Just when you thought you knew everything that actor Tom Hardy was capable of from the six or seven roles since breaking out on these shores as Nicolas Refn’s Bronson–most will of course know him for his role as Bane in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises–he finds new ways to surprise us with his role as Ivan Locke in Steven Knight’s new movie, Locke.
Some may know Knight’s name from his Oscar-nominated screenplay for David Cronenberg’s Eastern Promises or before that from his screenplay for Dirty Pretty Things, directed by Stephen Frears. Many of Knight’s previous films have involved elements of the London underworld, but Ivan Locke is actually a construction site manager who, on the eve of laying the foundation for a brand new building, is called away by a woman he had a drunken one night stand with who is about to give birth. This obviously causes problems, not only with his boss at the company but also with his wife who he has to confess his affair to, and as he drives, he juggles phone calls trying to make it all right.
What makes Locke so unique is that it’s literally 90 minutes of Tom Hardy on screen, driving in his car, talking on the phone, and while that might not sound particularly interesting, it’s a character-driven performance piece that shows Hardy to be an actor at the top of his game that can keep you invested even when playing less outrageous or physical characters. (And though we never see them on screen, it’s fun hearing him interact with the likes of Olivia Colman, Ruth Wilson, Tom Holland and Andrew Scott over the phone.)
ComingSoon.net sat down with the filmmaker and actor earlier this week to talk about their film collaboration, particularly some of the logistics of making a movie that’s basically Hardy’s character talking on the phone while driving for 90 minutes – it’s more complicated than you think!
We also touched briefly upon Hardy’s attachment to playing real people, most notably Elton John in Rocket Man and the Kray Twins, both of which he sees as part of a “long game.” And then we fail miserably when we try to get him to talk about George Miller’s long-in-development Mad Max: Fury Road.
Locke opens in New York and Los Angeles on Friday, April 25.