As often as Hollywood seems to champion rising stars or future A-listers, few of those careers survive more than one or two flop, and many stall before they have the chance to break through. Simultaneously, actors and filmmakers sometimes deliver work that simply cannot be ignored, no matter how big or small the film, and they soon find themselves on a fast track whether they want to stick with character work or strap into the red carpet rotation and ride their celebrity all of the way to the bank. In the last decade we've seen actors like Edward Norton, Eric Bana and Ryan Gosling explode onto the moviegoing consciousness via big roles in small films, and subsequently go on to do even greater things. And following the achievement of last year's breakthrough biopic-cum-character study, Bronson, actor Tom Hardy can count himself among the throng of performers whose talent is simply undeniable.

Hardy's follow-up is no less than this summer's most highly-anticipated film, Inception, where he stars alongside Leonardo DiCaprio and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a member of an outfit that infiltrates a victim's dreams and steals their secrets directly from their memories. Cinematical sat down with Hardy and a couple of our colleagues for a casual chat at the Los Angeles press day for the film, where in addition to talking about his transformation as the forger Eames, he reflected on his collaboration with writer-director Christopher Nolan, and explored the changes his career is going through – and that he hopes it will go through as a result of making two marvelous films, back to back.