While The Revenant looks like one of the most inventive and visually stunning films in recent memory, it also looks somber as hell. Alejandro Iñárritu's upcoming western stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy in a tale of revenge on the American frontier during the 19th century. The shoot reportedly got as dark as the film itself, and as such, Tom Hardy took it upon himself to lighten the mood whenever possible.
According to EW, Hardy explained that he had a somewhat unconventional method of keeping things light when mood dipped during production:
When things get a bit too serious, I go, ‘Why don’t we have a cuddle in front of all these people here?’?It ends with both of us falling down in the snow. I think that’s a good thing. If I’m the naughty boy for doing that, then I’d rather be the naughty boy and release that tension.
It has already been established that The Revenant was a hellish shoot, from near freezing temperatures, to shooting its scenes in chronological order, to the simple fact that Leonardo DiCaprio actually vomited after eating the liver of a wild bison. That being said, it takes a brave actor to wrestle his director to the ground, but the results seem to have paid off in the end. Iñárritu has corroborated Tom Hardy’s statement, describing him as "loveable" beneath his seemingly unapproachable demeanor. The director even went so far as to liken Hardy to Donkey from Shrek for his animated, humorous quality while on the set of The Revenant. If you’re wondering just how bleak the movie gets, check out the trailer below for yourself.
Perhaps this is an example of someone learning from their past experiences to grow as an individual. On the set of Mad Max: Fury Road, Hardy reportedly had quite a few disputes with co-star Charlize Theron, as well as director George Miller. Hardy’s frustration got so bad that he eventually felt the need to apologize to Miller for his behavior on the set – although to be fair, that particular movie had been described as grueling. Hardy has also been outspoken in his distaste for the time he spent on the film This Means War, calling the experience "miserable."
In times of great stress, it always falls upon someone to take responsibility and alleviate the tension. While Tom Hardy’s methods may have been unorthodox, they seem to have paid off. The Revenant hits theaters on Christmas day.