Director Ed Blum has recalled the time Tom Hardy got the part in one of his films after a 30-second audition, rumoured to be his last before hitting the big time. In the movie industry, it is less common for high-profile actors to audition for roles.
Blum, who cast Hardy in 2006 romcom Scenes of a Sexual Nature, told NME that he was so impressed with Hardy that the decision about his casting took less than a minute.
Blum recalled: “We had reached the point in the casting where we had all these famous people and we were filling up… It was my first film and we made the decision we were going to try to – because it was my first film – that we were going to try to keep two parts open for relatively unknown actors. One of them [was] obviously Tom Hardy.
“Tom was only one of two who had to audition at that point… I was looking to crack on – I think it was only about a week, 10 days before we were filming – and [casting director] Emma Style – who has unfortunately passed away now – said: ‘Ed, you’ve got to wait, you’ve got to wait to see this young actor. He’s going to be a star and he’s brilliant.’
“I think within 30 to 40 seconds I just went, ‘Wow. One, he’s got the part and two, the casting director is right – he’s going to be a superstar.’ He was just absolutely phenomenal in the audition. He made really brave decisions, really intelligent decisions and it was a no-brainer – we basically… I actually just called it a day, I found the person who wanted to play that part.”
Blum went on to tell NME about the finer details of the audition: “He had to read from the script, the character, and so there wasn’t any improvisation or anything like that, it was just a straight read. He’d really done his homework. He had created a character in his mind.
“He came into the audition and made some really brave decisions… like all great actors, he’d had really given the character a lot more flesh even in the audition – just the little nuances, the vulnerabilities, the cheekiness – and all of a sudden the character came alive. He was also very affable and quite vulnerable. He just nailed it.
“There’s also something in an audition sometimes where you forget you’re auditioning and you are listening to a character in a film or a play and that’s exactly what happened. He took me to a different place in the addition, I was thinking about the character and I forgot that an actor was auditioning because it was so good. All the decisions he made in that audition were the character that is on screen. ”
Earlier this year, Hardy played Al Capone in gangster movie, Capone, directed by Josh Trank (Fantastic Four, Chronicle).
Reviewing the film, NME said: “Capone… is a bit different to your average mobster movie. In fact, it has little interest in the many felonies ordered and committed by America’s most famous criminal at all.
“It’s commendable that Trank has tried to tell a less familiar story here, when it would be easier to explore the blood and gore of Capone’s earlier life. But the film largely fails to deliver on its interesting premise. Hardy is, as you’d expect, brilliant as the crime lord, crafting an intimidating figure out of the crazed Italian American.”