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Nicholas Hoult as Hank / Beast and Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique / Raven in X-Men: First Class

The stars of the new X-Men films have been working together as their mutant characters for almost a decade. As one might imagine, the ensemble cast has been through a lot – including the young romance between Nicholas Hoult and Jennifer Lawrence that began when the two met on the set of X-Men: First Class. While the two actors may have split back in 2014, they’ve continued to work closely together on the four most recent X-Men films, including the upcoming release of Dark Phoenix. In a recent interview, Nicholas Hoult addressed the big blue beast in the room… is it awkward? Here’s what he said:

It’s pretty similar to Skins, we’re a big family, we’ve been doing those movies since we were 20 years old. As much as the Skins crowd grew up together, the X-Men crowd really grew up together. It’s been a good eight, nine years making those movies. We’ve all got to get along, we’ve all got to have fun. The really beautiful thing about this last film is that [writer and director] Kim Berger has given me somewhere nice and new to experiment and go with the character. Which is cool.

Okay, so this isn’t a super direct answer about his “ex-men” co-star while speaking with Evening Standard, but the actor once dated Hollywood’s J-Law, so a little sidestep is probably the best way to go about it either way.

Nicholas Hoult and Jennifer Lawrence seem to have dealt with working together post-breakup in a mature and professional manner. As Hoult explains, the cast of X-Men are “like family,” and per his words, it looks like the two have likely pushed aside differences to not only get through, but enjoy their time on set as their roles of Beast and Mystique.

When their romance bloomed on First Class, Jennifer Lawrence was propelled into super stardom due to her role as Katniss in 2012’s Hunger Games. So along with her, Nicholas Hoult found himself suddenly in the spotlight as well. Since their breakup in 2014, they have continued to work on the X-Men films together, amidst many separate projects.

Nicholas Hoult notably starred in 2015’s Mad Max: Fury Road and in one of this year’s buzzy Oscar nominees, The Favourite, which led the pack with 10 nominations, including for Best Picture. The actor has also recently welcomed a child with his girlfriend, model Bryana Holly.

Dark Phoenix is likely to mark the last appearances of Nicholas Hoult and Jennifer Lawrence in the X-Men franchise, since their contracts are up and Disney/Marvel Studios may begin new plans of their own with the characters since they now have rights to them.

The film will follow a young Jean Grey as she is corrupted with incredible powers that transform her into the Dark Phoenix and test the team. Dark Phoenix hits theaters on June 7.

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