Tom Hardy has been greeting fans on the red carpet as his new thriller Locke enjoyed its premiere.
The actor, who plays troubled construction site foreman Ivan Locke in the 90-minute feature, said the film was about an ordinary man whose life is steadily torn apart over the course of a motorway car journey, as the repercussions of one night in his past come back to haunt him.
Shot in just two weeks, Hardy said it was the pacing of the movie – by the creator of the Peaky Blinders hit television show Steve Knight – which was the key to its success.
“It was a bit of an experiment really – and it’s paid off, because it works,” he said.
Hardy, who signed dozens of autographs and posed for selfies for fans at the premiere in Knight’s home town of Birmingham, said he had been blessed with “a great script” from which to work from.
“It’s almost like a radio-play on one hand, and then just running the camera as life goes by. It’s in real time,” he said.
“We shot the whole film in one. We did the play twice a night for five nights, and it took 10 days to do the bits and bobs and cut it all together – it was quite an experimental piece.”
Also starring the voice talents of Ruth Wilson, Andrew Coleman and Olivia Scott, Hardy said the camaraderie on set had helped to deliver the film’s edge.
He added: “There’s always camaraderie when you’ve got a good team but it was a very bizarre set-up which is what was good fun about it.
“We’d got a script, we only had a couple of weeks to shoot it in and swam through fences to do it.
“It’s such a great script, such a great idea and it seems to have worked.”
Hardy was originally offered the part by Knight in what was originally a short film “about a bloke travelling to see his son being born”.
However, in the event the movie ended up as a full-length feature film. “It was a short film that turned into a feature film, I loved it,” he said.
Knight, joining his principal star on the red carpet said that having made conventional films “I just wondered if there wasn’t another way”.
He said: “The basic process is get people into a room, turn the lights off and have them engage with the screen for 90 minutes, and I wanted to know if there was another way to do that.
“What I wanted to do was really simplify the whole process and capture the whole performance and point the camera at an ordinary man, not a Jason Bourne, not an action hero, but an ordinary human being who has made a mistake and is trying his hardest to make amends for what he has done.
“I think people will identify with his dilemma because it is so ordinary.”
He said Hardy – who is the only actor who appears on screen throughout – made “compulsive viewing”.
“In all the countries we’ve shown the film, all over Europe and America always afterwards people come up to me and say ‘that’s the journey my dad never made’, ‘that’s the journey I never made’, ‘that’s the journey I did make’.
“People relate it to their own world because it is very recognisable to them and it’s the emotional impact that I am really pleased with.”
Knight said he had decided to have the premiere in Birmingham, where his hit show Peaky Blinders is set, in a bid to turn the spotlight back on what he called “the great city”, claiming it had become ever more “invisible” since its creative and manufacturing heyday as the workshop of the world and the birthplace of the Arts and Crafts movement.
He added: “I am passionate about trying to do stuff in Birmingham, and for people in Birmingham to have the confidence and belief to shoot things here.
“In the 19th century we manufactured for the world and it annoys me that we’re so invisible in the media. I t is up to us to do something about it.”
Locke is released in cinemas nationwide this week.