Hardy revealed to AV Club his penchant for supporting roles, referencing other actors in the process. He also aptly compared his acting philosophy to a popular sport:
“I mean, you look at Dustin Hoffman, Gary Oldman, Philip Seymour Hoffman—these are great character actors. Not necessarily the lead, but what’s so bad about playing a co-star? What makes you think that that’s so different from playing the lead? The difference in some aspects is like playing soccer…There is no difference between passing the ball to someone’s feet accurately than there is to the striker being accurate on the goal. Being a co-star or actor is as significant position on the field as it is to be a striker.“
Aside from the shockingly accurate football analogy, Gary Oldman is a fascinating mention when it comes to being a co-star. Oldman has three Academy Award nominations for Best Actor under his belt, yet there is truth to what Hardy is saying. Like Hardy, Oldman has acted in supporting roles, including in the same film, Nolan’s “The Dark Knight Rises.” But if you look even closer at the trajectory of Oldman’s career, it includes a bevy of memorable characters like Sirius Black in the “Harry Potter” saga, and some of his earliest work as the villain in “Léon: The Professional.” If we were to compare one actor to another, I’d argue Oldman’s resume is the closest to what Hardy brings to the table.
Lead actor or not, a key aspect of Hardy’s thought process when it comes to acting is his commitment to supporting the person across from him.