T a b o o chat

My head is a bit wonky."It's early November when we meet in a postproduction house in Soho, central London, and Hardy has a deadline.

He needs to finalise the edit on the third episode of is set in 1814, and Hardy plays James Delaney, an adventurer who returns home from 10 years in the Congo to discover that his recently dead father has bequeathed him an unusual inheritance, which is of interest to both the British and American governments and the East India Company.

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His production company, Hardy Son and Baker, which he runs with a producing partner, Dean Baker, has to send the finished series to the BBC and the American broadcaster, FX, by Christmas so that it can air in January.At some point in the not too distant future, Tom Hardy needs to book himself in for a new tattoo.The 39-year-old British actor has already got quite a few, as the markings protruding from his T-shirt — and the many topless shots that exist of him on the internet — attest."And I've just handed in 14 pages of notes on episode three," he points out, without much evident contrition. "I know every line, and I know where everything is in every scene, and I know where most candles are," he says."So yeah, I'm never happy."Hardy had the idea for the show when he was playing Bill Sikes in a 2007 BBC adaptation of , and conceived the character originally as "a Sherlock Holmes-type detective, a bit more physical as well as smart, but who has that hyper-vigilance; a spiritual, hybrid shaman-cum-cannibal-serial-killer-type thing".

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