Christopher Nolan has reflected on Tom Hardy’s performance as Bane in The Dark Knight Rises, suggesting he hasn’t been “fully appreciated”.
The Oscar-nominee played the antagonist in the 2012 third part of Nolan’s Batman trilogy, though it came with high expectations given Heath Ledger’s lauded performance as the Joker in the previous movie The Dark Knight.
Speaking on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, Nolan praised Hardy’s work in the movie, saying: “There’s no safety net for any of these guys and Tom, I mean… what he did with that character has yet to be fully appreciated. It’s an extraordinary performance, and truly amazing.
“The voice, the relationship between just seeing the eyes and the brow. We had all these discussions about the mask and what it would reveal and what it wouldn’t reveal, and one of the things I remember him saying to me, he sort of put his finger up to his temple and his eyebrow and said, ‘Can you give me this to play with? Let people see this.’”
Taking on Tom Hardy’s Bane in ‘The Dark Knight Rises’. Credit: Alamy
The Tenet director added: “Sure enough, you see there in the film, this kind of Brando-esque brow, expressing all kinds of just monstrous things. It’s really quite a performance.”
“There’s such controversy around it because they didn’t tell anyone,” he said. “In 2021, they’ve got some of the top filmmakers in the world, they’ve got some of the biggest stars in the world who worked for years in some cases on these projects very close to their hearts that are meant to be big-screen experiences.”
The director continued: “They’re meant to be out there for the widest possible audiences… And now they’re being used as a loss-leader for the streaming service – for the fledgeling streaming service – without any consultation. So, there’s a lot of controversy. It’s very, very, very, very messy. A real bait and switch.”