Soft-spoken, sweetheart, Nicholas Hoult took a couple of minutes to talk about his upcoming zombie rom com “Warm Bodies” which is set to hit theaters February 1st.
Congratulations on this, “Warm Bodies” is so much fun, sweet and interesting to watch. So, how did this movie come about for you?
Nicholas: About this time, two years ago, I was in L.A. while we were filming X-Men pick-ups, so I read the script and it was from a pile of scripts…and this was the only script that I read through in one sitting, just right through it and I thought this could be something that’s fun and entertaining and special and still get to act in it.
Could you visualize the world when you read the script or was it more real for you when you finally started filming?
Nicholas: I couldn’t visualize the world. I could visualize the character or the essence of the character; I could visualize that very clearly. But, not the world and I think the production designer did a great job. Montreal was really a great city to work in to give you the scale and working in Mirabel airport, which is abandoned now, and no one uses, and the way they transformed everything to look like a post apocalyptic world. Then the make-up goes, a great make-up artist and the costume that was grimy, and then I was like, ‘right, I’m getting into this now.’
Your character, R, has very minimal means of communication…the grunting and half words, in terms of trying to communicate-
Nicholas: Yeah that was one of those things in the script, where I really enjoyed the story and cared about the character and I was like, this is going to a bit of a challenge to bring him to life and make people root for him and care for him. And just find the right balance of zombie undeadness but still you know… I think the key thing I picked up and focused on and thought about during scenes was just the fact that he’s trying to change and wants to connect and once Teresa (Julie) turns up, it made my life very easy because then you could just focus on her. He’s a very pure character in that sense and he just wants to look after her, protect her and try and change for the better.
And blinking, he doesn’t blink.
Nicholas: Yeah, I didn’t blink a lot. I decided that he probably didn’t blink a lot, which was a great when I first had that thought, and then during some of the longer takes I was sitting there going ‘Oh, boy, this is a long time to keep your eyes open.’ I think the first time I blink knowingly, is towards the end…when he looks at his reflection in the mirror.
Is this one of those movies where it’s strange or more fun to watch yourself in the final product?
Nicholas: I kind of find it easier, I’m very critical when watching things of myself; it’s nice to watch everyone else’s work. I think the further the character is away from me, the less they sound like me, the less they look like me, then the easier it is to watch because then it’s like watching someone else.
I have to know, what did the brains taste like?
Nicholas: The brain was like a wet, cold peachy sponge with a load of fake blood over it and then occasionally bits of grapefruit.
Nicholas: Yeah, kind of healthy brains (laughs).
We’ve been seeing an incredible rise of vampire and zombies films, what do you think the appeal is, do you enjoy supernatural movies?
Nicholas: Yeah… I enjoy watching them…the thing I liked about this one was telling it from the zombie’s point of view. I just thought that was a nice little insight and hadn’t been done and the tone of it, just the lightheartedness. Jonathan did a really good job of balancing, making it funny but not ridiculous and still caring about the characters and kind of making it believable.
What can we see you in next, “Mad Max” right ?
Nicholas: I’ve been in Africa for the last seven months, shooting “Mad Max,” which was really, really great to work with George Miller directing again and who’s really talented and I loved going to work with him. I think it’s going to be a cool film.
Is there anything you take from a shoot or movie like this onto a set like that?
Nicholas: You kind of pick up and learn different things on every job pretty much. This was my first time playing a lead in a film and it’s kind of different to play a character that walks up for a couple of scenes. It’s your job also to make a nice atmosphere on set and make it a good place for everyone to work and also there’s a bit more pressure you know, because you’ve got to be entertaining for an hour and a half or two hours.