Tom Hardy on ‘Inception’ and being Nolan

Posted by · 11:25 am · July 7th, 2010

In Kris’s thorough rundown of the collected performances in “Inception,” I was both pleased and unsurprised to see rising British star Tom Hardy come in for praise. From the outset, his is the name I’ve been most intrigued by in the film’s formidable ensemble. Hardy has been doing stellar, even stunning, work on stage, TV and on the Britfilm scene — culminating in a British Independent Film Award for “Bronson” last year that should rightfully have been the start of a longer awards trail.

But “Inception” — a minor role in 2001’s “Black Hawk Down” notwithstanding — really marks the actor’s arrival in mainstream Hollywood, and he’s obviously made it an auspicious one. Call it groundwork for his bid for superstardom in George Miller’s revival of the “Mad Max” franchise: he’s an inspired choice to fill Mel Gibson’s shoes, so here’s hoping the rest of the reboot is similarly adventurous.

It’d be exciting to see Hardy become a star, and not merely because he’s a fine actor. His sullen model’s features and inked-up boxer’s physique don’t quite fit Hollywood’s leading-man mold; nor does his messy (and gladly disclosed) backstory of early alcoholism and addiction.

Best of all, he’s a genuinely bonkers, if eloquent, interviewee, something we’re getting to see as more outlets pick up the “next big thing” meme. He’s neatly showcased on the Vanities page in this month’s Vanity Fair, which doesn’t give him that much room to flex, but this lengthy Guardian profile is a terrific read. In it, Hardy sidesteps standard publicist-fed soundbites in favor of hilariously eccentric digressions — like this one, on his “Inception” experience:

In many ways I felt the work was done around me. I just drank lots of tea. I’d ask if there was anything I could do and they’d say: ‘Not really.’ So there was lots of tea for Tommy. Then they’d call me over and say: ‘Can you jump off this?’ I’d say: ‘Absolutely!’, then I’d just loiter in the corner looking fab. As is my wont. I like to flatter myself into believing that the character I played was actually Chris Nolan. I felt he was key to Eames and I latched on to him and his mannerisms. I think Leonardo DiCaprio looks like Chris and Chris looks like Leo – not to upset anyone. I think they’re related, actually. In fact, you start to think: are all of these people in the film actually Chris?

He also drops in a “Man Bites Dog” reference, and terms his performance in the film “my nod to the linen-suited Havana brigade, a faded luvvie who still has a really good fist fight” — not the kind of talk you’d hear from any of the “Twilight” kids, and in that last phrase, seemingly a pretty apt description of the actor himself. Roll on “Mad Max: Fury Road.”

→ 10 Comments Tags: , , , , | Filed in: Daily

10 responses so far

  • 1 7-07-2010 at 11:50 am

    Josh said...

    Well, he WAS the bad guy in Star Trek: Nemesis. Not that the movie was memorable or auspicious, but it’s something more than a minor role.

    Fascinating profile, though.

  • 2 7-07-2010 at 12:14 pm

    Zack said...

    Funnily enough, the new (I think– my store has a tendency to get them late) Empire has a feature showing instances where directors bear a passing resemblance to their leading man, and they had Nolan and DiCaprio in there.

  • 3 7-07-2010 at 12:23 pm

    /3rtfu11 said...

    Josh yes he was and it was the film that killed the Next Generation brand as a viable Star Trek feature film franchise.

  • 4 7-07-2010 at 1:22 pm

    Josh said...

    Hey, like I said, not an auspicious role (and notably absent from this article and the profile), but even if it killed the Next Generation movies (or because of it), it’s worth pointing out that he was in the film.

  • 5 7-07-2010 at 4:39 pm

    Simone said...

    Tom caught my eye in Nemesis and I have supported his career ever since. I’m glad his name is on the radar now.

  • 6 7-07-2010 at 4:51 pm

    Tye-Grr said...

    I’m beginning to love him. He’s both good looking and a bit zany- for my tastes, a perfect combination.

  • 7 7-07-2010 at 8:50 pm

    Silencio said...

    This guy’s hilarious. I like.

  • 8 7-07-2010 at 10:12 pm

    Danny King said...

    What a great interview. It’s refreshing to see someone take interviews as a fun and more light-hearted process. I appreciate the seriousness with which Nolan and DiCaprio conduct their interviews, but an occasional star like Hardy who has a complete blast doing it is really fun to see.

  • 9 7-08-2010 at 9:34 am

    Dave said...

    I saw him in the play “The Long Red Road” in Chicago earlier this year and he was outstanding.

  • 10 7-08-2010 at 9:46 am

    caro said...

    he gave an “interesting” interview in the french Première :he’s a hot-red guy