Nicholas Hoult and some bad zombie jokes for ‘Warm Bodies’
Nicholas Hoult has tackled trying to get the girl when you’re an awkward tween (in “About a Boy”), a ruthless high-schooler (in TV’s “Skins”) and a blue-haired mutant (in “X-Men: First Class”). But those challenges pale in comparison to “Warm Bodies,” in which he tries to win over a girl (Teresa Palmer) despite the fact that he’s a flesh-eating zombie.
Metro: How tough is it doing a role that’s basically one facial expression for most of the film?
Hoult: Surprisingly easy, actually. [Laughs] Narrows down your options and what you have to do at work, and not a lot of dialogue to learn, which is beautiful. But yeah, I read the script and I was like, “This could be a cool film,” and then I was like, “Oh, it’s kind of tricky, though, isn’t it? You don’t get to say a lot, and you’ve got to move and act like a zombie, but you’ve also got to have this audience care for you and want you to succeed and have this girl care for you enough and fall for you, and there’s a lot to do.” With Teresa, it was just basically watching her do scenes the whole time, her just doing monologue after monologue and then I’d go, “Yeah, keep you safe. Hungry. Eat, whatever.” [Laughs]
Have you heard every zombie joke in the world at this point?
You know what, I’ve made a few terrible ones myself. I’ve said, like, “Oh, he’s a character I really liked and wanted to bring to life.” Idiot. I said of the scenes with me and Rob Corddry I found it really difficult not to corpse [which is British slang for laughing during a scene]. So I’ve made a few terrible zombie jokes, but I haven’t actually been on the receiving end of that many so far.
OK, zombies versus vampires. Where do you stand?
Who would in in a fight? Or the transition from vampire to zombie time?
As far as pop culture.
You know what? I’m trying to think. Aside from “Twilight,” what other vampire films have their been particularly recently? That’s the prominent one. To be honest with you, I would probably have to go with the zombie thing just because I really like “Shaun of the Dead” and “Zombieland” and those sort of things, and “28 Days Later” and stuff, so I think I’d go for the zombie — and not just because I played one in this film.
After having done this film, do you think you’d have trouble getting excited about doing a more traditional romantic comedy?
I don’t know. I mean, I’m a sucker for a rom-com. You know, you feel good and you get all gooey. But I wouldn’t want to do one of those ones that’s very run-of-the-mill, out of the box, off you go, pay $10 to go and see it and then sit there and nothing new happens. So it’s tricky. I’d like to be able to do all types of films. Action, drama, romance, all of them.
I don’t think anyone’s going to try to stop you.
So far. Not with force yet, anyway.
Just this year you’ve got films in several different genres coming out.
Yeah, I’ve got a fairy tale family adventure movie, “Jack the Giant Slayer.” There’s mild peril. There’s giants that want to eat humans, so you know, I wouldn’t take a really young kid to it. But it is kid-friendly and family-friendly. But you know, you don’t want to be taking a 3-year-old to it because they’re going to be seeing stuff that might scar them.