“Inception’s” breakout star, Brit Tom Hardy, teamed up with rising talent Joel Edgerton for “Warrior,” a dramatic big screen tale of family and fighting, which left its mark off screen.
“Joel tore his [MCL], he tore that… and my little toe got broken,” Tom told Access Hollywood at Comic-Con 2011 in San Diego last week as he promoted the September 9-due film, alongside his Australian co-star.
“I broke my ribs and I tore the ligament in my right hand and then Eric ‘Bad’ Apple had his neck broken… There were some moments,” Tom added of the injuries sustained to the cast from the film’s mixed martial arts scenes and training.
The story of “Warrior” follows two battling brothers, each with their own troubled story, as they rise in the ranks of the mixed martial arts world – one battling for his own family (Joel’s Brendan Conlon), the other slugging it out to keep a promise for a fallen Marine’s kin (Tom’s Tommy Conlon).
“That’s the beauty of the film,” Joel said of the story when asked who moviegoers will want to root for. “You get two guys, neither of them is a villain. They’re just both people, who you empathize with and they’re on this collision course and by the time they get there, you don’t know who your rooting for and you don’t know who is going to win. It’s quite an amazing thing that they’ve changed.”
“Well, we know I’m going to win, all the way from the beginning. Look at the poster,” Tom laughed, pointing to his ripped physique in the promotional photo. “It’s obvious, isn’t it?”
There was plenty of training for the film – weight lifting and various mixed martial arts – and a whole lot of eating, the men explained.
“When you think about how many chickens we must have eaten… We did a small village… If chickens lived in villages, which they don’t,” Tom laughed of their “Warrior” diets.
”[It was] a lot of protein,” Joel added. “They were bringing us like a plate of chicken or beef every three hours.”
While the set of the film was filled with a host of men working hard to prepare, Tom and Joel said they were never tempted to prove their prowess behind the scenes – not even with an arm wrestling match.
“There was a lot of love around the gym,” Joel said.
“There’s no competition,” Tom added. “It’s the first place to lose competition is hanging around with fighters. [A gym is] the first place to forget any idea of trying to be an alpha male… otherwise you’re never gonna be an alpha male.”