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Posted on April 11th, 2014 with 1 Comment

Tom Hardy is not a movie star.

This is not a judgment. Right now, at least, it is simply an observation, a statement of fact.

Tom Hardy is an English actor, London-born, thirty-six years old. He has been the star of—the lead and titular character in—two movies made in England, Bronson and the upcoming Locke. He has costarred in three American movies, Warrior, This Means War, and Lawless, alongside actors like Joel Edgerton, Chris Pine, and Shia LaBeouf. He also has been directed by Christopher Nolan in two movies of global prominence, Inception and The Dark Knight Rises. In Inception, he is a member of Leonardo DiCaprio’s supporting cast, part of an ensemble, billed beneath Joseph Gordon-Levitt and called upon to lend the proceedings a kind of amoral integrity. In The Dark Knight Rises, he plays Bane, the supervillain set in opposition to Christian Bale’s Batman, with a shaved head, thirty pounds of added muscle, a mask of rubber and steel fitted over his nose and mouth, and an accent—a voice—intense in its artificiality, its almost Elizabethan resonance, and its menace.

To the extent that American audiences know Tom Hardy, they know him as Bane.

Next year, they will know him—or not—as the new Mad Max, in George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road, with Charlize Theron.

Is Tom Hardy a movie star? The only conclusive answer is that we won’t know until the summer of 2015, when Warner Bros. finally releases Mad Max and the first weekend’s returns are in.

But that does not stop the question from being asked. Indeed, the question of whether a particular actor is a movie star is, in Hollywood, a philosophical one, almost an epistemological one, a matter of chemistry devoid of science. As much as it is in the business of making movies, Hollywood is in the business of finding movie stars, and as bad as Hollywood is—as low as its percentages are—at predicting what movies might be hits, it is even worse at determining which actors are destined for stardom. In truth, the number of actors who can, in industry parlance, “open a movie” is not just small; it’s unchanging. There are about a dozen of them in all, and an entire industry is built around their care and cultivation.

Tom Hardy is not one of them. He is not even like them.

He says things movie stars would never say and does things movie stars would never do.

He admits to saying things they would never say and doing things they would never do.

There are stories about him saying things they would never say and doing things they would never do.

And so, there is not only the usual element of uncertainty about the question of whether Tom Hardy will become what Warner Bros., among many others, is betting on him to become.

There is also an element of something Hollywood hasn’t seen in a long time—danger.

Which is the reason people think he’s going to be a movie star in the first place.

And which is the reason they also think he can still fuck it up.

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Posted on April 8th, 2014 with No Comments

Actor Tom Hardy is joining forces with Sir Ridley Scott for a BBC One period drama about the East India Company.

The eight-part series, Taboo, will star Hardy as a rogue adventurer who sets out to build a shipping empire, pitting him against the East India Company.

Inception star Hardy, who wrote the original story with his father Chips, called it “a flagship British drama for this generation”.

Gladiator director Sir Ridley said Hardy’s character “will become iconic”.

“This is a period in British history where the rising power of the Empire seeped into every dark corner,” said Sir Ridley, best known for cult films such as Alien and Blade Runner, who will produce the drama.

The drama, set in 1813, will reunite Hardy with screenwriter Steven Knight, with whom he worked on the forthcoming film Locke.

Knight is also the writer of BBC gangster drama Peaky Blinders, which Hardy is joining for its second series this autumn.

Knight described the lead character, James Delaney, as “a deeply flawed and deeply troubled human being”.

“His greatest struggle will be against the East India Company which, throughout the 19th Century, was the equivalent of the CIA, the NSA and the biggest, baddest multinational corporation on earth, all rolled into one self-righteous, religiously motivated monolith.”

Ben Stephenson, controller of BBC drama commissioning, said he was “thrilled” to see Hardy and Knight reunited on the series.

“This is a major and ambitious undertaking for the BBC, reinforcing our commitment to be the best home for creative talent.”

Villainous
Tom Hardy’s company, Hardy Son & Baker, will co-produce the series with Scott’s Scott Free London. Shooting will begin in early 2015.

Hardy, who became a well-known name following his villainous turn as Bane in The Dark Knight Rises, can shortly be seen in James Gandolfini’s final film The Drop.

He is also lined up to play the lead in the forthcoming Mad Max reboot, as well as playing Elton John in the Rocketman biopic.

The actor is reported to be starring in the National Theatre’s film adaptation of London Road, alongside Broadchurch star Olivia Colman.

London Road was inspired by the murders committed by Ipswich serial killer Steve Wright, who was found guilty in February 2008 of murdering five women working as prostitutes.

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Posted on February 16th, 2014 with No Comments

Images of Tom attending the 2014 EE British Academy Film Awards in London tonight have been added to the gallery. View them here.




 

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