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Idris Elba says never say never as he calls James Bond role ‘a rumour’

Original article taken from www.theguardian.com
Written by Ben Child



Actor Idris Elba at the Global Premiere for “Marvel’s Thor: The Dark World” at Odeon Leicester Square on October 22, 2013 in London, England


Idris Elba has denied reports he is entering the final straight in the race to become the next James Bond.

Elba, 42, is currently one of the bookies’ favourites to replace Daniel Craig as 007 when the latter’s run ends in two movies’ time. But the Hackney-born star, best known for television roles in The Wire and Luther and his portrayal of Nelson Mandela, said tabloid reports suggesting he is the frontrunner to take on the role were wide of the mark.

“It’s just a rumour,” Elba told the Radio Times, adding: “I have no idea.”

Elba reignited speculation in September last year when he told a fan on Reddit he would “absolutely” take the role of Bond if it were offered. After a large cache of hacked Sony Pictures emails later suggested the studio was eyeing him as the next 007, he tweeted a picture of himself with the caption “Isn’t 007 supposed to [be] handsome? Glad you think I’ve got a shot!”

However, since then, and despite endorsement from former Bond Pierce Brosnan, Elba has tended to downplay his chances. “If there was ever any chance of me getting Bond, it’s gone,” he told an audience at London’s British Film Institute in April, claiming that the longstanding rumour that he would play the screen spy was “really starting to eat itself”.

Homeland’s Damien Lewis, 44, is the current frontrunner with bookmaker William Hill to replace Craig, at 6/4. Elba is just behind on 5/2. However, odds on Tom Hardy, at 37 the right age to play a new Bond, have shortened significantly to 4/1 in the wake of global box office success for critically acclaimed sci-fi reboot Mad Max: Fury Road.

Craig will next star as Bond in November’s Spectre, which once again sees Oscar-winner Sam Mendes in charge of the cameras. It is widely expected that the 47-year-old star will step down after the film’s follow-up, which would likely see him as a 50-something Bond.

Film Review: Mad Max Fury Road

Written by: Graeme Wood


You might think that you know all there is to know about cars and trucks but wait till you experience this film! The real stars of “Mad Max-Fury Road” are the array of soup’d up, pimped up metal monstrosities that tear across the desert landscape and engage in robust carnage. They are equally strangely beautiful and awkwardly ugly, there’s nothing elegant about them at all. They’re made of joined up bits of different weather beaten road hardy vehicles and soldered together to create angular modes of transport. They’re weaponised too with all manner of hidden defence and assault capabilities, the best of which are long poles rising into the air from which their assailants dangle performing an acrobatic ballet then lean across the vehicles they are pursuing dispatching death and grenades in equal measure!

Our two stars in the battered and supercharged War-Rig may be Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron but they struggle to get a look in amidst the clanging metal, fire laden racing and dusty road battles of these vehicles. Bizarrely the pursuing bad guys even bring along their own soundtrack, with guitars, speakers and drums melded into their vehicles cleverly providing the movie’s soundtrack and their own battle anthem! This is a very loud film with incidentals and effects turned up to the max.

Thematically it is a women in prison escape movie but its also one long ‘Wacky Races’ type chase against a post-apocalyptic background!

Furiosa (a shaven headed and nearly unrecognizable Charlize Theron) is engaged on a regular trip from The Citadel, a mountain encampment where the populace is kept under the mighty thumb of Immortan Joe; by his control over their water supply. The citizens of The Citadel are a nightmarish bunch with freakish half men, albino bald-headed warriors and obese women used to farm breast milk! Furiosa leads her convoy off-road and when it turns outmad_max_charlize_theron she’s helped several of Joe’s imprisoned slave wives to escape his breeding vault the chase is on! Amongst her pursuers is Max himself – introducing the films narrative with a Bane-like (Batman) voice over Max is strapped to the front of a jeep as a living ‘blood bank’ for a young warrior – or ‘war boy’ – called Nux (an equally unrecognisable Nicholas Hoult). You have to give some credit to Hardy, taking over the iconic role of Max from Mel Gibson and who spends the first third of the film tied up with his face obscured by a metal grid while valiantly attempting to convey Max’s fury, insanity and fear on this unplanned road trip.

The action is shot with momentum and jerky reality by George Miller capturing the dusty bleakness of the landscape and providing a number of tense sequences especially during chases in the bold first half of the movie. One advantage the film has over some of this year’s other big screen offerings is that much of the action consists of real-world rather than computer generated effects. You feel the scrapping of metal and the thunder of wheels because it really happens. An army of stunt people provide some impressive work conveying a sense of real danger and excitement to the audience. In this respect it is far more captivating than the now standard superheroes demolishing public buildings and landmarks in some of those other blockbuster spectacles.

At just the moment when Miller realizes we may be tiring of tyres not to mention engines, dust and people under wheels, the film opens up with (a little) more shade. Its revealed that Furiosa is taking the escaped concubines (all beauty and white drapes) to her mystical ‘green place’ and circumstances cause Max and Nux to join them, initially under duress, but eventually as willing allies. There’s a neat twist that you may see coming which turns the film around literally for a final half hour and because the first third has been so intense it doesn’t have quite the same impact. Even so this still provides a final chase that leaves you grimacing with disbelief as one near death jeopardy after another is overcome.

Inevitably the humans struggle as much with character as they do to stay alive; though there is a message of hope running through the film. The protagonists are all searching for some form of escape, Tom Hardy’s Max, struggling with bouts of delusion and stark images of a dead daughter is hard to relate too and could have done with a little more dialogue, meaning that Charlize Theron steals the film as the determined but practical Furiosa, channelling empowerment and looking like ‘Alien’s’ lead character Ripley. Nicholas Hoult has the only real character development, his early nihilistic Nux slowly losing faith with the god like Immortan Joe through an early attraction and the kindness of fellow escapee Capable. Hugh Keays-Byrne’s Immortan Joe looks like something H R Giger may have dreamt up and provides the necessary menace (all snarls and raging eyes) and danger as the film’s main villain. Rosie Huntington-Whiteley plays an escaped and heavily pregnant bride (the bizarrely named The Splendid Angharad) with an air of fierce determination that adds some emotion to her sacrifice and Riley Keough as Capable gives enough to make her character stand out from the other brides who provide little more than background.

This is not a subtle movie, drawing from Western and comic book iconography as well as having more than a hint of humour lifted from those old Road Runner and Wacky Races cartoons, albeit in a slightly demented form. Some may weary of its near constant motion and frenzied action but with comparatively little CGI, a terrific sound mix, thrilling stunts, breathtaking cinematography and strong direction this latest entry into the Mad Max franchise is a thoroughly exciting ride that has to be seen on the largest screen you can find to be fully appreciated!

Tom Hardy as Mad Max

Tom Hardy as Mad Max

With its early global box office success and having managed to breathe new life into a series of memorable 80s movies it will be interesting to see where Miller takes our road weary anti-hero Max next on his travels.



Profile by Graeme Wood




Those critics and doubters amongst us who had written off a revival of George Millers 1979 cult hit ‘MAD MAX’ have been surprised and taken aback by the movie’s critical and box office success. ‘Mad Max-Fury Road’ opened to rave reviews and has already scored a worldwide $135,185,000 box office gross, there is already talk of sequels rather than a sequel and the film’s lead Tom Hardy has now had his superstar status all but confirmed.

Hardy was initially concerned about taking on the role from the original trilogy’s star Mel Gibson but director Miller felt; “Both those guys have that same animal-like quality. They’re warm and accessible and loveable, but there’s something dangerous about them. No matter how still they are, there’s something powerful going on behind the eyes – like a tiger that can claw you to death”.

Dangerous is certainly what the film’s co-star Charlize Theron felt about Hardy, reportedly she found him ‘weird’ and ‘scary, feeling so threatened by the actor that she asked to be kept away from him when not shooting scenes together, this fuelled reports of a feud between the two actors. When asked about this Hardy replied; “I think she’s fucking awesome. I think she’s incredible. I think she’s one of the most talented actresses of our generation…. but it’s very interesting, the concept of what danger is, and this has nothing to do with Charlize Theron or Mad Max, actually, but this has to do with life in general. There is a flicker of energy that can come from certain people, whether it’s fear-based or whether it’s contrived, which can unsettle a room. And if somebody mismanages that, or if a trickster is in the driving seat of that particular asset and has no business being in said room, well…but I am no more a threat than a puppy.”

Hardy had become a genuine screen presence in the last decade and had many labels thrown at him – method actor, sex symbol, chameleon, hard man, best actor of his generation and yes dangerous – anything but boring! Born in 1977 and hailing from London’s Hammersmith area Hardy was the only child of the Cambridge educated writer Edward ‘Chips’ Hardy and artist Mother Anne, he grew up in East Sheen and was expelled from Reeds public school (for stealing), he was arrested for joyriding in a stolen Mercedes while in possession of a gun when he was 15, and soon after became an alcoholic and drug addict. At the age of 19 he entered and won C4’s Big Breakfast ‘Fine Me A Supermodel’ competition and briefly had a contract with Models 1. “I grew up around people carriers and cardigans and the deer in Richmond Park, but behind those Laura Ashley curtains there are a lot of demons. East Sheen is a middle-class area, Trumpton or Seasame Street, but there’s trouble if you want it. I would have sold my mother for a rock of crack. I was a shameful suburban statistic”.

Hardy studied at the Drama Centre in central London where he was expelled for being, he’s said “a little shit”, his first on-screen role was in the award-winning HBO/BBC miniseries ‘Band of Brothers’ and he showed promise in his feature film debut in Ridley Scott’s 2001 war thriller ‘Black Hawk Down’ quickly followed by a starring role in ‘Star Trek-Nemesis’. In 2003 he picked up the London Evening Standard Award for Outstanding Newcomer for his performances in “Blood” and “In Arabia We’d All Be Kings”. However, his drug addiction got the better of him and he collapsed in Soho’s Old Compton Street after a crack binge and was admitted into rehab. “I was a very adrenal kid”, he says, “I ran on my feelings, and there was a lot of fear. When I found drinking at 13 – a bit of beer – I felt calm. I thought this must be how everyone else feels, and I wanted more of it”.

He told one interviewer he doesn’t mind taking about his addictions because it’s part of his story and he’s sensible enough to be grateful for how his life has turned out. “People don’t know me yet, so I know they want to hear this stuff. They can hear it once, and then let’s talk about something else. I’ll be done with it. When I’m 40 I’ll be cantankerous and badgery about it. When I’m 50 I’ll slap young interviewers and swear. When I’m 70 I’ll be incorrigible!”

More notable television roles followed with the mini-series Colditz, Sweeney Todd (with Ray Winstone), The Virgin Queen (with Anne-Marie Duff) and Cape Wrath (with DavidMorrisey). In 2007 he starred in the BBC drama, “Stuart, A Life Backwards” and found himself nominated for a BAFTA Best Actor award. Based on the life of Stuart Shorter a homeless man, who suffered from muscular dystrophy and a drug addiction and who had been subjected to years of abuse. The role required something of a physical transformation and it was to become a trademark of Hardy’s “Character transformations started happening to me because I got tired of not being able to get on the floor. There are two types of acting; there’s convincing acting and not convincing. That’s it, right. And so, if you are going to convince people, then put it in the real world”. In 2009 he gained 2½ stone in order to play Britain’s most notorious prisoner, Charles Bronson for the film ‘Bronson’ he had already gained a reputation for being seen as difficult by some but was hailed as a method actor and a chameleon.

On television he went on to star in Martina Cole’s drug and gangsters thriller ‘The Take’ for Sky One and as the doomed romantic hero Heathcliff in ITV’s “Wuthering Heights” it was here he met his wife to be actress Charlotte Riley, who played the role of Cathy in the drama. 2010 saw Hardy being directed by the late Philip Seymour Hoffman in “The Long Red Road” at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago. Hardy was amongst the first to pay homage to Hoffman following his death; “I loved Phil he was my North Star of standards – he was brilliant – funny and full of wisdom and eccentricities and love – he nurtured talent and believed in team. I felt he believed in me in a way that few have ever and took the time and effort to show me the road”.

Director Christopher Nolan then cast Hardy in his thriller ‘Inception’ for which he won a BAFTA Rising Star award. Hardy replaced Michael Fassbender in the 2011 adaptation of “Tinker, Taylor, Soldier, Spy”, and then learnt to cage fight for his next role in ‘Warrior’ for which he found more critical Bane_TomHardyacclaim. He was then cast by Nolan again as Bane in his final Batman film 2012’s ‘The Dark Knight Rises’. Nolan touched on Hardy’s performance in interviews; “He can inhabit a role. He saw the potential of the character right away and brought a wonderful cheeky quality to his performance”
Earlier this year in Steven Knight’s thriller “Locke” Hardy spent the film’s 90 harrowing minutes on-screen as the film’s only visible character talking on phone via Bluetooth in his car. It’s a mesmerising tour-de-force. Hardy also returned to television in the second series of the BBC’s ‘Peaky Blinders’ playing Camden gangster Alfie Solomons with humour and swaggering menace – an uneasy ally for Cillian Murphy’s Brummie hood Tommy Shelby.

Super-hero movies were bound to come calling and Hardy was cast a Rick Flagg in DC’s upcoming “Suicide Squad” movie however, soon after Hardy left the project citing ‘scheduling difficulties’ though it’s been reported that having seen the script he was unhappy that his screen time had been shortened following the roles of Will Smith, Margot Robbie and Jared Lento being filled out and given more screen time. He has since said that he’s still in talks with DC about ‘something awesome’.

Following the success of “Mad Max-Fury Road” Hardy says he’s ‘looking forward’ to working on the follow-ups and he can next be seen on the big screen in October in ‘Legends’, starring alongside Emily Browning, Christopher Eccleston and Tara Fitzgerald. Hardy plays both of the legendary real-life gangster twin brothers Ronnie and Reggie Kray. Written and Directed by LA Confidential LEGEND-Tom-Hardyscreenwriter Brian Helgeland, the film tells the story of the brother’s rise and reign over 1960’s gangland London.

Hardy will also be seen in “The Revenant” directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, starring alongside Leo DiCaprio. Next year he will back on TV in the Ridley Scott produced period drama ‘Taboo’ written by Steven Knight. Hardy stars as adventurer James Keziah Delaney who sets out to build his own shipping empire in the early 1800s. The idea for the drama came from Hardy and his father who took the story to Knight and Scott.

As Hardy himself told Esquire magazine; “I hope you’ll find I’m a reliable team player. But you have to be as open and honest about it as I am, because you will be fucking judged, as I’ve been. But let’s have some fun! Some people will hate you, some people will like you, but then most people are completely indifferent about the fuck of my ideas and why the fuck he’s even being talked to.”


The Drop – Starring Tom Hardy

The Drop has finally arrived in UK cinemas and the reviews have been good. Its seems as if brit Tom Hardy can do no wrong and is going from strength to strength whilst showing both fans and non-fans his superb range of acting skills.

We are sure non-fans will soon become fans, this film also sees the last big screen appearance from James Gandolfini (Soprano’s) who sadly passed away in 2013.

Check out the film here and go see – its in cinemas now!
Also read our review HERE



THE DROP is a new crime drama from Michaël R. Roskam, the Academy Award nominated director of BULLHEAD.  Based on a screenplay from Dennis Lehane (MYSTIC RIVER, GONE BABY GONE), THE DROP follows lonely bartender Bob Saginowski (Tom Hardy) through a covert scheme of funnelling cash to local gangsters – “money drops” – in the underworld of Brooklyn bars.  Under the heavy hand of his employer and cousin Marv (James Gandolfini), Bob finds himself at the centre of a robbery gone awry and entwined in an investigation that digs deep into the neighbourhood’s past where friends, families, and foes all work together to make a living – no matter the cost.

THE DROP was released in UK cinemas on 14th November 2014


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Film Review: The Drop

Written by Michael Dequina



Tom Hardy is one of the great–and still rising–acting talents working in film today, but ironically I think it’s his unusually chameleonic skill that has thus far kept him from completely breaking through to the superstar status he deserve.  Case in point, Michael Roskam’s The Drop, where it’s hard to AnimalRescue_TheDrop1believe the same guy who played Bane and made a 90 minute cell phone conversation so compelling in Locke is the same one playing this quiet, unassuming, somewhat slow barkeep at his cousin’s (James Gandolfini, in his final performance) bar, which serves as a money laundering drop for the mob.  When the bar is robbed, the big bosses clamp down, threatening the peace and happiness he seems to be on the way to finding through two new relationships: that with a neighbourhood woman (Noomi Rapace) and, even more unlikely, that with a rescued dog.

Based on the short story Animal Rescue by Dennis Lehane (who also wrote the screenplay), none of this sounds too original, and the latter plot point even sounds corny, but as with any better programmer, the performers lend the proceedings their unique personality, and with actors as colorful (and unusually varied) as Gandolfini, Noomi Rapace, and Matthias Schoenaerts (as Rapace’s ex), what’s familiar as far as story never feels tediously so.

And with a lead as intensely watchable as Hardy, creating another indelible character, it’s often vibrantly so.

THE DROP is a new crime drama from Michaël R. Roskam, the Academy Award nominated director of BULLHEAD.  Based on a screenplay from Dennis Lehane (MYSTIC RIVER, GONE BABY GONE), THE DROP follows lonely bartender Bob Saginowski (Tom Hardy) through a covert scheme of funnelling cash to local gangsters – “money drops” – in the underworld of Brooklyn bars.  Under the heavy hand of his employer and cousin Marv (James Gandolfini), Bob finds himself at the centre of a robbery gone awry and entwined in an investigation that digs deep into the neighbourhood’s past where friends, families, and foes all work together to make a living – no matter the cost.

THE DROP was released in UK cinemas on November 14, 2014