10 Things You Never Knew About Nicholas Hoult
Those Who Wish Me Dead, a dystopian survival movie starring Angelina Jolie and Nicholas Hoult, premieres Friday on HBO Max. To whet your appetite, why not get to know Hoult a little better? As a 13-year-old he made a big splash opposite Hugh Grant in 2002's About a Boy, then five days later he starred iconic British teen series Skins.
Since then, he's balanced quirkier movies (The Favourite, Tolkien, Kill Your Friends) with blockbuster roles (Mad Max: Fury Road, the X-Men movies) and a Golden Globe-nominated turn in Hulu's zingy historical comedy series The Great. But, here are some things you might not know about him.
1. He isn't his family's first illustrious actor.
His great-aunt was Dame Anna Neagle, a prolific British actress who was especially popular in the 1940s.
2. He grew up surrounded by female energy.
"My older brother left home when I was fairly young and my father was away a lot [with work], so I was raised by my mum and my sisters," he told Elle in 2013. "So I can maybe steer clear of some pitfalls that guys who didn't grow up with women would fall into."
3. Six years before About a Boy, he appeared in an episode of British medical drama series Casualty.
Hoult got to relive one of his first performances – he was just six at the time – during an appearance on The Graham Norton Show.
4. As a kid, he danced with the English National Ballet.
"Well I've done a bit of dancing. I was in Swan Lake the ballet and also the Nutcracker with the National Ballet," he told The Guardian in 2007. "It was the opposite of Skins! I can't even remember how I got into it, to be honest, I just ended up doing it. I just got on stage and it was a real kick doing ballet before a live audience."
5. He has a distinctive middle name: Caradoc.
It means "the beloved one" in Welsh, as Hoult explained during another appearance on The Graham Norton Show.
6. He's proud of his About a Boy co-star Hugh Grant's recent career revival.
"In my head, I'm thinking it's a kind of Hughnaissance, or something," Hoult told The Guardian earlier this year. "He had so much pressure on him [back then], and to see him free of that and just doing these wonderful dramas. I had so much fun watching him in Paddington 2, he was wonderful, and then in A Very English Scandal, and I'm about to start watching The Undoing. I'm enjoying what he’s doing at the moment, a lot."
7. As a teenager, he played for his local basketball team, the Reading Rockets.
Hoult stands at 6'2" tall, so he certainly has the height of a basketball player. Though his sporting career was short-lived, he's kept up his connections with the Reading Rockets and now serves as their ambassador.
8. He was hit by a bus while shooting an episode of Fox comedy-drama series Keen Eddie in 2003... yes, really.
Hoult shared the surreal (and thankfully, not too painful) story during an interview on Live with Kelly and Ryan.
9. He nearly didn't get his breakthrough film role opposite Colin Firth in director Tom Ford's A Single Man.
"That role was originally meant to be someone else," Hoult told The Guardian, "and I don’t know exactly what happened, but it didn’t work out. I got a phone call at 3am, and they said, 'Can you get on a plane tomorrow and come and meet Tom?' This was just after Skins. And I didn't have a visa to work in the US, so they said, 'We want you to do it, but you've got to go to Toronto to get your visa done in time. If it comes through by the end of the week, you can fly back and do the film. And if it doesn't, you can't.'"
Thankfully, everything ended up panning out in Hoult's favor.
10. He worked briefly as a DJ.
"My best friend and I used to DJ children’s birthday parties when we were still in school, which was really fun," Hoult told GQ. "He’d be on the CD decks and if he needed, like, CD number 45, I’d scan through. He’d be like: "Oops Upside Your Head" is on – lead the dance!'"
Do you have a favorite Nicholas Hoult role or moment?