Tom Hardy on ‘Warrior’ and ‘The Dark Knight Rises’

Bane himself talks about why Warrior is different from all the other fight movies, and how Batman and Robin affects his portrayal of Bane.

Fred Topelby Fred Topel

Of course we would be excited just to talk to Tom Hardy about his MMA movie Warrior, but he’s also going to be Bane in The Dark Knight Rises. We know he can’t spoil anything about Bane but I managed to throw in a few questions he could answer, after digging into Warrior.


CraveOnline: Do you like rocking the MMA buzz cut?

Tom Hardy: This isn’t for MMA. This is because I forget to comb my hair.


CraveOnline: What have other movies not gotten right about MMA that you were able to bring to Warrior?

Tom Hardy: Truth. I like that there’s truth to it. You’ve got martial arts movies which are for the martial artists who like to see different moves and the acrobatics and skill set. It doesn’t necessarily have to have a storyline or it has a very simple storyline but it’s really into martial arts. These guys are very prolifically skilled, from your Ong Bak right through to the old school Bruce Lee movies. Then you have things like David Mamet’s Redbelt. David Mamet we all know is a great screenplay writer and a great playwright and director. If you like him, you like him. If you hate him, you really hate him. He’s somebody who’s into controversy. That’s David Mamet. He’s also a brown belt. I don’t know if you guys know that. He’s six years trained. Then you’ve got Never Back Down. We don’t have to go into it because we also represent Lionsgate. Then you have Gavin O’Connor’s take on the world of Miracle and sports movies, and then you have Pride and Glory, brothers again. Gavin’s got a thing about brothers and a thing about sports. What he’s brought to his vision of Warrior is like putting a microscope over the people that are actually participating in a sport such as MMA and actually de-stigmatizing the sport, showing you the athleticism of the sport, the discipline. Also he gives you two protagonists, one who’s fighting for country and for self, for reason toward his own self-centeredness and pain. He’s a marine but there’s other reasons why Tommy’s fighting. The fight is within Tommy. Then you’ve got somebody who’s actually an upstanding member of society, who’s a parent, who’s a teacher, who’s an athlete, who’s just fighting for financial reasons. These are normal people in extraordinary circumstances with the backdrop of MMA. So in that way, I think when you ask what does Warrior do for the MMA world where others have failed, it’s actually talking about it as a sport as opposed to making it a kung fu movie or martial arts movie. It’s like Rocky meets Kramer vs. Kramer if you like.


CraveOnline: Tommy seems like a creature of pure instinct. Was that something that factored into your portrayal of him?

Tom Hardy: Well, of course. I mean he is a very willful, feral, instinctive character. He’s a gorilla type. He’s an animal, in many ways a beast as it were of nature. But that only belies underneath a much softer center. He’s like a whirling dervish, a Tazmanian devil of rage but that’s because inside, as long as he’s emotionally in violent motion, and there’s stillness within him. So he’s still, that violence is within his head and contained, so a very still Tommy’s a dangerous Tommy. And a physically active Tommy is a quiet Tommy in the head. I think in violence there’s silence for Tommy.


CraveOnline: Have you just stayed in a constant state of muscle nonstop?

Tom Hardy: Me? No. No, I’ve gone and come back around again. Actually I’m heavier now than I was for Warrior. Now I’ve gone a bit heavier actually because Warrior I was 179. I’m now 190 for Bane. The Bat fans want me to be over 220 pounds, 400 pounds. Like dude…


CraveOnline: When the last Bane was so ridiculed, is it a relief that you can only go up?

Tom Hardy: You know what? I can’t even think like that. I can’t even think like that. All I can do is do my best. There’s nothing else you can do but I’m human and I do read things and I do look. My friends say, “Just don’t read it. Just ignore it.” I read it and I read comments and I cry. I can’t cry for everybody. I get on with my job and be the best that I can be. If I’m going to be the best person in the world, I’m going to be the best that I can be and just trust me. I trust Nolan.


CraveOnline: I think you look great.

Tom Hardy: Thank you very much.