Tom Hardy portrays the villainous Bane in The Dark Knight Rises, a character known for doing serious bodily damage to Batman over the years. The hulking Hardy, who had bulked up for previous roles in films like Bronson and Inception, would be playing a character literally juiced on steroids, though that aspect of the character is lost on film. It doesn't matter, really, as Hardy apparently knew practically nothing about the character before agreeing to play him, according to Yahoo.

Hardy says that director Christopher Nolan wouldn't tell me anything else about the character, except that he was a very bad guy. He did, however, share that Hardy would be wearing a mask for his portrayal as Bane. In the comics, the character wears an almost Luchadore-style wrestling mask, while also being fed chemically-enhanced steroids through a system of tubes and wires.

I said, 'Tom, there's good news and bad news, the good news is I've got a great character for you. The bad news is, you're going to cover your face. People are only going to see your eyes. You're going to have to express depths of evil just through your voice, your eyes, and your physicality', and I knew he'd be up for that, and he was. He loved it. Nolan recalled. Playing the lead heavy in the final entry of Nolan's Batman saga, as well as getting to lead a group of international terrorists with an impressive complement of weaponry was also enough to convince Hardy to sign on. Tacking on 30 pounds of muscle wasn't difficult for Hardy, having been accustomed to rigorous training for films like Warrior (where he plays an MMA fighter) and Bronson (where he plays England's most violent inmate).

The English actor is something of a chameleon on-screen, from bulking up for characters like Bane and Bronson (in the film Bronson), to going full-on debonair for his role as Eames in Christopher Nolan's sci-fi masterpiece Inception. His next role will see him enter a post-apocalyptic wasteland as Max Rockatanski in Mad Max: Fury Road (currently set for a 2013 release). We can expect the character to sport full-on patchwork, black leather armor, if the film is anything like the previous Mad Max incarnations.

Hardy says that he had no idea that Nolan was secretly scouting him for the role of Bane in The Dark Knight Rises. Hardy said, I hope he quietly auditioned me during this film for something else. If his performance opposite the always intense and charismatic Christian Bale is any indication, Hardy will be seeing more roles in the immediate future, with some hopefully in whatever Christopher Nolan has up his sleeve next.