5 Film Roles That Are Propelling Tom Hardy Onto The Hollywood A-List

Published 3 years ago by , Updated February 18th, 2012 at 7:13 am, This is a list post.

5 Film Roles that are propelling Tom Hardy onto the Hollywood A-List

tom hardy replaces fassbender in tinker, tailor, soldier,spy Tom Hardy isn't a household name, but he will likely be one by the end of 2012. In a series of five films (one of which hasn't been released yet) from 2010 through this year, the British actor has quickly established a name for himself. This eclectic mix of films show Hardy in a variety of roles - and are quickly propelling him onto on the Hollywood A-list. Prior to these movies, Hardy had been working in the business for a number of years and earned strong reviews for his work in earlier films, including 2008's Bronson. But it wasn’t until 2010 that a little film by Christopher Nolan put Hardy in front of a huge international audience and put him in line to become a member of the A-list.


Tom Hardy Joseph Gordon-Levitt Inception Christopher Nolan movie "You musn't be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling," Eames (Hardy) says in the 2010 blockbuster, Inception. It seems that Hardy has followed his character's advice of dreaming big with his career. Since the release of this story about thieves who break into the unconscious mind, Hardy has made a series of strong career choices. Hardy impressed many for his work in Inception because he stood out in this cast of high-profile Oscar nominees and winners. The film stars Oscar winners Marion Cotillard and Michael Caine, alongside Academy Award nominees like Leonardo DiCaprio and Ellen Page. Lesser actors might not have been able to perform with so many well-known actors around but Hardy steals a few scenes and seems to having a blast along the way.


Tommy Conlon's tattoos from Warrior In the underappreciated gem Warrior, Hardy stars as Tommy Conlon, a military veteran who must eventually come to grips with his family. Conlon is an MMA fighter who has to face off with his estranged brother Brendan (Joel Edgerton) in the ring. A championship battle pits the brothers against each other in this emotional and compelling drama. Hardy's physically demanding role required solid acting, especially in scenes he shares with veteran thespian Nick Nolte - who was nominated for an Oscar for his performance. Yet Hardy pulled it off, proving once again that he has the talent to go a long way in Hollywood.

'Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy'

Tom Hardy in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy Although I've seen Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy twice, I still don't completely understand it.  What I do know is that this complicated and acclaimed Gary Oldman drama is worth seeing. As Ricki Tarr, an agent that helps guide George Smiley (Oldman) to the mole in a secret British intelligence unit, Hardy again shows his vulnerable side. This intelligent drama was never going to have the mass appeal of Inception or Warrior. Instead, it's a character-driven story filled with moments of great subtlety and quiet tension.  Again, Hardy showed off his acting skills in a small but interesting role.

'This Means War'

Tom Hardy and Chris Pine taking aim in 'This Means War' This weekend, Tom Hardy stars alongside Chris Pine and Reese Witherspoon in the new comedy, This Means War. Although many critics disliked the film (we gave it a middle of the road score), it’s a perfect vehicle for Pine and Hardy to show off their comedic sides. As one of two men fighting over a woman, Hardy pokes fun at his own image as a tough guy, and seems to be having a good time doing so. Plus, to be one of three major stars on the movie poster - alongside A-listers like Witherspoon and Pine (Star Trek) - helps to establish Hardy as a big movie star himself. Even though 'War' will get more people to appreciate Hardy, it likely won't be this film that makes him a household name.

'The Dark Knight Rises'

Dark knight rises viral site reveals first Tom Hardy Bane Image The Dark Knight Rises, the eagerly-anticipated conclusion to director Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy, will likely make Mr. Hardy a household name. Nolan previously directed the actor in Inception but it looks like Hardy will have a much much bigger role in TDKR, which finds his character facing off against the Caped Crusader. Anticipation for the final film in this series is high, and Hardy’s performance is likely to be scrutinized in great detail. Remember that the last person to play a villain in a Nolan Batman film was Heath Ledger, who won a posthumous Oscar for his performance. If this movie is nearly as good (or, dare we say, better) as The Dark Knight, Hardy could have his most high-profile and powerful performances to date.

5 Film Roles that are propelling Tom Hardy onto the Hollywood A-List

Most Anticipated Movies of 2012 - Wettest County So far, we've noted five films that are helping Hardy make it onto the Hollywood A-list. From smaller films like Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy to big blockbusters like Inception to character-driven dramas like Warrior, Hardy has established himself as a strong and compelling actor who is worthy of Hollywood's attention. Hardy will also be starring in a film called Wettest County (pictured left), which arrives in theaters late this year with a cast of well-known actors like Shia LaBeouf, Gary Oldman and Jessica Chastain. Although that movie hasn't received a lot of publicity thus far, it will be interesting to see where Hardy takes his career from here. I, for one, cannot wait.
TAGS: inception, the dark knight, the dark knight rises, this means war, tinker tailor soldier spy


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  1. Bronson is still a great movie and an incredible performance by Hardy. Certainly not for everyone, but great nonetheless.

  2. I’d take off “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” and replace it with “Wettest County”

    While TTSS was pretty good, i dont think it got enough publicity to really move his career forward. The people who saw it liked it but other than Gary Oldman, no body really has an interest in that movie or whose in it. (sorry, just a personal observation, i could be wrong)

    Wetters County is yet to come out, but it’s already got pretty good award buzz for next year. And in a year that will have “Hobbit”, “Django” and “Gatsby”, it’ll hold it’s own pretty well

    • Wettest County is a movie no one knows about right now.

  3. I hope people don’t compare Hardy’s performance to Ledger’s. I’m looking forward to seeing how he is as Bane.

    • Why wouldn’t compare Hardy’s Bane to Ledger’s Joker? I think the performance will be on par or better, to be honest.

      • B/c people are of the mind that Hardy needs to surpass Ledger, but they should be judging Hardy’s performance by itself alone rather than say, “Well, he wasn’t as memorable as The Joker” or something along that line.

    • Apples to oranges, two COMPLETLY different bad guys. Its like comparing heath ledgers joker to gene hackmans lex luthur, or loki compared to general zod, great in their own way.

      While one might like joker better because of how crazy he is, bane would be equally as good but in a physical way. No one should compare the two, there is nothing to compare (aside from the chaos and destruction these two create)

  4. Good article. I really like him in Bronson and Rock and Rolla too. Is there supposed to be a sequel to that? Hardys put on alot of muscle since then!

  5. Huh. Now that I think about it: both Pine and Hardy have done Star Trek. Pine in the 2009 movie and Hardy in Nemesis.

    Just a silly tidbit.

    • It’s the second time on film Kirk and Picard share the screen together with the first being Star Trek Generations!

      Yes, Hardy didn’t technically play Picard but he was a clone of him so he was.

  6. I don’t care about Tom Hardy being a A-lister but I actually care about Hardy playing Bane well.

    Tom Hardy is a amazing actor and he was great in Bronson.

    I hope Hardy all the success he deseveres but hopefully does a great job as Bane, he has a lots of pressure of making a great villain since Heath Ledger’s electrying peformance as The Joker made The Dark Knight, a wonderful film.

  7. Hardy has proven to be a true power house. He was brilliant in Bronson and The Take and I have no worries about how he will do in TDKR.

  8. Hardy rules and his recent successes are well-deserved. 153 days until TDKR (but who’s counting)!

    Also- glad to read your comment about Tinker Tailor and see that I’m not alone. I sat there for the first hour feeling like I was going crazy, thinking “What is going on?!?! Am I supposed to understand any of this?!?!” Then it all comes together by the end and I really enjoyed myself but, damn, it’s a complex movie. Kind of like reading a spy novel out of order with a few pages missing.

  9. I want to see Tom Hardy as the next wolverine. Hugh Jackman sucks as Wolverine

    • You know, I never thought of this before, but you are right. I like Jackman but not as Wolverine. Hardy is an amazing actor, he realy does stand out in all his films.

  10. he was pretty good in inception cant wait to see him as bane

  11. The performance that did it for me was his role in Warrior, I was holding back tears during the end, so there’s no doubt in my mind that he will make a great Bane and solidify his spot as an actor with tremendous talent. Now I must add watching Bronson to my list…

  12. i hear bronson was really good.

    i wonder though how bane’s mask will effect him becoming a “household name”

    not getting to see his face may loose some points for him … where as i believe in certain marvel movie the actors do without their masks/helmets for the sake of their contracts and egos….

  13. Where is Bronson? Thats the one that made him stand out among the rest of actors if you ask me

  14. if they ever do a Freddie
    Mercury biopic- he would be perfect…

    • isn’t Sacha Baron Cohen already playing Freddi Mercury?

  15. Good article. Just hoping I’ll be able to understand him as Bane. They need to add subtitles or something ’cause in the MI:Ghost Protocol theater, his voice sounded cool but I couldn’t understand jack of what Bane said.

  16. If you want a clue as to Tom Hardy’s range and skill, pick up on streaming his performance as Heathcliff in WUTHERING HEIGHTS. Heathcliff is a psychotic, sadistic, villain that is somehow sexy and sympathetic.

    @Mike C: I admit to using the subtitles on the INCEPTION Blu-ray to flush out Hardy’s lines. I have the shooting script to help, too. Just realized what a Nolan nerd I am.

    • Yeah he was a great Heathcliff.

  17. been a huge Tom Hardy fan for years, always nice to see a fellow Englishman do well! If it wasn’t for the problems he’s had in his personal life he’d already be an A-Lister in my opinion

    • The addiction issues, you mean? He’s been clean for years now, I think; hopefully he can stay that way.

      • yea he’s been clean a long time now, but it was an issue for him at the start of his career, after band of brothers, black hawk down and the star trek film he did people thought he was going to be big but he had to go into rehab. set his career back a couple years in my opinion

        • Drug addiction can do that to people, set them back … glad he’s straightened himself out. Some of those films you mentioned, I didn’t even know he was in. Band of Brother and Star Trek? I just recently found out about Black Hawk Down.

          • yea he was in two episodes of band of brothers and the star trek:nemesis film. I’m pretty sure it was after star trek he went into rehab but I could be mistaken. He’s a quality actor so we’re all very lucky he got over his problems.

  18. I know its a mini series and not a movie but anyone who hasn’t seen him in The Take, needs too

  19. Don’t forget ‘This Means War’ has Kirk Vs Picard(-ish), enough said. 😀

  20. I believe This Means War will actually hurt him more than anything. The critics hate it and it failed at the box office as well. I know most actors need their fun movie to take a break, but really man? This looks corny as hell.

    • I completely agree re This Means War. For instance Benedict Cumberbatch woudl never lower his standards to that level. Hardy really sold out.

  21. Hope that Wettest County helps him as well, it seems to have a good cast. He is my favorite rising star. Loved his work in Inception and Warrior, can’t wait to watch him as Bane.

  22. Not counting the news he made when snagging the role of Bane, I didn’t really pay much attention to Hardy until I saw him in Warrior. Wow, amazing acting. What a shame that movie didn’t get more attention.

    • I agree very underrated film, but at least it got an Oscar nomination for Nick Nolte’s performance.

  23. @ John Hanlon ~ What is it in TTSS that befuddles you?
    For a John LeCarré novel, it’s pretty straight-forward.

  24. No mention of the Mad Max (reboot/remake?) movie he is signed on too…?

  25. Hardy is on his way. I liked him in Rock n Rolla and everything else he has been in I have seen. Great actor.

  26. awesome article John…i can’t get enough of this guy, he’s an amazing actor and Bane is a performance i’ve anticipated more than any in recent years…surely Wettest County will be good too, hopefully they reveal more on that one soon

  27. He’s been a household name here in England for years, certainly since Rock N Rolla and his smaller role in Layer Cake, i’ve known of the actor for a long time and it is great seeing him make it big in Hollywood, it’s a crime he and Joel Edgerton didn’t get an Oscar nomination for Warrior as they were fantastic.

    • “it’s a crime he and Joel Edgerton didn’t get an Oscar nomination for Warrior as they were fantastic.”

      I agree. Best film I’ve seen in the past couple/few years.

  28. He isnt A list as he cant open a film. Look what just happened with This Means War. He isnt a very versatile actor and cant do comedy. This is just comic book fan boys building him up.

    • that’s bollocks! he’s THE most versatile and brilliant and fearless actor alive

    • he’s THE most versatile and brilliant and fearless actor aliv