Everyone has a tipping point, and for Tom Hardy the exact moment it happened to him was when a reporter at a TIFF press conference decided to drum up a seven-year-old interview soundbite (which Hardy has since renounced) as a platform for discussing the actor's sexual preferences.
The inquirer was immediately and fully rebuked for his question, too, which may have been a surprise because of the fact that Hardy's often an open door about things that might embarrass others of his stature.
But the actor was seriously, seriously pissed off about it and thinks there's more to the story than just the heated exchange.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Hardy explained his reasoning for admonishing the prober -- and it has nothing to do with his own sexuality, BTW.
"That really, really annoyed me," he explained to EW. "It was just the inelegance of being asked in a room full of people."
Indeed, the question arose during the presser for "Legend," a film in which Hardy portrays a bisexual gangster, and Hardy thought that was hardly the opportune time to get so personal about his private life.
In fact, Hardy says he's happy to run the gamut of discussion when appropriate "about anything," but it was just bad form then and there.
"I’m confident in my own sexuality, and I’m also confident in my own being and talking about any issue you want to talk about it," he explained. "But there is a time and a place for that."
Fair enough, right? Hardy added that he felt the reporter was "zeroing in on a reaction ... that would become a topic of discussion that had nothing to do really, really to do with what was there" -- which was a film.
Although his character's sexuality was one of many related conversation points during the festival, Hardy felt his private affairs were of zero consequence in that instance. Which explains why the reporter had to sniff back to a 2008 Attitude magazine interview to reference any supposed ambiguity in the first place -- it wasn't a relevant topic being discussed.
Hardy also said he believes there is a hidden danger to the LGBT community if such a line of public examination is allowed to go unthwarted.
"It's so important to the LGBT [community] that people actually feel safe about their sexuality and are able to speak freely and not be stigmatized or feel like they are being pointed out," he said.
He now feels that he's strapped with a conundrum that he's not quite sure how to handle.
"I feel like I’ve let people down for something that I actually didn’t ask for, for something that’s important to a lot of people," he explained. "Should I come out of the closet when I’m not in one? ... And it’s like why? Whose business is it anyway and isn’t that the point?"