Douglas Booth has made his mother proud with his latest movie — despite the odd title.
Out Friday, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is a comedic riff on Jane Austen’s 1831 classic romantic tale with a few undead creatures thrown in the mix. Booth plays wealthy upstanding suitor Mr. Bingley.
“She enjoys me being nice,” said Booth from The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach hotel. “My character is someone to be proud of. He’s kind-hearted and a little bit hapless.”
Mum should be proud of all her son’s accomplishments, actually.
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The 23-year-old Brit first came to U.S. audience’s attentions as Boy George in the 2010 TV movie Worried About the Boy, about the Culture Club’s troubled front man. Booth followed up this performance as the tragic hero in the 2013 big screen version of Romeo & Juliet, opposite Hailee Steinfeld.
The career hits kept coming.
Working alongside Oscar-winning actor Russell Crowe and powerhouse director Darren Aronofsky in 2014’s Noah wasn’t too shabby nor was Booth’s gig with famed brother-sister duo The Wachowskis on last year’s space opera, Jupiter Ascending, with Mila Kunis.
“Yes, at my age, I would say my career trajectory has gone wonderfully well,” admitted Booth. “I am doing what I love, and from my point of view. I’m still learning.”
To prepare to play Mr. Bingley, the actor went to work by reading Seth Grahame-Smith’s New York Times bestselling 2009 novel, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which credits Austen as a coauthor and takes places in the U.K., albeit an alternate universe.
“I enjoyed the book; it’s really good fun,” said Booth, adding. “It’s a little hard to explain so it may be better to see the movie. It’s got a something for everybody: those seeking a bit of a love story and laughs as well as horror.”
Right. So warning: Don’t be alarmed when you see flesh-eating monsters — in this dreadful condition thanks to a mysterious plague — tearing up well-to-do ladies in bodices.
“The makeup is spot-on,” said Booth. “We’d see some of the extras eating lunch with skin hanging off of their faces. It was quite gross but pretty cool actually to see how it all developed.”
Personally, Booth is not a huge fan of zombie movies, but can appreciate the genre — and the film’s overall message.
“Someone being chased from A to B or trying to save the world from fierce creatures isn’t that interesting to me,” he said. “But this is more of an homage to the original. We treat the story with the utmost respect, just made it a little different. It’s a fun way to rediscover a story that you already know and love.”