How You Know Him:
Master thief and forger in the movie Inception.
Why He’s Crushworthy:
It’s funny that I can find someone else to swoon over in a film that features my full time crush, but sometimes you can’t quite help it. Inception was full of characters that weren’t quite characters. Because the film has to work in two completely opposite ways there’s really no way that most, or any besides the central, of the characters can be any more than one dimension. They’re all decently rounded one dimensional, but one dimensional just the same. We don’t know what any of them are feeling, except when they’re yelling about being upset about something they should rightfully be upset about, they don’t point out many ideas besides the obvious, and they don’t have any sort of backstory to any of them. We know that Cobb, has worked with them before, or if he hasn’t, but we don’t know on what and we don’t know what they do outside of working with Cobb. This is obviously intentional for reasons I can’t discuss if you haven’t seen the film and wont if you have. Cobb is central, the rest are peripheral. And it’s how it has to be in order to make the film work.
Still, they are all likable. And none is more likable than Eames. We first meet Eames in Mombasa where he’s doing god knows what, just waiting for Cobb to come recruit him for to help perform inception. He’s the thief and forger that Cobb needs to perform the job and is good enough for Cobb to travel to a place of distinct danger to recruit.
He’s the one of the secondary characters to have the most personality, as far as I’m concerned. While Joseph Gordon-Levit’s Arthur has more screen time and history with Cobb and Ellen Page’s Ariadne takes the role of questioner and newbie for the audience, they remain more one dimensional for me. It’s Eames that talks about trying inception before, Eames who asserts that planting an idea deep enough is not the only problem, but rather that they need to plant an emotion, and Eames who has the most fantastically antagonistic relationship with Arthur, constantly baiting him for having no imagination. A trait he thinks is necessary in their line of work. He’s the sort of one dimensional that you can walk away from just meeting, knowing hardly anything about, and still say “I like him!”
And, of course, the most awesome thing he does is the forging. In all the complexities of Inception it’s one of the things that doesn’t particularly make sense but you let go because if you start trying to figure out how this can possibly be done it may make your head explode. Though I assume it’s something along the lines of the dreamer preceding him into the dream. Basically, confusing. Eames has the ability to observe someone in depth and mimic their voice patterns and hand motions well enough to trick the subject’s mind into believing they are speaking to someone else. He does this twice in the film, first as the subject’s godfather to obtain information, and then as a blonde in a bar to distract the subject from noticing strangeness. Whether it makes sense or not in a scientific way… I don’t give a crap. It’s cool!
Eames is played by Tom Hardy, who I was previously only aware of in various pieces on Masterpiece Theatre (guilty pleasure to the max). He played Heathcliff in a pretty decent adaptation of one of my favorite books, Wuthering Heights, and a menacing Bill Sikes in a recent Oliver Twist. And I only remembered his name because he shares it with the author of Tess of the D’Ubervilles, which was incidentally the Masterpiece selection for the following week. But recalling backwards I was rather a fan. I’m sure he’s getting more work now that Inception was so well received, and I’ll definitely be watching, but for now it’s not Tom Hardy who steals my heart, it’s Eames in all his sarcastic, thieving glory.