Despite Hollywood’s obsession with covering up his face, Tom Hardy is one of the most recognized and well-known actors. He has been nominated for the Academy Award and has made a mark in the superhero genre by playing both Marvel and DC characters. His most known role apart from being Eddie Brock a.k.a Venom is his portrayal of Bane.
Hardy played the role of Bane in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises, where he was the antagonist. He clashed with Christian Bale’s Batman and was seen as one of the most physically formidable villains for the caped crusader. Hardy recounted his first meeting with the actor during a screen test and revealed that he was petrified of his build.
Tom Hardy Trained Extensively For Bane
To play a villain who could physically break Batman, Tom Hardy gained a lot of weight and muscle. Bane was a physically intimidating antagonist as opposed to Heath Ledger’s Joker, who played with the psyche of his arch-nemesis. He bulked up extensively, increasing his caloric intake, and consuming as much as 3,000 calories daily. According to Men’s Health, he had as much as six meals a day.
Hardy also trained extensively to gain muscle for the role. He had as many as four training sessions per week to gain over thirty pounds for the character and had an intensive workout regime.
The training worked wonders for the film as Bruce Wayne faced the ultimate threat in The Dark Knight Rises. Bane is a mercenary and a former member of the League of Shadows, much like Wayne, and takes Gotham City hostage under the threat of a nuclear bomb. He also breaks Batman’s back in physical combat and hides him out in a hellish prison to break his will as well.
Tom Hardy Was Petrified Of Christian Bale’s Batman
Despite extensive training and muscle building, Tom Hardy revealed that his first meeting with his cinematic foe Christian Bale did not go as he planned. In a talk on the Jonathan Ross Show, the actor revealed that he first met the actor for their screen test and they had to perform the climactic battle between the two where both throw quite a few punches. He said,
“I really wanted to meet Christian [Bale] as well, because he’s so exciting…when I saw him the first time was when I got to LA. We were doing a screen test and I had to try on the Bane outfit. I had put on some weight and I felt strong, I had been training. I got on the trailer and I saw Christian there. He did not have a T-shirt, he just had a vest on. I saw his arms and then I thought, ‘Yeah, I’m going to walk this.’”
The actor’s confidence quickly dissipated when he saw Bale in his Batman costume in front of him and they had to perform the battle between them. He said,
“I went and changed into my outfit, and I went on set…Then this huge looming figure turned up on set. He was about ten-foot-tall and eight-foot-wide with huge pointy ears. I looked at him and he was looking at me like, ‘Oh yeah! I’m Batman’. He was a terrifying Batman and he looked me dead in the eye, I thought I’d never be able to survive the onslaught that is Christian Bale or Batman. He’s a really tough boy.”
Hardy joked that he was expecting someone like Adam West’s Batman from the 60s show Batman. The actor seemed to have been petrified of Bale’s rendition and for good reason, as many fans consider his portrayal to be one of the best depictions of the iconic character.
Source: The Jonathan Ross Show