Feb 08 2012

2012: The Year of Tom Hardy

Published by at 11:00 am under Editorials,Movies

by Remy Carreiro

(To truly respect this piece, I need the reader to forget This Means War is about to be in theaters. He made ONE cheesy romantic comedy, and we have to immediately forgive him and pretend it didn’t happen or this piece won’t work. Please, trust us. He is a brilliant actor. We can prove it to you.)

Christopher Nolan is a casting genius. Some people may argue that, some may agree. But I am not leaving it open for debate. I am TELLING you. When he cast Heath Ledger as The Joker, you could hear the collective sighs of fanboys all the world over, groaning in disapproval. I can say that because I was one of them. But upon viewing that film, and moreover, that character, I was more floored than I had been in some time by his performance. He scared me. He unsettled me. He intrigued me. He effortlessly swallowed the scenery in every moment he was in. Actors disappeared around him. And after that film, everyone was talking about his run as The Joker. Christopher Nolan knew this would be a result of this performance. He had written his Joker that way. He had us in his hand the whole time.

How many of us went and rented more old Heath Ledger movies after the film? I did, and not because he had passed away, but because he had shown the acting chops of a master. A character so real, the actor beneath all but vanished. Like I said before, Christopher Nolan knew what he was doing. He plays his audiences in the same way Stanley Kubrick would. Every move is intentional. Every color is in place for a reason. So expect Tom Hardy, who is playing Bane (*Spoiler* The Batman back-breaker) to blow up in 2012. While some are complaining ahead of time that his audio performance as Bane is muddled and hard to understand in certain scenes, remember, Christopher Nolan was probably very much aware of this long before you. I decided to check out some of Tom Hardy’s films BEFORE the movie dropped, so I would know what I had in store. And truthfully, it took two films and I was an immediate fan. This guy is unbelievable. And as the result of reading some interviews he has done, he may be bat-shit-crazy too. But as we all know, it is the tortured geniuses who tend to give the best performances. Be prepared to add Tom Hardy to your list.

Christopher Nolan apparently already knew Hardy was something special, and did what he does with all his stars. He gave Tom a test run as Eames in his critically acclaimed, but widely misunderstood hit, Inception. The character was well played, but not remarkable. Think of it as his own Inception move. He placed Tom Hardy into our subconscious, before pulling that subconscious to the forefront for Dark Knight Rises. Again, Nolan is a genius, but I digress. The piece is about Tom Hardy, dammit.

So for me, it took two roles for me to realize this guy was quite good at his craft. The first being his role as Handsome Bob in the Guy Ritchie film RockNRolla. The film was a fun, albeit familiar Guy Ritchie heist-gone-wrong movie, but Hardy owned the flick with his subplot about being a gay gangster. He portrayed a character that could have been played solely for laughs as a somewhat troubled and tortured young man (with genuine feelings for his best friend, played wonderfully by Gerard Butler). A man torn between the violent, patriarchal world he knows, and the true feelings he has in his heart. His interactions with Butler are a blast to watch, and again, he plays it in a classy and subtle manner. He is not the “GAY GANGSTER” in this film. He plays a badass gangster who just happens to be gay. Playing both vulnerable AND tough can be incredibly tricky to convey, but Hardy nails it. He goes subtle. And to his credit, it works.

As a result of the role, the up and coming actor faced a slew of homosexual rumors offscreen, and to his credit, handled them with grace, I think. Well, to tell you the truth, I can’t really tell you how he reacted because it was different from what other actors would say. When asked by interviewer Simon Babe for ‘Attitude’ magazine if he had ever had a sexual relationship with a man, Hardy responded ”I’m an actor for f***s sake. I’m an artist. I have played with anything and anyone, but I’m not into men sexually. I love the form and the physicality, but the gay sex does nothing for me.” Alright, let’s both take time to process that quote together for a second. So what he said, I think, in different words is:  “I have literally fooled around with everything ever, just to kind of get a feel for it as an actor. I had sex with dudes, but I didn’t love it. Don’t get me wrong though, because I like looking at buff guys, but I don’t like sexing them. “ Wow, that is a relatively brave answer for an actor who is about to explode in Hollywood (weird pun unintended). It was a brave and honest answer. A real movie fan cares nothing about someone’s gender or race or sexual preference. We like good performances. And Tom Hardy is already delivering that. Also, he seems to give few f***s about what other people think.

In Hollywood, that kind of attitude can seem forced and doesn’t always work. With Tom though, it seems genuine. For that reason I really think it works. We need more badasses in Hollywood. And genuine badasses. Not those Jason Statham ones. You know the kind, they PLAY badass really well, but when you see them in the street or see them on TMZ they are all mousey and insecure? Yeah, I hate that kind. Hardy might be crazy. Hardy might be badass. I am ok with it. Frankly, I encourage it.





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30 responses so far

  • Sam

    Good article. BUT Tom Hardy is NOT in Prometheus. There’s an actor, by the name of Logan Marshall Green, that is in it and the two bare a striking resemblance to each other. But Tom Hardy is not in it, as badass as that would have been I wish he was but alas he is not.

  • Sam

    One more thing, did you just call Jason Statham mousey and insecure?!?! Bad move man, bad move.

  • isles19

    i cant believe i came across this article…just last week i checked out bronson on netflix and i loved it and the only reason i check it out was because i loved hardy in rocknrolla and inception. I felt like i knew exactly what was going to be in this article before i even read it. This guy is already twice the actor that clive owen should’ve been

  • Mr Jim

    Excellent editorial, a really interesting read. I too watched Bronson a little while back and thought it was amazing, to see such a take on a sheer bat-shit crazy character with yet so much logic, who’s a badass to boot, was captivating.

    I reckon he’ll go far.

  • Fmalk

    Hey Paul, check his movie “Bronson” if you’re into his early movies. Can’t believe didn’t make it to your list, he plays a famous british criminal who spent most of his life in a freaking solitaire. The guy wrote books like “How to Workout in Confined Spaces”, and is batshit insane. Really, go check it out.

  • Drester

    @Fmalk

    Do you know there is a second page?

  • RemyCarreiro

    @Fmalk, um, the whole article was written around seeing Bronson. Did you go to the 2nd page? Hahahah, @ Sam, TMZ ran a video of Statham going to his car with his girlfriend once after a dinner at the ivy, and all I can say is, in all my life, I have NEVER seen a man act more like a b*tch, pardon my French. She yelps at him like he is a five year old, barks orders, and he is all “yes dear” all quiet-like and broken. I saw that and could never look at his tough guy shtick the same. Plus, Statham plays Statham in EVERY movie. THAT is not talent. That is choreography and writing, nothing more.@isles19 and Mr. Jim, yeah, his performance in that film really is staggering.

  • RemyCarreiro

    @Sam again. Great call with the Logan Marshall Green. I had no idea who he was and went and looked him up, and not only are you correct, but I am pretty sure they are the same guy and he just uses different names for different roles. Nah, kidding, but the likeness is freaky.

  • Guy Incognitus

    @Fmalk

    Also do you know that this was written by Remy Carreiro?

  • E. Lee Zimmerman

    Uh … seriously? Hasn’t Hardy been the “it” boy since STAR TREK: NEMESIS? Looks like another Jude Law to me.

  • http://www.run4covers.com Dr. Jekyll

    I’ve always admired Mr. Hardy, especially his work as of late. He was BRILLIANT in “Bronson” and “Warrior” and I enjoyed his character in “Inception”. I’m slightly ashamed to admit that I am looking forward to “This Means War” (simply because I can get away with taking my girlfriend to this rather than “The Vow” and I am very much looking forward to him breaking the bat this summer! Well done Mr. Remy

  • http://www.run4covers.com Dr. Jekyll

    PS: When you said this:

    Christopher Nolan is a casting genius. Some people may argue that, some may agree. But I am not leaving it open for debate. I am TELLING you. When he cast Heath Ledger as The Joker, you could hear the collective sighs of fanboys all the world over, groaning in disapproval. I can say that because I was one of them.

    I was doing the SAME EXACT THING

  • Andy

    Can’t believe didn’t make it to your list, he plays a famous british criminal who spent most of his life in a freaking solitaire.

    Anyone else catch this?

  • Dave

    Despite the fact that you are my friend and I’ll generally read anything you post, this is an amazing piece of work. You couldn’t have hit the nail anymore on the head. Well done Remy…. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this while I should be working!

  • Sam

    @ RemyCarreiro
    It really is freaky how much they look alike, other than Tom hardy being larger they’re near identical. In fact, I have a theory that on his advanced age Ridley Scott casted Logan Marshall green because he intended to cast Tom Hardy and Logan marshal green just went with it. A la skeet ulrich “capitalizing” on his resemblance to johnny depp in the mid 90s.

  • Sam

    @ RemyCarreiro
    It really is freaky how much they look alike, other than Tom hardy being larger they’re near identical. In fact, I have a theory that on his advanced age Ridley Scott casted Logan Marshall green because he intended to cast Tom Hardy and Logan marshal green just went with it. A la skeet ulrich “capitalizing” on his resemblance to johnny depp in the mid 90s.
    Also, have you seen his girlfriend? Pardon my crassness, but If I was allowed to go inside her on a nightly basis I’d be all “yes dear” too.

  • RemyCarreiro

    I will actually be so bold and say that we will eventually have a method actor here who is on par with Daniel Day Lewis. You guys NEED to see him as Bronson before you see him as Bane, just so you know what he is truly capable of. @ Andy, Nice observation. That kid sucked anyway. Hahaha. @ E.Lee, yeah, he is doing a wonderful job of sticking his claim to all the nerd franchises, which is a brilliant business move. @ Dave, all I have to say to you Dave is YOU’RE MY BOY,BLUE! @ Sam, well put, though in this sense, who looks like who?(I.e, who came first, Logan or Tom?), and regarding his girlfriend, I opened some Google image photos of her and my computer crashed. THAT is how attractive that woman is. She looks like a painting come to life.

  • seanuz

    After the first half a paragraph of the 2nd page I was thinking “Gee, I’m surprised he hasn’t mentioned ‘Bronson’ yet”.
    I personally can’t wait to see Hardy as Bane, and I think the whole muffled voice thing works for the character, but I guess we’ll see.

  • simplebay

    I nearly fell over when i read prometheus. then i ran to imdb to make sure i wasn’t going insane.

    this is a huge error for this article. huge. wow.

  • zero

    once again, I will put down the minority opinion. Not saying Heath wasn’t good as the Joker, but I feel that it’s comparatively easier to pull off batshit crazy than to portray a completely unique character. That is a character who has nothing in common with the actor and is not based on real or fictional characters. In another words, it’s much more difficult to create a new personality than to copy or fit into another character’s mode.

    In any case, the best movie in my book from Nolan is still The Prestige. His other movies are good, but waaaay over hyped. Using a line from South Park “appearing to be deep doesn’t actually make the story actually more complex”.

  • RemyCarreiro

    I LOVED The Prestige, and it sort of started my Nolan obsession. An obsession that will be unlikely to end anytime soon.

  • Rick

    If you can, check him out in a British miniseries called ‘The Take’ It’s an adaptation of a crime novel. You can not take your eyes off him. He should be a big star.

  • Shiki

    Am I the only one, but I didnt’t catch Mr. Remy mentioning that Tom Hardy is going to be in Prometheus??? Any way, I’m a big fan of Tom Hardy ever since ST: Nemesis and looking forward to anything he does. Great article sir!!

  • Fmalk

    @RemyCarreiro ooooohh this is awkward! For the record, my apologies and great piece. The whole time I was thinking “how could one write an article about Tom Hardy and not mention Bronson”?
    Also sorry for mentioning Paul instead of you, I looked for the author under the title (“published by”)

  • ShawnaD

    Excellent article!

  • strngr

    Nolan did not cast Hardy as Bane because of his performance in Bronson instead he cast him after seeing his performance in RocknRolla.
    Nolan had not watched Bronson at all.
    Even Tom Hardy was surprised.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1345836/trivia?tab=tr&item=tr1518306

  • RemyCarreiro

    @Fmalk, no worries mate. I actually try to adhere to my secret, one page rule for that exact reason, so I cannot blame you. @strngr, I should have suspected as much. RockNRolla is what made me see Bronson Hahahaha

  • Luke

    Maybe it’s because I’m in the U.K, but I was under the impression Tom Hardy was a pretty well known actor. Nonetheless he’s definitely one the best talents in Hollywood right now, and I can’t wait to see him as Bane. Another good role of his is Rickie Tarr in Tinker Tailor.

  • Tom

    I absolutely loved him in Warrior!!!!!

  • Rebecca

    Came to this website after viewing the Prometheus trailer to confirm whether or not Hardy is in this picture – I have to check out pictures of Logan Marshall Green – the likeness is uncanny.
    Quick question – Didn’t Hardy win the British equivalent of the Oscar for his portrayal of Bronson? I’ve read on a number of websites that if Bronson was released in the US theaters, there would be no doubt that Hardy would have won the Oscar hands down.
    Hardy is definitely a great professionally trained actor (not to mention extremely attractive) – hopefully he will have a long career & not botch it up like Gerard Butler.

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