Nicholas Hoult’s filmography suggests he’s one of the good guys; he battles evil as Beast in the X-Men films and saves Earth from invading giants in Jack the Giant Slayer. But for his latest role, in Owen Harris’ Kill Your Friends, the actor got in touch with his dark side, telling EW that playing a murderous music industry insider was a welcome addition to his body of work.
Hoult says the original screenplay for Kill Your Friends didn’t click the way it was intended to, but screenwriter John Niven retooled the whole thing to capitalize on his character’s devlisih point of view.
“It’s very dark and it’s very twisted, and he has an inner monologue running the whole time, which is very condescending and very manipulative,” Hoult says of Steven Stelfox, a fictional 27-year old A&R man at a British record label who soaks his career path in blood once the well of talent runs dry. “[That’s] very useful for you as an actor to use because then, throughout pretty much every scene in the film, I had a narrative of what [Stelfox’s] mind would be thinking about each character in each scenario in the film.”
Hoult says, while he’s accustomed to playing characters of a softer pedigree, he loved getting in touch with his devious side. “Stelfox is certainly the most unredemptive of characters I’ve played. All the other ones, even if they were doing bad things, they had good aspects to their nature,” he says. “…you have to just run with that and relish it.”
Watch Hoult chat more about deconstructing his character’s dark side in the video above.