Tom Hardy isn’t always willing to talk about The Dark Knight Rises, but he finally opened up in an exclusive interview with Total Film. Check out some cool highlights and click on the source link to read the full interview.

Hardy recalls his conversation with Christopher Nolan about playing Bane…

Hang on a minute. You’re asking me to come round the world with you in a Batman movie, playing a villain, and the only downside to it is I have to wear a mask? Hmmm, let me think. I’ll get back to you… No, I’m fucking there, man! Anything you need.

When asked if Batman will suffer any spinal injuries…

Mmmmm… Good lead-in, but all I can say is that Chris has a plan up his sleeve that’s not at all disappointing. And that is a definite choice that’s watertight in every respect. I think Bane’s fucking cool so I’m really excited to play him. It’s not the guy in Joel Schumacher’s film, but it shouldn’t disappoint fanboys…

On whether he feels any pressure to live up to Heath Ledger’s Joker…

No, none at all. Brilliant actor, brilliant work – that’s it. I’ve got a job to do. It’s the same with Mad Max & Mel Gibson. I’m not here to engage in a competition with their talent. It’s to play the character that I’m given.

Hardy on the Bane mask…

Any time you put something over your face, you’re going to adopt a personality and a physicality that has nothing to do with acting. It allows a performance to be free.

Update 08/04/11: Contact Music added additional quotes from this interview. Thanks Comic Book Movie for the heads up!

The downside to wearing the Bane mask…

The only downside is you can’t hear a f**king word anyone is saying. Batman can’t hear me and he can’t see me speaking so we sort of stand there looking at each other for a while. We’ve been doing hand signals! I put my thumbs up when I finish my lines or I wink. And he sort of wiggles his fingers out of shot and I go, ‘OK, now I’ve got to run up and kick you in the b******s!’

SOURCE: Total Film [via Comic Book Movie]