Nicholas Hoult on ‘Tolkien’ and Playing a Character Across Three Different Eras

     May 9, 2019

Recently Fox Searchlight brought Collider and a few other journalists to London to visit the shooting location of their upcoming J.R.R. Tolkien biopic: Tolkien.

Tolkien hits cinemas on May 10th, and we were fortunate enough to speak with several people who worked on the film, including Tolkien star Nicholas Hoult. Hoult is a known genre star, particularly from his portrayal of Doctor Hank McCoy a.k.a. Beast in the current X-Men franchise of movies.


Image via Fox Searchlight

We spoke with Hoult about stepping into the role of yet another genius, albeit one with a very different set of skills than his blue counterpart. The movie centers around Tolkien’s formative years and the most important relationships in his life which inspired the creation of The Lord of the Rings books – and later movies. In Tolkien, Hoult portrays Professor Tolkien at three distinct moments requiring three distinct performances. We discussed what that took from him as an actor, what he most wants audiences to look out for, and more.

Check out what Nicholas Hoult had to say in the player above, and below is exactly what we talked about:

  • Which of the genius characters Hoult has portrayed is smarter – Beast or J.R.R. Tolkien?
  • The challenge in playing Tolkien across three different eras of his life
  • Physical obstacles which accompanied scenes set during the Battle of the Somme

Image via Fox Searchlight

Here is the official synopsis for Tolkien:

Tolkien 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 (Nicholas Hoult) tumultuous courtship of his beloved Edith Bratt (Lily Collins), 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.

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