toolbar builder everlyrich: Tom Hardy packed on 30 pounds to become villain Bane in 'The Dark Rises

Friday, 20 July 2012

Tom Hardy packed on 30 pounds to become villain Bane in 'The Dark Rises

The actor also fainted in the summer swelter while he filmed a key scene of the Christopher Nolan Batman flick


 Tom Hardy as Bane in ‘The Dark Knight Rises’

Tom Hardy as Bane in ‘The Dark Knight Rises’

IT WASN’T all bang! bam! pow! for actor Tom Hardy while playing the hulking villain Bane in “The Dark Knight Rises.”
One scene still sticks in his mind.
Hardy as Bane climbed atop the Batmobile to rally a throng of escaped prisoners — and then promptly crumpled.
The actor, who packed on 30 pounds of muscle for the film, had fainted in the sweltering summer heat.
“I was wearing that big long gray coat and my body armor,” he told The News at Monday’s similarly wilting world premiere of the epic finale of Christopher Nolan’s “Dark Knight” trilogy.
“Not that dissimilar to today’s weather. Anyway, I passed out. I was unconscious for most of the afternoon.”
Other than that brief setback, however, not much has stood in Hardy’s way.
Not the physically grueling training.
Not the tight mask that was molded for his face, which Bane uses to continually pump gas to alleviate otherwise crippling pain.
And not the shadow of the late Heath Ledger’s Academy Award-winning performance as Batman’s last arch-nemesis, the Joker, in 2008’s “The Dark Knight.”
Nolan and his screenwriters, Jonathan Nolan and David Goyer, deliberately chose Bane as the villain because he was so strikingly different from the Joker.
While Goyer told Empire magazine that some studio execs suggested the Riddler early on, the filmmakers had no interest in being derivative.
Where the Joker wanted to mess with Batman’s head, Bane is trying to tear it from the superhero’s shoulders.
This is a villain, created by Chuck Dixon, Doug Moench and artist Graham Nolan, who rocked comic book fans’ worlds in his 1993 debut by breaking Batman’s back during a fight.
“Bane is the first adversary who you recognize could physically destroy Batman,” says the Dark Knight himself, actor Christian Bale.
Although he’s soon to be a name on the lips of millions of moviegoers, it turns out the creators of the comic book character originally were planning on calling him Venom — until an editor phoned back with some bad news.
“We were embarrassed to find out Spider-Man already had a high-profile villain named Venom,” says Moench. “We didn’t know. Chuck pulled thesaurus and found “Bane” was one of the synonyms for poison and it’s a great sounding name.”
A great sounding name for a muscular intimidator who seemed right out a Mexican wrestling ring. Which is unfortunately a look that doesn’t translate well onto the big screen. (Exhibit A is the cartoonish Bane played by Jeep Swenson, and mercifully with little screen time, in 1997’s “Batman & Robin.”)
Hardy’s version would be much, much different.
“The Lucha Libre mask? Nolan said ignore that, I have an idea,” says Hardy, laughing. “His idea was a lateral take on it, and I didn’t wear the Lucha mask and I didn’t wear the Lycra pants.”
With or without Lycra pants, Hardy trained relentlessly for four months to fill his costume before cameras started rolling on “The Dark Knight Rises.”
“Tom is one of those actors who’s a transformative actor,” says producer Emma Thomas. “When we were doing costume fittings for Bane, for example, he’d come in — and this is before he had put on much of the bulk — he would walk in and he’d look quite slim and slender… then he would hold his body in a different way and sort of stick his gut out, do something with his shoulders and suddenly you’d see exactly what it is he’s going to do.”

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