Nicholas Hoult 'Saw A Lot Of Similarities' Between His Character In The Menu And Mad Max: Fury Road's War Boys

Looking at Nicholas Hoult's well-dressed foodie character in his latest film, the comedic thriller "The Menu," you wouldn't immediately compare him to his role as Nux, the surprisingly sweet war boy in George Miller's "Mad Max: Fury Road." But Hoult sees serious similarities between the two. In an interview with /Film's Jack Giroux, Hoult revealed that despite looking like two very different men, the characters still have a lot in common. 

"The Menu" is a deliciously dark horror-comedy from director Mark Mylod, who has plenty of experience with razor-sharp tonal tightrope walks from directing episodes of the hit HBO series "Succession." The film centers around one of the most exclusive and expensive restaurants in the world, Hawthorne, located on a remote island. Only 12 customers per night are served, and the entire experience is supposed to be a work of art and an experience to be remembered. Everything is prepared by the prestigious Chef Slowik (an on-fire Ralph Fiennes), who has a very special evening planned for the film's dozen diners. You can read our review from /Film head critic Chris Evangelista here, but that's the basic set-up. Hoult plays one of the diners, an obsessive and neurotic foodie named Tyler, whose hero worship isn't all that different from that of the wild war boy from "Fury Road." 

Witness him!

While explaining how he views his creative process in comparison to how the film's chef creates his dining experiences, Hoult actually compared preparing for the role as similar to preparing to be a war boy:

"I think there are definite similarities between this and when we were prepping for "Mad Max." All those War Boys who were following in Immortan Joe, they were all brainwashed in a similar way in terms of their dedication to go out and die in battle in a noble heroic death and go to Valhalla for this person, this Lord that they praised. I saw a lot of similarities, I suppose, between that worship of that character and Tyler's worship of Chef Slowik in this."

In "The Menu," Tyler is the ultimate fanboy, slavishly devoted to Chef Slowik, whose work he views as art. His whole personality is built up around this foodie identity, making him less of a self-actualized human being and more of a devotee to a cult of culinary finery. Nux is similarly obsessed with the word and approval of another man, Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne), who lords over a small city of survivors in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Both men have allowed their entire lives to revolve around another person, hinging their self-worth and identities on receiving even a sliver of praise or attention from the older men they worship. 

Looking for role models in all the wrong places

While it might seem silly to some that a person would base their entire worldview around the singular worship of another human being, it's not exactly uncommon. Both Tyler and Nux have parasocial relationships with their replacement father-figures of choice; because they have devoted so much of themselves to studying and revering each man, they feel as if they are connected, somehow. It's something we see again and again with celebrities, as fans can devolve into some absolutely unhinged behavior in order to defend or promote their favorite famous person. Acknowledgement from their hero would be the ultimate validation, and people will go to truly disturbing lengths to get it. 

Tyler and Nux are very different people from very different worlds, but they both are so insecure in themselves that they have to bolster their personalities with intense fan devotion. Being a fan of something can be a healthy outlet and can introduce people to new communities, but we all know that one person whose entire personality is their fandom, and it's been neat to see Hoult tackle two totally different dudes with a surprisingly similar situation. And hey — both Tyler and Nux are better than Hoult's character Peter on "The Great," because the man he worships is himself. 

"The Menu" is currently in theaters.