For all of The Dark Knight Rises, actor Tom Hardy sports a mask and modulates his voice to embody his character. Although Hardy was more than grateful to portray the villainous Bane, there were some aspects of wearing the mask that frustrated the star. One of those aspects was wearing the mask, which Hardy found difficult to hear or communicate through.
How Tom Hardy felt about wearing the Bane mask
“It’s always fun to be the villain, much more fun than being the straight guy,” Hardy said.
Still, he quipped that the mask took some getting used to. But that didn’t take away from Hardy’s enjoyment of the character.
“I had something to moan about, legitimately. So that’s nice, as an actor, to have something to legitimately moan about, especially when you’re getting paid far too much money to ponce around wearing a pair of tight pants,” he said.
Whether or not wearing the Bane mask was uncomfortable for him, he felt that it was at least uncomfortable for others. Which further enhanced the character’s menace.
“It’s got a scowling grimace on it, and obviously, it looks quite claustrophobic as well,” Hardy continued. “And I think that something that close to a human being’s face emanates a certain discomfort for people who are looking at him or her, you know? So it did its job.”
Tom Hardy couldn’t communicate or hear Christian Bale in the Bane mask
Hardy didn’t mind the Bane mask all that much, and even felt performing in it a little freeing.
“Any time you put something on your face, you’re going to adopt a personality and a physicality that has nothing to do with acting,” Hardy told Total Film (via Contact Music.)
But Hardy explained wearing the mask did have its cons in how it would sometimes interfere with his performance.
“The only downside is you can’t hear a f****** word anyone is saying,” he continued. “Batman can’t hear me and he can’t see me speaking so we sort of stand there looking at each other for a while. We’ve been doing hand signals! I put my thumbs up when I finish my lines or I wink. And he sort of wiggles his fingers out of shot and I go, ‘OK, now I’ve got to run up and kick you in the b******s!’”
But the Warrior actor didn’t let the idea of wearing the mask deter him from initially accepting the project.
“I remember saying, ‘Hang on a minute, you’re asking me to come around the world with you, playing a villain in a Batman movie, and the only downside is I have to wear a mask? Hmm. Let me think. I’ll get back to you. No! I’m f****** there, man! Anything you need,’” he recalled.
Tom Hardy felt overweight playing Bane
Becoming a believable Bane wasn’t just about wearing a mask. Hardy had to meet the physical requirements of the role as well. Bane is usually depicted as large in both comics and cartoons. To achieve the same look for Hardy required a combination of physical training and camera tricks.
“If you really study the photographs [of Bane], I was really overweight, actually. I ate a lot and I wasn’t much heavier than I am now, but I just ate more pizza,” Hardy told Men’s Health. “They shoot from low to make you look big,” answered Hardy. “People would lift up the lids on their motorbike [helmets] and say ‘I always thought you were bigger, mate’…I was just bald, slightly porky and with pencil arms.”