An interview with Tom Hardy in Spanish paper El Pais, poorly translated by google and me. As always, if you know Spanish, please do help! It’s a slightly sad take on Tom, even though I’m not sure I agree, from the other interviews we’ve seen.
At a meeting three years ago it was impossible to quiet Tom Hardy. He was glowing. “I’m a lucky guy,” he said proudly with that smile from ear to ear that accentuates his intense gaze. “I’m living my dream. I’m healthy, I have a wonderful son who will turn two years and somewhere to rest my head with all this success [actress Charlotte Riley]. I am happy, is a good day … I’m living my dreams! I’m living a life that exceeds the wildest of my dreams,” the Brit had 34 years to his arrival in Hollywood through the front door of the hand of Christopher Nolan and the movie Inception. “Imagine me working with Leonardo DiCaprio. I spent much of my youth envying and pitying because my girlfriends were crazy for him.”
Since then, the intensity of this chameleon who can disappear has not diminished. Or his quality as an actor. Neither his success. He began the year with the release of Warrior, Tinker Tailor and the unfortunate action and romance movie This Means War. The last month he made a little trip to Cannes with Lawless and especially this summer will be the most intriguing with the year’s most anticipated series with the Bane that gives body and form to the third and final installment of Nolan’s Batman trilogy. All this before leaving for Namibia to start shooting once the new Mad Max George Miller, the franchise he will portray the character immortalized by Mel Gibson with a beautiful Charlize Theron at his side. A great race in the last three years has been accompanied by a subtle transformation. Still as handsome as versatile, able to play with his weight, his beard, with his whole body tattooed. But something has changed radically, and it’s not hidden in his meeting with a journalist. He is increasingly more laconic, more monosyllabic, less euphoric and more haunted by his demons. He who in his youth was about to end not only his career, but his life, and which he fears will return, awakened by his boundless fame. Many people compare him with Marlon Brando or a young Robert DeNiro in his intensity and as an actor. He also resembles them in his evolution under the weight of fame, and responding by closing themselves.
“Tom is someone special, someone who knows how to put his character in every gesture, every one of his movements, his physique, as only he knows how to do great. Someone who is not afraid to look like his character inside and out, physically and psychologically,” Nolan describes him, the director who opened the doors of Hollywood for Hardy. He came recommended by DiCaprio, who had seen the British independent film Bronson and insisted that he hired him for Inception. I must say that I could see this possible transformation coming in this actor’s actor who off the screen is hidden behind sunglasses, thick beard and monosyllabic answers. While still talking, not even a year ago, when his name was forgotten as a candidate for an Oscar for his work on Warrior and Tinker Tailor, but his work was praised by the profession and criticism, he himself said, “I am so very grateful to work … And of the quality of the films I have offered in 15 months,” he remarked with genuine appreciation. “So I will continue to go to therapy because I have to keep my feet on the floor and be the best father, best friend and best actor. Because I am very new to working in Hollywood, while I’ve been working for more than 12 years. And this is a difficult industry with a mechanism whereby, there’s an artistic and creative side and another marketing front called an actor, a film, a story. And you have to find the perfect balance to move forward and survive.”
In real life, Hardy has also shown many faces. To the limit, as one day he woke up covered in vomit, blood and on the verge of overdose in London’s Soho. The bad boy became a sober man in 2003, based on yoga, meditation, his Xbox 360 and “serious conversations with best friends.” A lot of coffee, good food, lots of homeopathy and “minimizing the stress to know you well.” Previously, the middle-class teenager was tired of being good. His father was a writer and university professor. His mother, an artist. And he, a perfect brat coming in and out of jail, until he crossed the line stealing a car at gunpoint. He escaped a sentence more serious because his accomplice was the son of a British diplomat, as declared on occasion. “Without going into details, let’s say from 12 to 19 I was a bad boy, and I apologize for that,” he says now, remembering a past that still haunts him every time you need a work visa in the U.S., an bureaucracy ordeal that is repeated everytime. His way of rehabilitation of addictions past has been is via several works of solidarity, from the creation of Flack magazine for the homeless in Cambridge, his support for the fight against breast cancer and the Prince’s Trust, which in England helps youth from poor neighborhoods.The rest of his story is told on his skin, tattooed to the point that he is the worst nightmare in a makeup set. “The first came at 15. A leprechaun (Irish leprechaun), in honor of my grandmother. And because I loved her feisty attitude, fists raised. At 17 came the second, because you have to have more than one, and so now, when I spend a minimum of two hours in the makeup chair, they disappear.” There’s the text commemorating his marriage to his first wife, Sarah Ward, and which reads SW Till I die. Or the words figlio bellissimo mio (my beautiful son), which cross the chest in honor of Louis Thomas, from his relationship with his ex Rachel Speed. Or the simplest, Charlotte, on his back, which reminds him of his promise of love to his future wife, Charlotte Riley, whom he met while filming Wuthering Heights.
“A mark from every episode of my life will be a good read of what I experienced when I lay my bones to rest.” It also leaves the skin in his films, a very warlike race that has taken him from Band of Brothers Black Hawk Dawn, through the underworld of RocknRolla, Layer Cake and the Star Trek: Nemesis in 2002 whenthere was talk of possible stardom, but the one that crashed because of his drug problem. Hardy says he’s learned (“even stolen”) from the best: “Robert De Niro, Nick Nolte, Marlon Brando, Paul Newman, Meryl Streep, (Al) Pacino, (Dustin) Hoffman, Gene Hackman, Ed Harris, Gary Oldman” says in a rush. But who he really admires and whose admiration he is looking for is his father. “I’m an actor because it’s the only thing I’m good where I can focus my attention,” he explains his dedication. He gives it to all his works, especially the one which will confirm that a star is born when The Dark Knight Rises opens. “Sure it’s a challenge. I feel the same pressure as a test pilot when he tries a new device and has a responsibility not to go out in flames, yet have to try to limit. If you look around, there’s no shortage of pretty faces and good pecs. So I have a responsibility to do well for all those who did not get the part.” You enter dangerous ground when talking about the next installment of Batman, the best kept secret in Hollywood. He plays Bane, a character who first appeared in DC comics in 1993 and promises to raise the bar left by the late Heath Ledger’s Joker with his previous delivery. “Bane is all strength, but also the whole brain,” says Nolan with a description which also fits Hardy. But this new Hollywood hard man has another dream he points out: “Both gain weight and lose weight, leave me a beard, shave … The truth is that what I like is playing a role of living at home. Or a musical. Come on I would not like to sing and dance! Interpret, for example, Guys & Dolls “.