Tom Hardy

Hardy at the 2018 San Diego Comic-Con
Edward Thomas Hardy

(1977-09-15) 15 September 1977 (age 46)
London, England
  • Actor
  • producer
  • screenwriter
Years active1998–present
  • Sarah Ward
    (m. 1999; div. 2004)
  • (m. 2014)
RelativesChips Hardy (father)

Edward Thomas Hardy CBE (born 15 September 1977) is an English actor, producer, and screenwriter. After studying acting at the Drama Centre London, he made his film debut in Ridley Scott's Black Hawk Down (2001). He had supporting roles in Star Trek: Nemesis (2002) and RocknRolla (2008), and went on to star in Bronson (2008), Warrior (2011), Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011), Lawless (2012), This Means War (2012), and Locke (2013). In 2015, he starred as "Mad" Max Rockatansky in Mad Max: Fury Road and both Kray twins in Legend, and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in The Revenant. He has appeared in three Christopher Nolan films: Inception (2010), The Dark Knight Rises (2012) as Bane, and Dunkirk (2017). He has since starred as Eddie Brock/Venom in the film Venom and its 2021 sequel Venom: Let There Be Carnage.

Hardy's television roles include the HBO war drama mini-series Band of Brothers (2001), the BBC historical drama mini-series The Virgin Queen (2005), Bill Sikes in the BBC's mini-series Oliver Twist (2007), Heathcliff in ITV's Wuthering Heights (2009), the Sky 1 drama series The Take (2009), and as Alfie Solomons in the BBC crime drama series Peaky Blinders (2014–2022). He created, co-produced, and took the lead in the eight-part historical fiction series Taboo (2017) on BBC One and FX.[1]

Hardy has performed on both British and American stages. He was nominated for the Laurence Olivier Award for Most Promising Newcomer for his role as Skank in the production of In Arabia We'd All Be Kings (2003), and was awarded the 2003 Evening Standard Theatre Award for Outstanding Newcomer for his performances in both In Arabia We'd All Be Kings and Blood, in which he played Luca. He starred in the production of The Man of Mode (2007) and received positive reviews for his role in the play The Long Red Road (2010). Hardy is active in charity work and is an ambassador for the Prince's Trust.[2][3] He was appointed a CBE in the 2018 Birthday Honours for services to drama.[4][5]

Early life

Edward Thomas Hardy was born in the Hammersmith district of London[6] on 15 September 1977,[7][8] the only child of artist and painter Anne (née Barrett) and novelist and comedy writer Edward "Chips" Hardy.[9][10][11] He is of Irish descent on his mother's side.[12] He was raised in London's East Sheen suburb.[13] Hardy attended Tower House School, Reed's School, and Duff Miller Sixth Form College. He later studied at Richmond Drama School and the Drama Centre London, now a part of Central Saint Martins.[14][15] He has named Gary Oldman, with whom he would later work on Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, as his "hero" and added that he mirrored scenes from Oldman while at drama school.[16][17]


See also: List of awards and nominations received by Tom Hardy

Hardy at the London premiere of Inception in 2010

In 1998, Hardy won The Big Breakfast's Find Me a Supermodel competition at the age of 21, earning him a brief contract with Models 1.[18] Hardy joined Drama Centre London in September 1998, and was taken out early after winning the part of US Army Private John Janovec in the HBO-BBC mini-series Band of Brothers.[19] He made his feature film debut in Ridley Scott's war thriller Black Hawk Down (2001).[20] During this time, Hardy also had a brief stint as a rapper and hip hop producer with his friend Edward Tracy (under the name "Tommy No 1 + Eddie Too Tall"), with whom he recorded a mixtape called Falling On Your Arse in 1999 that remained unreleased until 2018.[21]

In 2002, Hardy appeared as the Reman Praetor Shinzon, a clone of USS Enterprise Captain Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: Nemesis.[22] The following year, he appeared in the film Dot the i, and then travelled to North Africa for Simon: An English Legionnaire, a story of the French Foreign Legion. He then returned to the United Kingdom to feature in the horror film LD 50 Lethal Dose (2003).[23]

Hardy was awarded the 2003 London Evening Standard Theatre Award for Outstanding Newcomer for his performances in Blood and In Arabia We'd All Be Kings performed at the Royal Court Theatre and Hampstead Theatre.[24] He was also nominated for a 2004 Laurence Olivier Award for Most Promising Newcomer of 2003 in a Society of London Theatre Affiliate for his performance as Skank in the aforementioned production of In Arabia We'd All Be Kings.[25] Hardy appeared with Emilia Fox in the BBC mini-series The Virgin Queen (2005) as Robert Dudley, a childhood friend of Elizabeth I. Dudley's character has been described as an ambiguous young man who is torn between the affection of his wife (played by Fox), his love for Elizabeth, and his own ambitions.[26] Hardy featured in the BBC Four adaptation of the 1960s science fiction series A for Andromeda.[27]

In 2007, he appeared in BBC Two's drama based on a true story, Stuart: A Life Backwards. He played the lead role of Stuart Shorter, a homeless man who had been subjected to years of abuse and whose death was possibly a suicide.[28] The same year he played Bill Sikes in the BBC mini-series Oliver Twist, an adaptation of Charles Dickens's novel that aired on PBS Masterpiece Classic in the US. In February 2008, he played a drug-addicted rapist in the British horror-thriller WΔZ.[29] In September 2008, he appeared in Guy Ritchie's London gangster film, RocknRolla; Hardy played the role of gay gangster Handsome Bob.[30] In 2008, Hardy starred in the film Bronson, about the real-life English prisoner Charles Bronson, who has spent most of his adult life in solitary confinement. For the film, he put on three stone (42 lb or 19 kg).[31]

Hardy in April 2014

In June 2009, Hardy starred in Martina Cole's four-part TV drama The Take on Sky One, as a drug and alcohol-fuelled gangster. The role gained him a Best Actor nomination at the 2009 Crime Thriller Awards.[32] In August 2009, he appeared in ITV's Wuthering Heights, playing the role of Heathcliff.[33][34] In early 2010, Hardy starred in The Long Red Road at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago.[35] The play was written by Brett C. Leonard and directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman. Hardy won some good reviews for his portrayal of Sam, an alcoholic trying to drink away his past.[36][37] In 2010, he starred as Eames in Christopher Nolan's science fiction thriller Inception for which he won a BAFTA Rising Star award. Hardy replaced Michael Fassbender in the 2011 film adaptation of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,[38] released on 5 September 2011 at the 68th edition of the Mostra Internazionale d'Arte Cinematografica in Venice. In March 2010, Hardy signed a first-look deal at Warner Bros.[39]

Hardy (right) with George Miller and Charlize Theron at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival

In 2011, Hardy appeared in the film Warrior, which was released on 9 September 2011 by Lionsgate Films. His performance as Tommy Riordan, who is trained by his father to fight in a mixed martial arts tournament against his brother, gained praise from critics. Hardy also starred in This Means War (2012), a romantic comedy directed by McG. He played the supervillain Bane in The Dark Knight Rises, the final film in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Trilogy, released on 20 July 2012.[40] He played a bootlegger in John Hillcoat's crime drama Lawless (2012).[41] Hardy has signed up to play the lead role of Sam Fisher in Ubisoft's forthcoming film adaptation of their video game series Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell.[42][43] He also appeared in Riz Mc's music video for the song "Sour Times".[44]

In 2014, Hardy appeared in the crime film The Drop alongside James Gandolfini, in what would be the latter's final appearance in a feature film before his death. Hardy also joined the cast of the BBC crime drama Peaky Blinders in its second series. He portrays Alfie Solomons (who is based on a real-life East End Jewish gangster named Alfred Solomon), the head of a Jewish gang based in Camden Town, north London and runner of a distillery which disguises itself as a bakery.[45] Writing for Medium, Shani Silver described Hardy's portrayal of Alfie Solomons as 'The Scene-Stealingest Character Of All Time', commenting that "I’ve never understood if Alfie was meant to be a villain or comedic foil or some pick-a-mix of both, but I’ve never loved every second of someone’s screen time more."[46]

Hardy starred in five films in 2015. The first, Child 44, set in 1950s Soviet Union, saw him playing Leo Demidov, a Soviet secret police agent who investigates a series of child murders. Despite mild praise for his acting, Child 44 was reviewed negatively by critics and was a box office failure.[47] Hardy then played the title character, Max Rockatansky, in the action film Mad Max: Fury Road (2015).[48][49] His performance was praised by critics[50][51] and overall the film received critical acclaim and became a box office success,[52] grossing over $378 million against a $150 million budget, becoming the highest-grossing film in the Mad Max franchise.[53] He played a dual role as London gangsters Reggie and Ronnie Kray in the crime thriller Legend (2015).[54] On 7 December 2015, Hardy won Best Actor at the British Independent Film Awards for his portrayal of the Kray twins, and on the same night attended the premiere of the biographical western thriller The Revenant, in which he reunited with his Inception co-star Leonardo DiCaprio, at Leicester Square, London.[55] On 14 January 2016, Hardy received his first Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in The Revenant.[56]

Hardy played a Royal Air Force fighter pilot in Christopher Nolan's action-thriller Dunkirk (2017), based on the British military evacuation of the French port of Dunkirk in 1940 during the Second World War. He appeared alongside Mark Rylance, Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy and Harry Styles.[57] Hardy also co-produced and starred in the eight-part BBC One television drama series Taboo. It was created by Hardy, Steven Knight, and Hardy's father, Edward "Chips" Hardy. Taboo was aired in the United States by FX.[58]

In 2018, Hardy starred in the film Venom as the title comic book sometime hero, Eddie Brock, and the symbiote Venom.[59][60] Based on the Marvel source material, the film was released on 5 October, and is the first installment in Sony's Spider-Man Universe. In 2019, Hardy served as an executive producer in the 2019 BBC/FX three-part miniseries A Christmas Carol.[61][62] In 2020, Hardy starred in Josh Trank's Al Capone biopic Capone.[63]

Hardy is attached to star as British war photographer Don McCullin in a film based on McCullin's autobiography, Unreasonable Behaviour.[64] Hardy reprised the role of Eddie Brock and Venom in the sequel Venom: Let There Be Carnage and co-wrote the story for the film.[65] He is also slated to star as the Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton in a biopic being created by the same makers of Taboo.[66] The Shackleton film, which will cover one of the most harrowing stories of survival in exploration history, is also being produced by Hardy's production company Hardy Son & Baker.[66]


In 2010, Hardy became an ambassador for the Prince's Trust, a UK youth charity which provides training, personal development, business start-up support, mentoring, and advice.[67] In 2012, he and his then-girlfriend (now-wife) Charlotte Riley became patrons of Bowel Cancer UK.[68] Prior to the inaugural Invictus Games held in London in September 2014, he, along with other entertainers and athletes, read the poem "Invictus" in a promotional video.[69]

Personal life

Hardy married producer Sarah Ward in 1999, and they divorced in 2004.[70] He met and began dating assistant director Rachael Speed on the set of The Virgin Queen in 2005, and they later had a son[71] before separating in 2009.[72] That year, he began a relationship with actress Charlotte Riley after they met on the set of Wuthering Heights, and they were married in July 2014.[73] Together, they have 2 sons. They had two rescue dogs, Max and Woodstock, and Hardy appeared with Woodstock in a PETA advert to promote pet adoption.[74] Woodstock died on 5 June 2017 due to an aggressive case of polymyositis.[75]

Hardy spent much time in his youth drinking alcohol and using crack cocaine to cope with stresses and has suffered significant bouts of dysthymia. He has previously said that he was "out of control" with his alcohol and drug use before deciding to seek psychological help when he was 20 years old.[76][77][78]

While portraying prisoner Charles Bronson during the production of Bronson, Hardy met Bronson several times and the two became friends. Bronson was impressed with how Hardy managed to match his muscularity and how well he could mimic Bronson's personality and voice; stating that he believed Hardy was the only person who could play him, he also shaved off his trademark moustache and sent it to Hardy in the hopes that Hardy would wear it in the film.[79]

Hardy appeared on a 2016 Debrett's list of the most influential people in the United Kingdom.[80] He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2018 Birthday Honours for services to drama.[81]

An avid practitioner of Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Hardy has been seen training at Roger Gracie's affiliate schools and with John Danaher.[82] He has won a number of jiu-jitsu competitions,[83][84][85] with one such occurrence being at the UMAC Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Open Championships in September 2022.[86] He is the lead ambassador for the REORG Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Foundation,[87] a Royal Marines-backed charity allowing current and former military personnel to learn the martial art as part of their recovery and to combat physical and mental challenges.[88] Hardy was promoted to purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu on 19 June 2023.[89]



Film roles of Tom Hardy
Year Title Role Notes
2001 Black Hawk Down SPC Lance Twombly Credited as Thomas Hardy
2002 Deserter Pascal Dupont
Star Trek: Nemesis Shinzon
2003 Dot the i Tom
LD 50 Lethal Dose Matt
2004 The Reckoning Straw
EMR Henry
Layer Cake Clarkie
2006 Marie Antoinette Raumont
Minotaur Theo
Scenes of a Sexual Nature Noel
2007 Flood Zack
WΔZ Pierre Jackson
Stuart: A Life Backwards Stuart Shorter
The Inheritance Dad
2008 Sucker Punch Rodders
RocknRolla Handsome Bob
Bronson Charles Bronson / Michael Peterson
2009 Thick as Thieves Michaels
Perfect Doctor Short film
2010 Inception Eames
2011 Sergeant Slaughter, My Big Brother Dan Short film
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy Ricki Tarr
Warrior Tommy Riordan Conlon
2012 This Means War Tuck Hansen
The Dark Knight Rises Bane
Lawless Forrest Bondurant
2013 Locke Ivan Locke
2014 The Drop Bobby Saginowski
2015 Child 44 Leo Demidov
Mad Max: Fury Road Max Rockatansky
London Road Mark
Legend Ronald & Reginald Kray Also executive producer
The Revenant John Fitzgerald
2017 Dunkirk Farrier
Star Wars: The Last Jedi FN-926 Deleted scene
2018 Venom Eddie Brock and Venom Also executive producer
2020 Capone Al Capone
2021 Venom: Let There Be Carnage Eddie Brock and Venom Also story co-writer and producer
Spider-Man: No Way Home Uncredited mid-credit cameo
The Matrix Resurrections Background role Uncredited extra[90]
2023 The Bikeriders[91] Johnny [92]
2024 Venom 3 Eddie Brock and Venom Filming; also story co-writer and producer
TBA Havoc[93] Walker Post-production; also producer


Television roles of Tom Hardy
Year Title Role Notes
2001 Band of Brothers John Janovec Episodes: "Why We Fight" and "Points"
2005 Colditz Jack Rose 2 episodes
2005 The Virgin Queen Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester 3 episodes
2006 Gideon's Daughter Andrew Television film
2006 A for Andromeda John Fleming Television film
2006 Sweeney Todd Matthew Television film
2007 Cape Wrath Jack Donnelly 5 episodes
2007 Oliver Twist Bill Sikes 5 episodes[94]
2007 Stuart: A Life Backwards Stuart Shorter Television film
2008 Wuthering Heights Heathcliff 2 episodes
2009 The Take Freddie 4 episodes
2013 Driven to Extremes Himself 1 episode
2013 Poaching Wars Himself 2 episodes; also executive producer
2014–2022 Peaky Blinders Alfie Solomons 13 episodes; supporting role
2017 CBeebies Bedtime Stories Himself 5 episodes
2017 Taboo James Delaney Also co-creator and executive producer
2019 A Christmas Carol Executive producer
2020 All or Nothing: Tottenham Hotspur Narrator Documentary
2022 Falklands War: The Untold Story Narrator Documentary
2022 Predators Narrator Nature series[95]
2023 Great Expectations Executive producer


Stage roles of Tom Hardy
Year Title Role Notes Ref.
2003 In Arabia We'd All Be Kings Skank Hampstead Theatre, London [96]
2003 The Modernists Vincent Crucible Theatre, Sheffield [97][98]
2003 Blood Luca Royal Court Theatre, London [99]
2004 Festen Michael Almeida Theatre, London [100]
2007 The Man of Mode Dorimant National Theatre, London [101]
2010 The Long Red Road Sammy Goodman Theatre, Chicago [102]


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Further reading