In 2011, Tom Hardy won the BAFTA Rising Star Award and boy did they know what they were talking about. Hardy’s star has been steadily rising with stellar performances in acclaimed films ever since; but not one to make the usual choices, he’s always full of surprises, transitioning easily from tight thrillers to gritty crime dramas to major blockbusters.
In your Sunday night movie, he finds his superhero side – having already done the villain thing in The Dark Knight Rises. But in true Hardy style, he doesn’t go for the typical fare. Eddie Brock aka Venom is more of what you’d call an antihero, and Hardy pulls off the character with his usual aplomb.
Before we tune into Venom on M-Net channel 101 this weekend, let’s take a stroll through Hardy’s filmography with a look at his top five roles. Remember to share your favourites on social media.
Always excellent in a lead role, Hardy is just as comfortable in an ensemble. And it was as part of the glittering all-star cast in Christopher Nolan’s mind-bending sci-fi that he really started coming to audiences's attention. It also marked the first of his appearances in a Nolan film. Hardy has since reteamed with the director for The Dark Knight Rises and Dunkirk.
The sheer force of Hardy’s on-screen magnetism is in full-display in Locke, because he is literally the only person you see during the entire film. The only other characters are all voice performances because Hardy, as title character Locke, only speaks to them on his phone…in the car. That’s right, not only is his the only physical presence, but his entire performance is confined to a car and he pulls off every tense moment and nerve-wracked emotion masterfully.
Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
Ok, we must be totally honest, but it’s a well-known fact that despite the title this is totally Charlize Theron’s film. As Imperator Furiosa her purpose and intent burn hotter than the Namib desert where the film was shot. But that’s not to say that Hardy fades into the background like a mirage. Hardly. Like every other performer in this masterful return to the Mad Max franchise, Hardy is in top form. Anyone who had any doubts that no one but Mel Gibson could play the title character, quickly buried them when they saw Hardy smoulder on-screen with gravely-voiced intensity.
It was clearly a very good year for Hardy in 2015, as three of our five picks come from this time. Legend saw him take on a challenge several other actors have tried (sometimes successfully, sometimes not): playing twins. Needless to say, Hardy brilliant pulls off playing both Ronnie and Reggie Kray: real-life gangsters who wreacked criminal havoc in 1950s and ‘60s London.
The Revenant (2015)
This may have been the movie that finally won Leonardo DiCaprio his Oscar, but as his co-star in The Revenant, Hardy deserves just as much praise. His character, John Fitzgerald, is quite different from much of what Hardy had done before and it’s a riveting performance which landed him his first Oscar nomination.
Feature image: Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images