Tom Hardy explains his "counterpoint" method of acting

austin butler, tom hardy, the bikeriders
Tom Hardy explains his "counterpoint" actingUniversal

Tom Hardy is back on our screens in this week's biggest release The Bikeriders, and he wanted to take a unique approach to his new role.

The movie, based on the book by Danny Lyon, sees Hardy play the leader of outlaw motorcycle club Vandals MC who, over time, evolve from family for local outcasts into a violent gang.

You're sure to come to the movie with preconceptions of what to expect, which is what Hardy used to form his approach to his character Johnny.

"I always like to take something that's an obvious choice and try them over with a less obvious choice, and then look for an obvious choice as a counterpoint, and then try them with some consideration and a less obvious choice," he told Digital Spy.

tom hardy, austin butler, the bikeriders

"He's a tough guy, so where's his vulnerable side? Oh, he's vulnerable where there's no sentimentality, how do you counter sentimental [with] pathetic? If he's pathetic, why is he heroic?"

Hardy's approach even surprised writer/director Jeff Nichols who described his performance as "incredible".

"There's this scene between him and Austin [Butler] by this campfire, Tom's character just sits closer and closer and closer to him. It was not written that way," he explained.

"It elevated that scene. Everybody talks about that scene, everybody I have talked to mentions it, and I wish I could take credit for it."

austin butler, tom hardy, the bikeriders

Nichols added: "In all sincerity, when an actor takes a thing that you put on the page and takes it to a place you didn't see coming, but it still fits in the world, it is actually everything you wanted to put into practice. I saw that several times with Tom."

The movie also marks Hardy's first movie with Austin Butler, and he also told Digital Spy that he's looking forward to working with him again.

The Bikeriders is released in cinemas on June 21.

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