Watch Now: BRONSON
After finishing Pusher 3, Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn decided that his next project would be Bronson, a movie about the most infamous prisoner in England's history, the legendary Charles Bronson (a nickname given to him by his bare-knuckle boxing trainer), a person that spent more time in solitary confinement than as a free man (despite never killing anybody). Michael Peterson aka Bronson has been incarcerated since 1974, with only several months spent outside of prison. Refn tried to visit Bronson in jail while writing the script with co-writer Brock Norman Brock, but his request was denied on the account of him not being from Britain, meaning that the director had to settle for merely two phone calls with the inmate.
Tom Hardy had better luck after he was cast in the lead role, visiting Bronson several times and actually becoming friends with him. Bronson was allegedly less than impressed with Hardy at first, but ended up extremely satisfied when he finally saw the movie, commending Hardy's physical transformation and the way in which the actor imitated his voice. The film received rave reviews from critics, especially for not trying to make sense of why Bronson is the way he is, but rather for simply accepting him as he is—a showman who started fighting because he could not find a proper way to express himself.