Tom Hardy occupies a unique space in the stratosphere of Hollywood stars. He had a memorable turn in one of the biggest movies of all time, and starting today, you can see him in "Locke," in which he holds an audience's attention for 85 tense minutes, just taking phone calls.
If that sounds like an almost purposefully boring movie, be assured that it's actually one of the year's best.
Hardy is widely recognized by critics as one of his generation's best actors, but on the street, it's pretty safe to assume that he's hardly recognized at all. That may be because Bane's mask covered most of his face, but it's also because Hardy has picked challenging roles that eschew the typical path for a rising star.
But when MTV News spoke with Hardy and his "Locke" director, he said that his career choices are not an ongoing search for challenging parts.
"Nothing is difficult," Hardy said, speaking of the limitations of roles like Bane and Ivan Locke. "It just presents itself as something you haven't done before. With something like this, that's what I do for a living. As an actor, challenge is always exciting."
For Hardy, his interest in a role and a movie comes down to simple questions.
"It comes back to a very basic principle of story. Is it interesting? Do I want to be a part of it? Yes. How does it work? That's when you get back to a pragmatic sense of 'What's the practical next step?' I don't get up in the morning and go, 'I have to find a piece where I can look into someone's eyes.' "
"Locke" is in theaters now. See it.