Actor Tom Hardy is known for his imposing physical presence and taking on widely different roles in movies such as The Dark Knight Rises, Inception and Bronson, but the new film Locke relies heavily on the British actor's seemingly innate magnetism, says its writer-director.

Hardy is the absolute centre of Locke, the intense and dialogue-heavy tale from British filmmaker Steven Knight in which the actor is on camera at all times. The compelling indie film earned raves at the Sundance Film Festival.

"He's one of those people [that] when he's onscreen with other actors, people look at him anyway. He's very watchable," Knight told CBC News.

In the attached video, Knight talks to CBC's Eli Glasner about making the stripped-down character drama, why Hardy was his only choice and how they managed a 90-page script during Locke's six-day shoot.

Mobile users, click here for the Locke trailer.