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Tom Hardy’s Star Trek audition was naked and “bizarre”

Star Trek: Nemesis is over 20 years old, and an interview with Patrick Stewart from the time recalls Tom Hardy's bizarre audition.

Tom Hardy in Star Trek Nemesis

The Star Trek movies have certainly been a variable bunch – from the highs of Wrath of Khan and Star Trek Beyond to the lows of Star Trek: Generations. Unfortunately Tom Hardy’s foray into the Trek universe – in what was only his second Hollywood movie after Ridley Scott’s Black Hawk Down – is not considered one of the better Trek movies. But Patrick Stewart certainly remembers his audition…

Hardy plays Praetor Shinzon, who is revealed to be a young clone of Stewart’s Captain Picard. Speaking to Entertainment Tonight back in 2002, which is when Star Trek: Nemesis came out, Stewart said; “We didn’t know where to go. We couldn’t find someone. And I had a friend who had been an agent of mine in London.”

“I called her and said, ‘Look, they said they’ve seen everyone but is there any actor you know who Star Trek [producers] haven’t seen who could be me and younger?’ And she said, ‘Absolutely. I know just the man. He wasn’t seen, because he’d been filming abroad and he’s in Morocco right now. And his name is Tom Hardy.’ I have a lot of respect for [the agent], so Tom put himself on video.”

Hardy has explained in other interviews that he was unable to find a video editor to remove some of the other ‘antics’ he had filmed in his hotel room along with his audition, while also confirming rumours there was some partial nudity.

“It was a bizarre video and there are some people who believe he was actually naked in this video,” Stewart recalled of the self-tape. “He had the sides of some of the Shinzon scenes, but he was improvising them. He wasn’t really doing what was in the script. It certainly made us all sit up and pay attention.”

Hardy has continued his bizarre antics in the following two decades, not least in his Venom movies – in which he notoriously climbed into a restaurant lobster tank, as well as wrestling with a live chicken.

Check out our guide to the best Star Trek characters.