When Nicholas Hoult first met Tom Ford, he had no idea who he was. Or that's how it goes in the cover story of the November 2009 issue of Out.
"I'd looked him up on film websites, and the only thing that showed up was Zoolander," said Hoult. "I thought that was a bit weird, and it wasn't until we had dinner that it all came out about his past in fashion. Afterward, I went back to my hotel room and Googled him. And then I realized what a big deal he was."
However, the lack of knowledge didn't stop the designer-turned-director from casting Hoult in his 2009 film adaptation of A Single Man. Long before for he signed on to play Beast in Bryan Singer's high-profile X-Men franchise, the actor served as a muse to Ford and Colin Firth's character George Falconer, who was depressed after the loss of his longtime partner. As Kenny, Hoult inspired George to embrace the moment, which included a night of drinking and skinny dipping.
"A great film can change the way people see the world, and I think A Single Man is one of those films," explained Hoult. "It's about letting go of the past, not worrying about the future and living in the now."
Both the film and Hoult made a lasting impression on audiences and director Tom Ford, who photographed him for the magazine and later featured him in multiple eyewear campaigns. Since then, Hoult has picked up leading roles in Jack the Giant Slayer and Warm Bodies and parts in ensemble blockbusters, X-Men: Days of Future Past and the upcoming Mad Max: Fury Road.