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In late 2011 when audiences saw the Imax prologue of The Dark Knight Rises ahead of Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol, they made a startling discovery: Many of them couldn’t understand Tom Hardy, who played the villainous, mask-wearing Bane with a pronounced accent. It seemed like a sound-mixing problem, but when The Dark Knight Rises opened seven months later, it sparked a narrative about the actor that persists today: He’s just hard to understand onscreen.

That legend continued to build later in 2012 with Lawless, which saw critics have a field day with his Southern accent. “Mr. Hardy mostly grunts, growls and ribbits, occasionally interrupting his angry bullfrog impersonation to deliver down-home bromides that make him sound like Toby Keith choking on a Cheeto,” The New York Times’ A.O. Scott wrote.

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