Since his run on the UK television hit Skins, Nicholas Hoult has been warming hearts all across the world. Now, he's been tapped for his hardest challenge yet: to make zombies seem charming. And guess what? He nails it.
In the new buzzed-about Warner Bros pic Warm Bodies, the British actor, 23, plays a walking corpse called simply "R" who "lives" in a city that is divided by those who are "the undead" and those who are not. When R and his flesh-eating buddies ambush a patrol of uninfected soldiers, he falls for a young woman in the group named Julie (Teresa Palmer), after, ahem, killing the rest of the group and eating the brains of her old boyfriend, played by Dave Franco.
Hoult chatted with Us Weekly about the hit film -- and the long awaited X-Men sequel Days of Future Past, where he'll reconnect with ex-girlfriend and costar Jennifer Lawrence following their January split.
Us: Have you been a fan of zombie movies in the past?
NH: I'm a fan of all the classic older films and the newer stuff as well, 28 days Later and Zombieland. And Shaun of the Dead is one of my favorites.
Us: What would you do in the makeup chair?
NH: We'd listen to music, we'd chat, we'd watch films, play Xbox. We were actually playing zombie theme video games, Left 4 Dead is what it's called! So I was running around, killing zombies in the morning and then would become one on set.
Us: There's a far bit of gore in the film. When you're, for example, eating Dave Franco's face, what did you actually taste?
NH: It was like a sugary, edible blood dyed red. Everything I had to eat in the movie was pretty sweet, like the brains as well, were like a soft peachy sponge cake that was very wet and cold.
Us: There is also a great little love story arc that is involved with it, with your character R, did you know Teresa Palmer before working on this film together? Tell Us about your kissing scene.
NH: I met Teresa once before at dinner, but she didn't remember that. I said we had met before and she had no recollection of me at all. I think we actually shot the kissing scene twice. It was very cold, it was freezing cold in a fountain outside. We had wetsuits on underneath our clothes. That part I definitely won't forget.
Us: Let's talk about the new X-Men movie. First Class did so well, are you looking forward to reconnecting with that cast?
NH: Yeah, I'm really excited to go back into it and to work more with those guys. Bryan Singer is going to direct this time, so it would be good to work for him again. I kept in touch with most of the cast. It's really nice when there's a job that you know you're all going back to and you kind of have a good catch up. We had a lot of fun making the first one, lots of great memories, so it'll be a nice little reunion.