If there's anyone that knows the world post-apocalypse well, it's Nicholas Hoult. The actor, who's career exploded after his starring role in the fan favorite apocalyptic romance-horror-comedy, Warm Bodies, and most recently as Beast in [X-Men: Days Of Future Past](movie:203942) has climbed his way up through the rankings in disaster-based films for quite some time. At New York Comic-Con, Hoult sat down with cast members Kodi Smit-McPhee, Michael Shannon and movie helmer Jake Paltrow, to talk about his life in a land without water.
While the movie might be painful for those of us currently enduring the California drought (hi), the panel itself was held at the Jacob Javits Center, and was followed promptly, the very next day, by a downpour of rain. It was almost as if the Big Apple couldn't contain the dry grit of [Young Ones](movie:859405).
In the film, Hoult portrays Flem, the irritable and rugged boyfriend of Elle Fanning's character, Mary, which puts him at constant odds with Michael Shannon's Ernest Holm, her father. Flem is virtually nothing like Beast or many of Hoult's past roles: a troublemaker, thief, and brawler, Flem is highly troubled thanks to outlasting many of his loved ones after the water in his world ran dry. "He's desperate, and he feels cheated by the world and survived most of his other battles," said Hoult. "There is some goodness in him... somewhere."
Despite Flem causing trouble for the Holm family, Hoult says that the film's familial aspect is what attracted him to it, and went on to talk about the sci-fi Western aspect that made him sign:
I like Westerns; I always wanted to do a Western. And then this world that Jake created felt very real. Within that, even though it was sci-fi/futuristic, it still felt very grounded, and about people, so that's what I liked about it.
But according to Jake Paltrow, shooting in the desert wasn't really a cakewalk. "It was truly brutal. There's a part of that where, even if you're not a method actor, it's doing it for you almost. What you see in the movie is really what it's like — you feel the heat and the desolation of this film naturally."
With all of that said, Hoult's performance as Flem comes with a memorable depth that I feel he hasn't gotten to explore in his previous roles; giving a wild, angry guy like Flem a heartfelt reason to keep going in a never-ending desert world.
This, of course, gives me hope for [X-Men: Apocalypse](movie:1194267). Writer/Director Simon Kinberg has already admitted to a romance between Hoult's Beast and Jennifer Lawrence's Mystique in the upcoming film, so I hope we get to explore the gentle guy that Hank really is, beneath the giant blue beast that he becomes outside of that romance.
The panel itself was attended by a hefty set of fans, and was received very well, which spells good news for Jake Paltrow's first big foray into the film world.
And of Hoult? He'll have a lot on his plate soon enough - the actor has Leading Man written all over his pristine British face, and I, for one, welcome him.