The Bikeriders’ Tom Hardy on Johnny’s ‘addictive’ relationship with Austin Butler’s Benny

Tom Hardy and Austin Butler in The Bikeriders

Tom Hardy has spoken about the relationship between his character and Austin Butler’s in Jeff Nichols’ The Bikeriders.

The crime drama, headlined by Venom’s Hardy and Dune: Part Two star and Elvis Oscar-nominee Butler, as well as Killing Eve favourite Jodie Comer, follows a young member of a gang who is taken under the wing of an older biker.

As the film progresses, the intense relationship between Benny (Austin) and Johnny (a Marlon Brando On the Waterfront-esque Hardy) sours in a violent exploration of masculinity.

Speaking to Variety, Hardy said: “I think Benny, for Johnny, presents an element of wish fulfilment: vitality, freedom – whatever that is – and this guy’s got no responsibility. He’s pure. He’s beautiful.”

The star went on to hint that his character’s obsession with Benny spells his downfall. “And what does he do? He tries to chain it. He can’t. There’s an addiction element to it. A compulsion, like a moth to a flame. It’s like Icarus to the sun.

“It’s very clear that Johnny was into Benny, way more than Benny was into Johnny,” Hardy added, before clarifying that his character is more than “guilty of objectifying Benny.”

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The Bikeriders, written and directed by Jeff Nichols, is based on a book of the same name by Danny Lyon.

Its official synopsis reads: “Over the course of a decade, a Midwestern motorcycle club evolves from a gathering place for local outsiders to a sinister gang, threatening the original group’s way of life.”

The film also features Mike Faist, fresh from Challengers, The Flash‘s Michael Shannon and The Walking Dead‘s Norman Reedus.

The Bikeriders opens on Friday (21 June).

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