Nicholas Hoult ate BBQ crickets & caramel cockroaches on ‘Renfield’

Nicholas Hoult is currently promoting Renfield, yet another adaptation (of sorts) of the Dracula story. This one is a comedy told through Renfield’s perspective, that of Dracula’s bug-eating errand boy and “familiar.” Hoult plays Renfield and Nicolas Cage plays Dracula. Hoult signs on to the weirdest movies, I swear, but he seems to prefer doing the offbeat stuff and eschewing the big movie-star roles. Anyway, Hoult rarely gives magazine interviews and the only reason he agreed to this one (I believe) is because his costar Elle Fanning conducted it. They get along very well – not in a shady way, just in a “two costars who are friendly” sort of way. Some highlights from the interview:

Why he signed on to Renfield: “With Renfield, I thought it was a fun take because Renfield is normally a secondary character, and I was like, ‘How fun to explore these codependent, toxic relationships in this scenario—a work environment between Dracula and his familiar.’”

There was supposed to be a dance scene in Renfield: “Cut! Gone. There was a whole dance sequence that we practiced for weeks. It was a dream fantasy dance sequence. We shot it all in one night, we had all these amazing dancers, and then it’s not in the film….It’s been a bit of a learning curve for me; when you get really attached to things in the script, and you put in a lot of effort to learn them, or whatever it might be, and then it just doesn’t work in the end.

He ate a lot of bugs on ‘Renfield’: “I ate quite a lot of bugs. They’re dried-out and flavored crickets, though, so they were pretty tasty, to be honest with you. Salt and vinegar was the best; there was a barbecue flavor. But the one that I didn’t like was a potato bug that hadn’t been flavored, and that tasted quite buggy. It was quite big as well. They were all dried and dead though; I wasn’t just randomly picking bugs off the floor. They made little caramel cockroaches—those were the best ones, actually, apart from that they get stuck in your teeth, but it looked exactly like a cockroach made of caramel.”

Whether he’ll do an accent in Nosferatu: “You know me; I always flirt with an accent, so I was doing that. Then I was working with a dialect coach, and they were like, “Don’t do that. That’s terrible. That’s offensive.” [Laughs.] No, they were much more political about it; they’re like, “It’s good what you’re doing, but it doesn’t necessarily help us with the story.” I think it was me consciously being like, I’ve just done Renfield; I don’t want to end up in the same realm as that. But then I was like, that’s silly: Renfield is an action comedy set in modern times and is almost like a spoof, and Robert Eggers is doing a very serious Nosferatu, a Gothic horror movie. They’re different; I’ll be different naturally. But I was trying too hard.

Working with Cage again as an adult: “I was so excited for him to be coming in to do this, because that was a crazy experience when I was 14, to work with him then [on The Weather Man]. I think at that age, I hadn’t seen a lot of his work, and I wasn’t fully aware of quite how iconic Nicolas Cage was, so it was nice to get to work with him again. I’m almost more in awe of him the second time—but then also, to see him as Dracula is pretty incredible, because it’s such an iconic role, but then you put Nicolas Cage into it, and it doesn’t get more iconic, in many ways, than those two combined. And also watching the way he works—where his inspiration came from, his dedication—it was really wonderful, and I was very happy to get the chance to work with him again and have a front-row seat.

[From L’Officiel]

It’s a really nice piece – he’s chatty and curious about Elle and they talked a lot about the transition from child-acting to adult acting and it sounds like they have so much fun working together. As for the flavored crickets… people always say that crickets are edible and whatever, but I had no idea that the props department would add different flavors to dried out crickets? Like, that blew my mind?? BBQ flavored crickets, salt-and-vinegar crickets. And caramel cockroaches.

Hoult is such a quiet babe. His six-pack abs, my god.

Cover & IG courtesy of L’Officiel.

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10 Responses to “Nicholas Hoult ate BBQ crickets & caramel cockroaches on ‘Renfield’”

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  1. Maeve says:

    He’s my dark horse pick for the next Bond. British, level headed enough to cope with the crazy, looks very good in a black tie, young enough to be able to commit to a decent run, well known but not such an A-lister that he’s “Bigger than Bond.”

  2. LightPurple says:

    I adore him and he made the transition from child actor to a good adult actor remarkably well.

  3. FancyPants says:

    This project sounds really good! I ate a chocolate covered cricket once, it was unremarkable, but then again I don’t really care that much for chocolate.

  4. Swordspoint says:

    I’ve eaten flavoured crickets before (I think cheddar??) —if you can get past the idea of it, they’re actually ok.

    He’s really good in The Great — never understood why he wasn’t a bigger star.

  5. TheCrankyFairy says:

    I’ve had grasshoppers before, but not crickets. I imagine they’d be very similar.

  6. ama1977 says:

    We just watched “The Menu” last night and his character was trash, but his performance was great. He’s adorable and really good in everything I’ve seen him in. I absolutely love his unhinged performance in “The Great” (Elle is perfection in her role, too!)

    I would definitely, definitely watch an action-comedy take on Dracula-in-the-workplace from the perspective of Dracula’s “familiar” and the idea of it starring Nicholas Hoult and Nicholas Cage makes it even more appealing!!

    • dj says:

      NH is really sexy. Those blue eyes are to die for. I would love to see him as Bond but I don’t think he’d take it. I think he is more interested in off-beat roles and flying under the radar. He is a very interesting actor. I am all for Renfield.

  7. Denise says:

    I really like this actor. I love to hate his character in the “The Great” and his character was the worst in “The Menu”. I’ve seen some of the commercials for “Renfield” and it looks like a fun movie, I can’t wait to see it.

  8. Bread and Circuses says:

    The special effects people probably didn’t need to flavour the crickets themselves. You can buy those in many places in the world, so they probably just ordered some existing products.

    Angelina Jolie has talked about eating crickets and tarantulas as snack food in Cambodia. Apparently tarantulas were her favourite (which…isn’t as weird as it sounds? They’re related to crabs, lobsters, and shrimp, so it’s entirely possible they’re tasty.)