Just a mere matter of minutes ago I had the pleasure of speaking to Tom Hardy (Inception) and Joel Edgerton (Animal Kingdom) about their upcoming film Warrior. Warrior follows two estranged brothers (Hardy and Edgerton) on their paths to the biggest MMA fight of their careers – against each other. Since Hardy and Edgerton are two of Hollywood’s biggest up-and-coming stars, I wanted to post what they had to see as fast as possible.
Continue reading to see what Edgerton and Hardy had to say about Warrior and their incredible slates of future projects, including The Great Gatsby, Mad Max: Fury Road and David Yates’ Al Capone biopic. And of course, you can expect a very typical Christopher Nolan-esque response from Tom Hardy about his role in The Dark Knight Rises.
On their respective backgrounds in fighting before Warrior:
Hardy, despite playing many hugely physical roles in Bronson and Inception, had no prior training in martial arts whatsoever. Edgerton actually had a bit of a history, as he had studied karate as a teenager.
On coordinating their American accents for the film:
Hardy is British and Edgerton is Australian, so they had to work very hard to make sure their American accents were in sync. They worked with a dialect coach together to find a common approach to an east coast accent.
Tom Hardy on almost quitting acting a few years ago:
Hardy had studied acting in Britain and aspired to be a character actor. However, he struggled to get the types of roles he wanted (he joked it was because of his teeth) and was viewed as too interesting and quirky looking to be a traditional straight lead. He seriously considered quitting acting until he met Nicholas Winding Refn on Bronson, which led to a total career revitalization. Through Bronson, he was able to book his role in Inception, which has no led him to roles in The Dark Knight Rises, Mad Max, and more.
On the tonal aspirations for Warrior:
Hardy spoke about his great love of old-school 70s gritty films, like Mean Streets. He found the family element of Warrior to be most important and he strived to create the same gritty, blue-collar vibe as his favorite 70s films. Edgerton loved that the story follows two protagonists, and even though the film builds to a fight between them, there really is no villain. Both actors chose to do many of their own fights and stunts out of respect and love for the material.
On the on-set atmosphere of Warrior:
Hardy spoke about expecting a very intense and testosterone filled set, but he found that the stunt teams and trainers were very gentle and helpful to him and Joel. On-set Joel and Tom studied a lot of real MMA fighters, and some of their favorite moves from real fights were featured in the film, but they also took great pain to not mimic the styles of real fighters.
On their characters’ fighting styles:
Even though Hardy and Bane watched a lot of MMA fighters to prepare, their characters’ fighting styles are more built after the psychology of the characters, rather than stealing moves from real fighters. Hardy’s character is aggressive and powerful, whereas Edgerton’s character takes more of a beating and is less aggressive.
Edgerton on The Great Gatsby and his Kathryn Bigelow/Navy Seal Team film:
Edgerton will next film Gatsby in Australia starting in September. Director Baz Luhrman chose Australia because not only is it his home country, but the film will receive massive tax breaks. Edgerton will film with Bigelow after Gatsby.
Hardy on his Al Capone film at Warner Bros:
Hardy is really excited for the challenge of playing Capone because unlike when he played Charles Bronson, he won’t be able to visit Capone at all. He was giddy about getting to study the character and prepare for the role. He mentioned that David Yates is still in the mix to direct. He’s not sure if it will film later this year before Mad Max, or after.
Hardy on playing Bane in The Dark Knight Rises:
The second Batman was brought up, Hardy quickly said he “can’t talk about Bane. I don’t want to waste your time. I can’t tell you anything.” Disappointing, but expected. Expect to hear a lot of these responses from the cast of Christopher Nolan’s latest in the next year. Edgerton joked that he was selling Bane information, so if anyone knows his number, give him a call.
Click here for all our Comic-Con 2011 coverage.