Tom attended the English National Ballet’s annual Nutcracker gala on December 14th. If you haven’t seen them yet, we have 59 photos in the gallery.
Christopher Nolan on Bane and Tom Hardy in the LA Times:
The “Rises” opening sequence takes place mostly in the air; it shows hooded prisoners being transported on a CIA plane and it reveals that this film’s evil mastermind, Bane, played by Tom Hardy, is not to be underestimated no matter the setting or situation. The sequence required some intense aerial work for Nolan and company and, as always, the director’s emphasis was on in-camera effects and stunt work as opposed to the pixelated painting that is the norm in today’s computer-generated Hollywood.
“We had a lot of fun on it,” Nolan said. “It was a tricky sequence to shoot but a lot of very talented people worked very hard on it. And I’m thrilled with the result. We shot it in Scotland. We braved the weather — it rains all the time there, a terrible place to do an aerial sequence, which is why no one has sort of done it before. You usually wind up in the desert or something for very practical reasons. But it really came off. We got very lucky with the weather and a lot of good planning went into it. I think it had a very unique look.”
“I didn’t know [Bane] very well,” Nolan said. “David Goyer got me a bunch of stuff on him and we looked into him. I only knew him by name, I wasn’t familiar with his back story. He’s a very cool character. And getting an actor like Tom to take it on, you know you’re going to get something very special. Tom is somebody who really knows how to put character into every gesture, every aspect of his physicality in the way that great actors can. He’s a very, very physical actor. He transforms himself and it’s there in every movement. He’s not afraid to look at a character from the outside as well as the inside so there’s a deep psychological branch to the character but also a very, very specific awareness of how he’s going to use his body and his appearance to express that character too. Christian is like that too, very much.”
He also said that Bane will test the bone and muscle of Wayne with unprecedented savagery.
“With Bane, the physicality is the thing,” Nolan said. “With a good villain you need an archetype, you know, you need the extreme of some type of villainy. The Joker is obviously a particular archetype of diabolical, chaotic anarchy and has a devilish sense of humor. Bane, to me, is something we haven’t dealt with in the films. We wanted to do something very different in this film. He’s a primarily physical villain, he’s a classic movie monster in a way — but with a terrific brain. I think he’s a fascinating character. I think people are going to get a kick out of what we’ve done with him.”
“[The 8-year jump in time] will make a lot more sense to people when they see the film,” Nolan said of the leap forward. “But it’s not a great mystery — it’s the jumping-off point for the film — but it’s hard for me to articulate it. I think the mood at the beginning of the film will make a lot of sense. If I had to express it thematically, I think what we’re saying is that for Batman and Commissioner Gordon, there’s a big sacrifice, a big compromise, at the end of the ‘The Dark Knight’ and for that to mean something, that sacrifice has to work and Gotham has to get better in a sense. They have to achieve something for the ending of that film — and the feeling at the end of that film — to have validity. Their sacrifice has to have meaning and it takes time to establish that and to show that, and that’s the primary reason we did that. It’s a time period that is not so far ahead that we would have to do crazy makeup or anything — which I think would be distracting — but it gave them something to get their teeth into, particularly Christian in terms of [portraying] this guy who has been frozen in this moment in time with nowhere to go. He really has done an incredible job figuring out how to characterize that and express that.”
And Christopher Nolan and Emma Thomas with IGN:
IGN: Did you always want to introduce Bane sort of physically in the middle of an action sequence? I would imagine the first thought would be, “We’ll introduce him in prison because that’s what people associate him with.” Can you talk about the genesis of how you wanted to introduce this character?
Christopher Nolan: Well, when you’re thinking about opening a film you want to lead in a striking way and with a very striking number of character-driven views. So you’re looking for a sequence that showcases this — in the case of Bane — his physicality and his aggression and devotion to his prize and this kind of thing. Those are all things that get wrapped up in there.
IGN: We know you selected Bane as the villain of this film because you wanted him to be a physical challenge for Batman. But he’s a character that, frankly, I didn’t really read up on until I heard that he was going to be in the movie. I knew that he was the guy who broke Batman’s back, and that’s kind of all I knew about him. But the more I read about him, the more I became kind of fascinated by him, that this is a guy who was raised in prison and all that. How much of that backstory, the elements that made him who he was, do you retain in the film? And if you don’t, were you worried at all that that would be like getting rid of Bruce Wayne seeing his parents shot, that impetus for why he is who he is?
Nolan: Well, the liberating thing about dealing with a lesser known villain is you feel more creative freedom to embrace the elements of that character you feel can serve your story and ignore those that won’t. But at the same time, we chose Bane because he has some very unique elements to who he is. As far as the emphasis to it in the film, I’m actually editing some right now, so you never quite know until it’s done. But we certainly intend to do justice to it, to the character I’ve written and to the comics. And I think the significance of Bane, in our eyes, is his strength as an antagonist to Batman. Everything must serve that, including the nature of his past and how that will play into the story.
IGN: Can you talk about the idea to start with Bane already being Bane. We don’t know how he got there, but —
Emma Thomas: And I think in some ways it’s kind of fun. In The Dark Knight we did the same thing when we introduced the Joker, and he was in mid-heist. And it very much, if you remember, it very much gave you the sense of who the Joker was. And I think the same thing goes for this prologue. Bane is already doing his thing, and you can see that he’s a brute. He’s a smart brute, but some things — there’s a real grandeur.
IGN: I know you guys have worked with Tom on Inception so were you already thinking about Dark Knight Rises and Bane when you were doing Inception? Were you looking at Tom like, “Oh yeah. That’s our guy.” At what point in the process did you say, “Tom should be Bane”?
Thomas: We already knew that Bane was the villain when we were shooting Inception. And actually as we were shooting, we did talk about how, wow, Tom would be perfect for Bane. We talked about that pretty early on. The issue that we had was that Tom was going to be doing another movie. He was committed to be in Fury Road, and we knew he wasn’t available. So every conversation that we had about how Tom was perfect to be Bane was sort of tinged with regret because we knew he couldn’t be. So as soon as we found out that that movie had pushed we approached him.
Gary Oldman on Tom:
And then the young one you seem to be working with in these three films coming up is Tom Hardy.
I wouldn’t say we have a great deal to do in Batman, and I don’t physically work with him in the Hillcoat movie [The Wettest County], but it’s been the year of Oldman and Hardy.
I’m sure he’s learning a lot from this, the youth of today!
Oh, yeah, I mean, you know when you’re getting on a bit when Tom Hardy comes in and says, “Oh, man, I love your work. I used to watch you when I was a kid.”
Just as you did with John Hurt?
Yes, I guess John’s now of that generation. He must be nearly 70 now, but it’s nice. That’s one of the lovely things about the job — we’re all like links and chain. We’re all passing through, and now you look at people like Tom and Benedict Cumberbatch and all these lovely actors that are coming up.
Behind-the-scenes featurette from the Warrior DVD out December 20:
Gary Oldman and Tomas Alfredson on Tom:
Ain’t It Cool: Gary, this would have been the first film of now three with Tom Hardy. Both of you, tell me about working with him.
Tomas Aflredson: Is it your third now?
AIC: I just saw a release date for WETTEST COUNTY IN THE WORLD.
Gary Oldman: Now THE WETTEST COUNTY, Tom is in it, but I don’t work with Tom. I’m in it, if you blink you miss me. I’m a little cameo. The DARK KNIGHT RISES movie I’ve honestly had hardly anything to do with him as well. “Hardly Hardy.” [laughs] I’ve gotten to know him socially. Our paths crossed on the set of DARK KNIGHT, but we weren’t really… I’m in one scene with him, and then I’m unconscious and another scene where he’s in the room. But TINKER, was the one where we really got to share scenes.
TA: But he was very nervous before the first day he met Gary.
AIC: I just saw an interview with him where he said he just watched you and forgot that he was in the scene with you. “Oh, I have to say something here.”
GO: Yeah, he was. It’s flattering. He’s nice, but he’s ascending, isn’t he?
Deleted scene from the Warrior DVD: