Nicholas Hoult has nabbed some coveted roles during his 17-year acting career, which got its first major boost in 2002 when he played the “boy” in About A Boy. These days, the charming 23-year-old Brit (and sometimes beau of Jennifer Lawrence) has graduated into the world of glossy fantasy fare, appearing in films like X-Men: First Class, Warm Bodies, and even… Jack The Giant Slayer. (Hey, two out of three ain’t bad.)
But, like every actor, Hoult, who’s included in this week’s New Hollywood edition of EW, hasn’t won every part he’s wanted. “There are hundreds you audition for and give terrible auditions for,” he says. “Sometimes I walk out and I’m like, ‘Wow, that was embarrassing.’” Fortunately, Hoult wasn’t too embarrassed to share his most cringe-worthy casting story with us.
“One of my all-time worst [auditions] was definitely Prince Caspian,” he says. “They asked if I could do a Hispanic accent. I was like, ‘What would I base that on?’ They were like, ‘Have you seen Shrek? Puss in Boots.'” Hoult says that he had prepared for the audition, but not with any sort of accent in mind. “I was doing the scene, but in my head before saying each line, I was trying to do my Antonio Banderas impression, saying [in a Desperado voice] ‘I am Prince Caspian!’ It was horrendous. It sounded more like Borat.”
In the end, the role went to fellow British actor Ben Barnes, and Disney got its wish — Barnes spoke with a vaguely Hispanic inflection throughout the 2008 film. Hoult, meanwhile, landed on his feet just fine.
For more on Hoult and the other faces of New Hollywood, pick up a copy of Entertainment Weekly.