Nicholas Hoult looks very familiar -- A child star grows up

By Adam Markovitz
Updated December 11, 2009 at 05:00 AM EST

Nicholas Hoult was just 12 when he won the hearts of audiences — not to mention his costar Hugh Grant — in 2002’s About a Boy. ”I don’t really get recognized for that movie,” says the British actor. ”I’ve grown up a little.” No kidding. Now 20 and 6 foot 4, Hoult stands eye to eye with Colin Firth in A Single Man, the directorial debut of designer Tom Ford. ”I wasn’t aware of Tom’s fashion past when I first met him,” admits Hoult, who plays a charming college student in the film. ”He’d never say to us, ‘Look here. Stand like this.’ At the same time, the costumes were meticulous.” But a few of the actor’s big scenes — including an ocean skinny-dip with Firth — don’t involve duds at all. ”It was very cold,” Hoult recalls of his romp in the sea. ”But when you’re in character, you just [get] gung ho and go for it.”