Youth Impact Report 2010: Bigscreen Kids

Nicholas Hoult has come a long way since 2002′s “About a Boy,” in which he played the nervous 12-year-old who complicates Hugh Grant’s life. Hoult, now 20, escaped the child-actor curse by accepting a racy role on the British sex-and-drugs-filled teen drama “Skins,” bringing a cocky sexuality to the skein’s lead character. Last year, he cemented his status as an adult actor with an even more provocative turn in Tom Ford’s “A Single Man,” shedding his English accent (among other things) as a gay college student who tries to rescue Colin Firth’s despondent professor from his grief.

Since then, big-budget Hollywood offers have been coming Hoult’s way. The actor took up arms against the gods in “Clash of the Titans,” and he is currently filming as a young Hank McCoy, aka Beast, in Matthew Vaughn’s “X-Men: First Class.”

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Hoult, who admits to being “a huge fan” of the X-Men series and comics, says he’s enjoyed honing the action skills he learned in “Clash” and working with an “amazing group of actors” that include James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender and Kevin Bacon.

“I can cross them off the list of actors I’ve dreamed of working with,” Hoult says. “I hope I can keep getting opportunities to work with more.”

That shouldn’t be a problem, according to “Skins” co-creator Bryan Elsley. “I am absolutely certain that with or without ‘Skins,’ Nicholas is destined for a big movie career,” Elsley says. “He’s a superb actor of the first order, and he’s starting to show that now with the variety of roles he’s taking on.”

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