That smolder. Those lips. That accent! Tom Hardy is one crush-worthy Brit! With a plethora of tattoos, a lack of fashion sense, and that “un-classy” kind of macho-ism that is attractive to women and men alike. It was this attractiveness that won him a modeling competition at age 21 and a brief contract with the agency Models One. But don’t let him fool you; Hardy is much more than just a pretty face. He is trained in theater, studying at Richmond Drama School and training under Sir Anthony Hopkins’s former mentor at the London Drama Centre. He was even awarded the 2003 London Evening Standard Theatre Award for Outstanding Newcomer and was nominated for a 2004 Laurence Olivier Theatre Award for Most Promising Newcomer of 2003 in a Society of London Theatre Affiliate.
There’s no denying he has had to face his fair share of demons as his star rose. Hardy sought treatment for alcoholism and crack cocaine addiction in his early to mid- twenties, but has been sober since 2003, an accomplishment in its own right.
Returning to good health, the versatile actor worked consistently in theatre, television, and film, playing parts in the crime thriller Layer Cake (2004) with Daniel Craig and in Sophia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette (2006). He even appeared as a gay hoodlum Handsome Bob in the Guy Ritchie film RocknRolla (2008), but it was not until his transformation in the film Bronson (2008) that critics and fans alike particularly took notice.
In Bronson, Hardy played the notorious Charles Bronson, a.k.a. “the most violent prisoner in Britain.” Sporting Bronson’s signature strongman mustache, Hardy was hardly recognizable completely bald and bulked up and delivered a performance that was disturbingly fearless and psychologically unsettling and even went on to win him a British Independent Film Award for Best Actor.
Tom added another job to his resume when he became the father to his son Louis Thomas Hardy in April 2008 with then girlfriend Rachel Speed.
Many of us probably remember him alongside Leonardo DiCaprio in his breakthrough appearance in Christopher Nolan’s Inception (2010). He rejoined Nolan in The Dark Knight Rises (2012) as the villain Bane, opposite Christian Bale’s Batman. His menacing voice and hard-to-distinguish voice became a talking point of the film, and gave me a reason to love the villain!
While he may frequently play the hard-edged, bulked up, intimidating character, beneath that façade lies a big ole’ heart. Hardy is a patron for a cause that is close to his heart; the charity Flack, is an organization to aid the recovery of the homeless in Cambridge. In 2010 Hardy forever cemented a spot in my heart when he was named an Ambassador for The Prince’s Trust, which helps disadvantaged youth.
Hardy can be seen next as the iconic Mad Max in George Miller’s reboot of his Mad Max franchise, Mad Max: Fury Road with a scheduled release date of May 15, 2015. It’s a long time to wait, but if Hardy is in it I will surely be watching!
With a face made for movies, a chiseled body reminiscent of a Roman god, and the acting chops to make it on the A-list, Tom Hardy is the definition of crush-worthy. But despite all of this, he remains down-to-earth, with a heart of gold, and this is what makes him my ultimate celeb crush!