Stuart Clive Shorter—-September 19, 1968—July 6, 2002.
TOM HARDY’s shares his feelings and affinity for Stuart:
“I love Stuart. I love him. I feel for him, his pain, d’you know what I mean?There’s more pain in him than there is in me and there’s a gratitude there in some ways, because I think, ‘Well at least I’m not in as much pain as this poor guy.’ I don’t want to make it sound sentimental, though. Alexander has written something that sings. I fell in love with the piece. I could hear the music of it.”
“I had a lot in common with Stuart, with the exception of a couple of very serious experiences – specifically the child abuse he suffered, and the muscular dystrophy. Everything else I have full comprehension of. I could relate to the drugs and his attitude at points, too – d’you know what I mean? There were a lot of similarities between us. I thought ‘Oh, oh, oh [he bounces up and down on the sofa in excitement, his trainers pitter-pattering on the carpet], I can bring something to this!’ It came from my own baggage.Playing Stuart helped. He taught me about me, about what I’m capable of, about fears and embarrassments. About not giving a s*** what anyone thinks of you. These are small issues for some people but for me they’re huge. Stuart was best role I’ve ever had – probably ever will have. I could stop now, technically. I’m not going to, because I love the craft, I love playing, I love acting. But that is as good as it gets, for me. So I can’t say what will happen next. Even though I know there’s no such thing as perfection, I’m still looking for it. It drives me. But I have a fear of success and a fear of failure. Self-sabotage is in my make-up. It can be debilitating. I can’t stand being in my head, that’s why I have to get out of it. That’s where the drugs and drink came in. I don’t do any of that any more, though. That’s why I have to act.D’you know what I mean?”
I think given the depth and power of Tom Hardy’s performance in both excellence and empathy, I wanted to commemorate the day in some small way. I feel it is one of Tom’s strongest and most poignant performances and I know it has affected many people in the most positive of ways and prompted many changes in how they perceive and interact with people less fortunate than themselves. A salute to Stuart Shorter an invincible spirit, a man who was fearless and an inspiration to many who knew him, Alexander Master who wrote the book and of course to Tom Hardy who brought this man to life on screen.