Hold on to your heart. Here’s Tom Hardy speaking pure guid Scots in The Inheritance (2007). This is the short film directed by Charles Henri Belleville and written/produced by Tom’s friend and former flatmate Tim Barrow (who also co-stars). It was shot on a wing and a prayer over 11 days in Scotland in February, so very much an achievement. The story follows two brothers journeying north to find their inheritance from their late father (Tom, who steals the film in his few moments).
Some interesting bits from a 2007 interview with Charles Belleville:
How did you cast for the film ? I mean Tim Barrow was already on board.
[…] All the actors in the film were incredible, but it meant that when we were filming up in the middle of Scotland, because we had limited light and we had limited time to get to different locations, if the actors had been fluffing their lines, that would have really cost us and it would have been really, really difficult, but they were on the money, every take.
They all knew their lines and obviously having them be totally professional and committed meant we could do it. Also the opportunity to have Tom Hardy involved was marvellous.
When we told people we were going to do a feature and we were going to do it for five grand and none of this had happened - no BIFA, no Raindance people went a bit Oh, Oh but Tom, by agreeing that he would do it, gave the film legitimacy straight away. As soon as we said Tom Hardy’s in it, people would take it a little bit more legitimate.
This was in the middle of when he was doing RocknRolla, the new Guy Ritchie film with about 8m.
I met Tom at his flat and his girlfriend cooked a meal. He was just off the film and they hadnt seen each other for a wee while - and there was me and we talked about how we were going to shoot the film, where Tom would be playing a 60-year old fisherman and we would be shooting by candlelight.
We had no money for the film, no money for makeup so we talked about it and had the idea to shoot his bit at night, shoot it in candle light and shoot it in black and white, shoot close ups and put it in and out of focus and try and get the illusion.
Tom said he wasnt sure about a Scottish accent and then he pulled out this amazing Scottish accent and I said Bloody hell Tom you sound more Scottish than me. But when he put that Scottish accent on it was as if the illusion was almost complete, it was amazing.
My idea was if we shot it in black and white, we would light with candle light. I was actually operating the camera because we did this after we finished the shoot. We did it in just one evening and Chris was in Belfast so I operated camera myself on a little Sony A1 camera.
It was funny seeing those scenes for myself, especially blown up in the cinema. I went in and out of focus and got Tom to read it going in to extreme close up and trying to get Tom in and out of shadows. I was trying to create some kind of production value and some kind of air of mystery as he read this letter. And with that Scottish accent that he came out with the illusion that really worked.
And Tom was very happy with it as well when he saw the finished film. It was really great to have his cooperation for this film. I mean he’s a Hollywood actor, he’s been in Black Hawk Down, for example, and it is wonderful that he was willing to give up some of his time for this little film. Tom Hardy, I salute you sir! An absolute legend.