Nicholas Hoult dons outlandish outfits and puts on heavy wig in this year’s frontrunner Oscar contender and entertaining royal rumble movie “The Favourite” as Robert Harvey, chief minister to Queen Anne played by Best Actress nominee, Olivia Colman.
Apart from the top nominations at the Oscars this year, “The Favourite” has so far opened to phenomenal box-office success overseas and is now showing (exclusive at Ayala Malls Cinemas). Directed by Academy award-nominee Yorgos Lanthimos, “The Favourite” is also nominated for Best Picture – a story that traces a time in history when then Queen Anne’s reign was perhaps unfairly dismissed. Such time was when Britain was at war, while in the Queen’s court the absurdities of palace life run rife. Gout-ridden and beset by grief over the loss of no fewer than 17 children, Anne relies on her only confidant, Lady Sarah Churchill (Rachel Weisz), who keeps the Privy Purse and offers much more than guidance in the matters of state. Her relationship with the Queen is as intimate as it comes, but when she introduces her downtrodden cousin, Abigail Hill (Emma Stone), to court, she soon discovers a rival for Anne’s affections, and so begins a struggle for power and love that might threaten the monarchy itself.
Meanwhile, orbiting these three women are the men who perhaps expected to be in charge, including Robert Harley (Nicholas Hoult) the Tory leader of the opposition who misreads Abigail as a pawn to force his agenda, and Samuel Masham (Joe Alwyn), the handsome nobleman who finds himself inextricably drawn to Abigail’s charms.
Known for his role as the Hank McCoy aka Beast in the global box-office X-Men films, Hoult’s earliest breakthrough role alongside Hugh Grant in “About A Boy” was followed by other notable projects such as Mad Max: Fury Road, Clash of the Titans, Newness and Rebel in the Rye. In “The Favourite,” Hoult brings forth his theatricality fully immersing himself in the role of a dapperly dressed chief minister to a queen encumbered by grief, gout and insecurity.
“What I love is how many moments there are that will really split the audience. Moments where some will laugh, and others will whimper at the same time. It’s what’s so brilliant about the film; it works either way. Even watching the film myself, knowing where it’s going, I think “Oh that’s funny, but it’s also really tragic.” It’s a great contradiction,” says Hoult of his character.