The audition process can usually make or break an actor's chance of doing a particular role in a movie, and Hollywood is full of stories of actors taking strange chances to stand out during auditions. Recently, Nicholas Hoult revealed he landed the role of Beast in the X-Men franchise thanks to his Stewie Griffin impression.
"Matthew Vaughn asked me to do a couple of takes in an American accent as you kind of saw the character. But then also do a take doing an impression of Stewie Griffin from Family Guy."
It was an odd request to make of an actor auditioning for Beast, who is as far removed as possible from the character of the maniacal, supervillain-in-the-making toddler Stewie from Family Guy. But despite being mystified by the request, Nicholas Hoult was happy to oblige, since he was a fan of the show and had a pretty good handle on what Stewie sounds like.
"I had watched a lot of Family Guy in my teen years growing up, so I was like, 'OK, I think I've got a pretty good impression of Stewie Griffin lined up. And so I did a whole version of the take as Stewie Griffin and sent it off. So maybe that helped me get the part? I don't know."
And now we can't stop imagining Hoult playing a grown-up Stewie who becomes a member of the X-Men, using his superhuman intelligence to battle evil, or more probably becoming a villain himself and taking over the world.
After landing the role of Beast, Hoult played the character across three movies, each time having to put on extensive prosthetics to bring to life the comic character's feral blue-furred torso. It was an arduous process that got only slightly easier with each new film.
"I loved the prosthetics at first. It started off in the first movie taking three to four hours to go on. By the last movie we did, it was only about two hours to get on ... but it was still hot and claustrophobic to work in. So, that made it tough at times."
Now that the X-Men have been bought by Disney, it is more than likely that Hoult's days of playing the character are numbered. The last few X-Men movies saw steadily diminishing returns both critically and commercially. With the MCU set to introduce the mutant superteam, showrunner Kevin Fiege will probably want a fresh start for the characters, with a new backstory and actors.
For Hoult, Beast was one among many famous characters he has embodied over the years. He was part of the lead cast of the modern action classic Mad Max: Fury Road, and portrayed famed fantasy author J.R.R. Tolkien in a biopic detailing the history behind the creation of The Lord of the Rings. The actor is next set to feature in the upcoming Mission Impossible movie, which has been broken up into two parts, with filming set to resume soon.