Tom Hardy Sits On A Ruggedly Handsome Throne Of Lies

Tom Hardy has made a career of slipping invisibly in and out of roles, delivering soul-shaking performances, and moving on before anyone has a chance to ask, "Who was that masked man?"
Hardy first broke through playing notorious gangster Charles Bronson in a 2008 biopic, and he continued down the tough-guy path as a mixed martial arts fighter in Warrior. Then, of course, there's Bane in The Dark Knight Rises, Hardy's most well-known and merciless role to date.
Hardy's new film, The Drop, doesn't venture too far from the same tough-guy script. This time, he's a Brooklyn boy who befriends a battered woman (Noomi Rapace), who he must protect from her psychotic ex. James Gandolfini, here in his final role, plays Hardy's character's uncle.
He's all guff and muscle onscreen, but in real life, Tom Hardy's a bit of a softy — specifically when it comes to dogs. In this interview, we unmask the man behind the Bane, only to discover it's all a bunch of lies.

You’re teamed with a baby pit bull in The Drop. Is it true you adopt dogs?

“I’m an absolute sucker for dogs, and I normally find a dog on every film I do. They always end up in the house somehow, even if I have to take it from someone’s car. I’ve got no scruples. There’s always a way for a stray.”

Your acting technique has been described as a bit unusual.

“There are different types of actors, and some people are drawn toward transformative work and specificity. There are people who actually go to a certain level to become somebody genuinely other than themselves to the best of their ability, and it’s a buzz. I’m a character actor who luckily enjoys playing leads, but ultimately it comes down to what the character is and trying to transform into it as best as possible.”

Can you give an example?

“There are two different types of actors: those who present you the character and say, 'I’m going to be this person with this hat.' But, they don’t change their accent, and they don’t change their look. Then, you have people who try to immerse themselves entirely and fool the dog and their children.”

Do you meet a lot of actors who work this way?

“You can pinpoint people on the planet who do true character and try to immerse themselves fully in the camouflage of that. Whether we succeed is another thing, but we do entertain and go in for character transformation and character work...that’s my thing; that’s what I do. I’m never going to be a movie star. It’s not gonna happen. I’m a liar, that’s what I do. I lie professionally.”

Do your costars in The Drop approach their work the same way?

“There’s a certain number of people who are awesome and I love working with. We’re kindred spirits I think — Noomi, Matthias [Schoenaerts], even Jimmy [James Gandolfini]. Jimmy loved the craft; he loved acting and the work. That’s a certain type of person who will do anything to achieve the best in themselves and in the team. A working partner is somebody you have to trust implicitly and complicity.”

Can you give us any scoop on Legend and playing both of the Kray twins? “It was a good challenge. I really enjoyed it. [Director] Brian Helgeland’s awesome, and everyone in it is awesome. It’s a really cool project, and everyone in it was awesome. I hope you enjoy it. It could go really well or it could be a catastrophe.”

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