusters since his first film in the superhero series. 

Though Tolkien may not be the most noteworthy film of his acting career, it does represent a significant milestone in Hoult’s journey to becoming an established leading man. Commanding the screen and the audience’s attention, Hoult wrangles the skills he’d learnt in previous leading performances to deliver the very best in his career to date, even elevating the acting of his co-stars, Colm Meaney, Lily Collins and Craig Roberts. 

The future for this extraordinary actor looks incredibly bright, particularly in the next couple of years where he will star in The Menu from Succession director Mark Mylod, the Universal monster movie Renfield and even a science fiction action comedy called Alpha Gang. Give Hoult a decade and he may just be one of Hollywood’s staple leading actors.