Jay Sage: Greetings and welcome to another edition of our Actors’ Series right here on The Entertainment Bureau Chat Wrap. Jay Sage here with Jared Feldman, and obviously the biggest creator of buzz in Tinseltown and, really, all over the world is Friday’s release of The Dark Knight Rises. Tom Hardy will play the role of antagonist Bane, stepping into the enormous shoes of the late Heath Ledger’s Joker.
Feldman: Its not an easy role at all, mostly because he has to live up to the previous villain and needs to overcome the horrible portrayal of Bane in the much maligned Batman & Robin. Hardy is a very solid actor, though it’ll be difficult to imagine too much emoting through his masked costume. If he and Batman have a good deal of dialogue it could be an entirely incomprehensible conversation.
Sage: People are indeed concerned about the direction that Christopher Nolan went in with Bane’s voice. Based on the previews, it sounds as if he’s speaking through a modulator. Furthermore, it doesn’t sound vicious enough to match his brute strength. But I’m personally intrigued by the choice because Bane was always meant as an intellectual threat along with physical. Though he doesn’t represent the terrifying notion of utter anarchy the Joker does, on a technical level he’s probably the most formidable threat to Gotham in most Batman literature.
Feldman: Hardy’s come a long way from an extremely minor role in Black Hawk Down in 2001. He went on to play the villain in the final Star Trek Next Generation film: Nemesis. How did he to where he is now? It seems like quite the large leap for a former drug addicted actor.
Sage: Well, when it comes to success in the film industry, Step 1 is and always will be “Be very very extremely good looking”, and I’m confident enough to admit that Hardy has that going for him. Step 2 is to get yourself in cahoots with a successful director and when Hardy was chosen for the part of Eams in Nolan’s Inception, that started the dominoes falling toward stardom.
Feldman: He’s played a number of supporting roles and secondary leads, but he’s yet to be the focus of a large budget film. Do you seem him as the next hollywood leading hunk, or more of a niche actor, in heist films for example. I kinda see a parallel now between him and Edward Burns, a very good actor who never quite made it to be a total star in his own right.
Sage: It’s all about choosing the right projects. Burns, for example, used up all his potential from Saving Private Ryan on being in movies like 27 Dresses, The Holiday and Life or Something Like It. Now, it’s true that sometimes the stars just don’t align, but I like your idea of heist movies or some other kind of action/adventure. I could easily see Hardy in something similar to the Bourne trilogy. Just seems natural.
Feldman: We will get to see Hardy in the newest Mad Max film in 2013, where he plays the titular character, taking over for Mel Gibson, while we’re swapping Australian for British it will give Hardy a chance to be an action star in his own right. I just hope he doesn’t get stuck in a number of muscle bound, and brainless roles for the future.
Sage: Then again, the world needs guys like Jason Statham. I’ll be more confident in my ability to project for Hardy’s future once I’ve seen the upcoming TDKR. Hardy didn’t exactly have a complex role in Inception, more of a “move the plot along” capacity. In this, he’ll have to stand in direct opposition to actors like Christian Bale, Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman.
Feldman: I just really hope they better develop the Bane character, to really give him some decent backstory and motivation for being in opposition to Batman and company. The most compelling villain is one that the audience can partially empathize with. Hardy can play that character, if the role allows it.
Sage: That’s what made the Joker so great. We weren’t being fed the inane ramblings of a psychopath, rather a cogent philosophy that simply fell short of practical or sane application. In the trailers for The Dark Knight Rises, we keep hearing this line from Bane – “Time for Gotham’s reckoning”. It sounds as if there’s some legitimate motive behind that.
Feldman: Let’s hope, though given Nolan’s abilities thus far with this Batman franchise, I’d say we’re in for a treat. Jumping back to Hardy from a general perspective, who do you want to see him act with in the future in a major role?
Sage: Phyllis Diller. Umm, there are a lot of options given that his presence in the American collective consciousness is in its infancy. How about a sidekick to Matt Damon in something?
Feldman: That would make sense if Damon was still in the Bourne series, though come to think of it, Hardy and Jeremy Renner are actually in similar positions, finally clawing their way into the mainstream of film. Obviously Hardy is in a superhero film now, but I could see him landing a franchise of of his own sooner or later. Though there aren’t too many superheroes yet to to make it to theaters, Hardy could play an Aquaman or equally known but underrepresented character in a future film.
Sage: At the recent Comic-Con, it was also revealed and test-screened that Ant-Man would be taking his rightful place among The Avengers sometime around 2015. He’s kind of a smooth character with the ability to shrink down to microscopic size when he has to. Not that there aren’t 20 other viable male leads, but it would be an interesting choice.
Feldman: Hardy’s career is just ramping up now, and we’ll see if his star can go even higher with the likely success of The Dark Knight Rises. For now, that’ll to do it for this edition of the Entertainment Bureau’s chat wrap. Keep on reading for more on All Things Entertaining.