Entertainment Weekly

Taking on Tolkien

The Lord of the Rings looms large over pop culture. In the new biopic Tolkien (out May 10), actor Nicholas Hoult had to embody the man behind the myths.
Before the Rings: Nicholas Hoult as J.R.R. Tolkien

NICHOLAS HOULT CAN’T HELP BUT ABSORB something different from every character he plays, and embodying The Hobbit author left a mark on the actor with every word.

In one particular scene in the new biopic Tolkien, the young J.R.R. Tolkien (Hoult) takes his friend Edith Bratt (Lily Collins) out to lunch at a fancy restaurant. Both poor, both orphans, the teens uncomfortably negotiate their upper-class surroundings, but then Tolkien finds his ease telling Edith about a particular English phrase that’s transfixed him lately: Since the phrase is beautiful, he reasons, it should

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