Top 5 Tom Hardy Performances
#2 Tommy Conlan – Warrior
As an audience, you don’t understand Tommy Conlan’s motivations until late in the film, but you understand that he’s very angry and a talented fighter. Watching Hardy beat the crap out of people is fun for the first hour of the film. You get excited every time Tommy steps into the ring because you can’t wait to see his opponent go down in less than 10 seconds. That all changes, though. When the audience finally learns why Tommy is fighting in an MMA tournament and why all of this anger is built up inside of him, everything seems to fall into place in a beautiful way. Without Hardy’s explosive and sorrowful performance, everything wouldn’t have fallen into place like it did. It’s the perfect example of how an actor can increase the emotional resonance of a setup and payoff within a well-structured story. Hardy’s portrayal as Tommy Conlan plants seeds inside of the audience’s minds early on, letting them fester and grow until the sun finally shines on a fully bloomed flower. It’s a strange metaphor, I know, but you’ll see what I’m talking about when you watch “Warrior.” It’s relatively simple to play someone who’s angry and likes to fight, but Hardy injects inner demons and harrowing motivations underneath a simple façade, which plants the seeds that later open doors into Tommy’s soul.
#1 Charles Bronson – Bronson
Charles Bronson is a very explosive role for a talented actor like Tom Hardy, but Bronson is Hardy’s most complicated role to date. Take the psychotic psyche of Stuart Shorter, add it to the brash violence of Tommy Conlan and you’ll only come away with a “Mini-Me” copy of Charles Bronson. From the first frame of the film to the final moments before the fade to black, Tom Hardy captivates you with comedy, violence, sorrow, and psychotic rage. As an audience, Hardy allows you to dive into and discover the inner-workings of Britain’s most violent inmate. Some of the scenes are very mysterious, abstract and strange, but it all helps build the demented protagonist. You might be able to look at the movie screen and say, “That’s Tom Hardy,” when you watch his other performances. But when it comes to “Bronson,” you’ll have a tough time remembering that you’re watching a movie because Hardy grabs you with his performance, covers your eyes and doesn’t let go. For 90 minutes you sit inside a deranged mind with a madman. It sounds scary and intimidating, yet you’ll feel satisfied and enlightened at the end of it all. The film isn’t about what makes Charles Bronson the most violent inmate in British history. It’s about what makes Bronson human, even if he’s disconnected with the world. It’s a violent but wonderful story helmed by Tom Hardy’s brilliance. This is the first Tom Hardy performance I ever saw, and it has been his best ever since.
Tom Hardy will be in the industry for a long time, and he will create many roles that will continue to captivate us until films do not exist anymore. He’s been using his talents since his first role in HBO’s “Band of Brothers” to the upcoming “The Revenant.” He’s the type of actor whose name adds legitimacy to a film, even if he’s not the protagonist or antagonist. I’m excited to see what the future holds for him, and while he should’ve earned an Oscar nod for “Bronson,” Tom Hardy will most definitely be on that stage holding the gold in the near future.
Check out these five performances, and then check out other films that Hardy has worked on, like “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,” “The Drop,” “Inception,” and “Star Trek: Nemesis.”