A Man of His Times; Tom Hardy's Complex Character Takes on the Superpowers of the Day in a Bid to Rebuild His Family Empire and Redeem Himself Amidst the Politics of 19th Century Britain, Writes Seanna Cronin

Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia), July 12, 2017 | Go to article overview

A Man of His Times; Tom Hardy's Complex Character Takes on the Superpowers of the Day in a Bid to Rebuild His Family Empire and Redeem Himself Amidst the Politics of 19th Century Britain, Writes Seanna Cronin


WHETHER he's portraying a hero or a villain, Tom Hardy's performances are always grounded in the grey areas between good and bad, right and wrong.

His latest character, James Delaney, in Taboo is no different. What makes Delaney special is the fact he is Hardy's own creation.

The Oscar nominee co-creates, produces and stars in the eight-part drama.

Hardy, best known for his roles in The Revenant, Mad Max: Fury Road and The Dark Knight Rises, brought in Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight to help flesh out the idea he conceived with the help of his father, Chips Hardy.

"It was an idea that Tom had had for a while, and it was as simple as someone who returns from Africa with rumours about him," Knight tells The Guide.

"Originally the idea was it would be set in the 19th century and be more of a Jack The Ripper story, but when we talked about it, I didn't want to go there."

Instead, they settled on the year 1814.

"There were so many different things going on," he says. "Britain was at war with France and the United States, the King was mad. I wanted to create a character who becomes involved in the politics of the day."

When viewers first meet Delaney he is a dark and dangerous man who returns home after the death of his father.

"I wanted to create a character that is complex and I quite enjoy thinking up characters who are hard to redeem and then trying to redeem them," Steven says.

"He is also a man of his times; they were pretty violent and brutal times in 1814, and I think he is a product of that society. …

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