Summer Crushing Tom Hardy
Wenn, Bauer, Michael Buckner/Pascal Le Segretain/Gareth Cattermole/Getty
Maybe because I haven’t actually had a proper Summer Crush in a really long time. Maybe because it happened so unexpectedly. I mean, Lawless is not a romance, nor will it be sold as one. But the relationship between Tom Hardy and Jessica Chastain is as romantic as you’ll see, more romantic than most intended love stories. And that’s primarily what it is, how he is in the film.
But don’t go into Lawless expecting him to look good. He does not. He’s stocky. Like Bane stocky. Because he was training for The Dark Knight Rises when he was shooting this one. So there’s that thick neck and bloated face, and he walks around in goofy pants and an overstretched cardigan the whole time, with his hands shoved in the pockets, and all he ever does it grunt, literally, a grunt for every emotion; aesthetically it’s really not there.
But then he falls in love with her. In the most quiet, most restrained, most respectful, most selfless way, to the point where he doesn’t even want to be with her, he just wants to know she’s ok. There are no overtures, there’s no sweeping gesture, he doesn’t declare himself in a rainstorm, and she navigates their entire relationship. Somehow in a gangster story about 1920s Prohibition, a modern equal romance emerged: it’s incredibly sexy. Tom Hardy goes about this film smashing faces with brass knuckles and slicing the balls off his adversaries and I left thinking I’d just seen The Notebook. He and Jessica Chastain, they’re totally my Ryan and Rachel now.
Then I had to interview him. Fresh off associating him with this character and all those really hot attributes only in person, now that he’s lean again, having lost the Bane bulk and in the process of slimming down for Mad Max (that’s what the beard is for), well now it’s just not fair. After all, the challenge is attracting your mind; the physical draw is easy. He was wearing a green t-shirt and jeans that hang off good narrow hips. At one point he walked past me down the hall and I smelled fresh laundry. When I walked into our interview space he was muttering to himself, five minutes, five minutes, five minutes. When he looked up I promised I wouldn’t torture him. He was like, oh no love, I just talk too much and they’re saying we’re running long. Gotta keep my answers shorter. Five minutes, five minutes...
We ended up going seven.
You get him on something and he’ll just...talk. In my case it was about how he interpreted his character like an “old lesbian”, playing house on set where he and Jessica became like the parents of the bigger family, and the dog they adopted together. He’s called Woodstock. Tom got custody and he lives with him in London. And then he went on about how Woodstock is home probably tearing sh-t apart. And he couldn’t stop himself then, laughing about his goofy, messy dog.
Come on. At this point I feel like it was out of my hands.
Here’s Tom with Woodstock in a shoot for Vogue a few months ago.
I can’t even...
How can you???
Also, he just admitted to being a “terrible reader of the internet”. During a discussion with Vulture last week Tom said he trimmed his beard because he knew people were talking sh-t about it and the way he knows this is because he reads about himself online. He reads about himself online because it still hasn’t occurred to him that he’s famous. This is actually really funny:
“Yeah, 'cause in my head, I’m still not famous. It's like, "Hey, I'm on this site!" Or [to my fiancée], "Look at what we were wearing last night! And everyone says you look great." And then someone will say, "Tom Hardy is a cunt because … " What? WHAT?”
And then, even more hilariously, he confesses that sometimes he leaves comments anonymously because...no one else is sticking up for him!
“Yes, sometimes! Wouldn't you? Sometimes no one’s defending my corner! And then what you find — I've done it before — is that it’s a forest fire that you can’t put out. It's like [when commenters say], "Is he gay? Isn’t he gay?" Does it matter? Does it actually?”
I’m sure that’s a violation of Sarah’s List of Celebrity Don’ts but the way he tells it, it’s hysterical. And at least he’s not fronting like he doesn’t google himself. Click here to read the full Vulture piece.
Tom’s fiancée Charlotte Riley was in Cannes with him. Many of you have written to note that Jessica Chastain was being mega flirty with him during the photo calls and the carpets. Since they’re my Notebook now I’d totally be down if that were to develop but I feel like she was like that with all the boys at certain points and not just him. Maybe you were just paying extra sensitive closer attention to him? There was none of that happening at the after-party either. Having said that, word is that Tom and Charlotte came together on a movie set while he was still with the mother of his son. So, you know, he’s been powerless to that kind of chemistry before. I generally find that those who are susceptible to it are susceptible to it over and over and over again.