Tom Hardy has a lot in common with The Dark Knight Rises co-star Christian Bale beyond just working with director Christopher Nolan three times. Both actors are famed for their dedicated and chameleonic approach to slipping into character that includes shedding weight, piling on the pounds, getting ripped and adopting a different accent for almost every role, so much so that a lot of either man’s fans genuinely have no idea what their normal speaking voice sounds like.
Over the years, Hardy’s accents have been one of the most hotly anticipated aspects of any new movie he attaches himself to, with his latest effort, Capone, perhaps the most bizarre yet. However, the hardest to decipher was undoubtedly Bane in the conclusion to the Dark Knight Trilogy, with a lot of people complaining that the sound mix made the hulking villain impossible to understand at certain points.
In a recent interview, Nolan was asked about characters in his movies adopting some of his own personality traits, and he revealed that Hardy once told him he was one of many influences behind Bane, although he doesn’t quite believe it.
“I think there is a slightly mischievous tendency on the part of actors to see in the filmmakers where as a writer, particularly writer/directors, were able to put a bit of themselves into something and then build on that. Tom Hardy maintains that Bane is somehow based on me, but in Tom’s mind there’s some very complex interweaving of impulses and influences that somehow I have a voice in.”
Nolan is known for showing up to set every day in a pristine suit and sports a cut glass British accent, so you can understand why he would be confused by Hardy’s admission. The Revenant star gained 30 pounds of solid muscle for The Dark Knight Rises and said around the time of the movie’s release that the accent was drawn from a number of inspirations including bare-knuckle boxer Bartley Gorman, who dubbed himself ‘King of the Gypsies.’ Quite how that ties back to the prim and proper Nolan is anyone’s guess, but we’re not exactly in a position to question Hardy’s methods.