Tom Hardy is a busy man: He’s currently headlining TV period drama Taboo (which he co-created with his father and his Locke director Steven Knight); he’s about to star in Christopher Nolan’s upcoming World War II epic Dunkirk; and he’s also contending with rumors about a sequel to 2015’s stellar Mad Max: Fury Road as well as a possible desire to take the reins of the James Bond franchise. It’s a lot for any actor to shoulder, and as Hardy recently revealed, it’s been made more difficult by the physical toll that some of his prior roles have taken on his body.
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Speaking to Marlow Stern for The Daily Beast, Hardy, 39, discussed the cost of significantly bulking up for his work as a notorious real-life criminal in Nicolas Winding Refn’s 2008 gem Bronson, and as the burly villain Bane in Nolan’s 2012 trilogy-capper The Dark Knight Rises:
“I think you pay the price with any drastic physical changes. It was alright when I was younger, to put myself under that kind of duress, but I think as you get into your 40s you have to be more mindful of the rapid training, packing on a lot of weight and getting physical, and then not having enough time to keep training because you’re busy filming, so your body is swimming in two different directions at the same time. And then after the film I’m tired, and you maybe have to change your shape again and go back to your normal size for the next film. To go from one extreme to another has a cost. I haven’t damaged my body, but I’m certainly a bit achier than I used to be! I kind of miss it.”
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Back in 2011, Hardy said that he planned to put on about 30 pounds to play the Batman villain. Still, he makes it clear that, even with all the added pounds put on to play Bane, he’s still not in the same body-transformation league as his Dark Knight Rises co-star, who’s famous for having radically shed (The Machinist) and gained (American Hustle) weight for roles:
“Compared to Christian Bale, I’ve been by no means extreme in my body changes, but for what little I’ve done, yeah, I certainly have joints that click that probably shouldn’t click, you know what I mean? And carrying my children is a little bit harder than it used to be — but don’t tell them!”
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To read more of the actor’s thoughts on his physically taxing prior roles, his feelings about potentially stepping into 007’s shoes, and his plans to star as Al Capone in an upcoming drama from director Josh Trank (Fantastic Four), click over to the full Daily Beast article. Hardy’s Taboo is currently airing on FX, and Dunkirk storms theaters nationwide on July 21.
‘Dunkirk’: Watch a trailer: