The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

'Locke' casts Tom Hardy in ordinary role, but shooting was extraordinary

  • Print

TORONTO - As writer and director of the new thriller "Locke," Steven Knight says he wanted to "break most of the rules of filmmaking."

Well, it was star Tom Hardy who was sentenced to solitary confinement. Portraying a resolvedly banal family man — bearded and be-sweatered — hitting the highway to face the consequences of his life's one major mistake, Hardy spends the film's entire 85-minute running time behind the wheel of a BMW as an array of disappointed dependents (employers, employees, his spouse and kids) chatter away on his hands-free phone. Only Hardy ever appears onscreen.

Wedging a quickie shoot into Hardy's movie-star schedule wasn't easy. The cast and crew spent five days rehearsing, then shot the film in six days. Over each of those half-dozen nights, Hardy would sit in a car mounted to the back of a trailer with his director and perform the film from beginning to end, with his co-stars contributing their vocal takes from a nearby hotel through a phone line directly connected to the car.

Most nights, they would finish the piece, take a short break and then perform the film from start to finish a second time.

For Knight, the Oscar-nominated screenwriter of "Eastern Promises" and "Dirty Pretty Things," the process was less stressful than "exhilarating."

"Because no matter what the hardship, you know it's all over soon," said Knight in a recent promotional visit to Toronto. "Everyone knows, so everyone brings everything to every hour of the night or day. Because you can collapse at the end of it, and you don't have those lulls and sags and irritations that you get along the shoot.

"You just buzz with excitement the entire time," he added. "(It means) not much sleep, but you sort of don't care. Because you just want to do the next thing."

He can rest easy now that the reviews have rolled in.

Though "Locke" opens Friday in Canada, it's already opened in other markets to near-universal acclaim. Variety termed the film an "exceptional one-man show," the Hollywood Reporter trumpeted its "virtuoso narrative," and Rolling Stone declared it a "powerhouse of claustrophobic suspense and fierce emotion."

The resoundingly positive reviews were a great relief to Knight, who acknowledged that "man sits in car for 90 minutes" isn't necessarily a log line likely to send frenzied viewers to the cinema.

"It lived or died by the responses, really — by word of mouth," said Knight, who also directed Jason Statham in "Redemption."

"Because it is a different experience."

Of course, it helps that the one man in the one-man show is the chameleonic, handsome Hardy, who has assembled quite the following through a series of buzzy roles in films including "Inception," "The Dark Knight Rises" and "Warrior."

Knight wrote the role specifically for the 36-year-old actor after a chance meeting regarding a different film. Portraying an emotionally repressed construction manager (whose specialty, concrete, was chosen specifically for its banality) might seem more of a stretch for Hardy than the showier roles on his resume, including most famously the mush-mouthed terror Bane in the last Batman film. But he brings a taut intensity and sad-eyed sensitivity to the role.

For what it's worth, Knight never doubted that Hardy was the right fit to drive his unorthodox film.

"I knew it was going to be one person on the screen for 90 minutes. If you're going to do that, you've gotta make sure it's somebody good, and I think Tom Hardy is the best we have," Knight said.

"He's just so great at becoming people. But he said himself, this is his first straight role — because he's not becoming a monster or madman. He's becoming a very ordinary man.

"But he absolutely nails it perfectly."

Follow @CP_Patch on Twitter.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Weather for final Fringing weekend

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A goose cools off Thursday in water at Omands Creek Park-See Bryksa 30 day goose challenge- Day 25– June 21, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • A female Mallard duck leads a group of duckings on a morning swim through the reflections in the Assiniboine River at The Forks Monday.     (WAYNE GLOWACKI/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS) Winnipeg Free Press  June 18 2012

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Which of Manitoba's new landlord-tenant rules are you looking forward to most?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google