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admin | Nov 23, 2022

Drinking Tequila With Nicholas Hoult: Talking About His New Film ‘The Menu’

In the new film ‘The Menu’ Nicholas Hoult and Anya Taylor-Joy play a couple who travel by boat to an exclusive restaurant on a small island. But what starts off as a satire of an exacting chef (played by Ralph Fiennes) and his impossibly precious tasting menu soon takes a dark turn as the guests realize there’s more danger than food on the menu. I spoke with Nicholas Hoult about his own culinary tastes, how he approaches making his characters more unique and why it’s more fun than usual to prep for a film about eating.

In ‘The Menu’ your character risks everything to experience the ultimate tasting menu. Did you indulge in these type of meals for ‘research?’

A lot of times you’re preparing for a role and you’ve got to get to the gym — whereas for this it was ‘all right, sit on the sofa and watch Chef’s Table.’ I did go to a couple of fancy restaurants, not ones that were as intense as the one in this film, and that was one of the joys of this project. It was eye opening to look into that world and see how dedicated these chefs are and I was completely in awe of what they create.

Has it changed the type of places you like to go out to?

No, it’s a nice treat occasionally, but the restaurant in the film is so pretentious that when they bring out the bread course they don’t bring any bread, because bread isn’t meant for this (wealthy) clientele. I would never want to be in a restaurant like that. I’m a much more normal, home-cooking person, so I like a comfortable easy place.

Are you a home chef?

Yeah, I love cooking. I really get into it when I’m not shooting. I find it nice to be in the kitchen. And I’ve recently got into baking too. When I’m traveling a lot and not getting to spend too much time at home I like to do a Sunday roast. I like the ritual of it. They’re also pretty easy, you know. Throw it in the oven for a few hours and presto!

Are you a wine lover or prefer spirits?

Probably spirits. Tequila. I kind of drink depending on the environment but I like tequila. El Rayo is a nice tequila that two mates of mine set up. You know what I made a little while ago that was good — passion fruit margarita. (confidently) I like passion fruit.

Are you a good home bartender as well?

I’m ok, but I’ll do it when I’m shooting ‘The Great’ in London — on Thursday evenings or sometimes Friday evenings after work I’ll make a cocktail and hand that out to people.

Are they Russian-inspired?

We vary it. We did some rum punch, we did some tequila-based drinks, some vodka-based. We make nice negronis. I mean stop by, it’s a fully stocked bar.

Any special time you remember where you shared a meal or drinks with someone you admire?

Yeah, first time I met Tom Hanks. I went to dinner and Tom Hanks was there and I was like ‘that’s crazy, that’s Tom Hanks.’ And it was quite a small dinner. It was six or eight people. Then it’s get madder, it was at Tom Ford’s house. Yeah, all The Toms!.

Do you remember what you talked about?

No, I didn’t say much to be honest with you at that table. I just sat there and listened.

In ‘The Menu’ you’re still enjoying the meal while everyone else is scared out of their minds. Similarly on your show ‘The Great’ you play someone who seems to inhabit their own reality apart from the other characters around them. Are you drawn to roles like that?

When I read a character I enjoy the idea of being able to make them still service the story and be part of what the overall target is, but also make them bounce around in strange and bizarre ways. That’s just something as an actor that I enjoy exploring. It’s like ‘all right,’ there’s the clear obvious decision of how to play this and then there’s the slightly more offbeat and hopefully funnier way. And I like trying to find that.

Anything stand out that you learned about this rarified culinary world while making the film?

One thing that I tried in a restaurant while I was prepping was they brought out headphones that played the sounds of the sea whilst you were eating a sea-inspired dish. That was interesting because the idea of it was to bring back memories of your trips to the seaside when you were a kid. So even though it was a weird thing to be doing it was something that was really nice and kind of fun. It was a good conversation starter at the table.

‘The Menu’ opens in theaters on November 18th. [Source]

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A royal woman living in rural Russia during the 18th century is forced to choose between her own personal happiness and the future of Russia, when she marries an Emperor.

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Taylor makes a last-ditch effort to find love by becoming a contestant on a reality dating show. But she begins to feel the artifice of the show fade, and the game becomes terrifyingly real. Rivalry turns into treachery.
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