Tom talking about his audition for StarTrek. He’s wired with energy and awkward and charming. He mentions making the audition tape in his hotel room, jumping around butt naked and rapping, and then just sitting down and recording himself being Shinzon.
The studio apparently took the entire unedited self-tape. So that means they may still have this footage somewhere in their vaults. Don’t tell Jonathan Ross! (But wouldn’t it be brilliant to see some of it.)
Tom Hardy interviewed on the red carpet for Rocknrolla, back in 2008.
He says he fancies Gerard Butler! And that Pnut gave him a bracelet to wear and use to defend himself…
It’s fascinating to see how much Tom emulates his surroundings and his characters, he’s so cocky and cheeky here, like he’s being Handsome Bob still (or more likely Charles Bronson, since he must have been preparing for that at this point…).
The Telegraph’s Ultratravel magazine, Spring 2013
How many holidays do you take a year?
If I’m lucky, one - for 10 days as a family - plus the odd weekend here and there. Before I got so busy, we went camping a lot, or on package holidays.
What do you do now?
We have a place in St-Rémy, in Provence, where we go for long weekends, It’s very romantic. We also love Como in Lombardy, northern Italy.
Any other favourites?
Avignon, Béziers, Nîmes, Sommières and Arles in the South of France, and Sarlat in the Dordogne.
Which parts of the world do you know best?
As a child, I grew up going to the South of France, to Burgh Island (off South Devon), Plymouth, Yorkshire and Florida with my parents. Now, most of my travels are work-orientated, so I get to look around the cities or countries we are filming in.
Your favourite city for a weekend away?
London, which is at its best around Christmas time and in summer. It has great people and great restaurants, and there’s so much to see and do.
Favourite spots in the capital?
For breakfast, I love the Monmouth coffee shop; for clothes, Alfred Dunhil i Jermyn Street. If we fancy a night in town, it has to be the Soho Hotel.
And for nightlife?
The Groucho Club, followed by the Karaoke Box in Soho and then Maroush II, the all-night kebab shop in Beauchamps Place, or Pala Kebab House in south-west London. They make a mean doner with chilli sauce, and the owner, Serge, used to look out for me growing up in that community. It’s a real hub for intelligence and information.
Favourite restaurants abroad?
When I’m in Los Angeles or New York, Joe’s Pizza.
Where would you like to go next?
Somewhere hot where the air is fresh and smells of pine, with good food, where I can spend lazy days by the pool or next to a cool river with a book. I need to chill, really, and take stock. A nice long swim in a lake would be fantastic, too.
The most glamorous room you’ve stayed in?
I went to Villa D’Este on Lake Como once, which for me was totally wow, and glam. Alfred Hitchcock used to spend his summers there.
And the most luxurious?
We once went to Lily Beach Resort in the Maldives, which was a first for us as a couple. We’re not used to being pampered like that. It’s a beautiful tropical-island hotel, with a suite on stilts in the lagoon, scuba diving and snorkelling, hot sun, sand you can pour like water from your palm, coral lagoons and massages every day by Balinese ladies who spoiled us rotten.
The most decadent perk?
A butler called Ishlal who droves us to and from breakfast, lunch and dinner on a little golf cart like the Popemobile and served us candlelit meals on the beach at night. We watched turtles, fed fish, rays and sharks with bread rolls from the pier. It really was out-of-this-world luxurious.
And your next trip?
Center Parcs with my son Louis!
What makes a perfect day on holiday?
A lie in. Plenty of sun, fun with loved ones, and a good book. Not touching the phone and not thinking about work at all would be a dream, but it’s almost impossible these days. Doing something new and special also gets my vote.
Do you like adventure holidays?
My work often involves adventure; films such as Dark Knight and Mad Max all have a personal adventure built in. And to prepare for a role, I’ll often learn how to use certain weapons and vehicles. Last year, I went on several trips to research issues on animal poaching. So, on holiday, adventure is not really what I need!
Have you been on safari?
We took Louis to Erindi game reserve, in Namibia, on a weekend off during the filming of Mad Max. We saw rhinos, crocodiles, elephants and cheetahs, among other things. It was amazing, watching giraffes licking salt by the waterhole one night. And the sight of Louis changing the tyre with Tim the ranger was pretty memorable.
What do you make of Africa?
I love it - from Morocco in North Africa to Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana, Mozambique and even Congo. It’s not just the abundant wildlife that thrills me. The skies the sunsets and the variety of people and music are incredible.
What’s the roughest you’ve travelled?
Backpacking and tents, I suppose, taking trains and staying in YMCAs as a student. It’s only recently that I’ve done anything really intrepid. When I do, I go with serious teams such as Olly Suzy Expeditions and Pligrims Group, who make sure I’m safe in some of the toughest spots.
The most remote place you’ve been?
Poli Charkhi prison in Kabul, which was just weird.
Do you travel light?
That’s always the idea. I say to myself, “I’m just going to take shorts, a toothbrush and a book.” And then it’s “Oh, and those jeans, and these T-shirts… oh, and those shirts and sneakers, too.”
Any specific make of luggage?
A Help for Heroes holdall, a big strong bag I can fit all my kit in - and which supports a great cause.
The best ariline in the world?
It used to be Virgin. But now I think all the people I work with agree that it’s British Airways. Air France has a great First Class cabin, too.
An oldie: Tom Hardy interviewed in Marie Claire, 2003. Scanned by me!
Tom Hardy - the sexiest supervillain in the universe
Supervillian? He doesn’t look scary. The London-born 25-year old is space-age badboy, Shinzon, in the latest Star Trek flick. “I’m an evil clone who used to be a slave. Now I’m the ass-kicking emperor of a sinister race that wants to take over the universe. Which is nice!”
Guess there’s not much point asking if you’re like that in real life?
“No, never actually been a slave. Or an emperor. The funniest thing was that I got to fly my own spaceship and I haven’t even got a driving licence!”
And the Star Trek crew aren’t the only famous faces he’s worked with - Tom Hanks in the acclaimed TV series Band of Brothers, and Ewan McGregor in Black Hawk Down.
“I wish I could say that I don’t turn into a gibbering idiot when I meet these people,” laughs Tom. “But I do. My legs turn to jelly, I start sweating and I’m thinking, ‘Bloody ‘ell, it’s Tom Hanks.’ Some day, this feels like a completely surreal way to make a living!”
You and Ewan also share an agent.
“She’s my guardian angel. In this job, you need someone to look after you.”
So, what’s it like to be labelled Brit cinema’s Next Big Thing?
“You can’t believe all you read, can you? Every six months, there’s some new name. All I can do is keep my head down and keep working.”
Well, you don’t seem to be having too much trouble. You’ve also got The Reckoning (with Willem Dafoe), Dot The I (with Gabriel Garcia Bernal) and LD:50 (with Mel B) out in 2003.
“I can’t complain. Although it does mean I’m away from my wife a bit too much. At the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about, innit - your family.”
Kids on the horizon, then?
“Definitely, I’ve been married four years, so we’ve talked about kids loads. But at the moment, work seems to be taking over. I’d hate to miss them growing up.”
“I wanted to have the beardy bit here taken off so it was just the mutton chops, d’know what I mean? Cause I just thought it would be really cool, d’know what I mean? And I fought…initially they wanted to put me in this all white sort of like cool suit…sorta funky doctor type…and I was like NO! There’s gotta be leather patches on and tweed jacket and cardigan and you know a barber shirt. It is very important to have a barber shirt, you know a barber shirt, which is old, really old, with ink stains and corduroy trousers…and brogues with holes in them. It was like the standard uniform retroed to be completely the classic scientist look. It’s a uniform. And I think the beard made it look softer. Slightly dark. And also something slightly like an old historian or an old officer…Officer and a gentleman kind of…that I wanted to come across…especially with the rock climbing and the ability to wear a hat stupidly and really not be bothered about it…or wear tight trousers and, well it’s not modesty anyway. So it was, I I left the mustache quite long and it was all quite short and chopped here. I mean I looked ridiculous and I kind of liked that.” Tom Hardy on creating John Flemming.
A fresh closeup from the Rocknrolla premiere. Here’s Tom talking about Handsome Bobski.
How did you approach playing a gay character in a Guy Ritchie movie?
Tom: I think there’s an uber stress on being a guy. Guy Ritchie movies, in my opinion, can be very bloke-y in the same way that car magazines or fighting magazines are sort of specifically for the boys. So, Ironically enough, I just played him as straight as possible. So my identification with me and my girlfriend was exactly the same as it was about Bob and One Two, Gerard’s character. There was no need to be camp or anything like that. I’m in love with Gerard, and that’s it, no big deal.
Was there anyone in particular that you modeled the character after?
I watched Cool Hand Luke and Midnight Cowboy, you know, with Jon Voight and Paul Newman, and Steve McQueen in The Great Escape. You know, those kind of images that I wanted to find a sort of modern day homage, in a way, discreetly to those three guys.
They’re all pretty huge sex symbols for gay guys.
Well, I also find them incredibly sexy. It made sense to me to do that. I wanted him to be sexy. As sexy as he could be because it’s not something that I’ve ever really explored.
The movie is incredibly sexy, but ironically, the actual sex is so minimal. I’m curious how you would have approached a gay sex scene in a Guy Ritchie movie?
I think Thandie Newton and Gerard Butler’s scene was absolutely brilliant. Very pop art. I think it would have been done the same way. I don’t know what Guy would do with a gay sex scene. It’d be really interesting. (x)
You have a lot of very physical scenes in this movie. How is it doing those with that costume and mask on?
Tom Hardy: It’s uncomfortable because your body’s really restricted. It takes a while to get the sweat on and get loose and fit. It’s heavy and it’s tight and the costumers need it to look good and solid. So it looks great when it’s tight but it’s not practical to move it, and you need a couple of hours of moving about before the suit will then move with you. Then the costumer will come in and tuck bits and tweak bits so it looks great, but then it’s all functional and you start sweating. Then you get drenched with sweat on the inside and it creates another layer between me and the costume, so that’s when it gets comfortable, funnily enough. A bit like when you have a scab and you pick off the scab. It’s like ripping off a plaster; it’s like that sort of… freedom. But the first couple of hours is a bit of a pain in the arse. Going for a pee is really a pain in the arse.
You got zips and undershorts, underarmour - body armour - under that. It’s all a bit of a faff. Forget about taking a shit, that’s not happening. [laughs].
Is that why Bane’s so angry?
Oh yes, fucking retentive. Totally. Miserable.
How easy is it to breathe through the mask?
Um, it’s more psychosomatic. If I panic then it’s not easy and if I’m chilled then it’s fine. It’s got plenty of room to breathe but if I’m a bit panicky doing something, or a bit too high up or whatever, then I’m going to, you know, gasp a bit more. But once again I get used to the mask, I’m happy in it.
How would you define the fight style? Obviously you did Warrior before this… immediately before?
I did Inception after Warrior, then a play, The Long Red Road, with Philip Seymour Hoffman in Chicago. Then Tinker Tailor, This Means War, then The Wettest County [now titled Lawless], then this. Warrior took a year to edit. Took a long time to edit.
So - the [Bane] fighting style. How is it different to Warrior?
It is brutal and military. It’s more military in many ways. MMA [Mixed Martial Arts] is very athletic. It’s an athlete’s sport. And you’ve got your Krav Maga and whatnot from Bourne, the Bourne world. Very tight movement, very contained but aimed to kill. To kill, do you know what I mean? And maim. Then you’ve got the Keysi lot that Batman does I suppose, which is a lot of elbow business. But Bane is brutal. It’s not about fighting. It’s about just carnage with Bane. Which is different to [Warrior’s] Tommy Conlon, who is in the eye of the storm when he’s fighting. He has peace of mind. Until he meets his brother and then it’s all out of the window. He loses the fight because it implodes on him, you know? Whereas Bane’s not that. Bane’s a superhero villain. So that’s what the violence is there to imply, and the style is heavy handed, heavy footed.
Hollywood hardman Tom Hardy sounds like he’s got his hands full on Christmas Day with the meal he’s planning.
Tom, who can always be relied on for a bonkers quote, said: “I’m doing a massive pig roast at my girlfriend’s dad’s house. I wouldn’t say it was a massive success last year because it’s never good to hear a pig got killed, is it?
“I can’t celebrate that as it’s not cool.”
The actor, who was Batman baddie Bane in The Dark Knight Rises, went on: “It’s wrong, right? It’s like eating your dog if you think about it and I can’t eat my dog. So I’m not sure if I can eat the pig.”
How about turkey, Tom? Just an idea.
- Tom in today’s Sunday Mirror - and above looking appropriately sad for the pig.
Tom Hardy interviewed at the Jack Reacher premiere on Monday. He says a few words about Mad Max! He’s very pleased with the film. And apparently, he flew in to the UK from South Africa the same morning!
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