When Sir Patrick Stewart had to retire from the Star Trek franchise, there was simply no replacement available. With ideas of de-aging the actor or finding a younger actor to portray a similar character, the search began that ended with Tom Hardy.
Back in 2002, Tom Hardy had not quite attained the fame that he has now. Talking about his breakout role, the actor revealed that he was partially naked in his audition tape which impressed Sir Patrick Stewart and the rest of the people.
When Tom Hardy Auditioned Partially Naked For a Role
Tom Hardy had a breakout role by starring as Shinzon in the 2002 movie Star Trek: Nemesis. According to Sir Patrick Stewart, the casting process had been too tiresome, since they were not able to find any actor resembling their character.
It wasn’t until the end when all hope was lost that Tom Hardy emerged through contact in England and was asked to audition. Hilarity ensued when The Dark Knight Rises actor did not know how to edit his tape and so, several scenes that should not have made their way into the tape were left unchecked.
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“It was a long, long search to find the actor to play this role. Long before I got involved. They were seeing actors in L.A. and in New York. And, of course, in London, because the feeling was that it would be good to find a [British] actor, so there would be at least that vocal similarity there. We didn’t know where to go. We couldn’t find someone,” Stewart explained.
Sir Stewart further stated how they made contact with who will eventually be known worldwide as Tom Hardy.
“And I had a friend who had been an agent of mine in London. I called her and said, ‘Look, they said they’ve seen everyone but is there any actor you know who Star Trek [producers] haven’t seen who could be me and younger?’ And she said, ‘Absolutely. I know just the man. He wasn’t seen, because he’d been filming abroad and he’s in Morocco right now. And his name is Tom Hardy.’ I have a lot of respect for [the agent], so Tom put himself on video.”
In a bid to impress the casting agents and the actors, Tom Hardy auditioned partially naked and improvised the script. Sir Patrick Stewart recalled,
“It was a bizarre video and there are some people who believe he was actually naked in this video. He had the sides of some of the Shinzon scenes, but he was improvising them. He wasn’t really doing what was in the script.”
Things turned out to be fine in the end since Tom Hardy essentially had earned their attention with such a daring audition tape. Tom Hardy, as we know him, went on to star in billion-dollar box office hits and now has a successful Hollywood career.
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Tom Hardy Did Not Know What Star Trek Was
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Before being cast in his role, Tom Hardy had no idea about what the Star Trek universe entailed. Stating that he did believe in the existence of Star Trek, Hardy went and saw all the old movies and series once again to get a sense of Sir Patrick Stewart’s character.
“I always knew [Star Trek] existed. Like you know Levi Jeans and Coca-Cola exist. You know that Captain Picard is captain of the [Starship] Enterprise. Obviously, I know that. You know who Kirk is. You know who Spock is. You know who the Klingons are. Vulcans. But I never followed the series. Not until I actually got the job and then I managed to watch all of The Next Generation stuff and all the films.”
The latest project of Star Trek is the series Star Trek: Picard. Season 3 of the series is expected to release on 16th February 2023, and will be available to stream on Paramount+.
Source: ET Online