Created by Steven Knight with Tom Hardy and Chips Hardy, the drama series Taboo is set in 1814 and follows James Keziah Delaney (Tom Hardy), a man believed to be long dead. After returning home to London from Africa to inherit what’s left of his father’s shipping empire and rebuild a life for himself, he quickly learns just how poisoned his father’s legacy is, as he discovers enemies lurking everywhere. With conspiracy, murder and betrayal all around him, he must unravel a dark family mystery and hope to survive it.
While at the FX portion of the TCA Press Tour, Collider got the opportunity to speak with actor/series executive producer Tom Hardy, both during a 1-on-1 interview and after the show’s panel. Hardy talked about how this evolved from an idea for a character into a full-blown TV series, what he finds fascinating about James Delaney, how he approaches his characters, the complex relationship with Delaney’s half-sister, being aware of what was going on, every step of the way, and how he loves all mediums and genres. Be aware that there are some spoilers.
Question: When you came up with the idea for this character, and then you went to you dad with it and said that you wanted him to write this, did you think he would just say, “Sure, son, let me get right on that!”?
Tom Hardy created, produced, and starred in a new series that’s about to premiere on FX. But what he’d really like to talk about is the purity of dogs.
“They’re just so clean and straightforward, and they wear their heart on their chest. You know what you’re getting with a dog.” He lets out a gruff, gleeful chuckle. “I love that. Unfettered companionship and loyalty in the most boring of manners. The life and the soul is right next to you, keeping the heart ticking over in the room. You know when a dog’s around, there’s good times. . . . It’s like, why would it choose to be around us? What the hell does it see in us? We don’t deserve them! What does it see in us that it’s so like, ‘Well, I wanna be with you, you’re awesome?’ I’m not that awesome. You’re awesome.”
Clearly, Hardy could discuss “doggies”—as he happily calls them between puffs of an e-cig, sitting with his legs slung over an armchair like a big kid in Santa’s lap—for ages. His love for man’s best friend is so well documented that fans have dedicated numerous social-media accounts to his obsession, sharing photos of him holding a surprisingly vast array of canines. “Bit random, innit?” he says in an interview with Vanity Fair. “I’m like the Pied Piper of Hamelin, with dogs.”
Because you can raise hell *and* save the world, right?
Everyone knows that Tom Hardy is an actor, philanthropist and real-life superhero.
Anyway, the sex-God has spoken – and he’s not a fan of how “clean-living” the characters in modern-day superhero films are becoming, comparing the likes of Harrison Ford’s Indiana Jones in the ’80s to Chris Hemsworth’s Thor.
“One was allowed to express personal characteristics,” the 39-year-old actor told The Sunday Times newspaper.
“Now you’ve got to look like you’ve just come off a vegan diet, gone to the gym, part Navy Seal, really clean-valued, clean-living, moralistic – and then you go out and save the world from an impending danger that isn’t really dangerous at all.
“And it becomes not committed to any sense of the gubbins of reality: I don’t recognise this man.”
Of course, Tom played the villain Bane in The Dark Knight Rises, and was reportedly in line to play Rick Flag in Suicide Squad until a scheduling clash with The Revenant filming led to his exit from the superhero movie.
He recently opened up about his role in new show Taboo, telling the BBC that “it’s not a period drama until someone gets naked”.
“You’re lucky there was a loincloth because I didn’t want one,” he said.
“It’s not a period drama until someone gets naked and covers themselves in blood. At least you’re showing willing.”
The new show follows the story of James Delaney (Hardy), a traveller who everyone thought was dead until he returns to London in 1814 after spending 10 years in Africa to reclaim his father’s shipping empire.
The eight-episode series boasts a stellar cast including Jonathan Pryce, Oona Chaplin, David Hayman, Jessie Buckley and Jefferson Hall.
The Oscar nominee and star/EP of FX’s 19th-century period drama admits he’s earned his fierce reputation: “I’ve been a dick. But then, who hasn’t?”
If you believe everything you read, Tom Hardy is the best actor of his generation and also the most dangerous. Descriptors like “volatile” and “mercurial” trail his name, as do tales of on-set squabbles. But as the Oscar-nominated actor, best known for his roles in Mad Max: Fury Road, The Revenant and The Dark Knight Rises, arrives at The Ritz-Carlton on a snowy Manhattan morning to promote his 19th century drama Taboo for FX and the BBC, it’s hard to reconcile that image with the man seated before me. Between puffs of his e-cigarette, a thoughtful and exceedingly self-aware Hardy, 39, who both stars in and executive produces the limited series, spoke candidly about playing “scary blokes,” learning to love the awards circuit and just about anything but those Star Wars rumours.
Profiles of you typically include references to your “dangerous” reputation …
There’s this myth, which is quite asinine, that circulates about me — usually by those who haven’t worked with me. There’s only one thing worse than being talked about and that’s not being talked about in this game so I’d rather it be that, I guess. But there are other people who I work with consistently who know that’s not the case — who just wouldn’t risk having somebody like that in their midst because there’s too much at stake. Obviously you’re going to rub people the wrong way … and I’ve been a dick. But then, who hasn’t?
I have added images from Tom’s old social media account to the gallery. View them here.