Despite starring in Warm Bodies, Nicholas Hoult is having a Marcia, Marcia, Marcia moment. Only instead of Marcia Brady, everyone’s buzzing about his ex-girlfriend Jennifer Lawrence. Jennifer Lawrence the adorable, self-aware actress. Jennifer Lawrence, who is both the blockbuster phenomenon (Hunger Games) and also the critical darling (Winter’s Bone and Silver Lining’s Playbook). Jennifer Lawrence, the vixen with a snarky tongue, who potentially can call an Oscar her new snuggle buddy. Gosh: Jenny, Jenny, Jenny.
Enter Nicholas Hoult, who is by no means is a struggling actor. He’s not some d-lister who hitched himself up to Jennifer Lawrence as a way to get noticed. He’s got some cred in his own right. For those of you that remember the days when Hugh Grant was THE Rom-Com guy. The original dreamy-eyed Brit, with the floppy dark hair, the smirk, and the bumbling demeanor. Well, his boy Friday in the movie About a Boy was Nicholas Hoult. Yes, he played the adorably misguided kid with the suicidal mother, who eventually made Hugh Grant’s heart grow three times bigger. He’s also been in a slew of great movies everything from the X-Men series to A Single Man. He’s a real actor too, dammnit.
The purpose of this isn’t to compile into words what you can already find out from IMDB. The purpose of this is to shine a spotlight on a rising star, who should already have been noticed ages ago. Okay, sometimes it’s hard to differentiate amongst all the broody Brits out there. But, Nicholas Hoult did what Robert Pattinson couldn’t, give depth and realness of character to the romantically charged undead. He’s currently starring in the zombie flick Warm Bodies. Think of it as a modern day Romeo and Juliet story, but Romeo ACTUALLY died first, and then, well comes back to life, sort of.
Warm Bodies plays out like most romantic comedies. There is a zombie versus humans battle. He kills and eats her boyfriend’s (Dave Franco!) brain, he saves her. She gives him the name R. and they begin to trust each other even though they’re like totally different. They go on a journey together set to an indie-inspired soundtrack, they get into an argument, they get back together, he gets a makeover to the tune of “Pretty Woman”, and then in the end, love conquers all and the walls come down, and they get together.
The movie wasn’t necessarily revolutionary in the world of romantic comedies, or even in the realm of zombies.Undead twist aside, Nicholas Hoult made this standard Rom-Com wort while. There’s this layer of sophistication that Hoult brings to R., one uncommon for someone playing a zombie. R. becomes this pensive, deadpan hero that couldn’t help but break my heart. Maybe I couldn’t relate to the whole being, well, dead thing. But, I could relate to Hoult’s portrayal of a person frustrated with the monotony of his life. While he moans (literally, he’s a zombie, people) about the nothingness of his life, he meets Julie (Teresa Palmer), and she brings everything to him, even life. Even, this sophisticated, existentialist zombie can still come off the gawky teenaged boy.
I couldn’t help, but coo at the way R. fumbled and bungled his way through his crush. There was something genuine, almost touching to the portrayal of R. Although, I will say, I wanted him to fall in love with me and not the insipid Julie. C’mon Nicholas, she wasn’t worth your time. Julie was irritating and look how quickly she got over her last boyfriend, you know the one you ate?!? Do you really want someone that fickle in your life? That’s neither here nor there. Nicholas Hoult was the pulsing, beating heart of the movie, even though he technically doesn’t even have one.
Nicholas Hoult gave believable life to a character that was dead. He is the new Hugh Grant. He is the better Robert Pattinson. Maybe after Warm Bodies, we will think of Nicholas Hoult as Nicholas Hoult, and not as the guy who blew it with Jennifer Lawrence.