Michael Bergeron
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Tom Hardy on The Revenant

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In the recent Houston Film Critics Society 2015 movie awards the winner for Best Supporting Actor was Tom Hardy. Hardy plays a conflicted villain in The Revenant.the-revenant-tom-hardy-s-character-not-a-villain-at-first-acts-out-of-fear-765131

Having watched The Revenant multiple times in the last two months I will be the first to state that Hardy demonstrates the ultimate in concentration and comes across like a force of nature in the movie. And The Revenant was only one of three superlative performances from Hardy this year. Of course he also starred in Mad Max: Fury Road and played dual roles as the Kray Brothers in Legend. In 2015 Hardy also acted in London Road (not released domestically) and Child 44.

Great actors channel aspects of other great performances by thespians that came before them. For instance in his Oscar® winning role in There Will Be Blood, Daniel Day Lewis was obviously channeling the manner and tone of John Huston.

For The Revenant, Tom Hardy’s John Fitzgerald is an early 19th-century version of the character Tom Berenger played in Platoon (1986). For the role of Sgt. Barnes, Berenger was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor. Both Berenger and Willem Dafoe from Platoon lost that award to Michael Caine (Hannah and Her Sisters).ber4

Hardy’s John Fitzgerald wears a headdress that resembles Berenger’s Barnes and talks with the same drawling accent. Both Fitzgerald and Barnes have moments where they elicit revulsion as well as sympathy from the audience. Also both Fitzgerald and Barnes are responsible for the abandonment of a fellow officer after they try to kill them.

This is not a case of somebody being a copycat but rather an example of some serious acting skills plowing through the limits of human endurance while also paying tribute to performances that have paved the way to that path.

— Michael Bergeron

 

  • Barby

    I have been a fan of Tom Hardy since 2000 and have been fortunate to have met him twice and gotten to know him just a bit. He is the real deal: A truly gifted actor, a generous and loyal friend, a wonderful humanitarian (who can’t love a guy who so openly adores his dog?)…and I’ve been waiting these 16 years for the world to see what I saw nearly two decades ago. He has the versatility to play any part and the sensitivity and humanity to make us understand, if not love, his most despicable roles. His greatest gift is his empathy for others, which shows in his chameleon-like ability to embody every role he’s ever played so totally. Good for the Houston Free Press and good for Tommy!