For “Warrior,” actors Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton face off as mixed martial arts fighters — and brothers — trying to punch, kick and grapple their way to a better life. But just because they can pass for lethal cage-fighters on screen doesn’t mean either is ready for a career change. “Any one of you guys could beat me up right now,” Edgerton says, sizing up the reporters and publicists in the room.
While he’s still in peak shape for his next role, Hardy agrees, explaining that the first thing they learned was how little they knew. “You know that we trained because now we know even less about fighting than we did when we started,” Hardy says. “You don’t go swaggering, because it will come home to roost. It’s normally the quietest guy in the room.”
If leaked online footage is any indication, the quiet guy taking Hardy down these days is Christian Bale, whose Batman takes on Hardy’s freakishly strong Bane in “The Dark Knight Rises,” currently filming — though the only thing Hardy will say about that project is that he “can’t talk about it at all.”
The third of Christopher Nolan’s Batman films isn’t the first time Bale has gotten in Hardy’s way, so to speak, as “Warrior” was originally set to come out last year, but an unfortunate coincidence led to it being delayed. Edgerton explains: “As they got closer to any kind of finished form of the movie, this film called ‘The Fighter’ came out — a little family drama that centers around a bit of fighting.
They’re completely different movies, but on a trailer or on paper, the supposition is they’re the same thing.”
How big of a delay are we talking? Hardy actually filmed “Warrior” before joining Nolan’s “Inception.” So while “Warrior” and “The Dark Knight Rises” have meant lots of weight training and bruises for Hardy, he’s had some rest in between. “It was like putting on a pair of slippers and a robe and, like, rubbing myself in lavender oils,” Hardy says of the break. “It was heaven, to be honest. No one was trying to hit me in the face. Heaven.”