Nicholas Hoult: How I became a serial killer

Actor Nicholas Hoult originally thought the producer of Kill Your Friends was a “crazy guy” after he forced a copy of the book upon him in a park.

The 25-year-old Brit stars in the upcoming dark comedy thriller as Stelfox, a music industry worker who takes the idea of ‘killer tunes’ to a whole new level when fuelled by greed, ambition and drugs. It’s based on the 2008 novel of the same name by John Niven, who also penned the screenplay, and producer Gregor Cameron was so keen to cast Nicholas as the lead, he took some extreme measures.

“Gregor came up to me in Hyde Park (in London, UK) a couple of years ago and just gave me a copy (of the book)!” Nicholas recalled to NME magazine. “I thought at first: ‘Uh oh, crazy guy alert.’ And Owen (Harris, the director) wasn’t even attached then, so it didn’t feel real to be honest.

“I was filming another movie for a year and then Owen came on board – I’d loved his Black Mirror (TV show) episode – so I read the script again and then the book, and it was at that point that I was like: ‘F**k. I have to play this guy.’ And, you know, that year in between made a big difference.”

The handsome actor got stuck into the deadly role easily and found himself enjoying his murdering alter ego’s company. He got so involved in the part that he even felt the presence of his character before filming began.

“I was reading the book again just before we started shooting,” he added. “I’d be walking around town and occasionally I’d have to stop myself because I’d look at someone and hear Stelfox in my head. You know, what he’d think of them, describe them or what he’d want to do to them. It would happen a lot on the Tube (London Underground system).”

It’s a stark contrast from Nicholas’ role as honourable mutant Hank McCoy / Beast in the X-Men franchise. Although the star doesn’t enjoy all superhero flicks, thinking most follow a boring “bankable formula”, he is adamant the X-Men films have more depth thanks to the characters not being “smug”.

– Cover Media