I'm not trying to better Joker, says Tom Hardy
Hollywood actor on playing the bad guy in 'The Dark Knight Rises' and the inevitable comparisons with Heath Ledger
Don’t you think you’ll be stereotyped as an action star given the recent spate of films you’ve worked in?
Some of my films have been action-oriented, true, but the plot, the premise and the character in each one of them are very different from each other.
Heath Ledger has set quite a high expectation as Joker in Dark Knight; do you fear not meeting that expectation?
I had no apprehension about taking the part of Bane. That would be like putting myself in a competition with somebody who’s clearly brilliant. Besides, it’s not a question of whose talent or work is greater. I’m not trying to better anyone else. What he did was amazing. That’s that. I got a part I wanted to play and I did that.
Joker was known for creating chaos, Bane is known for instilling pain… what other differences do you see?
The Joker didn't care. He just wanted to see the world burn. Bane is not that guy. There is a very meticulous and calculated way about him. There’s a huge orchestration of organisation to his ambition. He’s also a physical threat to Batman. There is nothing vague about Bane. He's a very clean, clear villain.
Were you a fan of superhero comics before the role was offered to you?
To be honest, I had no immediate knowledge of Batman at all. Got to say I’m quite aloof that way.
What was the most challenging aspect?
One was the workout sessions required to bulk up and other was wearing that mask for the entire film! You just put it on, you know? (Laughs) And then it’s on and it’s hard to breathe and you can’t hear anyone and no one can see me speak.
Nolan worked with you in 'Inception' too. How does that make you feel because it certainly seems that Nolan has a team now that includes you?
I love working with Chris. There’s a distinct lack of ego when you work with him. It’s wonderful. He helps in creating an environment, which is intimate and gentle.
What’s your comment on non-American actors like yourself, Michael Fassbender, Daniel Radcliffe and Robert Pattinson making a remarkable foray into Hollywood?
I think British actors have been a part of Hollywood for a long time now and I guess we are simply living up to the set pattern.
Have you watched Bollywood films by any chance?
Of course! I have watched a few and I believe they are fantastic.