Hardy explained that Ledger's manic Academy Award-winning performance in 2008's The Dark Knight was a revolutionary portrayal of a screen villain.
"The work that Heath did was so incredible and it was brilliant. And it's unfortunate that he's not with us today as well, so there's a double bind there in many ways," Hardy told CNN of the pressure of playing Bane.
He continued: "If anything, it's a tremendous responsibility and opportunity to sort of follow in the footsteps of somebody who was so brilliant. So I'm just grateful to be part of the family, actually, the Batman, Chris Nolan family. And that I got brought in to be the villain in this film."
Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh criticised the use of Bane as The Dark Knight Rises' villain this week, claiming the character is actually a veiled attack on presidential candidate Mitt Romney's work for investment firm Bain Capital.
"Do you think it is accidental that the name of the really vicious fire-breathing, four-eyed whatever-it-is villain in this movie is named Bane?" Limbaugh asked his listeners.
Bane actually first appeared in DC comics in 1993 and previously appeared on the big screen in 1997's Batman & Robin.
The Dark Knight Rises opens on Friday in cinemas worldwide. Watch a trailer below: