Stories, not blockbuster paychecks, turn Tom Hardy on

13th May 2015, Comments 0 comments

Tom Hardy, the 37-year-old British actor who's played Batman villain Bane, a supporting role in "Inception" alongside Leonardo DiCaprio, and now the title role in "Mad Max: Fury Road" says stories, not money, is what draws him to acting.

The rising star sat down with a small group of journalists ahead of "Fury Road"'s screening at the Cannes Film Festival on Thursday to talk about taking over from Mel Gibson, and how he sees his craft.

-- On the film:

"It's Mel Gibson that you expect. What you don't get, here, is what you expect. And that's what's wonderful. The lead of this movie is a female amputee. It's a total empowerment of women. It's actually about fucking time.

"It's a really epic action movie which is well-thought out. It's been meditated on by a wise elder -- George Miller's delivered something that is far more youthful than a lot of directors half his age. He's kind of left them in the dust a bit.

"You also get a movie that is relentless and incredibly visceral. It's like watching the Cirque de Soleil at some Led Zeppelin fetish club."

-- On filling Mel Gibson's shoes:

"It's something to get excited about and tell your mum and your friends, and you're so happy because you're doing something, which is meaningful and exciting.

"Then all of a sudden you realise that it belongs to someone called Mel Gibson, who everyone loves, and it's not a grey area. "Mad Max" is synonymous with Mel Gibson -- there can be no other Mad Max: 'Here is your wonderful opportunity -- but! You will fail to fill these shoes.' How fucking harsh."

-- On jumping between arthouse and blockbuster films:

"Something that really fucking dicks me off is this stigma between acting 'classes': you know, like movie actors, or film actors, TV, independent films, stage, theatre, you know. Apart from musicals, well you know, musicals -- I just can't sing.

"There's no difference between a zero-dollar performance and a $20-million performance. It doesn't matter. What matters is the story and the team and the work.

"In film you have to crash everything into two hours, it's very disappointing sometimes: you work your arse off and you see the edit and it's like, 'But we shot so much more' and it's just being tanked into this box.

"A goldfish grows to the size of its bowl. So if you're in a big movie, you have to grow it to that size and work in that machine. If you're on the stage, the same. Different disciplines, same heart."

© 2015 AFP

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