lawless 2012 tom hardy shia labeouf Tom Hardy, Shia LaBeouf & Guy Pearce Interview For John Hillcoats Lawless

Gangster meets Western in ‘Lawless,’ the true story of the freewheelin’ Bondurant brothers, bootlegging siblings taking the law into their own hands. This is the story of the rural hard-men that created the big city gangsters. Brazen and fearless, these young rebel brothers helped build the American Dream in this exuberant tale of what was to become crime’s first major gold rush. The youngest brother, Jack (Shia LaBeouf), fancies himself the next Al Capone; he dreams of sharp suits, guns, girls and fast cars, no matter the cost. Ambitious and impulsive, he takes the family’s small-scale moonshining operation to the big leagues, to impress the gorgeous but off-limits Amish girl, Bertha (Mia Wasikowska). The middle brother, Howard (Jason Clarke), is the brawling muscle – loyal but reckless – never one to turn down a taste of white lightning. And eldest brother, Forrest (Tom Hardy), reluctantly accepts the changing times with grace and grit, leading the family with strength of character and silent determination against the beginnings of corporate greed. An enigmatic and stunning Maggie (Jessica Chastain) comes to town with a hidden past, igniting his passion and almost saving him in the process. As the Bondurants’ legend grows, so too does the danger, and it’s not long before the brothers must face the consequences of their transgressions, or rewrite the myth and the law themselves. ‘Lawless’ arrives in cinemas August 31st, it also stars Guy Pearce, Dane DeHaan and Gary Oldman.

Working with Gary Oldman in ‘Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,’ ‘The Dark Knight Rises‘ and with this, ‘Lawless.’ How has that experience been? I know he’s someone you admire.

Tom Hardy: With ‘Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,’ the first time I worked with Gary Oldman, I had to watch him because we had to re-shoot….because my beard fell off while I was talking (laughs). So we had to go back and re-shoot the entire scene that I had with him in that, in ‘Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.’ Which is good because I spent my entire experience with Gary staring at him, and not returning any lines, because I think he’s basically God, you know? The second time, on ‘The Dark Knight Rises‘ as Bane, I was kind of playing God, so I kind of ignored him, kicked him a bit, that kind of thing (laughs). But Gary Oldman is one of my heroes, completely. I did nothing but gleam from him.

Shia, there’s some brutal scenes in this film. How did you choreograph and train for them?

Shia LaBeouf: In terms of the training, at the least the Brothers, we all worked out pretty hard. We were always in the gym, that was like our community. Our brotherhood started in the gym, it felt like. But there wasn’t a lot of fight training, the fight scene I did with Guy Pearce was really organic and it happened really fast. That’s the way John Hillcoat does his violence. It’s messy, it’s dirty, it’s realistic. So it’s not rehearsed like a ballet, it’s rough around the edges.

guy pearce lawless Tom Hardy, Shia LaBeouf & Guy Pearce Interview For John Hillcoats Lawless

Guy, how did you shape this very memorable, terrifying character? His appearance is striking.

Guy Pearce: For me, the character was really there on the page, in the script. There was just a quality to this character where I felt he was so caught up in his own sort of judgment of the world, his own distaste and disgust of everything around him that his vanity really played a big part in him. I thought he had a really obscure view of the world through that. There was some things that I wanted to do that just expressed this kind of obscure vanity that this guy had. So the look of the character and his disdain for everything around him ended up, therefore, being the character that I played. We really wanted to create somebody who was extremely creepy, extremely caught up in his obscure view of the world, and just someone who was memorable.

He’s probably the most extreme in ‘Lawless.‘ He’s a little more specific and hideous than he is in the book that ‘Lawless’ is based on?

Guy Pearce: I knew from the beginning that this character that I was playing had been changed from the book. And so I chose not to read the book because I didn’t want to find myself struggling with any changes that potentially were made. And I may not have, but I just found that there was so much in the script for me that I didn’t feel like I needed to read the book.

What’s the process of getting the accent right for your character, what sort of work did you do for that?

Tom Hardy: I’ve only ever done two American accents really, and a couple of not so good ones. So I’m still a bit nervous about the American accent. But this one is so specific, and such a strong colour that there’s a little bit more mask work to be done for me. So it’s a little bit easier to hide behind an accent like this. Which was not necessarily an accent but more of a personality and a character. So I didn’t feel like I was doing….it was funny, it felt like more of a voice that came from a centre than an accent. And it was the same with ‘Warrior,’ I had a very similar monocephalic, central character to come from. So I wasn’t so caught up with dialect – as soon as that happens I panic and….I’m not Australian in ‘Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy’ for a reason. It wasn’t a choice (laughs). That’s not true, I chose to be British (laughs). But my accent work isn’t always amazing.