Friday, May 29, 2015
Also: We Need to Start Taking Nicholas Hoult Seriously (Other Than Calling Him Jlawr's Ex)
It's been nearly a week and I am still obsessing over MAD MAX: FURY ROAD. I know everyone is singing Charlize Theron's praises for her performance in the film (and with good reason), but can we get a round of applause for Nicholas Hoult, who continues to evolve as an actor in one eye-catching performance after another? I mean, come on folks, he's not just Jennifer Lawrence's ex. This guy has gone from a child actor stealing movies from Hugh Grant (About a Boy) to playing Colin Firth's love interest (A Single Man), an X-Men mutant, a zombie (Warm Bodies) and now Nux, Fury Road's lone antihero. And he's only 25 years old.
I guess you can say I am a fan.
In an industry in which stunt casting prevails and Hollywood clearly can't differentiate one under-30 actor from another (so they just decided to cast the same 3-5 stars in every role), it's nice to see an actor with actual talent who doesn't need to be part of a tabloid headline to prove his worth. Hoult has the intrigue of an unknown actor and the talent of a veteran who's constantly studying his craft. In other words, he makes you want to watch everything he does, and be surprised each time. Which makes his performance in MAD MAX: FURY ROAD that much more thrilling. Nux, a young man of the apocalypse weak from undefined sickness who uses the title character (Tom Hardy) for blood donations. Hyped up from the prospect of a new battle (in the guise of Theron's Imperator Furiosa) and appropriately glistening from chrome (the ultimate pre-game for war), he sets off to take down Furiosa, instantly presenting himself as the villain (albeit a terribly engaging one) in the film.
But later in the film, something happens. You kinda start to root for Nux. Oh, he's outrageous and can easily pass as a post-apocalyptic mascot, but there's a moment when Hoult begins to humanize him. Though his dialogue decreases throughout the latter half the film, Hoult softens his facial expressions (revealing his natural babyface features) and audiences get to see another side of Nux. Perhaps the pre-apocalypse Nux? That's what we're left to assume as a viewer, but I just love the way that Hoult added so much nuance to a character that could have easily been wooden and scene-chewy in the wrong hands.
I look forward to seeing what Hoult will do next.