Nicholas Hoult discusses starring in ‘Jack the Giant Slayer’

Nicholas Hoult, the titular star of "Jack the Giant Slayer" Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures
Nicholas Hoult, the titular star of “Jack the Giant Slayer”
Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Nicholas Hoult as already had plenty of success this year with last month’s zombie rom-com, “Warm Bodies,” but now he’s on to a much bigger adventure as Jack in “Jack the Giant Slayer,” director Bryan Singer’s take on the classic tale. Plus, he has another little comic book movie with Singer lined up next.

When you finally get a horse-riding role, it’s one of those signs that you’ve made it.
I don’t know if I’ve necessarily made it, but it’s very cool to be a part of a film of this scale. People often say they can ride a horse even when they can’t, even when they’ve never sat on a horse in their life. It’s just a given. You read anyone’s C.V. and it’ will say that they can ride a horse. And then if they get a horse-riding role then they’ll panic and try and learn to ride quickly.

You learned to ride for this movie, correct?
Yeah, I’d done a tiny bit before. But I had no control over the horse. I tried the approach of kind of having a mutual relationship of understanding between both parties whereby we’d trust each other and I’d be kind to the horse and the worse do what I asked it nicely rather than try to be in control, which is apparently the wrong approach. It was not so great. People kept on being like, “Nick, you’ve got to kick the horse harder so it knows who’s boss.” And I’d be like, “Well, it’s a lot bigger than me. I don’t want to kick this animal.”

Congratulations on the success of “Warm Bodies.” Have you noticed any palpable changes in your life now that you have a hit movie out?
Not particularly. To be honest with you, that weekend I went down to Africa to start shooting a film down there and then got back yesterday morning, so I was kind of kept out of it a little bit.

You’re going back to work with Bryan Singer again with “X-Men: Days of Future Past.”
He’s a really talented director and really knowledgable about film, and really can really break down stories and characters and understands how to move a story forward at all times. He’s fantastic in the X-Men world, really understands it. I haven’t spoken to him in-depth about this next one yet, but I know he’s really excited about it, and that’s a great sign. I’m looking forward to playing that role again.

The new film seems to mix actors from different time periods of the franchise, like Ian McKellan and Ellen Page, then you and Jennifer Lawrence. Are you giving much thought to how you’ll be interacting with them yet?
You know what, the odd thing was it was fantastic doing our version, “First Class,” but suddenly this time when I heard that Hugh Jackman and Ian McKellan and Patrick Stewart and those guys were coming back and that I was going to be in it, it suddenly became a much more real X-Men film in many ways. — as much as ours did when we were doing it, we were all new to it and it was a different time and take on it. So to be part of one of the films with all those characters is going to be really exciting for me as a fan.


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