Hardy – with his machine-gun verbosity, rococo vocabulary and the non-remote possibility that he could turn at any moment and chuck me out of the window – is an appealingly odd interviewee. He pronounces bagarre with an exaggerated angry French accent. Then he repeats it. "Bagaaaaarrrre! It got me into an enormous amount of scrapes and trouble – and eventually I ended up in Warrior, where he [his character Tom Conlon] does it for a living."
This is not the first time the Bafta-winner has manipulated his physique for a role. Despite starting out as a beanpole in his early career, he infamously gained weight to play the title character in 2009's Charles Bronson. Hardy piled on 42lbs to portray the convict, level-pegging with Hollywood greats Robert DeNiro and Russell Crowe, who put on 60lbs and 63lbs respectively, for Raging Bull and Body Of Lies.
But Mr. Hardy, who had researched the role through a series of meetings with Mr. Bronson in a maximum-security prison, said he was uncomfortable with taking such a theoretical approach to a living subject. “My process was to get to know Charlie as best as possible and produce a work as nonjudgmental as possible,” he said. He also wrestled with the ethical question of contributing to “an already warped public opinion of a man who is perpetuating the myth himself.” But the result suggests that the aims of director and actor were not mutually exclusive. “Bronson” combines Mr. Refn’s taste for abstract stylization with Mr. Hardy’s commitment to shaping a flesh-and-bone character. “It ended up being a real collaboration,” Mr. Refn said of his partnership with Mr. Hardy, who helped fine-tune the colloquial cadences of Bronson’s monologues.
The story that follows would be pretty dry were it not for a character named Ricki Tarr, a Circus agent and assassin who vanishes for months, then shows up in Smiley's house with a story about a woman who nearly told him the name of the mole — before she was captured by the Soviets. He loved her. He wants her back. Tarr is played by Tom Hardy, a young Brit with huge lips and a plaintive, tortured beauty that makes him one of the most charismatic actors of his generation. Hardy immediately pulls you in, and so does the lovely young Russian actress Svetlana Khodchenkova, as the woman he can't protect.
Based on the first trailer, released this week, I’d say their talents do not go to waste. LaBeouf and Hardy star as bootlegger brothers, Jack and Forrest Bondurant, in depression-era Virginia. Jack makes a deal with a gangster, Floyd Banner (Gary Oldman), and then their operation starts to fall apart. Tommy guns blaze and chaos ensues. “Lawless” was previously titled “The Wettest County” and should should not be confused with Terrence Malick’s “Lawless,” which stars Ryan Gosling and Rooney Mara.
But he got it made, and Hardy's reputation will only benefit from being the strongest aspect of "Lawless." Somewhat apologetically, as Hardy attempts, eventually with success, to get out of that infernal low-slung sofa, the actor notes he has no immediate plans to the return to the stage. He's to be the new Mad Max in the "Mad Max" reboot. His work has been linked to the animalistic charisma and tenderness of Brando, and while he hastens to mention that he quite deliberately has never seen the film version of "A Streetcar Named Desire"or, from three years later, Elia Kazan's"On the Waterfront," he's humbled by the comparisons. "May as well make a bit of hay," he says, again with a faint note of apology. Why not? It may be raining in Cannes, but career-wise, Hardy's sun is shining.
Chris had masterminded the entire operation. When reading Inception and getting to the end of it, and feeling like I understood, but realizing at the same time it doesn't matter how much I understand. The only way I'm going to understand this is talking to Chris Nolan and devote everything toward whatever he wanted me to do. We had a discussion about feedback, what sort of person he wanted my character to be. I felt that he was along the lines of an old, Graham Greene-type diplomat. Sort of faded, shabby, grandeur the old Shakespeare lovey mixed with somebody from her Majesties' Special Forces. Then the Forger, which is very important, is someone who creates...in the same way people create and forge documents and passports to oil paintings. I just had to look into that. He agreed with me, also having some James Bond in there too. And as soon as he gave me that I said, "brilliant!"
Hardy is not at all scary or intimidating in person, even though he is wearing a tracksuit top with a hood, and his arms and body are covered with tattoos. “I was 15 when I got the first one and I went through some pretty serious years,” he says. “I got a lot of them to remember where I’d been and to remind me never ever to go back. I’m from a nice, suburban, middle-class family, but my tattoos remind me where I’ve been.” He speaks quietly, gently poking fun at himself and his image. “It’s funny, isn’t it? The characters I’ve played have been mostly violent, and I’m so far from being violent or aggressive. I spend a lot of time watching Fireman Sam with my three-year-old son Louis .
Considering we all (by now) know that Bane is the villain to “break the Bat” in the “Batman” comic books, chances are their showdown will be pretty epic in this film. That’s likely why this latest trailer chose to show us more Bane than it did any other character in the movie. But we’re okay with that because it proves that Bane really is audible now and that Tom Hardy‘s portrayal of the big bad back-breaking machine is going to be fantastic. Bruce Wayne might be angry instead of scared, but we’re a little bit of both.
As an only child to a writer father, Edward, and an artist mother, Anne, Hardy won a modeling competition when he was 21, but he spent his teens and early twenties battling delinquency, alcoholism and drug addiction. After completing his work on Nemesis, he sought treatment and has also admitted that his battles with addiction ended his 5-year marriage. Returning to work in 2003, Hardy was awarded the Evening Standard Most Promising Newcomer Award for his theatre performances in the productions of "In Arabia, We'd All Be Kings" and "Blood".
[on working with Gary Oldman] Gary Oldman is my hero, that's it. When I went to drama school everybody used to quote him in all his films, you know State of Grace (1990) right through to Léon: The Professional (1994) or whatever. And I'd sit there really quietly and think 'No, no, you don't know. I'm more of a Gary Oldman fan than you are.' [laughs] When you do an impression of him, that's sacrilege! So to work with him, for him to look me in the eye, talk to me.... acknowledge I exist! Cos I'm not star struck by people, but Gary just took the wind right out of me. I'm very lucky we had to re-shoot those scenes on the couch [in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)] because the first task that I did was just me watching him, because I was shocked to actually be working with him.