Tom Hardy. Here’s an actor who will be more and more popular as the summer of 2012 approaches. With The Dark Knight Rises less than a year away, and Hardy set to play Bane, it’s safe to assume he’s on his way to becoming a household name. And for those who haven’t seen Hardy in action, here are three reasons why he is knocking on the door of stardom.
First, Bronson. Released in 2008, this dark and disturbing story of Britain’s most violent prisoner, allowed Hardy to show his full range of acting abilities. Bulked up, bald, and sporting a strong man moustache, Hardy gives a fearless performance. Prior to Bronson, Hardy had appeared in Rock n Rolla, Star Trek Nemesis, Band of Brothers, and a handful of other films, but nothing caught the critics’ eyes like Bronson. Blending dark humour, vaudevillian style, rage and violence, Hardy landed himself a British Independent Film Award for best performance.
Second, Inception. The key thing here is that it got Hardy in the Christopher Nolan circle, and undoubtadly paved the way to his being cast in the upcoming Batman film.
Third, Warrior. Released just last year at the tail end of the summer season, Warrior, earned some early Oscar buzz for the story of two brothers who enter the same MMA tournament, and not surprisingly, end up facing off in the main event. Nick Nolte, who plays their alcoholic father, shows audiences exactly why he became famous in the first place, with a performance that will most likely earn him a handful of nominations. And Hardy, who plays his youngest son, Tommy, showed, “enourmas star potential,” as Richard Roeper put it, in his review of Warrior. And while the film wasn’t exactly ground breaking, it still has a story and more than one performance that will move an audience.
On top of these reasons, Hardy was named one of Variety’s 10 Actors to Watch, in 2009, and even performed in Brett C. Leonard’s, The Long Red Road, at the Goodman Theater in 2010, in Chicago. The play was written for Hardy and directed by Phillip Seymour Hoffman. So, with all these reasons behind him, and The Dark Knight Rises around the corner, put your money on the next big star in Hollywood, Tom Hardy.