The actor's name has come up in the search for Daniel Craig's successor -- but would he want the role?
Tom Hardy has embodied many eccentric characters over the course of his career so far -- from Bane and Venom to Al Capone and "Mad" Max Rockatansky. But would he ever consider taking on Hollywood's most famous man of mystery?
With Daniel Craig's last hurrah as James Bond about to hit the screens in No Time to Die, there are plenty of rumors about who might next pick up 007's infamous martini glass -- with more than a few rumblings of Hardy's name. But the English actor is staying mum for now.
"I don't know about that," Hardy told ET's Matt Cohen during a junket for his upcoming film, Venom: Let There Be Carnage. However, his co-star Naomie Harris -- who has played the Moneypenny to Craig's Bond since 2012's Skyfall -- had a much more effusive endorsement.
"He would be amazing," Harris raved. "He's such a phenomenal actor. I'm such a huge fan of his and then working with him on Venom, I have even more respect for him. He's just like, incredible, the physicality that he brings to the role is just extraordinary. I've never seen anything like it."
In the Venom sequel, Hardy is technically playing two roles: the titular alien symbiote, and his unlucky human host, journalist Eddie Brock. The actor described the dynamic between the two as "100% The Odd Couple."
"I like to see Eddie Brock as a professional coward," he shared. "Sort of a vain, lazy, narcissistic everyman in many ways... I think he's a noble soul, but I just think he's come to a certain path when Venom appears. And it's horrendous."
"There's an element of existential crisis where he's nothing without him, and he's really nothing very much to speak of with him," Hardy continued. "But the two of them together make this wonderful argument, this conundrum, this paradox. You have this primal beast who says we should do absolutely anything we want, because we can. And it doesn't matter about consequences because it's insignificant, which is like the greatest therapy you could ever have, except, you know, it means running around biting people's heads off and ripping buildings apart."
Stepping in to direct the Venom sequel is Andy Serkis, whom Hardy dubbed "arguably one of the finest actors of his generation." Having built an impressive career playing some of the most memorable CGI characters in film history -- from Lord of the Rings' Gollum to Planet of the Apes' Caesar, Serkis was an ideal creative partner for Hardy as he continued exploring his Marvel character's alien alter ego.
"To be directed by Andy is to be held in a safe place by somebody who understands exactly what it is you're trying to achieve and play with," Hardy said. "It's another experience altogether."
"Tom and I wanted to work together for years," Serkis added. "We have very similar, I think, sensibilities as actors, as artists, as people who want to tell stories... To arrive at a position where it was now fertile ground for exploring the Eddie/Venom relationship in this way, and taking all the best elements of the humor and the pathos and the reality, and then having that kind of jam up against the darkness and the kind of the real world of Cletus Kasady, and this super villain of Carnage -- it was just like the most amazing opportunity and, as I say, canvas to play on."
Cletus Kasady, aka the sequel's titular Carnage, is the bloodthirsty antagonist of the new film -- another symbiote who takes over the body of a serial killer played by Woody Harrelson. Harris plays Frances Barrison, aka Shriek, who is Kasady's love interest and another dangerous mutant.
"I just loved playing evil," Harris raved. "It's just the antithesis of everything you're brought up to believe in, right? 'Cause you wanna be the good girl, you wanna be polite, you wanna stay within social norms. And then as a villain you get to just go, to hell with all of that, I'm just gonna be as wild and free and outrageous as I possibly can be and then I'm acting opposite Woody Harrelson who's like, wild and outrageous as well, so he takes me to another level. It was really phenomenal. I had such a great time."
"It's nice to get to be kinda evil," Harrelson agreed. "I like the evil nature of both [sides of Kasady], you know? The character has a certain evil in him and then of course Carnage is just absolutely evil with no hold backs."
"I love the Marvel Universe and I just thought it was a great opportunity to get to be a part of this," he added. "I enjoyed every minute of it and getting to work with Andy Serkis, who to me, is a true creative genius... He's amazing and he's a true friend, so it just made it a joyful experience."
Venom: Let There Be Carnage is in theaters in the United States on Oct. 1.