Tom Hardy was first introduced to American audiences in 2002's Star Trek: Nemesis, in which he played a villainous clone of Patrick Stewart's character, Jean-Luc Picard. For numerous reasons, not the least of which being that the movie was (through no fault of his) terrible, Hardy's profile failed to further infiltrate the mainstream marketplace; but he nevertheless continued to work in a variety of projects where he both distinguished himself and strengethened the overall ensemble, including such films as Black Hawk Down, Marie Antoinette, and Guy Ritchie's RocknRolla. However, following his overdue star turn in last year's Bronson, in which he played a charismatic career prison inmate, Hollywood came calling, offering him the plum role of Mad Max in a highly-anticipated reboot of the iconic Mel Gibson film series.

On Saturday morning, Cinematical joined a small group of reporters for an intimate chat with Hardy at the Los Angeles press day for Inception, Christopher Nolan's mind-bending new thriller. Stay tuned for the full interview in weeks to come, but in the meantime check out Hardy's comments about the challenges – and opportunities – he's facing as he steps into the title role of Mad Max: Fury Road.