Nicholas Hoult of The Menu embarks on his own extreme culinary journey

Nicholas Hoult had to prepare many times for the roles he had over the years.

But the only thing he never did before “acting” on such Mad Max: Fury Road, X-Men: First Class or Favoriteit’s just to eat and watch TV.


Holt in Menu, a delightfully psychotic and sharply satirical comedy thriller set in the world of extreme fine dining. Holt’s character, Tyler, is an obsessive gourmet fan who can rattle off gastronomic tricks with the same complacent ease as a toddler holding a bottle of glue.

So his preparatory work went something like this: excite the taste buds between episodes of binge eating. Chef’s table on Netflix. Hard work if you can get it.

“We went to The Fat Duck, Heston Blumenthal’s restaurant in Oxford, and it was an amazing experience,” he told “The food was incredible, but it was also a real production where there is nitrogen on the table and they make these puff things that disappear in your mouth.

“And then there’s the dish they serve you where they pull out a sink with an iPod hidden inside with little headphones and you listen to the sea while eating sea food. Brings back childhood memories.

“There was also this weird thing – it was unbelievable – but they had a font expert who wrote these words on the menu and you would take bits depending on which font you were reading, it made the food taste different.


“I know it sounds crazy, but I guarantee you it works. It was the strangest thing I have ever experienced in so many ways.”

Holt’s journey into this world for the role doesn’t exactly reflect the experience of the screen characters, whose first-class feast in Menuthe fictional Hawthorne is not as “cute” and “nice” as the actor in “Fat Duck” was.


Starring alongside a cast of assassins including Ralph Fiennes, Anya Taylor-Joy, Judith Light, Hong Chau, John Leguizamo and Janet McTeer, Holt actually spent a month as Taylor-Joy’s dining companion.

His character Tyler and her character Margo are on a date at Hawthorne, a luxurious gourmet eatery on a private island run by strict chef Julian (Fiennes). Tyler is beside himself with hero worship, a sort of idolatry that leads Holt to conclude that his character is someone who is easily seduced into a cult.

Maybe he can tell a little. He admitted he was amazed to have food consultant Dominique Krenn of French Laundry on set, especially after watching her episode on Chef’s table.

“She’s a real rock star,” he said.

“In this film, we show a very elevated, extreme version of this world. But I think watching these chefs, their incredible creativity, how focused and dedicated they are, is very inspiring.

“It definitely gave me a new understanding of what they are doing.”

Perhaps this is not the intended conclusion from Menu, a film that pierces the privilege and indulgence of this world. The film is directed by Mark Mylod, best known for his work on the gutting dramedy. successionanother project that is tearing huge wealth to pieces.

But for an actor who spent months in the Namibian desert (for fury road), Holt won’t complain about playing with a theater troupe-style ensemble in a room and cooking, serving delicious morsels.

And there’s the fun in that his character is “obviously insane for many reasons.” Holt said he was surrounded by people who looked like Tyler, but he didn’t talk to any of them specifically, and if he did, he won’t admit it.

Holt has a knack for choosing tense roles in which the characters border on the caricature but still manage to feel painfully real.

There was an increasingly absurd politician Robert Harley in Favoritespoiled Emperor Peter III Excellent (for which he was nominated for an Emmy Award), the rambunctious, chaotic PC Fitzpatrick in True History of the Kelly Gang and Nux’s upset fury road.

“I find them interesting because of their extreme nature and sometimes their otherness. The page only has things about them that are really funny.

“The older I get, the more I enjoy playing it. It’s a bit like “how far can I go and get away with it” in a character. In the worlds [of these characters]you can take them to the extreme and they will still fit in.

“I get the opportunity to experience and live many different lives and realities in my own, which is a lot of fun.”

The menu is already in theaters

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