Ever been asked what celebrity you would trust to scoop you up and spin you around? Silly question, of course you have. I was uncertain of my answer, until the man that is Tom Hardy made himself known. Edward Thomas ‘Tom’ Hardy is an actor that can only be described as ‘beefy’, but his 8 awards on top of numerous nominations show that he is more than mere muscle (even if that is enough to make you drool).
Born 15th September 1977, Hardy has 14 years of acting under his belt and 35 years of simply being nice to look at. Since joining the Drama Centre London in September 1998 and winning the part of US Army Private John Janovec in mini-series ‘Band of Brothers’ not long after, he has been unstoppable in raking in the roles. He has been a nice surprise to many over the years, but it is safe to say that he snatched everyone’s attention, whether they liked it or not, when he starred as supervillian Bane in ‘The Dark Knight Rises’. It was in this particular movie that Hardy’s complete dedication and determination for his roles were exposed to all, as he stormed onto our screens with an extra thirty pounds of muscle he had gained from eating…eating a lot. He explained in an article at the time ‘I pushed a lot of weight, I ate a lot and I didn’t do any cardio for about a year. So I ended up being really fat and now I am suffering the consequences. I have a big fat neck in it’. However, it’s safe to say that this intense transformation paid off, as when we weren’t in awe of Bane’s thunderous voice or admiring his strangely stylish jackets, we were eyeing up his impressive…physical makeup.
However, when we look over Hardy’s filmography we do not simply see a series of villainous and muscular characters, but an impressive variety. Since starring in ‘Black Hawk Down’ as Twombly in 2001, we see him work his way through movies such as ‘Star Trek: Nemesis’ (unexpected, right?), ‘Layer Cake’ and ‘RocknRolla’ (where he played a gay gangster…diverse, eh?) His ever-extending list has seen him star alongside stars such as Leonardo DiCaprio (in ‘Inception’) and his very own hero Gary Oldman (in ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ and ‘Lawless’) who he described as ‘the greatest actor that’s ever lived’. Such a career would lead us to think that Hardy could simply never have a bad day or even one flaw (I mean, look at that face), but in his early-to-mid twenties he battled alcoholism and an addiction to cocaine. This may or may not be connected to his divorce that was finalised in 2004, but either way Hardy entered rehab and has been sober and clean since 2003.
Personal favourites of mine that Hardy treats us to and that I would completely recommend are ‘Inception’ (2010), ‘Warrior’ (2011), ‘Bronson’ (2008) and ‘Lawless’ (2012). Firstly, in ‘Inception’ he acts alongside good old Leo and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, need I say more? Not only this, but his character ‘Eames’ sports smart shirts and slick hair for the duration of the movie. ‘Warrior’ is one not so well known, but even if it is not quite as ‘epic’, boy is it emotional. Hardy plays Tommy Conlon, a not so sociable son of an alcoholic former boxer who is trained by his father for a competition in mixed martial arts, that soon leads to him coming face to face with his older brother and main opponent. Not only is this movie heart-warming on all levels, but Hardy is topless for a good chunk of it…what more could a girl (or boy, no judgements here) ask for? ‘Bronson’ is equally as enjoyable but may have more of an acquired taste. Playing the UK’s most violent criminal Charles Bronson in this fictionalised biographical crime thriller saw Hardy actually have telephone conversations with the real Charles Bronson, before going to meet him in person. For the role he gained three stone of muscle so he was able to imitate the man himself both mentally and physically, which so impressed Bronson that he shaved off his moustache so it could be made into a loose-one for Hardy to sport in the film. Lastly, in ‘Lawless’ we see Hardy go Western on us and play Forrest Bondurant – one of three brothers who form a bootlegging gang during the Depression and Prohibition-era in Franklin Country, Virginia. The film by John Hillcoat is based on the historical novel ‘The Wettest County in the World’ and received a nearly ten-minute standing ovation at the Cannes Film Festival, which may or may not be because Hardy wears a hat incredibly well.
If you have not yet fell in love with Hardy, here are a few images to help you along your way –
Not satisfied? Ridiculous question, of course you are.