We asked Hardy to shave his beard first, so that he would be recognizable. And here’s what he said:
"Don’t get me wrong, there is part of me that wants to win an Oscar and wants to be on the front cover of a magazine and all that kind of stuff, but there’s also a part of me that really doesn’t. I’m not the guy you need—I’m not a role model. Don’t look too deep, because after you scratch the surface you are going to find out that I’m normal and I’ve got skeletons in my closet.
"But my intentions are good, and if you want to talk to me about the work, or if you want to work with me on something, then I hope you find that I’m a reliable team player. But you have to be as open and honest about it as I am, because you will be fucking judged, as I’ve been. But let’s have some fun! Some people will hate you, some people will like you, but then most people are completely indifferent about the fuck of my ideas and why the fuck he’s even being talked to. Who the fuck is this guy with the crooked teeth and the beard? He’s fucking ugly. Nobody buys a magazine with a beard on the front.
"So I ain’t shaving my beard for you. To shave my beard off would be to cut my fucking nuts off. You know what I mean? And give them to you to sell—to prove that I am a man. But without them, I am no longer. You sold them! And I am now a lie. Why would I do that? Oh, I’m a serious actor. Yes, I am. I cut my beard off, how do I look?”