Nicholas Hoult admits Colin Firth is his mentor.

The 23-year-old actor looks to his 'A Single Man' co-star for advice about the cut-throat film industry and the pair regularly have catch-up dinners to discuss the 'Jack the Giant Slayer' star's progress in Hollywood.

He said: ''I had dinner with him the other night; he's always the best person to go to for advice.''

Asked what the best advice Colin has ever given him is, he told the Evening Standard magazine: ''You have to take your work seriously, obviously, but you have to also recognise the ridiculousness of it. Colin has had the ups and downs, been through all the actor breakdowns, and he's very intelligent, so he can see it for what it is.''

The pair built up an unlikely friendship on the set of fashion designer Tom Ford's 2009 directorial debut 'A Single Man', in which Nicholas plays a student who forms an unlikely bond with a suicidal professor (Colin).

The former 'Skins' star revealed they initially bonded over the woolly white jumper he wore for most of the film.

He joked: ''Colin took to calling me Lambchop because of that jumper.''