We’ve loved Nicholas Hoult ever since he arched those famous eyebrows at Hugh Grant in 2002’s “About a Boy.” We’ve seen him grown up to be not just a talented actor, but a bit of a hottie (one who now towers over most of his former castmates).
Although he’s been acting since he was eight, at 23, Hoult is just beginning to show us what he can do, as he does in his new film, “Warm Bodies,” in which he’s the world’s first thinking, talking zombie with a heart. There is probably no one else who could charm a girl while being undead, but that’s just one more reason we love Nicholas Hoult. Here are 20 more.
20. He stole a movie from Hugh Grant in “About a Boy,” like in the scene where he tells him he’s onto his scam about pretending to have a baby. We can still watch this movie anytime.
19. Because he was fearless, even at age 12. Remember the cringe-worthy scene in “About a Boy” where he sings “Killing Me Softly” in front of his whole class?
19. Like most British actors, he’s comfortable playing either straight or gay roles, as he did on the British series “Skins” and in “A Single Man” opposite Colin Firth.
18. He’s also not afraid to strip down for a role, as in this scene from “A Single Man,” in which his impulsive young student dares his older professor to take a midnight swim with him.
17. And Hoult’s a trooper. He had to plunge into the cold water over and over, and got ash in his eye from a nearby Los Angeles fire during the “Single Man” scene, but kept on. Director Tom Ford raved, “He insisted on working while he was in pain. He is a real professional. I can’t say enough good things about him.”
16. Even though he and “X-Men: First Class” co-star Jennifer Lawrence broke up, he’s still saying nice things about her.
15. And even though he was dating one of the Hollywood’s hottest rising stars, the two managed to keep their relationship private, which is pretty damn hard to do these days.
14. At 6’2 1/2 inches and with his trademark “Vulcan” eyebrows, we’re waiting for him to be tapped to play the young Spock at some point.
13. He’s now a model for Tom Ford eyewear and has grown into…. how did Blackbook put it? “As a child, his visage had all the soft curves of a Volkswagen Beetle, but in the past decade it’s evolved into a Ferrari: clean, angular, and beautiful, with two azure headlights that could stop a deer in its tracks.” Right, that.
12. When an incredibly loud fire engine interrupted our interview with him for “Warm Bodies,” he exclaimed “Blimey!”
11. He cleans up nice.
10. Although his aunt is a well-known British actress and his sisters also act, Hoult says his childhood wasn’t very showbizzy. “It’s not like we’re all walking around going, ‘Morning, dahling! Kiss kiss!’ We didn’t put on plays or any of that. We were more outdoorsy as kids, running around in the garden and making tree houses and pretending to be like the Lost Boys and stuff. In other words, it was very normal.”
9. His role models include his “About a Boy” co-star Hugh Grant and Muhammad Ali. In this interview ), he admitted he sleeps under a poster of the boxing great that reads, “I know where I’m going and don’t have to be what you want me to be: I’m free to be what I want.”
8. He gets nervous during interviews, or at least he used to. As he said in 2010 (and, yes, he’ll hate that we’re digging up old quotes about him): “I’ve realized why I don’t tell the truth in interviews. It’s because they’re printed months later, and you change so quickly — you have new thoughts, new everything — so people are reading an old version of you. As an actor, without sounding like a knob, everything’s very self-obsessed.” Also see this stammery video interview from 2010.
7. He puts in his research: Before playing Hank McCoy in “X-Men: First Class,” he studied old episodes of “Frasier” to match Kelsey Grammer’s accent, since Grammer played Beast in “X-Men: The Last Stand.”
6. While he did do his Frasier research, for the actual audition, he channeled a much different TV character: Stewie from “Family Guy.”
5. He makes for a very cuddly Beast. “People were stroking my fur on set without even realizing it,” Hoult told Blackbook.
4. Although he’s known for playing sweet, sensitive and likable chaps, he’s shown the full range of the dark side in his role of the diabolical schemer Tony on the British series “Skins.”
3. He’s a former child star who’s yet to be arrested, get in a bar fight or get a DUI. About the most scandalous thing he’s done was kiss Pixie Geldof (Britain’s answer to Paris Hilton) once.
2. “About a Boy,” aside, he really can sing. Check him out in this clip from “Skins” singing “On the Street Where You Live.”
1. Because he’s still remarkably attractive, even as a zombie.