Hardy inspired by Sesame St Count
London-born star Tom Hardy has revealed his Russian accent for his latest film was inspired by an unlikely source - Sesame Street.
The father-of-one, 37, said he watched episodes of the children's television show to help him perfect his accent for Child 44, in which he plays an agent from the Russian Ministry of State Security (MGB).
Speaking at the film's UK premiere at the Vue West End cinema in London's Leicester Square, the Dark Knight Rises star said: "I watched Sesame Street. The Count (Von Count) speaks just like it and that's what I based it on.
"I couldn't get it off the ground at any point and thought that's the best I can do."
Hardy was joined by Swedish actress Noomi Rapace - whom he previously starred with in The Drop - and the book's British author Tom Rob Smith at the premiere.
The big-screen adaptation of Tom Rob Smith's 2008 novel of the same name, which also stars Gary Oldman and Joel Kinnaman, sees Hardy's character Leo Demidov try to hunt down a serial child killer while being on the run, after being stripped of his title in the early 1950s.
The movie has been banned by Russia after officials watched it, citing "the distortion of historical facts and the interpretation of events."
"I really like Russia so I'm a bit upset that I can't go there and meet people. I've got huge respect for the Russians, their culture, art and history," Hardy said.
"It's a bit of a shame but I also appreciate that they've got the anniversary (of the Allied victory in the Second World War) coming up. It's a film at the end of the day - it's fiction."
Rapace, who wore a Vivienne Westwood gown, added: "It's sad. I want as many people (as possible) to see it. For me it's a piece of art. It's not something we are trading for the truth, it's something we did together and we brought life to those characters."
Author Smith said he too was "saddened" by the ban.
"My fundamental feeling is of sadness because there are repercussions about this decision within the film distribution company," he said.
"It's troubling. There must be something in this movie that is powerful... I am curious as to what they are angry about. It's sad."
Child 44 is released in UK cinemas nationwide on April 17.