Tom Hardy: I play characters “that I am frightened of”

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In recent years Tom Hardy has had an eclectic career, starring in both huge blockbusters (The Dark Knight Rises, Inception) and in challenging indie films (Locke). In a conversation with Norfolk Daily News, Hardy speaks about why a voice is important to a character and misconceptions of him as an actor because of his previous work.

When footage of The Dark Knight Rises was first released, the main aspect that spurned discussion was the voice of the lead villain, Bane, played by Hardy. Hardy has played many diverse roles in his career, with many of them relying on his ability to change his voice and body language. For example, the recent film Locke features Hardy doing little more than driving a car and talking on the phone to tell a complete story. Hardy points out how the voice can be used to illustrate a character, saying “The voice is a key silhouette, an audio silhouette.”

Despite playing the seemingly hulking Bane in The Dark Knight Rises, Hardy is actually several inches shorter than his co-star, Christian Bale. Hardy admits that he prefers to not play roles that focus on his brawn since they embellish something that he isn’t. He says, “I’m actually not a big, muscly guy. I’m only 150 pounds, wet through, bricks in my pocket. But it’s funny. Like Bane or Bronson (the title-character criminal of his 2008 breakthrough), that’s so not who I am. The articulation of sensitivity is closer to who I am.”

In fact, Hardy says that he prefers to portray characters that make him feel uneasy. He explains, “I play characters that I am not, that I am frightened of. It’s easier to mimic that which frightens me than it is that which comforts me. As I get older, people like Locke are more enticing because I feel safe enough to try that. I’m allowed to be here, as an actor. I’ve made inroads, certainly, to say: ‘Now can I play something else?'”

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