From ''About a Boy'' to ''Warm Bodies,'' the young Brit is on his way to the top

Nine years after breaking out as Hugh Grant’s adorably nerdy friend in About a Boy, Nicholas Hoult is fast on his way to the A list. The 21-year-old Brit, who costarred in the U.K. version of Skins and 2009’s A Single Man, has four upcoming projects. He gave us the lowdown.

X-Men: First Class
Hoult plays Hank McCoy/Beast. ”He’s a young scientist. He’s slightly ashamed of his abnormal feet, which are quite large and have opposable toes. He tries to inject himself with a serum to make him appear normal. Unfortunately, it actually has a countereffect and he becomes a big blue, furry beastlike character.” (June 3)

Jack The Giant Killer

The actor stars as Jack in a reimagining of Jack and the Beanstalk. ”It’s dark. It’s going into this whole world of olden England, and there’s a conflict between the giants and the humans. Jack gets thrust into this epic-scale mission to try and save the young princess.” (In production, due 2012)

Warm Bodies

Hoult leads the cast as R, a sensitive zombie, in this genre flick. ”It’s hard trying to create a zombie character. But R is very charismatic and lovable, so hopefully people will enjoy watching him.” (Shooting starts this summer.)

Mad Max: Fury Road

Hoult landed the role of a mysterious character called Nux. ”No, he’s not the new Max. I’m a big fan of the previous films, so it’s very cool that they’re doing another one. [Director] George Miller is a genius.” (Production begins in 2012.)