22 February 2011 4:11 AM, PST | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Tom Hardy is bulking up - the actor is piling on the pounds to play Batman's nemesis in Christopher Nolan's upcoming The Dark Knight Rises.

The Brit is set to play violent villain Bane opposite Christian Bale's Caped Crusader in the next installment of the superhero franchise, but he'll have to gain more than 20 pounds (nine kilograms) before filming begins in May.

He tells U.K. talk show host Alan Carr, "I'm going to need to bulk up a lot for it. That's a lot of weight to put on and I've got to start shooting in May. I've got to go up to about 13 and a half or 14 stone (196 pounds/89 kilograms). I'm 12 and a bit now, so I've got under three months to do that. Fat - a lot of fat. And trickery."

And Hardy has vowed to make his version of Bane more terrifying than Jeep Swenson's turn as the character in 1997 box office flop Batman & Robin.

He adds, "Have you seen the Joel Schumacher Batman & Robin? (Bane) doesn't look very menacing, does he? Christopher Nolan will revisit that territory entirely so I wouldn't go by that at all."


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