The talented British actor Nicholas Hoult has already amassed an impressive career since his breakthrough role in About A Boy at just aged 11. Since then, his career has gone from strength to strength, with acclaimed roles independent films and Hollywood blockbusters. In Tolkien, Hoult takes on the role of the beloved writer J. R. R. Tolkien, following his story from his formative years as a student, to a young romantic and later a soldier, chronicling the moments in his life that inspired the creation of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings.
To celebrate the release of Tolkien, in cinemas this Friday and another standout performance by Hoult, we’re taking a look at his impressive career to date.
About A Boy (2002)
In 2002, Hoult landed his first major film role at aged 11 in the romantic comedy About A Boy. Starring alongside Hugh Grant, Rachel Weisz and Toni Collette, Hoult plays Marcus Brewer, a young teenager who lives with his single mother (Collette). Struggling to fit in at school, Marcus meets Will (Grant) who becomes an uncommon parental figure and friend to the boy. The role earned him a Critics’ Choice Movie Award for Best Young Actor, kicking off his career.
Hoult hit TV screens in the critically-acclaimed and BAFTA-nominated E4 drama Skins. Playing the character Tony Stonem, who was considered the antagonist of the first series, with Hoult’s powerful performance allowing viewers to see a more vulnerable side to the character as the series developed. His role not only led to positive reviews but also meant he became the heart-throb for thousands of teenagers across the UK.
A Single Man (2009)
Hoult stared alongside Colin Firth and Julianne Moore in A Single Man, an adaptation of Christopher Isherwood’s novel of the same name. In the directorial debut of fashion designer Tom Ford, Hoult stood out as Kenny, a young student who takes a romantic interest in Firth’s recently bereaved character George. His performance led to a BAFTA Rising Star Award nomination.
X-Men: First Class (2011)
Hollywood called as Hoult took on the role of Beast in the revamped X-Men series, starting with X-Men: First Class. Taking on the role of professor Hank McCoy, Hoult had the chance to showcase the characters’ origin story, with the ability to play both McCoy’s gentle side and fierce as his mutant form, Beast. He continued the role in the next three instalments; X-Men: Days of Future Past, X-Men: Apocalypse, and X-Men: Dark Phoenix which is due for release later this year.
Mad Max: Fury Road (2012)
Set in a post-apocalyptic Australia, Hoult plays Nux, a member of Immortan Joe’s army of War Boys who allies himself with Tom Hardy’s Max Rockastansky and Charlize Theron’s Imperator Furiosa who are rebelling against their tyrannical ruler. With the help of some heavy make-up, Hoult played an extreme and unhinged character and was praised for the performance.
The Favourite (2019)
Hoult joined Rachel Weisz, Emma Stone and Oscar winner Olivia Coleman for The Favourite, a period black comedy by Yorgos Lanthimos. Among the amazing female performances, Hoult holds his own as the cunning leader of the opposition Robert Harley who seeks to use Abigail (Stone) to manipulate Queen Anne (Coleman) and further his own interests.
In his latest film Hoult portrays the pioneer of fantasy fiction J. R. R. Tolkien in a charming tale of love and life. The film explores the formative years of the renowned author’s life as he finds friendship, courage and inspiration among a fellow group of writers and artists at school. Their brotherhood strengthens as they grow up and weather love and loss together, including Tolkien’s tumultuous courtship of his beloved Edith Bratt, until the outbreak of the First World War which threatens to tear their fellowship apart. All of these experiences would later inspire Tolkien to write his famous Middle-earth novels.
Directed by Dome Karukoski and also starring Lily Collins, Colm Meaney, Anthony Boyle, Patrick Gibson, Tom Glynn-Carney, Craig Roberts, Laura Donnelly, Genevieve O’Reilly, Pam Ferris and Derek Jacobi.