Nicholas Hoult Interview For ‘Jack the Giant Slayer’
An ancient war is reignited when a young farmhand unwittingly opens a gateway between our world and a fearsome race of giants. Unleashed on the Earth for the first time in centuries, the giants strive to reclaim the land they once lost, forcing the young man, Jack (Nicholas Hoult), into the battle of his life to stop them. Fighting for a kingdom and its people, and the love of a brave princess (Eleanor Tomlinson), he comes face to face with the unstoppable warriors he thought only existed in legend… and gets the chance to become a legend himself. Directed by Bryan Singer (The Usual Suspects, X-Men 2), ‘Jack the Giant Slayer’ also stars Stanley Tucci as the deceitful Lord Roderick; Ian McShane as the besieged King Brahmwell; Bill Nighy as the giants’ leader, General Fallon; and Ewan McGregor as palace guard Elmont. The film opens in cinemas on March 1st in the US and March 22nd in the UK.
Can you tell us where we meet Jack in the story? He’s definitely a young who wishes to see more of the world….
Nicholas Hoult: Definitely. Jack was brought up by his uncle. And his uncle, he’s not a particularly harsh man, but he’s someone who’s not overly loving. Jack hasn’t been pampered, that’s for sure. He’s had to earn his keep. Jack’s somebody that it appears like nothing ever goes quite his way, if you know what I mean (laughs)? But he always lands on his feet somehow. He’s not your typical hero, but he is a dreamer and he’s got that sense of adventure. He’s a good person and he’s willing to try his best, and that’s really the point. When he falls for the princess and knows she’s in trouble, his only thought is to help.
And when he goes on this adventure, he’s going on it with some of his heroes, in The Guardians – these elite group of top-tier royal knights?
Nicholas Hoult: Yeah, The Guardians are the like the Marines or the SAS, they’re the elite of the soldiers and they protect the princess. They’re the best of the best, that sort of thing. And growing up Jack saw them as heroes, he looked up to them. For him to be on this journey with them, and then for some them to be taking Jack under their wing, like Elmont, and then them respecting him and seeing that he’s there helping them and sometimes saving the day, it’s a big deal for him.
In particular Ewan McGregor’s Elmont is someone Jack looks up to. How was it working with Ewan considering that relationship?
Nicholas Hoult: With Elmont, Ewan McGregor’s playing him so he’s a cool dude already (laughs). But he is like a older brother, he’s the captain of the football team that you want to be, he’s the leader of The Guardians. To get recognition from him and to try to follow in his footsteps, it’s something that Jack would definitely like to do. And Ewan is awesome. We were firing crossbows, zip-lining across huge divides, swinging from vines and dodging flaming trees that the giants uproot and hurl at us. It was a lot of fun. With such a “big scale” film there’s so much going on, so it was nice to have such a great cast. And with Bryan helming it, you always felt safe and relaxed about it.
And how was it playing alongside Stanley Tucci as Roderick, this man who’s only interest is his own advancement. I found him terribly evil but really funny at the same time…..
Nicholas Hoult: Roderick is the snake in the grass. He’s set up from the beginning as someone who’s potentially lined up to marry the princess, and she definitely doesn’t want to marry him – for very good reasons (laughs). He’s got his own agenda for going on this mission, and he doesn’t want to save the princess, he’s not interested in that. He just wants the power that comes by having the crown. He’s a nasty piece of work, and Stanley does fantastic work by making him this sinister character who’s very entertaining to watch – he’s very funny (laughs). Stanley is always fantastic, he brings so much to the roles he plays, they jump out of the screen. He transforms physically as well, that was incredible to watch on set. It was fascinating watching him.
What was it like on working on the Gantua sets?
Nicholas Hoult: When you go up there it’s not like everything is giant. The giants are living in what would be a normal sized world for us human, if that makes sense. But then there’s the castle and the places that the giants have built up there, which are considerably oversized for us (laughs). Those sets were always fun to film on. We had the kitchen set, where you were running around picking up giant knives and running across a kitchen table, which is the size of a volley ball pitch (laughs). That was fun.
And then working with Bryan Singer, who’s someone you had worked with in a different capacity on ‘X-Men: First Class,’ how was it working under his direction on ‘Jack the Giant Slayer’?
Nicholas Hoult: Brian’s very intelligent, and you can tell that just by watching him work. He can sit in front of 8 monitors and pick out everything he wants, he’s so switched onto what he needs to tell the story from each scene, from the characters, from your performance, whatever it may be. He had grand ideas for the overall scope of the film and how the giants would look, but he was very much about the characters relationships. And for myself and Eleanor Tomlinson, he gave a lot of great notes about our relationship in the film. These two people who are looking for more and feel trapped in their lives. Bryan is awesome.
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