Sunday, October 2, 2022

Tom Hardy: ‘I was 10ft from nervous backstage before Freaky Friday’

Actor was even more excited to visit London than his latest movie Venom, in which he plays antihero

Tom Hardy, the British actor who appeared in Danny Boyle’s technologically savvy war movie Baby Driver, talked to the Observer as he prepped for his next project. He’s currently reprising his role as Eddie Brock – the antihero he first portrayed in the Sam Raimi film of the same name in 2007 – in the sequel Venom, which Sony Pictures will release in February. It’s one of the more eagerly anticipated films of the year, and in an exclusive conversation, he divulged more.

I was watching a film called Lost City of Z, which I loved. It opened a little while ago and I haven’t seen it but I am a little bit in love with it. I love those films, I always do. I saw The Lost City of Z the other night at the cinema in Cannes, and so it was fantastic to watch that, and to be able to understand and appreciate this film as much as I do.

That’s the type of film I like: I love the Western, a couple of days ago I really enjoyed Destroyer. I’m a big fan of Kathryn Bigelow, [I loved her film The Hurt Locker.] And she’s another British film-maker – I want to be the next Bigelow. I love her, she’s incredible. She’s the best, I’m delighted to have her on the same team as me. I’m completely in awe of her, she’s extraordinary.

I was watching The Shape of Water this weekend, and I thought, wow, that was incredible. That was also one of my favourite films this year, it’s another film-maker. It’s Guillermo del Toro, I love his stuff, I like his aesthetic, I like his aesthetic within the world that he creates.

I’m also a fan of Tintin.

I mean, there’s something for everybody for me. We’re going through a cinematic transition right now. I saw something this weekend called The Upside, directed by Bryan Singer, and he’s amazing. I really enjoy his work. I’m not going to tell you which one I like more because then, when you see it, there’s going to be a difference.

I’m such a sucker for Sebastian Cabot’s King Lear as well. I love Walter Poirot, I love his invention of his character, I really enjoyed Simon Russell Beale’s performance in the National Theatre’s The Judas Kiss.

I’m actually a huge London fan, man. I went to the theatre on Saturday, and I was terrified to do it, because it was amazing and I had such high hopes for it. The thing is it was nine in the morning, and I was running down Bloomsbury Street, we were having dinner there, we were going to see a play. We bumped into the guys, and they had seats so I left the theatre but we went to see a play.

It was an improvised show, and I was doing two lines that were improvising. I get really nervous in front of the lights, because, even if you’re good in the booth, there’s not a lot to watch in the theatre. I always go to the Bar.

I was sat there doing my lines, and I just couldn’t believe it. I had never done such comedy. I found myself laughing so hard. I felt that great feeling of comedy that I’ve never felt before. So I was hugely excited to head back and do some more with Danny Boyle and Simon and do the show again. I go back for 10 more shows this week.

As told to Kate Ravilious

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