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The Menu stars and director reveal their journeys into 'bizarre world' of fine dining (exclusive)

Watch: Nicholas Hoult and Mark Mylod discuss fine dining research for The Menu

New thriller movie The Menu follows a nightmarish evening at a secluded restaurant which caters only to the wealthiest elites — and it required the cast to eat a lot of posh food.

The movie stars Ralph Fiennes as high-end chef Julian Slowik, who has invited some of his favourite clients to his island eatery for a very special menu.

Among them is pretentious restaurant geek Tyler (Nicholas Hoult), who has brought along the mysterious Margot (Anya Taylor-Joy) instead of the woman he originally booked to take with him.

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Taylor-Joy joked to Yahoo Entertainment UK that Hoult's fancy food research "was very difficult for him and he had a really arduous time".

Hoult said: "I was watching lots of Chef's Table and going to nice restaurants. I don't know a lot about food.

Anya Taylor-Joy and Nicholas Hoult play diners at a very exclusive restaurant in thriller The Menu. (Searchlight Pictures)
Anya Taylor-Joy and Nicholas Hoult play diners at a very exclusive restaurant in thriller The Menu. (Searchlight Pictures)

"My food knowledge is pretty limited, but it's got better through this. I've definitely been in that scenario where they're describing food and I don't know what it all is on the menu.

"They're describing types of wine and tasting notes and things and I'm sitting there like 'I've got no idea what is going on'.

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"Lots of it tasted good, but it was a bizarre world. Tyler knows a lot of it but, even if he doesn't, you know when you're sitting in a restaurant and you've got no idea but you just pretend to know?"

British director Mark Mylod, who has worked on Game of Thrones and Succession, said his own experiences in the world of posh cuisine were very similar to the character of Margot — none at all.

Ralph Fiennes plays a celebrity chef with a dark hidden agenda in The Menu. (Searchlight Pictures)
Ralph Fiennes plays a celebrity chef with a dark hidden agenda in The Menu. (Searchlight Pictures)

"I don't get it. I'm uncomfortable. I'd really like to go and have some Kentucky Fried Chicken," he said.

Mylod added: "I just felt excluded from that art form and from that collective experience. So the lovely thing for me in trying to be perhaps bolder with the projects I've sought over the last 10 years was to take a deep dive into that world and try to understand it so that consequently I could poke a bit of fun at it also."

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The script by Seth Reiss and Will Tracy was included on the Black List of best unproduced screenplays in 2019 and originally had Alexander Payne attached to direct, with Emma Stone set to join Fiennes.

Mylod said designing Hawthorne — the island restaurant — with production designer Ethan Tobman was one of the most important parts of the process.

The Menu makes the most of its single location to amp up the tension. (Searchlight Pictures)
The Menu makes the most of its single location to amp up the tension. (Searchlight Pictures)

The production team decided to "cherry-pick from all of the great molecular, innovative restaurants of the world" and enlisted Dominique Crenn — the only woman in the USA to earn three Michelin Stars — to make sure the restaurant aspect of the story was accurate.

Mylod added: "We worked with her team and a local chef in Savannah, Georgia, where we shot to run this boot camp with all of our cooks so that everything that everybody does at any time is completely authentic and correct to what should be happening there.

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"She worked with our food stylist to design our menu so it was a completely appropriate menu for a world-class chef. Basically, [we got] in the experts so that everything is as it should be."

The Menu is released into UK cinemas on 18 November.

Watch: Trailer for satirical fine dining thriller The Menu, starring Ralph Fiennes