Jessica Chastain thinks Tom Hardy's acting ability is on ''another level''.

The 35-year-old beauty was full of praise for the 'Dark Knight Rises' actor, who she stars alongside in forthcoming Prohibition-era gangster movie 'Lawless', and she was also impressed with the performances of Shia LaBeouf and Jason Clarke, who play Tom's onscreen brothers in the film.

She said: ''The casting for 'Lawless' is amazing. The three of them look like brothers to me and even act like them. They play, fought and joked - really stupid 'guy' jokes - and it was wonderful to see their dynamic together.

''Shia was so prepared all the time, such a professional, it was really exciting to see him in this role. I worked with Jason before and he is fantastic as Howard. It's such a huge metamorphosis, I've never seen him do anything like this. And Tom Hardy, who I have most of my scenes with, for me, it was just another level of acting.''

Jessica plays Tom's onscreen lover Maggie in the forthcoming film - which tells the story of a bootlegging gang who are threatened by authorities who want to get a hand on their profits - and she found their story to be ''very moving''.

She added to ''I thought The Script was dynamic and shocking and great. What really drew me to the character was the love story between Maggie and Forrest. I liked the idea that they were two damaged people who have one shot at happiness. That was very moving.''