"…A Clockwork Orange for the 21st Century." Woo Hoo!
I am a big fan of Tom Hardy. (That at once plush and gravelly whiskey and cigarettes voice that I would give a limb to hear whispering in my ear, and help me Rhonda… that mouth!…but I digress.)
While I may only have discovered him in last year’s RocknRolla, I have made an effort to catch a lot of his earlier work. There were some performances I had seen but had no idea who he was at the time, (much like my discovery of Gerard Butler) for example Clarkie in "Layer Cake" (who could look past Daniel Craig’s preternaturally blue eyes?) or Pvt. Janovec in "Band of Brothers" (but I do remember one of his scenes-lol)
Since "RocknRolla" I’ve discovered that I like his Robert Dudley in the BBC production "The Virgin Queen" (an impeccable production: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0481459/ I highly recommend it) much more than Joseph Fiennes’ in "Elizabeth" or Jeremy Irons’ in "Elizabeth I"
His Bill Sykes in a 2007 BBC version of "Oliver Twist" won’t make you forget Oliver Reed in the 1968 musical, but it’s right up there. Hardy’s three dimensional characterization is probably closer to the novel’s than I personally have previously seen and for which he was nominated for a BAFTA.
And then there’s yet another BBC production, (they should just put him on retainer-good thing they don’t have the tv/movies class divide in the UK as they do in the US) "Wuthering Heights." His demented Heathcliffe seems like a part he was practically born to play. Not because of questionable lineage or that he had a feral childhood, but for one reason or another, probably rebelling against his middle class upbringing, he was a wild child with a history of violence, criminal activity and substance abuse. (At one point he was given the choice of jail time or an acting class-what kind of penal system are they running over there?)
There are other roles, like Noel in 06’s "Scenes of a Sexual Nature". It was only one of a series of vignettes, memorable for the persistence of his character’s attempts to get into Sophie Okonedo’s knickers. (She would later play Nancy to his Bill in the above mentioned "Oliver Twist". She’s adorable.) The only other piece of that film I remember is the Mark Strong/Polly Walker storyline. (Nice twist)
And then there’s the one that every reviewer mentions; the title character in "Stuart: A Life Backwards", about a drug addicted homeless man who also suffers from MS, that I am anxious to see. I hope there is a US dvd release in the near future for this as well.
edit: Just caught 2006’s "Sweeney Todd" on IFC. The great Ray Winstone is once again phenomenal in the title role, subtly menancing, tortured as well as torturous. If all you know of this story is the musical, you haven’t seen the story as it was meant to be told. Why have I edited a Tom Hardy post with this information you ask? Because Tom plays a supporting role and is completely delicious. Oh, and guess what? It was made by the BBC!
An excellent article from the London Times Online: http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/film/article5846093.ece
I’m very excited about the possibility of "Bronson" getting a US release. I’m sure it will be limited, either to just NY and LA or to art houses in "select" cities. But one good thing about the blogosphere, we will likely be told we have access to a "small" movie like this and can look for it, much like another little UK film with a likely Fall US release, "Fish Tank". (more on that later)
ps: Anyone else see any similarities between another actor we know and love? The bad boy behavior, the addictive personality who has channeled it all into acting? Anyone…Bueller?