Guy Pearce has praised his co-star Tom Hardy's performance in their new film Lawless.

Pearce told Flicks and Bits, "It's so brilliant that Tom Hardy is playing the role, because he is the most exciting actor I've seen in a long time. He is just extraordinary."

He continued, "[Hardy] brings a weight, an integrity and a power to the screen that is incredibly compelling - and I have to go up against this guy. The first scene that we had together was me feeling like I'm running rings around this man, not being intimidated by him.

"And that was very difficult, because he's like a mountain, a mount emotionally and physically. I think that will translate on screen and people will really see the power of [Hardy's character] Forrest Bondurant."

Pearce plays Special Agent Charlie Rawks in the prohibition era film.