Belfast Telegraph

Tom Hardy: I know I'm hard work

Tom Hardy has spoken about how fear impacts his moods.

The 37-year-old actor has been at the centre of many rumours about on-set feuds, famously fighting with his Lawless co-star Shia LaBeouf and playing down rumours he clashed with Charlize Theron when shooting Mad Max: Fury Road.

Tom is happy to admit he isn't always the easiest person to be around, but insists any dubious behaviour is always for a reason.

"I have a reputation for being difficult. And I am. I am actually. But I’m not unreasonable. It used to be that if somebody hurt me I’d lash out a bit, in order to get them to stop. It ultimately comes from fear," he told British magazine Esquire. "If I cause enough of a mess, then people will never ask me again to do something I don’t want to do. But that sort of backfires after a while so you don’t want to do that. You grow up."

The star has a novel way of ensuring his behaviour never gets too out of hand. Internally, he views his moods as an orangutan called Arthur - it's this character who gets fired up and lashes out, and who constantly needs to be considered before Tom does anything.

"If you tell him you don’t want him on the treadmill because he’s breaking it, he’ll get upset. There goes the treadmill. You know what I mean? And he’ll get angry and give you a little slap – not a big one, but he’ll knock you out, because he’s massive," he explained. "You’ll wake up cradled in his arms, and he’s howling that he’s hurt you, because if you die, so does he. He’ll bring you back round and apologise, bring you twigs and all kinds of sh*t. He’ll make up for it. But he’s still an orangutan. One has to have respect. Hee hee."

All of this links back to Tom's childhood, when he was naughty to say the least. He didn't take school seriously, despite having parents who gave him every advantage they could. It led to him getting into trouble with the police and battling addiction, resulting in a rehab stint in 2003.

Nowadays he takes things seriously, in part because he has a son called Louis and wants to be the best version of himself for his boy. That means learning how to deal with fame too, with Tom adamant he will keep it under control. He can think of nothing worse than not being able to take Louis out because he's being hounded by fans and photographers and believes he has the right approach to celebrity.

"If someone stops me from going to Crock A Doodle [shop where Tom drew on a mug] they’re going to have man-words. From a grown man. Not in a Russell Crowe way, because I don’t drink, and I don’t have any poetry I want to read you, or a rock’n’roll song I want you to listen to, I have no delusions of grandeur – in that nice way, because actually he’s a f**king cool guy – but if I want to go down with my little boy to Crock A Doodle and paint ceramics, I’m doing that. And nothing’s going to stop me. Anything else that gets in the way of that goes first. I don’t say that lightly," he said.

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