Tom Hardy is about to appear in a role that will most likely solidify him as a major star, Bane in The Dark Knight Rises. While that role easily overshadows anything else Hardy has done, he still has other projects to promote including Lawless, which also stars Shia LaBeouf, Jessica Chastain, Guy Pearce, and his Dark Knight Rises co-star Gary Oldman. Hardy spoke to a number of media outlets on the red carpet for Lawless at the Cannes Film Festival about a variety of topics relating to his career.
In Lawless Hardy plays Forrest Bondurant, a Prohibition-era bootlegger whose actions speak louder than his few uttered words. Hardy admits that playing a quiet character is difficult. He explains, “These characters are difficult to play because I have a very busy head. I have inside voices that I have learned to contain.”
Finding those inside voices can be difficult, and Hardy confesses that it takes him some time to locate the character. He says, “You sit and you dwell and you wait and you read and you think and you meditate. It takes time to think and ponder, and the work is never done because it just continues. It’s looking for evidence of things.”
For the Lawless role Hardy wanted to be thin, but his role as the muscular Bane in The Dark Knight Rises prevented that. He reveals, “I wanted to be skinny. Skinny, like I am now — maybe a little skinnier. But Batman came in, and then I needed to be bigger. I had six months to train, but there was a three-month period where Lawless was being filmed at that time, so I had to train during Lawless, so that’s why I was physically the size that I was. Luckily, Shia was physically big as well so it kind of worked, but I would have preferred to be more Billy Bob Thornton–sized.” However, he adds that he doesn’t plan on anymore major weight changes, point out, “Shifting your weight f**ks up your liver! You’ve got to be careful. It’s the end of that for me.”
Yet both finding the character and gaining weight requires a lot of discipline on Hardy’s part — discipline that he uses to drive his performance. He points out, “When I’m working, I have this discipline and I get meaning from it. It gives me purpose. And then I can turn to my little boy and say, ‘Daddy does something. And I do it well. I may not be the best, but I’m the best that I can be. Now eat your f*****g greens.'”
While it might seem like Hardy had a ball speaking his mind to reporters at Cannes, even to these journalists Hardy isn’t afraid to admit that he’d rather be working than strutting the red carpet. “I hate publicists and publicity. But I love the people. I like to be other people, not me. And when you’re on the red carpet, it’s like, ‘Here’s Tom Hardy.’ I don’t want to be me. That’s why I play other people.”
I don’t know, Tom… seems like it wouldn’t be such a bad gig to be you!