Tom Hardy facts you may not know

Taryn Davies
Published: September 9, 2015

Tom Hardy has a big month, what with the release of Legend and his 38th birthday on September 15 too; so what better time to share some facts on the London-born actor than now?

Tom created Taboo with his father Chips Hardy 

Tom was born in 1977 in Hammersmith and had quite a comfortable upbringing. His mother is a painter, and father, Chips Hardy is a screenwriter, playwright and novelist.

Chips Hardy has worked on writing for TV shows that include Helping HenryAbout Face, and Dave Allen but his work with his son Tom on the BBC series Taboo has to be his most prolific to date. Tom pitched the idea to his father about Taboo, only for Chips to dismiss the idea while he was writing another novel, eight months later he had given it a bit of 'treatment' according to Tom and from there they went on to create the show.

He was expelled twice

Creativity was something his whole life was about, but he struggled in school and failed to meet the mark.

He was expelled for theft from Reed's School. Later he was then kicked out of a drama school for his behaviour. He didn't complete his education at Drama Centre London either.

He created the voice of Bane

To get the role of Bane in The Dark Knight Rises he came with the voice for the character.

He told Esquire that he took inspiration from something that he saw on Youtube and shared it with director Chris Nolan. It was a voice of a bare-knuckle fighter, and Nolan certainly thought it was fitting for the character because he took on the role of the villain.

His tattoos all tell a story

The actor told the Global Mail that his tattoos all have a meaning, something he's experienced himself or something about him. Like his leprechaun tattoo, his first one he got at 15, which pays homage to his mother's Irish ancestry.

His name actually isn’t Tom

Tom's first name ISN'T Thomas, his full name is Edward Thomas Hardy, which is actually the same name as his Grandfather.

He has a son

Tom shares a son with his former partner Rachael Speed. The child was born in 2008, but Tom admits that he wanted the family thing to work, but knew it wasn't right.

Hardy was once a model

Without a doubt our favourite fact about the actor is the fact he won a modelling competition on The Big Breakfast when he was just 21. You can watch a clip below, thankfully, where he takes part in the Find Me A Supermodel competition. He got a cash prize as well as a contract, but it wasn't long till he realised that acting would be a better profession.

His personal battles with alcohol and drugs

During his late teens and early twenties, the actor battled alcoholism and drug dependency and blames his addiction for ending his marriage. It was only in 2002 that he got treatment, once he'd finished filming Star Trek: Nemesis.

He admits he completely lost it, and he's lucky to be alive now. But he admits his addiction is something that he lives with every day.

Tom reveals he'd black out and wouldn't know how he got to certain places, and he's just thankful he didn't end up with AIDS or hepatitis.

He’s experimented in relationships

A few years ago, Hardy was asked whether or not he had ever had sexual relations with other men, and he answered the question with typical candour:

“Of course I have. I’m an actor for f*ck’s sake. I’m an artist. I’ve played with everything and everyone. But I’m not into men sexually. I love the form and the physicality but the gay sex bit does nothing for me.”

Not that Hardy has a problem with homosexuality or thinks of himself as particularly macho. In fact, he has said “I feel intrinsically feminine,” and claims to be anything but a hard man – a surprising admission from someone who plays intimidating characters so well.

He has his priorities in order

Tom knows what's important in his life, and takes those things very seriously, he told Marie Claire: "There are two things that are great in my life. One is my family and the other is my work, and I will protect them both to the death."

He was always a bad boy

Hardy might be best known for playing villains or bad guys in films, and it seems it’s always been his way. Tom used to be quite the troublemaker. He told GQ that he was arrested when he was just 17 after stealing his father's friend's Mercedes. When he got pulled by the police, he was carrying a gun.

He takes inspiration from unusual places

Like we said earlier he use Youtube to find the voice of Bane, and it turns out he took inspiration from the cartoon grandmother of Tweety and Sylvester for his role in Lawless. The film saw him as the eldest brother, and he took on the maternal role in the family when their mother had passed away. He told French GQ that using the grandmother as inspiration, it helped him to imagine what it would be like to be the mother of another.

His charity work

Since playing a homeless addict in TV movie, Stuart: A Life Backwards, Tom has been heavily involved with Cambridge-based homeless charity FLACK, as well as The Prince's Trust and Breakthrough Breast Cancer, among others.

He also appeared in a PETA ad with one of his two rescue dogs, which he has with his wife Charlotte Riley. Both him and Riley are also patrons of Bowel Cancer UK.

Early aspirations to become a rapper

It’s a little-known fact that one of his early aspirations was to become a rapper, and he came closer than you might think to make it a reality.

His hip-hop career didn’t quite come to fruition, but Hardy made enough of an impression as an adolescent to earn himself a recording contract, taken under the wing of the man who managed The Fugees and working with Grammy-winning producers Warren Riker and Gordon Williams to record a couple of albums.

Somewhat predictably for the self-effacing actor, he isn’t too complimentary about his own efforts, commenting that it didn’t pan out because of his background, and the fact he wasn't very good.

On-set altercations

He certainly makes an impression when on set filming, in fact he managed to persuade Ridley Scott to allow him to set himself on fire in Blackhawk Down, rather than using a stuntman.

He admits he slapped Paul Bettany when he was on set of The Reckoning too, he didn't hit him because he didn't want to leave a mark on his face.

There was also something with Shia LeBeouf when he was filming Lawless. There were reports that they had brawled, but Hardy says it wasn't so much a brawl, they were just play fighting.

His commitment to roles

If there’s one thing that’s pretty evident is his committals to his roles, often transforming himself into the character. Such as Charles Bronson, it's said that he done 2,500 press-ups every single day in a bid to change his body shape.

He also lost weight for his role in  Stuart: A Life Backwards, and then underwent another transformation for Warrior. He'd spend six hours a day fighting in different techniques, then two hours of choreography, then more time was spent weightlifting to bulk up his body. And he done this for seven days a week for three months in the run up to the film.

Not only that, but Hardy amassed a massive 42 pounds of muscle for his role as Bane too.

Finding the comedy in everything

Tom says that his father Chips Hardy career as a comedy writer definitely had an influence on his ability to find comedy everywhere he can.