At the ongoing Cannes Film Festival, the Mad Max: Fury Road actor says he prefers to work hard and then disappear.
Filmmaker Christopher Nolan has said that you have an inner intensity of Marlon Brando, combined with the outer expressiveness of Charles Laughton. Does that sound right?
That’s a really lovely thing to say; I don’t know what to say. I love Christopher Nolan. Thanks for saying that. (But it’s) Not true.
No pressure, but Brando!
That’s a big one. No. Brando is Brando. I am me. I pull faces and then do my best.
You were already famous, but with your new film, you are on the precipice of global stardom. How does it feel?
I think that will pass. There are so many famous people around nowadays. I think people just don’t really care in a way that much, unless of course you want to invest in being famous. And I don’t.
Tom Hardy at Cannes premiere of Mad Max. (AFP photo)
You are not interested at all?
I want to work hard. I love my job and I love working, but I think you choose whether or not you want to participate in that arena, which comes with its own pitfalls. I’ll go and find my little bat-cave and disappear.
What was a day on the shoot of Mad Max: Fury Road like?
It became normal, but initially, I suppose for anybody from outside looking in, it would look like that. We would get up in the morning, have breakfast, drive about 70 km in the middle of nowhere, get painted, strap on bike padding and then put on a leather suit. Everybody had a given costume, and everyone sat in the baking sun and got thrown around all day. At the end of the day, we would pull the vehicles back up, and drive back home again. We did that for seven months.
How did you survive that?
I don’t know. Luckily, I had Jacob Tomuri (stunt man) there, who also survived. He did the majority of the stunts. My job was to cohesively work with him to bring Mad Max to the screen.
You said somewhere that for an actor, there’s no life and death. The worst thing that can happen is humiliation. Is that how you keep perspective?
Well, humiliation is a certain kind of death, except you have to face up. You are still here. But is life about humiliation? I don’t know. They say a rocket trajectory to the moon is 90% correction, so I think life is a bit like that. You aim for something, and then you steer your way there because life gets in the way. It has other plans for you.