Austin Butler didn't know if he 'would get along' with Tom Hardy on “The Bikeriders ”(exclusive)

Austin Butler didn't know if he 'would get along' with Tom Hardy on “The Bikeriders ”(exclusive)

"You never know when you meet your heroes," Butler says.

Austin Butler and Tom Hardy's gritty motorcycle club members in The Bikeriders are literally ride-or-die for each other, but Butler wasn't sure what to expect when he met Hardy for the first time in real life.

The period film, based on photojournalist Danny Lyon’s acclaimed 1968 photobook of the same name, tells the story of the rise of a fictional Midwestern motorcycle club called the Vandals. Set in the 1960s, the movie follows a core group of original members across the years as they watch the club grow and evolve in both positive and negative ways.

<p>Mike Faist/Focus Features</p> Tom Hardy in 'The Bikeriders'

Mike Faist/Focus Features

Tom Hardy in 'The Bikeriders'

Related: The Bikeriders' writer-director Jeff Nichols explains how the movie compares to the true story that inspired it

Hardy plays the group's de facto leader, Johnny, who relies heavily on Butler's Benny as he creates and expands the gang. In the exclusive video above, Butler reveals he didn't know if he and Hardy would get along. "You never know when you meet your heroes if you're going to get along," Butler says. "And Tom makes me laugh harder than almost anyone in this world."

It turns out Butler wasn't the only member of the production who didn't know what to expect from Hardy, including how he would talk when cameras started rolling. "We didn't know what he was going to sound like," producer Sarah Green says. "When he first opened his mouth, it was like, we all went, 'What?! That's so wild!' There was a little Marlon Brando in there; I think there was a little Jimmy Cagney in there. It worked so well for us."

Writer-director Jeff Nichols reveals that Butler also had a major impact on everyone working on the movie. "Austin Butler, just on sight, starts to change the way people behave," he says. "The air changes. The temperature changes."

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Jodie Comer, who plays Butler's onscreen wife, Kathy, admits with a laugh that "everyone who meets him falls in love with him as soon as he walks in a room." It certainly helped her film their love-at-first-sight scene where Kathy meets Benny in a bar, which Comer remembers as "nerve-wracking."

"It was busy, and it was live," she tells EW in a separate interview. "I remember telling Austin at one point, 'God, I'm so nervous.' I felt like I had to speak it out loud in the hopes that it would subside because Kathy is introduced to all of them in that moment and has a showdown with many of them. And I guess I felt the pressure of holding my own within that as she does and just kind of embracing that part of myself in that way."

<p>Courtesy of Focus Features</p> Austin Butler in 'The Bikeriders'

Courtesy of Focus Features

Austin Butler in 'The Bikeriders'

Related: The Bikeriders director and Michael Shannon had opposite reactions to his scene-stealing monologue

While shooting that pivotal early scene, Nichols reveals that Hardy suggested that Butler turn a chair around to sit backward while staring into Comer's eyes. "Austin did it, and then it gave him something to prop his arms up on," Nichols says with a laugh. "And these massive biceps and triceps, glistening in the light."

Nichols tells EW that filming Benny and Kathy's first time meeting was "a special night."

"When Austin sat down, and he turned that chair around, and he smiles at her, it's like I was looking at a movie that was made in the '80s that has been part of pop culture for a really long time," he says. "Now, I'm not saying our film will reach that level of the zeitgeist or anything else, but just for me personally, I was looking at these images going, 'Well, that feels like it's been here forever.' And when he lifts his head up from that pool table, I've been staring at that Danny Lyon photograph for 20 fricking years of that guy with his head down on the pool table, and I get to watch him look up again."

The writer-director doesn't "want to get cheesy about it," but in that moment, he says the movie felt important: "This feels like it's going to, I don't know, stick around."

The Bikeriders is available to rent or own on digital beginning Tuesday.

—Additional reporting by Mike Miller

Read the original article on Entertainment Weekly.