Huzzah! The Great is back for a second season on Hulu. With Elle Fanning’s Catherine and Nicholas Hoult’s Peter locked in a battle over who will lead Russia, the new season is full of twists, jokes, and japes.
It’s also full of plenty of huzzahs, which has become a bit of a rallying cry for fans of the show. As Hoult told us in the video interview above, he’s even had it shouted at him from afar.
“It’s a nice thing to be heckled with,” says Hoult, noting “I’ve had like some weird heckles in my life.” Weirdest, Hoult says, were the heckles inspired his performance in About A Boy. “When I was a kid, I sang that Mystikal song, ‘Shake Ya Ass,’ so for years, I would get that song yelled at me when I was going places and stuff. So huzzah’s nice. I get some good heckles.”
Fanning says, in many ways, “huzzah” is sort of a catch-all for the show. “The way [creator] Tony [McNamara] writes it, ‘huzzah’ means so many different things,” says Fanning. “It can be a celebratory thing. It can be questionable. It can be sad. ‘Huzzah’ kind of substitutes any punctuation. It could be after anything.”
She also complimented Hoult’s creativity in his use of different intonation on his huzzahs, noting that “There’s a compilation of all the huzzahs, and it’s really something.”
As for the actual content of the season, viewers will be pleased to know that there’s plenty of interplay between Catherine and Peter, as Catherine assumes power (spoiler, if you don’t know 400-year-old history) and Peter is pushed to the side and forced to find his new path.
“I don’t think he knows what he wants ultimately at the start anyway, particularly because he had this whole life bestowed upon him from a young age,” says Hoult. “He was destined for the throne and to become a ruler, and that was what he was prepared for. The pressure of that is something that he never enjoyed or asked for, but is it was chosen by God.”
“What’s actually changing him is the freedom that comes from realizing that he doesn’t have to rule. The country doesn’t have to be a reflection of his father and what his mother wants him to be. He actually just wants to be a stay at home dad and spend time with Paul and love Catherine and be supportive of her. She’s probably a better ruler overall anyway. So there’s kind of this simplicity that comes with all that, and I think that gives him a fair amount of happiness.”