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Tom Hardy as Ivan Locke
Knight never had anyone else in mind for the role of Ivan Locke than Tom Hardy and his finely calibrated performance has rewarded that belief.

"Tom is one of those people who, as soon as they are on screen, all eyes are on him," Knight says. "People want to see inside his head. He is so brilliant at the complexity of a reaction, the complexity of an emotion. He keeps it in when it is necessary and lets it go when necessary. He knows when it's right and he knows when it's wrong. He's brilliant."

Hardy's resume is crammed with rich, picturesque characters for which he has rightly won much acclaim. He was a homeless alcoholic in Stuart: A Life Backwards, frighteningly believable as a violent psychopath in Bronson, and menacing as the villain in The Dark Knight Rises, to name merely three. Ivan Locke is his first 'straight' performance. There are no elaborate costumes, no tics, and there is nowhere to hide.

"He's not a monster or a demon, just an ordinary bloke," says Knight. "The beard makes him more ordinary still as he didn't want to be too pretty."

It was Hardy's idea to give Ivan a Welsh accent. "The Welsh accent is very neutral," says Knight. "It's perfect for Ivan. It doesn't have the swagger of a lot of urban accents."

Knight's intention to shoot the entire film each night was attractive to Hardy. "This method is very actor-friendly, they love it," Knight says. "As an actor, you want a length of time to get into your character. Normally when you're filming it's a line here, a line there, it's difficult. This way really gives everyone a chance to get into it." LOCKE's short, sharp shooting schedule has also helped. "It's not taking eight weeks of your life," says Knight. "It's going in, doing it, getting it done and getting out. When people see the light at the end of the tunnel they give everything in that short burst so you get fantastic performances."

For editor Justine Wright, tasked with watching hours of footage of his face, Hardy's performance is stunning. "All the different Ivans he gave us are interesting and different," she explains. "When you watch a performance over and over again, you can become bored of it, but I haven't. It's constantly surprising. You see all these little subtleties. He's very,very,very good."

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