"And there should be no difference to your input, the output is up to somebody else. So the process, it changes and whatever it takes to get there, but the work is the work and that’s really, bottom line what it is, I’m just grateful to be working. So when you meet people who are super talented, then it doesn’t matter what form it is. If you have the time, you do the job."
From ABC news:
Asked by the Wall Street Journal if the fact that he’s starring in the movie, Rocketman, means he’ll be singing Elton’s biggest hits, Hardy replied, “Yeah, I hope so…But that’s terrifying me. I can’t hold a tune to save my life. God knows how I’m going to do that.” But when asked to confirm that he really can’t sing, Hardy told ABC News Radio, “It sounds more interesting to believe somebody who can’t sing is playing Elton John, doesn’t it? So, I try to be interesting wherever possible.”
Hardy continues, “I’m not very interesting. So, it’s one of those marketing ploys. ‘The guy can’t sing. He’s going to play Elton. He’s bound to fail,’ you know, that kind of thing.”
OK, so Hardy can sing. But that doesn’t mean portraying one of music’s all-time greats is going to be a walk in the park for him, either. Hardy, who’s best known for his roles in Inception and The Dark Knight Rises — he memorably played Bane, the villain, in the latter movie — says he agreed to star in Rocketman precisely because it’s going to be a challenge.
“You know, I have to say yes, because it’s something that I don’t think I can do, and that’s exciting, and it’s out of my comfort zone,” he tells ABC News Radio. “Because…you know, Elton John is so specifically Elton John and I’m not him. So, I’m drawn toward that which I think I will probably fail at doing. And then there’s some level of, sort of, pleasure in trying to dig myself out of the hole.”
A very lovely and funny interview with Tom & Steven from Indiewire’s Anne Thompson. :)
I especially love from around 9:40, where Tom reveals that the guy he partly modeled Ivan on is not Welsh, and Steven Knight learns this for the first time. Adorably funny!
10 Things We Learned from Tom’s AMA
Reddit AMA (ask me anything) livechats can be hit and miss, but I think Tom and Steven Knight gave thoughtful, candid and funny replies while in the hotseats this week for their film Locke. That’s despite the session being engulfed by 4chan pranksters slinging Bane quotes masquerading as questions. Ha. Tom was his usual charming self and his straight-talk was as refreshing and bs-free as ever. Here are 10 forthright answers._______________________________________________
1. He wishes more people knew he’s not crazy.Q: What’s something you wish more people knew about you?
A: That I’m not crazy. I’m actually not crazy, that I genuinely care. And I’m actually rather pedestrian, and genuinely honest._______________________________________________
2. He was slugging shots of Beechams (cold med) while filming Locke.Q: Was there any stuntwork in Locke?A: There were no stunts. I drank my own Beechams, which is like Dayquil._______________________________________________
3. The man on whom he based his Welsh accent in Locke is not actually Welsh.A: I met a man who I based Ivan Locke upon. He had very similar characteristics, he was calm and effective under duress, took me around Kabul for a week. And then I found out after I based the character on him, this week in fact, just yesterday, he’s not Welsh. We don’t know what he was. Which would explain my poor accent._______________________________________________
4. Crepes over waffles.Q: What are your thoughts on pancakes vs waffles?A: Seriously? When somebody waffles, they talk a lot of shit, and a pancake is something you can eat. I’d go for a crepe._______________________________________________
5. He won’t work with the director of Bronson again.Q: Bronson is one of my favorite films and characters. Do you plan on doing any more work with Refn?A: No, I don’t plan on ever doing any work with Refn again. I think he’s better off where he is, doing well without me._______________________________________________
6. While Tom was filming Locke, his dog Woodstock morphed into a donkey.Q: Something interesting that happened during the filming of Locke?A: My dog would work the catering line every evening. He put on about 3 stone in 5 days. That’s about 90 pounds. I went with a Labrador, I came home with a donkey._______________________________________________
7. As a director, he’ll never ask actors to do something he can’t do himself.A: Directing has absolutely been an interest. I wouldn’t ask somebody to do something that I couldn’t do myself, and I love drama. I love playing characters. So for me, directing is more about storytelling than technical application, so I’d obviously delegate to a team that knows better than me how to do that, but I’d love to direct._______________________________________________
8. He quit twitter because the trolls made it un-fun.Q: Why did you delete your Twitter account (twice!)?!A: I deleted my twitter account because they’re unmanageable and they become a place of harassment and not as much fun as I would have liked it to be._______________________________________________
9. Gerard Butler smells uniquely…Scottish.Q: My question is, what attracts you to roles where you have to go beast? Also, you slow danced with Gerard Butler. What does he smell like?A: Beastiality. And Gerard smells Scottish._______________________________________________
10. He’d eat through his own underpants to work for Chris NolanA: Chris Nolan is…wow. Chris Nolan is the grandmaster of orchestrating huge multifaceted movies and storytelling with visual effects and technical wizardry, right down to the finest detail. If he asked me to read a shopping list off the back of a flipflop, I would eat through my own underpants to get to him. That’s what it was like.
Extra: Asked if people shout Inception or The Dark Knight Rises quotes at him, and whether it gets annoying (heh), Tom said: “No they don’t, and I imagine it would get annoying. But I would deal with it with grace and compassion.”
And to all, a good weekend!
From another interview with Tom (and Steven) at Grantland. He never stops being entertaining, does he?
Tom Hardy subscribes to the “Fake It to Make It” method of acting. Hardy needs it in those moments when he doesn’t believe a word of what he’s saying, but knows it must work. The film is his mission. Failure is not an option. And the last thing he wants to do is drown himself in Master Thespian–style “Aaaaacting!”
“There are so many fucking wankers out there that talk about the craft and the art,” Hardy says from a New York hotel room earlier this week. “When people talk about it, nines times out of 10, they’re full of shit. Basic Lying 101 is what it comes down to. Don’t get me wrong, there is a huge amount of craft and a huge amount of passion that goes into a vocation in the arts, but it comes to the point where you go: Is it fun? Am I enjoying myself? Am I connecting?”
Perched on a leather chair, vaping from the only e-cigarette to ever qualify as “badass,” the 36-year-old Hardy explained the making of his new movie, Locke, the same way his character might: quietly, viciously, and with conviction. It’s that enigmatic and “no bullshit” personality — along with his classical training and newfound Hollywood stardom — that drew writer-director Steven Knight, who wrote the screenplay for David Cronenberg’s Eastern Promises, to the actor.
Hardy may shy away from thespian philosophies, but he credits formal training with making him aware — and then effortlessly unaware — of his elaborate technological surroundings. He described “the burn,” a screen-acting technique, like Ricky Jay might a magic trick.
“Regular cameras are a bit like where the sun is at, where you’re trying to get a tan, you know where it is, so then you have to just ignore it,” he says. “Or the person that you’re trying to impress in the room — you’re aware of their presence but you don’t want to let them know that you’ve acknowledged that they’re there.”
From an interview with Tom (and Steven) about Locke (I love how the guy he copied the accent from isn’t Welsh!):
What was it like to perform it more like a play than a traditional film?
It definitely didn’t feel like work for me, it was good fun. When I first met Steve for this particular job, it was at a concept stage. So when the script came in it was a work in progress and it continued to be a work in progress throughout shooting it. In that way it was like a contemporary theater piece. It was a moveable object in many ways because it was an exercise as opposed to a script in a film in a conventional sense. It was a much more organic process. It was all one package as opposed to “Here’s the script, turn up on the shoot dates.” It was more like a workshop environment as opposed to an orthodox –
Did you find your performance changing as you shot the script again and again each night?
Yeah, because I didn’t learn the lines. It was more of a sight reading exercise. You could depend on what somebody was saying to you and how they’re effected instead of being locked into sort of a rehearsed reaction. There’s no posing because it was a live feed because there was an eye-to-ear coordination of listening and reacting to what is going on in the moment. So, yes, there was changes in every single take. We’d fish for different options so it was never repetitive, it was always fresh. Obviously the script moves on it’s own volition anyway, but how we got there was different on most nights. It was really freeing actually because the constraints were all set in place with the car and the script. What was free-flowing was the actual dialogue and that was written verbatim, so it was said and spoken verbatim. There’s a different freedom from being completely locked down. For me it was very refreshing and it sounds alive.
You don’t act off the line. It’s not like you pause and think about how you say the line because you’re in a conversation and you’re listening, you have to respond in real time depending on what’s been given to you. There’s no need to crowbar any acting on to it. Pretty much nine-tenths of what I say, Ivan’s either trying to put out a fire or he’s opening up a new dynamic whereby the fire gets bigger than he has to put it out again. It’s in-between points of exposition and calming. It was a very basic, simple script in many ways for an actor to read so you don’t have to put a character on to it, it will do it itself, just leave it alone, which was incredibly freeing as well because you can really play with it and be very, very free. That’s what was exciting about it.
What about the physical aspect of it, filming in a car instead of on a set?
Again, really freeing because you’ve got limited work space. Obviously you’ve got to stay on the road with the car, but the GPS is going in a straight line, the story is going in a straight line, you can only end up where you’re going. The car then becomes a lateral environment. There’s the window, and the passenger seat is where all the meaningful objects are. We have the telephone, the GPS system unit, which is a character, and then the road ahead of us and this sort of hypnotic world around us.
Tom, I’ve read before that you look to real people to inspire your characters. Did anyone inspire Ivan?
Yeah. I love to chase down that which is authentic and hold on to it. There’s a very legitimate reason for choosing Ivan’s Welsh accent. Legitimately we had to find somebody who was in a working class, but had built himself from the floor up and had found himself in a position of success. The Welsh accent, it’s quite a terrain, sort of rocks and hills and sheep. In my mind, the men that come from [Wales] have a certain gravitas and integrity. There’s a durability to them and an inner strength, but there’s also a very gentle nature to their tone. Technically if Ivan Locke is going to be calm and putting out fires, he’s going to sound something like Richard Burton. Also, you can tell this is a working man. So I found a man, I found the man, actually. I thought, “This is it.” I spent a good amount of time listening to this man for a solid week. I said “This is Ivan Locke.” So I copied the guy, to the letter. A little bit of Richard Burton influenced me, a little bit of Ivor the Engine and Fireman Sam, but it was Bill Freear, that was this guy. Suddenly I told Bill I based this character on him. The Welsh press got in touch with him and they wanted an interview. Bill took the call and — he’s not Welsh, at all! [Laughs]
Knight: Where is he from?
Hardy: No fucking idea! But he’s not Welsh. He said, “I’m sorry Tom, I did tell them that I do like sheep.” So I based it on someone who wasn’t Welsh and if anybody’s questioning my Welsh accent they have good reason to. But that’s the truth.
Tom Hardy on the unconventional approach to making ‘Locke’
All questions answered by Tom in the Reddit AMA:
Q: Many people have been puzzled over some of the dialogue in Dark Knight Rises. This piece of dialogue has attracted the most amount of discussion.
CIA: You’re a big guy Bane: For you
Is he saying “I am a big guy compared to you” or “it will be painful for you if you pull of my mask” ?
A: It was written meaning it would be painful for you, but I intoned it meaning “I’m a big guy for you.”
Q: What’s the next step of your masterplan after this AMA?
A: Some push-ups.
Q: Why would someone shoot a man, before throwing him out of a plane?
A: To make sure he’s dead, I suppose.
Q: For Tom: How did you bulk up to be such a big guy for the Dark Knight Rises?
A: I ate a lot. Got a gym instructor. Hung out with a stunt team, like, take a few months, and pile it on. It’s work.
Q: Hey Tom, was doing this AMA part of your plan?
A: Of course.
Q: Was there any stuntwork in Locke - if so did tom do his own stunts, he seems to be a big guy, but I can imagine stunts gone wrong would be extremely painful
A: There were no stunts. I drank my own Beachams which is like Dayquil.
Q: Tom, if there was one bit of advice you would give to all aspiring artists, entertainers, performers, and young adults in general what would you give? For all us fans out there who look up to you a great deal, what would you say to those younger who are seeking out a place for themselves in this world? Would really appreciate an answer to this. You are like a mentor to me. For Steven - How would you say Locke’s filming went compared to other films you’ve directed/worked on, and have you ever taken such a leap of faith before on a film?
A: For artists, entertainers and performers: remember whatever is most important to you about your talent and why you got involved with the arts in the first place, because this will be your closest friend and ally. Work on your weaknesses. And go always with your strengths. Find your own voice, and stay true to it.
And for young people in general: whatever it is that you’re good at, believe in yourself and follow that path, and don’t let anybody tell you you can’t do what you believe instinctively is right for you. Find anyone, anywhere who will help you develop that, even if it’s just one person, and badger them to help you get whatever you need, because you generally can do whatever it is you want to do, you just have to find the right people to help you implement that.
And NEVER, ever be afraid or ashamed of making a mistake. The only mistake you can make is not making the effort to make a mistake for fear of shame or humiliation or anything.
Q: Hey guys, thank you so much for hanging out with us today!
Tom, cliché as it may sound I have to thank you. Your portrayal of Stuart Shorter is what sparked my interest in mental health and is the reason I’m a nurse in child and adolescent psychiatry pursuing my doctorate at one of the most renowned hospitals in the U.S. So genuinely, thank you!
What’s something you wish more people knew about you?
A: That I’m not crazy. I’m actually not crazy, that I genuinely care. And I’m actually rather pedestrian, and genuinely honest.
Q: Tom - is there anyone you’re dying to work with/work with again? Steven - same question.
Q: Hi to both of you! Huge fan! I was wondering if it was a joint desicion to speak in a welsh accent for Locke? And if so how did that come about? Thanks! PS. Peaky blinders rules!!
A: (Steven): Tom’s decision.
A: (Tom) Yes, I met a man who I based Ivan Locke upon. He had very similar characteristics, he was calm and effective under duress, took me around Kabul for a week. And then I found out after I based the character on him, this week in fact, just yesterday, he’s not Welsh. We don’t know what he was. Which would explain my poor accent. And on another note, we needed to find a grassroots accent for a man who’d worked from the floor up to become successful in the construction industry, so of all the regional dialects around the British Isles, the Welsh seemed a gentle, calm and mellifluous tone for Ivan to deliver what he had to say as gently as possible.
Q: I saw Locke last weekend, really enjoyed it.
How did you manage to sustain the drama/tension when quite a lot of the movie involved discussing concrete?
A: (Steven) Concrete is intrinsically interesting.
A: (Tom) We used the concrete as a springboard into dramatic flair.
Q: do people shout inception or the dark knight rises quotes at you? does it get annoying?
A: No they don’t, and I imagine it would get annoying. But I would deal with it with grace and compassion.
Q: Hello there, thanks for the AMA. I will definitely be watching Locke, looks really good. I have two questions for you: 1) For both Steven and Tom: Are there more challenges associated with a film such as Locke when there is just 1 actor on screen for the duration of the film? 2) This is for Tom: I thought you were great on Band of Brothers. What was it like on set working with people such as Damien Lewis and Michael Fassbender?
A: No, not really, unless you buy into the idea of it being only one person in the world. There was an ensemble there. The camera just happened to be pointing at me.
I never actually got to work with them, but I went to school with Michael, he was in the third year when I was in the first year. So he’s an old blue.
Q: Tom Hardy, you are my absolute favorite actor. Every role I see you in, whether you are the lead or a side character, your dedication as an actor shines through. You are able to bring every character you play to life so perfectly that it’s hard to believe you didn’t train your whole life for each role. I have two questions. First, Bronson is one of my favorite films and characters. Do you plan on doing anymore work with Refn? And what advice would you give to those who also wish to be actors?
A: No, I don’t play on ever doing any work with Refn again. I think he’s better off where he is, doing well without me. And you must stick with what you know, and in order to reinforce your strengths, work on what you’re most frightened of, and really challenge yourself when it comes to work you find intimidating, or nervous-making, or anxiety-filled, in the quiet of your own home, without causing any harm. Train hard and smart.
Q: I love the idea of Locke, how self-contained and experimental this type of film is. What were the biggest difficulties, directing and acting, in approaching something like this?
A: In all honesty, the only challenge was not making the effort to try to challenge oneself at approaching something, or a project such as this, defying a generic formula.
Q: Hey there Steven and Tom, good luck with the film! I’m looking forward to watching it soon! Tom, you have no idea how big an inspiration you have been for me to get back into shape. Thanks!
A: You’re welcome, thank you!
Q: What do you feel was your most challenging role?
A: All of them have been a challenge in their own ways, and they continue to be, and I love each one of them for that.
Q: Hey Steven and Tom!
After reading the synopsis for Locke, I cannot wait to see how you guys pull off a film that seems to primarily focus on Tom’s character being restrained to the seat of his car for the duration of it.
Knowing this, my question would have to be for both of you: if you could be a fly on the wall and watch the day in the life of any historical figure, whose life would you be most interested in seeing?
Side note: Tom, I am a ginormously huge fan and actually first became familiar with your work fairly recently when my mom and I were at the movies one night and had no idea what to watch so we decided on Lawless. Your work as Forrest was fucking mesmerizing and thank you for being a part of such a fantastic film. Love you <3
A: Does your mother know you swear?
There’s too many to choose. In all honesty. Me! As a child!
Q: For Tom. (Sorry Steven i love you too) When it came to the accent that Bane has. did it come naturally to you? or did Nolan already have something for you (if that makes sense). Another thing, what was it like to work with Chris Pine? was he funny?
A: Yes, it came naturally for me. It came from a man called Bartley Gorman, who is a bare knuckle fighter known as “the king of the gypsies,” Romany, hence the Latin connection.
Q: I really loved you in Band of Brothers, could you please tell us how working on that was like? Especially with such a big cast that went on to become really famous.
A: It was amazing, that was my first job. And it was a lot to pickup and learn from. It’s where I first learned everything from what a mark was to what a focus puller was, to camera angles, coordinating my way around a film set. So it was an utter privilege as well as being part of a piece which was so important to so many people, including the veterans that were still alive whilst we were shooting it.
Q: Questions for both of you… As British artists how do you feel about the state of British cinema? Do we Brits rely too much on imports to the point where it hurts our own industry? Can we compete with Hollywood?
Steven, do you prefer to direct your own screenplays or just write them like you did with Eastern Promises? How much control do you have over your screenplay once you have sold the rights?
Not really a question but I rewatched Inception again today and I have to say, Tom, you’re awesome! Just keep doing what you’re doing.
A: (Steven) I think British Cinema is in a pretty good state. Particularly regarding actors and actresses. Writing and directing are different disciplines. If I’m writing for a studio, then you have to accept that you have no control over what happens to it when it leaves your keyboard.
I prefer to direct providing the shooting schedule is only 10 days long, which was the case with Locke.
A: (Tom) I’d like to see a more thriving British film industry and cinema, and I would like to see more British-based studios and infrastructures for artists. Polydynamic, from technical to acting/writing/directing aspects. I think we have the talent, I think the funds are available, and we have to link them together for this generation properly. Someone has to get ahold of that and bring it together. Not just one person, there are a lot of people who need to put their hands together and focus on resurrecting what was once a truly thriving and creative industry.
There’s nothing wrong with exporting talent as well, and I think a diverse and amicable back and forth between America, the UK and Europe is essential to thoroughly develop all the homegrown talent and bring them all assets available to successful fruition.
Q: What sort of unique challenges are there in filming in just one location, especially one as small as the interior of a car, versus say filming in a more varied set?
A: It’s a micro-climate, so you’re working laterals in a smaller area, you’re reduced to simple traces, but they have to be more specific.
Q: I am a huge fan of yours, and Inception and TDKR are my two favorite movies of all time, with Bronson and Warrior pretty close. My question is, what was it like working with Christopher Nolan, and how did it feel to join the Batman franchise?
BTW, it would be awesome if you can say “Hey Labcoates, you’re more awesome than Jenn!”.
Thanks man, and good luck!
A: Hey Labcoates, you’re more awesome than Jenn!
Chris Nolan is…wow. Chris Nolan is the grandmaster of orchestrating huge multifaceted movies and storytelling with visual effects and technical wizardry, right down to the finest detail. If he asked me to read a shopping list off the back of a flipflop, I would eat through my own underpants to get to him. That’s what it was like.
Q: Thanks for Warrior Mr. Hardy. Best damn fighting movie I’ve seen.
A: Thank you very much! Wanna fight?
Q: For Tom, did you initially have any hesitations in taking this part? And did you find more difficult at all compared to everything else you’ve done?
Thank you both for making this film! I am looking forward to seeing it very soon!
A: No, I didn’t. And thank you. Let me know what you think. It was a no-brainer. And it was an unprecedented privilege to work with Steven Knight. Put that in writing.
Q: What was your favorite tv show as a kid?
A: Neighbors and Home And Away.
And I used to watch Taxi Driver and things my father said I couldn’t.
Q: Oh shit oh shit ohshiiiiiit this is the closest I will ever get to talking to Tom Hardy and I don’t have a question
Uhhhh I will say that Tom, I am a huge fan, and any chance you’ll be doing more theatre work anytime soon?
A: Yeah, of course. That’s a lovely thing to say by the way, thank you.
Q: Mr.knight do you Plan on doing any more movies with Vigo mortison
A: (Steven) It would be fantastic to work with Viggo again.
A: (Tom) yes.
Q: If you never got into the film industry, what would you be doing right now?
A: (Tom) Robbing banks.
A: (Steven) Shooting horses.
A: (Tom) Being in the army or navy, in a nice hat.
Q: is LOCKE a villain? or villainous in any way?
A: No, it’s just the beard.
Q: Tom: How do you pick and choose what characteristics your characters have and do you keep some of them for yourself? like Bronson’s laugh or Eames’ sharp wit?
A: They just happen? It’s an organic thing that just happens. Either through observation or meditation. And yes, it takes a while to wash the traces of characters off. Otherwise, they would become mannerisms and tricks and tics that i would take into other characters.
Q: Helloooo Tom. What are your thoughts on pancakes vs waffles?
When somebody waffles, they talk a lot of shit, and a pancake is something you can eat.
I’d go for a crepe.
Q: Tom, if you could have any kind of dog, what kind would you have? (Ps. Can’t wait to see The Drop. :)
A: I have 2 dogs. I’m not allowed any more. They are a handful.
Q: Tom-what were the challenges of playing Ivan and how did you prepare for a role that required you to develop connections with people simply through phone conversations?
A: Life. It’s true though.
Q: Where is the strangest place someone has asked you for an autograph?
A: Meaning what? Location on their body, or geographically?
Q: Question for Mr. Knight and Mr. Hardy: what are some of your favorite movies?
A: I have so many that it’s hard to put them all down.
Q: Hey Tom, would you rather fight 100 duck sized horses, or a horse sized duck?
A: The duck-sized horses of course. With a hammer. Or a tennis racket.
Q: For both Tom and Steven: What is something interesting that happened during the filming of Locke that you can share?
A: My dog would work the catering line every evening. He put on about 3 stone in 5 days. That’s about 90 pounds. I went with a labrador, I came home with a donkey.
Q: Mr. hardy what has been your favorite part to play and what part would you like to play again?
A: I haven’t got a favorite part. Maybe Stuart, and Forrest, and Ivan, and I’ve loved them all. And there’s no need to play them again.
Apart from maybe Ivan and the long red row on film and Ivan has to go onstage.
Q: Hello Steven & Tom - I’m looking forward to seeing Locke next week here in the States. Congrats on its great reviews.
Tom - Were you nervous about your performance prior to filming Locke? And why did you delete your Twitter account (twice!)?!
A: No, I wasn’t nervous. I love working. Especially with Steven. And I deleted my twitter account because they’re unmanageable and they become a place of harassment and not as much fun as I would have liked it to be.
"That’s so sad." said Victoria.
Q: Hi what was it like shooting in such a cramped, limited environment?
A: It’s noisy and you have to pick up the shells.
Q: Hi Steven I just want to thank you for bringing so much back to the midlands I am from wolverhampton myself will you continue to bring such fantastic film and stars back to your home town? and Tom did you find this movie as challenging as a big budget film?
A: (Steven) I’m committed to trying to start something in Birmingham regarding the film industry, theatre, etcetera.
A: (Tom) I’ll be there, too!
A: (Steven) Birmingham and the Black Country should unite…
A: (Tom) …with me…
A: (Steven) And make the West Midlands a film destination.
A: (Tom) Subject to availability.
Regarding challenges, they’re all the same to be honest. Everything has its own challenges, and provide opportunities for solution. And a goldfish grows to the size of its bowl.
An interview with Tom & Steven about Locke.
Just Tom talking about Locke … clear footage, no ads, no supers. Thanks again to UKFilmNews.
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