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Joel Edgerton and Tom Hardy Interview
Joel Edgerton and Tom Hardy Interview
Joel Edgerton is an Australian actor best known for his roles in the likes of King Arthur, Ned Kelly, Kinky Boots and Animal Kingdom; Tom Hardy is a British actor who, having hit the TV big time with a role in Band of Brothers, has since gone onto feature in films such as Layer Cake, Black Hawk Down, Marie Antoinette, Sucker Punch, Bronson, Inception and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.

Coming together for Gavin O’Connor’s story about brothers caught up in the brutal world of mixed martial arts fighting, they spoke to View’s Matthew Turner about extreme training, getting knocked out, pulled pork and the magic of Nick Nolte’s acting.
Let's start with the obvious – how fit were you both when you signed for the movie and how fit were you when you finished?

Joel Edgerton

Well, you can see kind of how fit we are when we finished. I was always relatively fit, I know I kept pretty fit, but we definitely weren't preparing to fight going into the movie. I think [director Gavin O'Connor] really kind of wanted to get two actors who were right for these characters and drag them towards the cage rather than drag two fighters kicking and screaming into the world of acting. Which would have been weird. Maybe weirder.
So because the film's shot out of sequence, are there scenes you can both watch where you think, 'I'm supposed to be bulkier there but I wasn't, because I wasn't at that stage of my physical development'?

Tom Hardy

No. Not really.

Joel Edgerton

No, it was sort of planned properly, in a way. But leading up to the blocks of fighting where we were shirtless in a cage...

Tom Hardy

On shirts off days. That was the thing, wasn't it – it was like, okay, TX minus 30 minutes was like shirt off day and it was like 3-2-1, GO! It was a definite shirt-off day.
Was there a difference in approach to your two training regimes because you physically look quite different in the films? Was that deliberate or did it just happen organically?

Joel Edgerton

I mean there was differences to the training regime – I did a lot more wrestling and Jiu Jitsu than Tom's character, so our training regimes reflected that. But also, you put two separate people through the same training regime and feed them truckloads of food and it's going to affect them all in different ways as well.
Tom, how are you handling all the hype, that you're the Next Big Thing and there are all these stories about you? Do you ignore it or do you pay it any attention?

Tom Hardy

Well, the thing is that it's got to be normalised, hasn't it, really? What does that mean? And at the end of the day, I've been doing this job for 12 years. Nothing has changed in the way that I approach my work. All that has really changed is that I have more opportunity on a bigger field. There's probably more financial support and different teams of people. I haven't noticed anything else. There's not been any fall-outs with paparazzi or people chasing me or anything like that, there's no drunken falling out of nightclubs, there's no hitting reporters.
It's a fucking MMA movie, not a fucking kite-flying movie! What do you expect? Man up...
Not yet ...

Tom Hardy

Well, there isn't. I mean, I'm ultimately quite boring and just want to do my job.
Would you consider leaving England and moving to Hollywood? Do you still live in the UK?

Tom Hardy

Yeah. Well, my son's here. I mean he's three and he lives with his mum and her husband and I can't – I mean, I'm not going anywhere because my little boy's here, so the bottom line is that I'm someone's dad, [laughs] first and foremost and that's very grounding.
Speaking of hitting reporters, did either of you get injured on the film?

Joel Edgerton

Yeah, my shining moment during the shooting was getting my MCL [inner knee] ligament a grade 3 tear, getting thrown over by Jace Jeanes, one of the stunt guys. I tore my ligament and had to go to six weeks of rehab for that. Apart from that the odd elbow or punch in the face. Everybody was getting knocked around – you couldn't really be an actor during this process, in the sense that you act – it was just surviving.

Tom Hardy

[whining voice] “It was so annoying - I just want to act! He keeps hitting me! Not my face!” But what was it Gavin said? “It's a fucking MMA [mixed martial arts] movie, it's not a fucking kite-flying movie! What do you expect? Man up!” “But it hurts!” “Get back in there!” “It really hurts!”

Joel Edgerton

He literally said that, that day.
You were presumably aware of that before signing on though?

Tom Hardy

Yes, but you know – I'm not as manly as I thought I was. When push comes to shove, you know what I mean, I start heading for the fucking door!

Joel Edgerton

That was definitely the brief, leading into it. Gavin was like, 'Oh, I expect this and this and this of you' and, you know ...

Tom Hardy

You just say yes, don't you? It's like when someone asks you if you can ride a horse. ‘Of course I can. Absolutely!’ And then they go, ‘This is your horse’ and then you go [girly scream] ‘Aaah! That's a horse!’
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Content updated: 15/12/2017 17:24

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