Nicholas "Beast" Hoult Answers Fan Questions About X-Men: First Class
03.24.11 by BJSprecher
Last week, comic book movie fans were given the opportunity to ask producer Bryan Singer questions about director Matthew Vaughn's X-Men prequel movie, X-Men: First Class, by using the new "X-Perts" feature on the movie's official Facebook page. This week, fans were given the opportunity to query actor Nicholas Hoult about everything from prosthetics and make-up to filling Kelsey Grammer's shoes as the new Henry "Hank" McCoy, aka Beast, and the chosen questions, and Hoult's responses, are now online.
Q: What drew you to the role of Hank McCoy/Beast?
Nicholas Hoult: The fascinating part of the role for me was the chance to play Hank/Beast before and after his transformation. The combination of his intelligence and wit offset by his animalistic appearance was fun to play.
Q: What did you think of the original Beast?
NH: I thought Kelsey Grammer did a fantastic job when he portrayed Beast [in X-Men: The Last Stand], his charm and eloquence was something I wanted to try and emulate. However, in First Class I play Hank younger before becoming a politician, when he is a scientist and still learning about himself and his abilities. So I didn't want to try and just play a younger Kelsey but also bring something new to the role.
Q: Are you an X-Men fan and if so, did you have a lot of source material to go thru or did you make up your own version of Beast?
NH: I am an X-Men fan, I grew up watching the cartoons and films. It was fantastic to have so much source material to draw from, I read lots of comics in the build up to filming to try and get the best sense of Hank.
Q: Beast is my favorite comic book character. Did you feel any pressure to show his feral side, while keeping him as lovable as he is in the comics?
NH: There is pressure when playing a character who is so iconic and loved by fans, so you have to approach it with respect. Hank is urbane whilst being slightly shy of his mutations in this story, but then later on once the transformation to Beast has taken place he should still be charming but have a feral edge.
Q: What type of preparation did you do for the role of Beast?
NH: In preparation for the role I watched lots of Frasier and listened to people who spoke with a similar accent to Kelsey, my dialect coach and I worked on creating something towards Kelsey's dialect but without being an imitation. I also did lots of fitness training as being in the Beast costume and make up could be very tiring and tough physically.
Q: Will we get to see Beast in more of his iconic lab settings and sporting some Shakespearean quotes?
NH: Yes, you get to see Hank in his element in the lab. Some of the genius inventions he creates are shown, and also some of the not so successful ones.
Q: How long does it take to get your makeup on?
NH: The make up took 4 hours to get on, during which time we would listen to music mostly, or if it was a very early call I sometimes fell asleep.
Q: Did they do any CGI on your hands and feet prior to Beast going blue to make him seem more ape-like as in the comics and shows?
NH: Before the transformation Hank's feet are a CGI effect so I would wear a blue sock and then the larger ape like feet would be added in post production. I did wear shoes a few sizes larger so that in theory they would have fitted in.
Q: Beast is a nasty combination of high intellect and brute strength. Which side is more evident in the movie, and which side do you relate to more?
NH: You get to see both the brute strength and intellect of Beast in this film. If I had to choose which one I related to most it would have to be the intellect as I certainly don't have anywhere near the strength and speed he possesses. Although, the same could be said for the intellect...
If you're a Facebook member, just "like" X-Men Movies and you can submit your own questions for the next two cast members, Rose Byrne and Oliver Platt, who play Dr. Moira MacTaggert and the mysterious Man in Black, respectively. The deadline for questions is March 30th.
X-Men: First Class is based on the wildly popular comic book series published by Marvel Comics. The story was conceived by Singer and the screenplay was written by Jane Goldman (Kick-Ass). The cast includes James McAvoy as Prof. X, Michael Fassbender as Magneto, Caleb Landry Jones as Banshee, Lucas Till as Havok, Edi Gathegi as Darwin, Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique, and Kevin Bacon as Sebastian Shaw.