Tom Hardy as Johnny and Austin Butler as Benny sitting on the grass against their bikes in The Bikeriders
(Focus Features)

One Scene in ‘The Bikeriders’ Has Everyone Gagged Over How It Upends the Film

The Bikeriders by Jeff Nichols, starring Jodie Comer, Austin Butler, Tom Hardy, Mike Faist, Michael Shannon, and Norman Reedus, amongst others, has a scene that’s piqued everyone’s interest by putting the film’s dynamic in a different light.

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Inspired by an eponymous 1967 photobook by Danny Lyon about Outlaws MC, The Bikeriders is about a fictional motorcycle club called The Chicago Vandals, started by Johnny (Tom Hardy). We see the lives of its members through the eyes of an outsider, Kathy (Jodie Comer), who runs into the club at a bar one day, gets asked out by one of their riders, Benny (Austin Butler), and then gets married to him. The film has Kathy being interviewed by Danny (Mike Faist) during two different time periods.

Now, a film about a hardcore biker club that takes a nuanced look at the motorcycle culture back in the ’60s and ’70s is bound to be all testosterone, male egos, belittling of women’s feelings, homophobia, and hyper masculine displays of every emotion. And sure, it’s all very much there. 

But the film also has such a pure depiction of bromance between a bunch of men who just want to come together and ride, and talk about their bikes.

The chemistry between Hardy’s Johnny and Butler’s Benny is so intense that one particular scene from the film has everyone gagged, wondering if there’s more to their relationship than meets the eye.

For context, in The Bikeriders, while Johnny is the leader of the Vandals, Benny is one of those hot, quiet dudes who doesn’t mingle much but is fiercely loyal to Johnny and the club, and loves to ride more than anything in the world—perhaps even more than his wife, Kathy.

The scene in question is where Johnny, who has grown tired of the challenges of his constantly expanding motorcycle club and its new, errant members, takes Benny aside and has an intense conversation with him. In the scene, Austin Butler and Tom Hardy’s chemistry is off the charts, more sizzling than the exhaust pipe of a running bike! The shot is staged to have their heads drawn extremely close, and they look like they’re about to kiss.

As someone who saw this film in a theatre full of Harley Davidson bike club members and thought, “Umm … is it just me, or …?” it was nice to know that I was not alone. Those who’ve seen the film simply cannot stop talking about this scene on X. And the timing of it, this being Pride Month!

Here’s something interesting. The scene where Jodie Comer’s Kathy sees Austin Butler’s Benny for the first time, when Butler is oozing star power and camera charges the whole scene with intense sensual energy, is the only time there’s something sexual between them. We never see them kiss or have sex in the film. 

But in the scene between Johnny and Benny, their heads are so close, closer than we’ve seen Benny with Kathy! It’s understandable that the audience would feel this way about these two characters, considering Johnny and riding were pretty much the third wheel in Benny and Kathy’s marriage.

According to another tweet by an X user, in a recent interview, the cast was asked about this scene, and they had a cheeky response to it!

Maybe it’s an Austin Butler thing to have intense chemistry with his male co-stars that makes filmgoers think the bromance is charged with homoerotic tension! We saw this in Dune 2 between him and Timothée Chalamet’s Paul Atreides, and now it’s happening again with The Bikeriders.

But hey, who’s complaining? By all means, Austin Butler, may thy chemistry flourish and matter!

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Jinal Bhatt
Jinal Bhatt (She/Her) is a staff writer for The Mary Sue. An editor, writer, film and culture critic with 7+ years of experience, she writes primarily about entertainment, pop culture trends, and women in film, but she’s got range. Jinal is the former Associate Editor for Hauterrfly, and Senior Features Writer for Mashable India. When not working, she’s fangirling over her favourite films and shows, gushing over fictional men, cruising through her neverending watchlist, trying to finish that book on her bedside, and fighting relentless urges to rewatch Supernatural.