I suppose you could say my father's world was Thomas Hardy and my mother's D.H. Lawrence.
I like to be other people, not me. And when you're on the red carpet, it's like, 'Here's Tom Hardy.' I don't want to be me. That's why I play other people.
I've become very close with Tom Hardy. I love Tom to bits.
I was raised with 'Laurel and Hardy' and 'I Love Lucy' and Jerry Lewis, and I just loved it. And I had a friend in high school and we would just laugh all day and put on skits. You know, it's the Andy Kaufman thing or the Marty Short thing where you're performing in your bedroom for yourself.
You have to give people permission to laugh. That's why they would always cut to the banana peel in the Laurel and Hardy movies.
When I was a kid, I loved all the silent comedians - Buster Keaton, Laurel and Hardy, Chaplin. And I used to imitate them. I'd go to see a Buster Keaton movie and come home and try things out I'd seen. I learned to do pratfalls when I was very young.
I was a 'Laurel and Hardy' nut. I got to know Laurel at the end of his life, and it was a great thrill for me. He left me his bow tie and derby and told me that if they ever made a movie about him, he'd want me to play him.
I remember devouring the entire Hardy Boys series over one summer, enthralled by their bravery and cleverness.
In westerns, you meet a hardy bunch of characters. There is no jealousy on such pictures.
It was absolutely thrilling to meet Laurel and Hardy, they were so nice.
I still don't think I've ever read a Nancy Drew book; I probably read three or four 'Hardy Boys' books when I was 10, 11, 12, and I didn't love them at the time. Even then, they felt dated to me, like the word chum - 'my chum and I.' However, the 'Encyclopedia Brown' books, I read all of them.
I am proud of all of the products in the Ed Hardy family.
The Hardy Boys burned me out. I was recharging my batteries. It was time to return to work, but it was tough because my visibility was low.
During the time I was on The Hardy Boys, I was also watching other people's careers. I thought the next step was to be a movie star. I kept saying no to projects, and offers stopped coming in. I was no longer hot.
I'd love to be in a period drama, though my dream role is to be in a film with Ray Winstone and Tom Hardy.
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