‘The Dark Knight Rises’: Tom Hardy Came Up With Bane’s Voice on His Own and Warned Christopher Nolan It Could Be a Complete Disaster


  • Tom Hardy played villain masked villain Bane in Christian Bale’s final turn as Batman — The Dark Knight Rises.
  • Hardy came up with Bane’s voice on his own, and at first it was almost impossible to understand.
  • He based the unique voice on a boxer named Bartley Gorman.
Tom Hardy, who plays the villian Bane, acts in a scene on the set of "The Dark Knight Rises" filming near the Carnegie Mellon University Software Engineering Institute Building in the neighborhood of Oakland on July 30, 2011 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Tom Hardy | Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

The Dark Knight Rises from director Christopher Nolan was Christian Bale’s final turn as the Caped Crusader. It was also the Batman flick that introduced masked villain Bane, played by Tom Hardy.

A decade later, Bane is still an iconic villain with a controversial voice that is impossible to forget. Hardy recently revealed that he came up with the Bane voice. But, he says he warned Nolan that using it could be a complete disaster.

Bane’s voice in ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ was almost impossible to understand

According to Screen Rant, the voice Hardy used for Bane during a preview scene was so hard for test audiences to understand that he had to re-dub his dialog. But there was a good reason why Hardy was doing so much with his voice in the role.

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During a recent Wired segment where Hardy answered some of the web’s most-searched questions, the actor went into detail about the process for deciding Bane’s voice. When determining how Bane should sound, Hardy says he was trying to avoid objections fans would have about a white man playing a character with Latino origins.

Tom Hardy came up with Bane’s voice on his own

Hardy says that he looked at the concept of Latin and found a character — a Welsh-Irish boxer named Bartley Gorman. And that’s where he found Bane’s voice.

“[Gorman was] a bare-knuckle fighter and a boxer. And he said [doing a Bane-like voice], ‘When I get into a ring with a man, I want to wipe him off the face of the Earth, and he wants to kill me.’ And I was like, ‘This is great,'” Hardy shared.

The ‘Dark Knight Rises’ star warned Christopher Nolan that the voice could be a disaster

Hardy says he remembers telling Nolan that he could “go down sort of a Darth Vader route,” with a “straight neural tone villain voice” for Bane. Or, he could try the Gorman-inspired voice just in case they needed to consider the roots and origins of the character.

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“But we could get laughed out of the park with it, it might be something that we regret, but it’s your choice ultimately,” Hardy recalled telling Nolan. “He says, ‘no I think we’ll go with it.’ And that was that. And we played with it, and made it a bit more fluid, and now people love it.”

Fans are still divided about the Bane voice

When Hardy said that people love the Bane voice, he was joking. Many fans weren’t happy with how Hardy’s character spoke in the film. And they probably would have preferred a more straightforward villain voice like Darth Vader. But, they can’t deny that Bane’s voice is memorable.

In addition to putting a lot of thought into his voice, Hardy also transformed his body for the role of Bane. He went through months of training in the gym, but he also ate a lot of pizza. Hardy credits movie magic with making him look like the Batman villain.

Tom Hardy claims he was ‘porky’ in ‘The Dark Knight Rises’

During a segment of BBC Radio 1’s “Kids Ask” web series, a 10-year-old journalist asked Hardy how he got “so muscly” during his preparation to play Bane. He mentioned hitting the gym, but he blamed his “pizza diet” for looking “slightly porky” in the role.

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“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. They shoot from low to make you look big,” Hardy explained.

“That’s the magic of lighting and three or four months of lifting and training and eating lots of pizza. It wasn’t great for my heart. The point was to look as big as possible.”

Fans can currently watch all of Nolan’s Batman movies on HBO Max.