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Spotlight on the Stars: Tom Hardy

EE British Academy Film Awards 2014 - Arrivals
For this week’s spotlight piece, I wanted to take a look at an up and coming A-lister, someone who’s a big star on his way to becoming an even bigger one. He’s Tom Hardy, an incredibly well respected and intense actor. It’s probably a shock to many that Hardy has yet to be cited with an Academy Award nomination (or even a Golden Globe nomination for that matter), but that speaks to how great the work is already. With another fine performance this year coming to theaters, now seems like a perfect time to take a look at Hardy, so let’s shine a spotlight on him right now!

Hardy got his start when he was picked for a role in Band of Brothers, pretty much being plucked out of obscurity. He appeared in two episodes of the miniseries, which marked his debut as an actor. His small part in Black Hawk Down was his first time on the big screen, though obviously it wouldn’t be his last. He even had a huge role come his way the next year, playing the main villain in Star Trek: Nemesis. The next couple of years would see him take supporting parts in films like Layer Cake, Marie Antoinette, and RocknRolla, but they were all warm ups for his real introduction.

That would come when he played the title role in the prison movie Bronson. His performance so stunned audiences and critics alike that suddenly he was a name that was on the tip of just about everyone’s tongue. Hardy was a star in the making, someone who’d shown he had talent that ranks among the best of anyone in his generation. Many had tipped him for an Oscar nomination, and although it didn’t happen, his work on that flick shot him right to the front of the line when it came to consideration for major roles. He wasn’t just going to cash a paycheck and call it a day though. No, Hardy was going to continue to pick and choose his jobs carefully.

His next major role came a few years later when Christopher Nolan picked him for one of the notable parts in his mind bender Inception. Using his charismatic turn as almost another audition of sorts, Nolan then put Hardy in the final installment of his Batman franchise, getting him to play antagonist Bane in The Dark Knight Rises. Between those two works with Nolan, Hardy appeared in Lawless, This Means War, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, and Warrior. In that last one, he gave what I believe to be his best performance to date in his career playing an MMA fighter/military vet. It’s stunning work to me. Hardy has since appeared in Locke, which I already detailed earlier this year, but it’s just another impressive turn from the actor.

This week, he stars in the crime drama The Drop, which sees him playing a bit more restrained than usual. I’ll be talking more about that film tomorrow, so I’ll keep it simple here today, except to say that the movie succeeds in large part due to Hardy’s performance. He’s the best part of the flick, by far.

Overall, Hardy is a top notch talent who is still seeing his star shoot higher in the night sky that is this business. In the next year or two, he’ll shoot for more awards consideration with Child 44, play twins in the crime thriller Legend, have his own franchise in Mad Max: Fury Road, and team up again with Leonardo DiCaprio in The Revenant. Those roles will only add more bold faced type to the A in his A-list status. Wherever Hardy goes, I’m going to follow, and I know I’m not alone in thinking that…

Stay tuned for another look at an A-lister next week!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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