Genre a law unto itself
HAT do you get when you cross a western film with a gangster film?
‘‘A wangster. It doesn’t sound good. You’re a wangster, not a real gangster,’’ Tom Hardy says of the genre nickname suggested for his latest film, Lawless.
‘‘Let’s not use that term,’’ his Australian co-star in the film, Guy Pearce, says.
Lawless screenwriter and composer, Australian singer Nick Cave, came up with the abbreviation.
‘‘It’s a great name. If it’s half western film and half gangster film, it’s a wangster film,’’ Cave says.
Based on the true story of the infamous three Bondurant brothers in prohibition-era Virginia, Lawless, which made its competition premiere at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, is directed by another Aussie, John Hillcoat ( The Road, The Proposition).
For Hardy, who plays likeable hardman Forrest Bondurant, the film’s genre is not the only mixed feature of Lawless. As the middle sibling and leader of the trio, Forrest falls short of the gangster stereotype.
‘‘He doesn’t drink, he’s a teetotaller, obsessivecompulsive, super-fastidious . . . very feminine. He’s a matriarch figure,’’ Hardy says of Forrest.
‘‘Everything is counter-macho. Although the exterior is still bearded, cigar, knuckle dusters, the entire interior landscape is different.’’
Hardy, 34, a standout in as villain Bane in Christopher Nolan’s Batman film The Dark Knight Rises, says he partly modelled his Lawless character on Tom Berenger’s gruff Sgt Barnes from Platoon, whom he calls his favourite villain.
‘‘I’d love to have made a silhouette of Forrest. I didn’t want it to be any tough guy, I wanted it to be a silhouette, like (the violent Oliver Twist character) Bill Sykes,’’ Hardy says.
A violent film not for the squeamish, Cave insists the violence in the film is depicted responsibly.
‘‘What we tried to do was show the consequences of the violence. Not every movie does that,’’ he says.
Tom Hardy and Jessica Chasta in
Guy Pearce (right).