Tom Hardy reveals shadowy James Bond selection process as he throws hat in ring
Tom Hardy would like a chance at playing James Bond, just don't ask him about it.
It turns out the selection process for the role of the iconic British spy is so discreet, actors who talk about the role publicly are cut from the casting pool.
In an interview with the Daily Beast, the 39-year-old actor confirmed he was interested in the role but was too afraid to talk about it.
Hardy gained critical praise with roles in films such as The Dark Knight Rises, The Revenant and Mad Max: Fury Road and frequently appears on shortlists of actors most likely to take over from current 007, Daniel Craig.
"You know, there's a saying amongst us in the fraternity of acting, and in the fellowship of my peer group, that if you talk about it you're automatically out of the race," he said.
"So I can't possibly comment on that one! If I mention it, it's gone."
But with Spectre and Skyfall director Sam Mendes exiting the franchise last year, there could be a total spill of positions, giving Hardy a potential in.
Daniel Craig is also yet to confirm his involvement in a fifth James Bond film, with Sony bosses reportedly offering him $US150 million to star in two more sequels.
But the 48-year-old actor has made disparaging comments in several interviews, infamously telling Time Out in July 2015 he'd rather 'slash his wrists' than play James Bond again. In an interview last October, he also said "everybody's just a bit tired".
Director Christopher Nolan, who worked with Hardy on The Dark Knight Rises, expressed his interest in directing a James Bond film in 2014.
"I've talked with the producers over the years, but nothing's ever worked out. They do a great job - they don't need me right now, and Sam [Mendes] is an extraordinary talent," he told Daily Beast.
When asked whether Nolan would be a good fit for a new-look Bond, Hardy said the Interstellar and Inception director would be "amazing".
"Chris Nolan, what a fantastic director for a Bond movie. Because Daniel is so good, and what Mendes and [producer] Barbara [Broccoli] have done has been so impressive, that it would be a very hard reimagination to follow after."
"I wonder what the next instalment of that franchise would become, and I think when you mention someone like Christopher Nolan, that's a very powerful figure to bring into that world who could bring something new and create something profound – again."
Apart from Hardy, other males stars frequently rumoured to be in line for the part include Tom Hiddleston, Idris Elbe, Damien Lewis and Michael Fassbender.
- Fairfax Media Australia