Tom Hardy Opens Up About Taking Over Iconic Role in 'Mad Max: Fury Road'
With gasoline and water in short supply the world has gone insane, and only one man is crazy enough to become a hero in the post-apocalyptic wasteland: "Mad" Max Rockatansky, the Road Warrior.
In Mad Max: Fury Road, the long-awaited fourth installment in the cult classic franchise, English actor Tom Hardy has taken over the iconic role of the eponymous hero, and if the trailer is any indication, it looks like director George Miller's latest addition to the series is going to be, by far, the most intense.
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Speaking with ET's Brooke Anderson at CinemaCon in Las Vegas, Hardy opened up about the role and the pressure of taking on such a classic character.
"It was daunting [and] a bit intimidating to step into an iconic character's role and shoes," Hardy admitted.
When the first Mad Max hit theaters in 1979, it was a fresh-faced Mel Gibson who embodied the post-apocalyptic badass. Gibson would go on to reprise the role in '81 and '85 for the film's sequels, Road Warrior and Beyond Thunderdome.
But now, three decades after the last film's release, Miller wanted to breathe new life in the character and turned to the 37-year-old Dark Knight Rises star to be the new face of the franchise.
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Hardy went on to say that, while he was initially concerned about stepping into the well-trodden role, he soon realized that wasn't really what he would be doing with the character.
"My job is to transmute George Miller's vision," Hardy explained. "And ultimately he created Mad Max."
"Mel is iconic. And he's Max, and that's it, I won't argue with that, that's brilliant," Hardy added. "But on this outing, George has had 30-something years worth of reinvestment in a world that he created. And he asked me to come along and play his Max for him. And I'm not gonna say no, am I?"
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On the other end of the movie spectrum, Hardy also opened up about his ongoing preparation to play Elton John in the upcoming bio-pic Rocketman, and what aspects of the character have been challenging.
"The only daunting bit is can I walk in high heels? And I know I can. So, that's not a problem. But I can I dance, I mean, like really, really dance in them? So I got to work on that," Hardy explained. "And then my piano playing is, you know, it's not great. And my singing, I mean, it's not great, but, you know, will I achieve greatness with it, you know? I'm really confident. I'm feeling confident."
"We'll see what happens," he added.
VIDEO: Watch the Totally Insane (& Insanely Awesome) Trailer for 'Mad Max: Fury Road'
As for Mad Max, audiences will be able to see how Hardy's Mad Max stacks up against Gibson's when Mad Max: Fury Roadexplodes into theaters May 15. Check out the film's insane, action-packed trailer below.