The magazine Dogs Today interviewed Tom Hardy in 2007, and in their latest issue, July 2014, they’ve reproduced that interview, along with a photo of Tom and Max. (I’ve only transcribed the parts including the interview from 2007, the rest was taken from other articles in other magazines.)
Dogs today last spoke to actor Tom Hardy in 2007. I think he may have phones us; my memory is a little patchy. I remember he was really keen to have his dog, Max in the magazine.
Tom’s beloved dog Staffie-Labrador, Max, was 13 when we spoke to him. He had a little bit of blue in his eyes and you could tell Tom was treasuring the days, as you do with your golden oldies.
He told us, “A friend of mine had a Staff-Labrador cross called Cass, she was mustard coloured and I really wanted her.” Tom mentioned that if Cass ever had puppies, he’d be interested in one - and when Tom was 17, his wish came true. “I went round to visit her and Max was there. I think dogs choose you.”
He also told us about the time he found a Jack Russell puppy tied up outside a pub. After waiting with the dog for 15 minutes, “This guy came out with an ashtray of water.” He was drunk and obviously not well. “I didn’t want to leave the dog with him, because he asked, ‘How much will you give me for the dog?’” Tom gave the own er money and found Daphne the dog a home with the mother of his then girlfriend.
When he had worked in Morocco for 10 months on Black Hawk Down, Tom was deeply saddened by all the stray dogs. “You just want to love them and hold them,” he told us. “We used to go to the supermarkets and get them flea stuff, pills, and feed them up. When I see people beating up dogs, I get very angry. Maybe it’s because a dog can’t speak for itself and we project a lot of human emotions on to a dog, which I should be feeling for our fellow human beings.”
Max used to go to drama school with Tom. “I wouldn’t go to class unless Max was allowed in,” recalls Tom. “My old drama teacher said, ‘I remember when you used to walk into class with your dog in one hand and a can of coke in the other.’ Max was my support unit, it’s like I had a focus, I had an identity and higher self-esteem because something relied on me and loved me constantly. Then I felt important. I can’t stand those kind that fight their dogs, but I wonder how many sleep with their dogs under the covers at night? I’m very, very lucky that people - from 17 to now - have always allowed me to have my dog around.”
Max went everywhere with Tom. He even played a homeless dog named Moose in one of his films, Stuart: A Life Backwards.
Tom’s job can involve travelling, and sometimes that meant Max had to stay behind. For UK jobs, though, Max was Tom’s primary consideration. “If we’re shooting in England, my first priority is whether I can take my dog and get him in the contract. When I have to leave him behind, I miss him so much. He’s like a part of me; he’s my boy. And nothing will make me cry like Max.”
"My dog’s named after Mad Max - the people who gave him to me when I was 17 said he was Mad Max. I thought: ‘I don’t like that name - and he’s not mad, he’s a puppy.’"