Another French interview with Tom Hardy, translated by me. From the magazine VSD, issue of 13-19 sept 2012. And Tom, I think you’ll find there are PLENTY of people who’ll pay lots and lots just to see your amazingly wonderful face. :)
Scars on the soul
Butter wouldn’t melt in his full-lipped mouth. But the sparkle in his eyes suggests a few return trips from hell. At 35 years, Tom Hardy has already lived several lives. And he doesn’t try to hide it, far from the guns of Hollywood where you know everything but nothing is said. His latest, current, life is by far the most calm. After his role as the booming, unconventional prisoner in Bronson, after years of minor roles, the Brit did Inception, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Warrior, This Means War, The Dark Knight Rises, where he plays Batman’s enemy, and Lawless, where he’s as big as he is mute. In short, at this moment, Hardy is in flavour.
“Don’t overestimate me,” he laughed at the last Cannes Film Festival where Lawless was presented. “I’m not a bankable actor and I don’t think I’ll ever be. If certain films will be successful, I don’t think you could find a single person who payed just to see my mug.” Even though he’s headlining a film, Tom Hardy isn’t looking for it. “I have this very thorough list of requirements. I prefer authentic, honest films, in which I won’t be ashamed to invest myself to the max.”
Among some of his colleagues, that statement would seem staged. But you only have to look at Tom Hardy’s body to realise that, with him, it’s a principal of life. For which he’s had to pay a high price. In his youth, the actor discovered a passion for alcohol and crack. Addictions he finished at 25. “I have no excuse. My parents were artists who worked hard for me to flourish. I had a completely normal childhood. But I did stupid things, like a little brat. And I wasn’t far from ending up in jail, or dead. My parents have never let me down.”
He shows a scar on a torso filled with tattoos. “I’m learning to live with myself. It’s a struggle every day. For a long time I thought of myself as shit. My parents have taught me to love the truth and hate hypocrisy and appearances. And then I chose to be an actor. A craft where you pretend to be someone in an environment where appearances rule! I’m learning from now on to use this contradiction and invest as much as I can in what I do. But I know that I’m still very vulnerable. My wounds haven’t healed yet. And when you throw sand into them, it hurts like hell.”
Within the next few weeks, Tom Hardy will get into the skin of Mad Max. “There’s an enormous pressure on me, but I’m excited like never before! A few days ago, I met with Mel Gibson. He told me he was impressed: the production has found someone crazier than he was at the time… I think he just wanted to be kind!”