Since winning the Rising Star Award at the 2010 BAFTAs, Tom Hardy has been gaining international exposure best known for playing dark, sinister characters, mostly villains, in action and sci-fi films.
After a brief modeling stint at age 21, Tom Hardy joined the Drama Center London and got his first acting debut in 2001 in Ridley Scott’s Black Hawk Down. Tom would later receive prestigious theater awards including the London Evening Theater Award for Outstanding New comer in 2003 for the play Blood and In Arabia, We’d All Be Kings.
Tom also appeared in British TV dramas including playing real-life homeless man Stuart Shorter in a BBC Two drama adaptation of Alexander Master’s book Stuart: A Life Backwards and as Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights.
His most notable film works to date include playing Eames in Inception, the masked villain Bane in The Dark Knight Rises, both directed by Christopher Nolan, and as real-life English prisoner, Charles Bronson in early 2009.
Working steadily between films, television, and theater, Tom Hardy is an actor consistently being praised by critics for his breath taking and sometimes unsettling transformations especially for films that would prove his wide and dedicated acting range. With a stocky and short built, Hardy is big in talent and is worth the international fame and respect. Here are the top 10 Tom Hardy films that best showcased his undeniable talent.
10. Lawless ( John Hillcoat, 2012)
Lawless is based on the life of the Bondurant Brothers; Forrest, Howard, and Jack of Franklin Country, Virginia selling moonshine in 1931. Tom plays Forrest, the eldest, Jason Clarke plays Howard, and Shia LaBeouf plays Jack. The story tests the brotherhood of the Bondurant’s when they face threats from a special deputy who wants a cut from their profits.
Gritty, violent, and imperfect, Lawless managed to remain focused and smart with its intention to deliver an uneven but captivating gangster film. Hardy’s alpha male persona and almost sinister demure brings about a scare and respectful factor towards his character. His chemistry with the other actors blends perfectly well, delivering raw and humane thrills. With the film’s strong narrative, it’ll keep the audience in tune with realism despite the graphic depiction of violence.
9. RocknRolla (Guy Ritchie, 2008)
In this film directed by Guy Ritchie, a real-estate scam puts millions of pounds up for grabs, attracting the city’s toughest guys who all wanted to get rich quick. Tom Hardy plays Handsome Bob, a gay South London mobster who possess a boyish charm but has a tough exterior and who’s not afraid to confront the Russian Mafia monsters. His performance, though not major, is still spot on, convincing and cemented his acting versatility even more.
Despite the mixed reviews, RocknRolla still managed to entertain mob loving film viewers and is saved by great performances and a tight written script. With Ritchie’s signature style and tone, the film is a fun look at the London underworld and brings plenty of laughs amid all the shooting and action.
8. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (Tomas Alfredson, 2011)
In this ground breaking film by Tomas Alfredson, Tom Hardy plays Ricky Tarr, a rogue agent who says that one member of the British Secret Intelligence Service or MI-6, is in fact a Russian agent – a mole- and George Smiley, played by Gary Oldman, is forced to expose who that person is.
Despite not having a huge part in the film, Hardy has the ability to make movies turn around and make the audience focus on him in the duration of his screen time. With his other supporting film roles, it is hard to overlook Hardy in the sea of veteran actors with his wit, innovativeness, and talent.
The film delivers a puzzle like paranoia and director Tomas Alfredson pieces it all back together in a flawless manner. With an amazing ensemble of actors, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is a beautifully-written character-driven masterpiece that gives a realistic view of the world of espionage.
7. Stuart: A life Backwards (David Attwood, 2007)
Tom plays Stuart Clive Shorter, a homeless alcoholic who formed an unlikely friendship with a writer, Alexander Masters, played by Benedict Cumberbatch. In the film, Alexander wrote a backwards look on Stuart’s life that charts the pivotal events of his traumatic childhood experience to the man he becomes in the present.
Tom Hardy’s performance as Stuart is heartbreaking as it is moving. Sometimes frightening but definitely believable. Cumberbatch did not shy away from playing an aloof charity worker at first and then someone who becomes very compassionate towards Stuart. There’s a strong chemistry between the two actors who play their parts seamlessly and naturally.
The film has a lot of quirkiness to it, inserting amusing animated moments making it hilarious and grounded. Heart breaking, offbeat, and dramatic, it is a touching tribute to a very important story.
6. Inception (Christopher Nolan, 2010)
Hardy stars alongside Hollywood favorites; Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon Levitt, Ellen Page, Ken Watanabe, and Marion Cotillard in this visceral, mind bending sci-fi film directed by Christopher Nolan. DiCaprio’s character Dom Cobb is a talented thief who can enter people’s dream and steal ideas through their subconscious. With a last and desperate attempt for redemption from a mysterious past, Cobb assembles his team of experts to perform one final Inception.
Hardy plays Eames, a forger and shape shifter who is very slick, smooth, and great at what he does. Hardy won the Rising Star Award at the BAFTAs for the role and gained him international recognition from then on. Acting alongside heavy weights, Hardy made this role his own, not being over shadowed by other actors who’re as equally as amazing. The film is an inventive thriller, bold, extremely creative, and virtually stunning – challenging, yes. But it only gets better and more unique as years go by.