Tom Hardy played ‘Bikeriders’ hardman as ‘tragic clown’

Tom Hardy played his hardman character in ‘The Bikeriders’ as a “tragic clown”.
The ‘Warrior’ star, 46, plays gang leader Johnny in the Hells Angels-style drama, and said it is in his nature as an actor to portray the opposite of any stereotypes associated with his characters and always look for their flaws.
He told Variety: “You look straight away at a biker movie and think, ‘Oh, it’s leather. It’s sexy. The music’s great. The hair’s great.
“The obvious choice is to play to all of these. So the obvious choice for somebody like me is to go to the counterpoint of all those.
“This guy is a tragic clown.”
Adding about what he looks for in his parts, Tom went on: “Where’s the pathetic element? Where’s the wretch? Where’s the embarrassing moments? Where’s the weaknesses? I need to flesh this guy out.
“Why is the voice a little bit creepy? Why is it a little like Bugs Bunny? What can we imbue this stud with that’s so un-studly that I can identify with it? Because I’m not that!”
Tom felt Johnny’s weakness was on show in a scene early in the film – which is out on Friday (21.06.24) – when he is seen watching ‘The Wild Ones’ with his wife and children and imitating its star Marlon Brando’s tough guy character as he tries to start his biker gang.
He said: “I thought that was very sad. This is a grown man with kids, copying a young, genius actor in a very provocative movie that he’s got a connection to. “It’s like singing Justin Bieber songs in the shower. Pick someone: Amy Winehouse, Ian Brown, Jimi Hendrix… mimicking an icon, going, ‘I identify’, but not having your own personality.”
Tom also said he fears he failed to get Johnny’s mid-west accent right in the film, adding: “I’m not sure that I did nail it. One of the things that I hold myself to, as a principle, is that you’ve got to make an effort to create a vocal silhouette, as well as the physical silhouette.
“Accent work is not about phonetics or being accurate, to me. It’s about conjuring an atmosphere from a place which is authentic.”