Christopher Nolan: How Oppenheimer’s Director Discovered Tom Hardy

It was in this detective thriller by Guy Ritchie that Christopher Nolan discovered the talent of a certain Tom Hardy…

In 2008, RockNRolla reinvigorated Guy Ritchie’s career. The high-octane action film tells the story of Lenny, a mobster at the head of a booming real estate business. Accompanied by his faithful lieutenant Archy, he is able to move mountains with a simple phone call. But London is changing and the old criminal regime is gradually losing its territory to a wealthy foreign mafia.

When Russian mobster Uri Omovich orchestrates a shady land deal, millions of dollars are up for grabs, driving the entire city underworld into a frenzy. Indeed, all of London’s crooks all seem to want a piece of the loot – especially Uri’s devious accountant Stella, and a gang called “The Savage Horde” consisting of petty crook “One-Two”, his partner “Messe basse” and their driver Bob “Gueule d’ange”.

The film features a fine cast that includes Gerard Butler (One-Two), Thandiwe Newton (Stella), Mark Strong (Archie), Idris Elba (Low Mass) and… Tom Hardy as driver Bob “Gueule d’ angel”, a charming little thug who falls in love with the character played by Gerard Butler. The scene of his coming out is also a great moment in the film.

Upon its release, the feature caught the eye of Christopher Nolan who later claimed, according to AdoroCinema, that crime fiction was the reason he chose Tom Hardy to play Eames, “the forger” of the team of inceptors formed by Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) in Inception (2010). The director of Oppenheimer then called on the actor again to play the terrible Bane in The Dark Knight Rises (2012) then the squadron leader Farrier, pilot of the Royal Air Force, in Dunkirk (2017).

Although RockNRolla has not known fame, the film has the freshness and irreverence that characterizes the cinema of Guy Ritchie. Since its release, its moderate success has exceeded mixed reviews and the feature has become a cult film for thriller fans.

RockNRolla can be (re)discovered in streaming on FILMO.

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