British actor Nicholas Hoult, known for his roles in blockbuster films including Mad Max and the X-Men series, has become the second Jaguar ambassador to tackle the ‘Smart Cone challenge’ after F1 driver Romain Grosjean set the score to beat earlier this year.
It comes as Nicholas’ brand new film Collide, which also features Felicity Jones, Anthony Hopkins and Ben Kingsley, hits cinemas across Europe. The film features Nicholas behind the wheel of a Jaguar XF, as well as the Jaguar F-TYPE as the ride of choice for Ben Kingsley’s character.
For the unique ‘Smart Cone’ challenge, Nicholas put the Jaguar XF AWD R-Sport through its paces around a course situated in the beautiful backdrop of rural Sardinia, where the Art of Performance Tour visited in August. The course was built on a low-grip sandy surface, pushing both Nicholas and the AWD capability of the XF to the limit.
The Smart Cone course uses wireless technology to randomly illuminate pairs of cones to set out a different route each time. With millions of different potential options taking place in real time, the technology provides a unique test of driving skill, precision and reactions.
The challenge is part of the Art of Performance Tour – a worldwide tour for Jaguar fans that provides the opportunity to drive the latest Jaguar products. To get behind the wheel and challenge Nicholas’ score of 42000 and Romain’s score of 49032 points, sign up here – www.jaguar.com/experience
They might play characters forbidden from expressing human emotions in Drake Doremus’ new romantic sci-fi Equals, but the real-life friendship between Nicholas Hoult and Kristen Stewart couldn’t be further from their fictional selves.
In an interview with AZ Central, the actor praised the ELLE September Issue cover star for her relentless curiosity for acting.
‘That’s something that’s obviously part of our lives. Part of the thing that makes us similar is the fact that we’re not really in the classical world of acting and trained particularly,” he said.
‘We’re both very curious people, and she’s incredibly smart and in touch with her emotions,’ he added.
Describing the 26-year-old Twilight actress skill in front of the camera, Hoult admitted that he often felt inspired of her raw and relatable performances on set.
‘She’s very passionate and cares wholeheartedly about film and telling stories, and also that moment right there. So it’s wonderful to be in scenes with her, because the smallest flick of an eye or quiver of her voice, you pick up on so little.’
Equals (which is yet to be given a UK release date) centres on the eradication of human emotions (otherwise known as ‘Switched on Syndrome’) from society where physical contact, sex and love is forbidden.
his futuristic romance, which takes place in a world where emotions have been eradicated, hits select theaters July 15.
Equals stars Kristen Stewart and Nicholas Hoult were among those walking the red carpet at the Los Angeles premiere of their new movie on Thursday at the Arclight Hollywood.
Though Equals has been exclusively available on DirecTV since May 26, the premiere celebrated the film’s limited release in theaters.
This futuristic romance takes place in a world where emotions have been eradicated, aside from a certain few — including Hoult and Stewart’s characters.
While the two are an exception, that doesn’t mean they don’t portray themselves as emotionless in portions of the film. Doing so presented a unique challenge — not only for Hoult and Stewart — but a majority of the cast.
“The characters aren’t meant to feel, so then you have to play into that and understand that and how that changes through the movie and what it all means for these people,” Hoult said.
Jacki Weaver, who plays Bess, also struggled with the task. “I had to concentrate,” she told The Hollywood Reporter.
There is one scene in particular (it’s even teased in a trailer) where Hoult and Stewart are forced to confront their newfound feelings, though.
“It’s a special scene,” writer-director Drake Doremus told THR. “This is a scene where, the whole movie they’ve been waiting and waiting, to touch each other and then suddenly they’re able to in this very strange, tight environment and it was really amazing because we waited to shoot it. It was just an explosion. It was like boiling water until that moment, so it’s very explosive and very intense.”
Hoult thought so, too. “We shot it, and after, I think after a week or two of filming, there had been no physical contact between our characters up until that point or anything so it was kind of a release I guess, in terms of that — and also a discovery for the characters,” he told THR.
To prepare the actors not only for the scene, but the entire film, Doremus used slightly unconventional methods.
“Drake has this incredible rehearsal process that really doesn’t consist of rehearsal because it’s not about going over the material; it’s about getting to know each other, which is, like, really nice groundwork that a lot of people don’t necessarily typically put into rehearsal,” Stewart said. “Usually it’s about making sure in this sort of fearful way that you know your lines or that you are on the same page — this was really more about breaking down barriers and feeling comfortable with each other and just knowing that once we actually got to set that we were able to give our all.”
Hoult explained the process as being put in a room and doing different exercises, “where you’ll just say hello to each other, look into each other’s eyes for a long time and then you’ll, like, only be allowed to tell the truth or you’ll only be able to lie.”
The two seemed to have a natural chemistry, according to Doremus.
“They’re perfect,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “I mean, I really wrote the film for Nick, so he was always, you know, right there. When I met Kristen, she was so interesting and such a powerhouse, so much energy. I feel like they bring out something really intense and beautiful in each other in the film.”
WATCH MORE TIFF: Kristen Stewart Talks Process of Love in ‘Equals’
While Equals certainly isn’t Doremus’ first love story (his credits also include the award-winning Like Crazy), the film is different compared to other movies he’s worked on.
“I think this film is very different than the previous films, but also very similar,” he said. “I mean, at the end of the day it’s a very intimate study of what it’s like to fall in love and deal with those feelings and over the course of time how that changes you.”
The dystopian setting also brought Doremus into a new territory.
“I was never really a sci-fi nerd, per say, but I was always fascinated with the genre and thought it was an interesting sort of landscape to set a love story, to try to do something really warm to be honest,” he said. “Most sci-fi films, to me, are very cold and very distant and I really wanted to make something that was the opposite of that — it seems very warm.”
Weaver even called the film a “retelling of the old Romeo and Juliet story,” due to Hoult and Stewart’s love being forbidden.
Though Stewart certainly isn’t new to playing a Juliet-type character — like Bella in Twilight —she didn’t see any relation between Bella and this new character; however, she said the two are “similar in their sort of dire nature.”
For moviegoers, Doremus told THR he wants them to turn off their brains and turn on their hearts.
Charlie Hunnam, Courtney Love and Matthew Gray Gubler also were among those attending the premiere of Equals, which will hit theaters July 15.
Though the sci-fi drama Equals takes place amid a dystopian future where people have lost the ability to feel basic emotions, Kristen Stewart seemingly inspires curious affection from Nicholas Hoult in an exclusive clip (above) from the upcoming film.
The scene sees Stewart seated in what appears to be a cafeteria, gazing down at a bumble bee that has landed on the table in front of her. Hoult, seated opposite her, watches intently as Stewart traps the insect under a glass, musing on its physicality. “According to the laws of aerodynamics, they shouldn’t fly,” she says, the film’s hypnotic score beginning to surge. “But they don’t know it, so they fly anyway.”
I have add 22 stills form the movie Collide to our gallery.
Here’s the trailer for Equals, in which Kristen Stewart and Nicholas Hoult begin an illicit romance in this ice-blue, future-set romantic thriller directed by Drake Doremus (Like Crazy). The picture unspools tonight at the Tribeca Film Festival in its U.S. premiere following its unveiling in Venice last year.
Stewart and Hoult play co-workers Nia and Silas in a futuristic utopian society called “The Collective” where crime and violence have been erased through genetic Kristen Stewart in Equasengineering that also, by the way, got rid of all those messy human emotions and love is a crime. And yet. Nia and Silas can’t help noticing a growing attraction between them, leading them to a forbidden relationship at first tentative but then exploding into a passionate romance, provoking suspicion among their superiors. They’re forced to choose between going back to the safety of the lives they have always known, or risk it all to try and pull off a daring escape. Written by Nathan Parker (Moon), the film also stars Guy Pearce (Memento), Jacki Weaver (Silver Linings Playbook), Bel Powley (The Diary of a Teenage Girl) and Kate Lyn Sheil (You’re Next).
An A24 film, Equals is produced by Michael Schaefer, Michael Pruss, Ann Ruark, Jay Stern and Chip Diggins. It opens in theaters on July 15th, and will be available exclusively on DirecTV starting May 26.
This year’s South by Southwest festival is in full swing, which means that some of the buzziest names in film, tech, and music have descended upon Austin to search for the next big thing. And in Owen Harris’ Kill Your Friends, out April 1, Nicholas Hoult stars as an A&R man in the ‘90s Britpop scene who’s determined to do just that.
John Niven adapted his 2008 cult-favorite novel for the big screen, and the film version of Kill Your Friends stars Nicholas Hoult as Steven Stelfox, a chillingly devious A&R man in 1997 who won’t let his distaste for music or his competitive coworkers impede his quest for ultimate power. Even if that means taking out anything — or anyone — that gets in his way.
Stelfox’s quest to sign the next hit artist leads him to SXSW, and EW has an exclusive clip from the film of Stelfox’s trip to Austin. Below, we talked to Hoult about embodying such a ruthless character — and the unlikely TV star he turned to for inspiration.
You actually got the script for Kill Your Friends a couple years ago, right?
Yeah, it was a very random script process, because I was sitting in Hyde Park in London, and [a producer] walked up to me and said, “I’ve got this script called Kill Your Friends.” And obviously, in my mind, I was like, “Um, okay. I’ll give you my agent’s details, but I don’t expect to ever see a script or for anything to come of this.” And then a little while later, I actually got the script and read it, and at that point, I didn’t feel that I was old enough to play the character. It was quite early on in the process of it getting developed, and it just didn’t feel right.
I think it was maybe a year later, they came back around, and they had hired Owen Harris to direct it, and I read the script again, and I don’t know. At that point, I was like, yeah, why not? Let’s give it a bash. Something had changed in that year where I felt more capable of taking this on.
So what was it that really hooked you the second time you read the script?
I liked John’s writing a lot. I find it dark and very twisted and kind of observant. It delves into the music industry, and for my friends who are in the music industry or who’ve been in the music industry, it can be quite a horrid place. Like any industry, I guess, depending on what side of things you’re on. I just thought John just had such an interesting take on it, and this character was irredeemable. It just kind of made me chuckle, in a way that maybe I shouldn’t have.
Did you have any hesitation at all about tackling such an unsympathetic character? Stelfox is so manipulative and bloodthirsty and generally pretty awful.
Not really, because I’m not someone who’s trying to form a career on people thinking, “Oh, he always plays the nice guy” or that sort of thing. I didn’t really have any reservations. I mean, taking on any role, there’s always reservations in terms of, can you do it? Is it going to work? You get to set for the first day, and then you’re like, “Alright, now I’ve actually got to do this,” and that’s quite a terrifying prospect with any role. There’s certainly roles that you look at, and you think, I’ve got an idea of how to do that, and that’s within my comfort zone, and I think this role was not in my comfort zone of what I’ve been doing and what’s more natural for me to do perhaps. So it was a good challenge.
The movie walks this really interesting line between black comedy and some really dark, intense moments. Was it tough to find the right tone?
That was more down to Owen and John than for me. For me, it was always playing it fairly straight. I’m never playing this particular type of thing as comedy. But I think it’s something that sometimes audiences have a difficult time reading. It’s so darkly funny at times or wrong that you really aren’t quite sure whose side to be on or what is acceptable to chuckle at, and it kind of challenges people a little bit in that. There’s a couple of moments where I sit there and I go, ohhhh, that’s probably a little too close for comfort. But it’s based on something quite true, because John did work as an A&R man in the music industry in the ‘90s. Quite a lot of the story is fictional, but the characters and things are based on real people and the events are very similar to real events that happened.
You play an A&R man who’s not interested in music, even though that’s his whole job. But did you do any research or try to immerse yourself in ‘90s music? Was there anything you were listening to?
Well, because of the fact that my character has no interest in ‘90s music or music whatsoever really, there wasn’t any need for me immerse myself in the music of the time. But luckily, we’ve got a great soundtrack, because lots of musicians love the book and are fans of it and John. So they’ve very kindly given us their music to use, which is great because it is a kind of trip down memory lane when you hear some of those songs. You’ve got Radiohead and Oasis and all these classics. I was just kind of on the brink of that. In ’96, I was like 7 years old, so What’s The Story Morning Glory was one of the first albums I bought. That was kind of my musical awakening, in some ways, to use a terrible term.
But in terms of research, you know, hanging out with A&R people within the music industry, and I met a few of the people characters were loosely based on and things like that, so that was more useful in that sense. And then watching Kevin Spacey in House of Cards. He has a great way of breaking the fourth wall, so watching a lot of that as well, because there were times when I had to do that, which is a very tricky thing to pull off.
That’s such an interesting place to look to for inspiration. What was it about Spacey in House of Cards that you focused on?
It’s that sort of disconnect between public persona and private thought. It can be a tricky thing to do, but it’s kind of what’s going on with every single person in the world. I mean, people rarely say exactly what they’re thinking at any given moment.