You might have noticed that Tom Hardy has a remarkable ability to convey a powerful onscreen presence without using too many if any lines of dialogue. In Mad Max: Fury Road, arguably his biggest role to date, Hardy only speaks 52 times in the entire film; that doesn’t stop him from creating one of the boldest characters of the decade.
If you’re watching Hardy’s new television series Taboo on FX, now five episodes into its first season, then you know the nonverbal dominance of the actor continues, as more often than not when he opens his mouth, what comes out aren’t words but rather deep, guttural, telling grunts. In the world of the show, this overtly-masculine communication in place of, you know, actual conversation lends itself to Hardy’s character, who has returned to civilized London after a dozen years on his own in the wilds of Africa at the turn of the 19th century, but even so his constant grunting is noticeable, to the point you could make a drinking game out of it and end up fairly sloshed at the end of each episode. That’s because at a grand total of 72 grunts in the first five episodes, Hardy is averaging 14.4 utterances an hour, which translates to four or five beers depending on your definition of “chug.”
But wait, how do I know exactly how many grunts Hardy gives in Taboo’s first five episodes? Did I count them? Nope, didn’t have to, because the following “Tom Hardy Grunt Counter” did it for me. It’s the brainchild of Flypie Films and I’m going to respectfully request of them an app version of this that I can hold up to any Tom Hardy movie and it will recognize his voice, or his grunts, and count them for me. Ooh, maybe make it recognize Tim Allen’s voice, too, and Brendan Fraser’s, but only from Encino Man.
Unlike the show, this counter is suitable for work, though the guy in the cube next to you is probably going to think otherwise.
Taboo is on FX Tuesday nights at 10.