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People in Film | Tom Hardy
Posted October 14, 2011 to photo album "People in Film | Tom Hardy"
From a tumultuous and wild youth, Tom Hardy has focused his considerable energy into turning in bravura performances, from BRONSON to TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY.
Tom Hardy | Changing Mind and Body
In STUART: A LIFE BACKWARDS (2007); in BRONSON (2009).
Through the 2000s, Hardy took on roles that showcased both his emotional investment in acting and his willingness to radically transform himself to fit the role. Indeed, two of his most notable performances were playing utterly opposite real-life personalities. In 2007, he withered to nothing to play the Stuart Shorter, an emotionally and physically disabled homeless man in David Atwood’s award-winning TV movie STUART: A LIFE BACKWARDS. His powerful portrayal of a man tortured by physical limitations and childhood abuse earned him a Best Actor nomination at the BAFTA TV awards. Alexander Masters, who wrote the book on which the film was based, was amazed by Hardy’s transformative talent. “It took me a long time to get the tone of the TV production right, to get the right balance between the pathos and the humour. But Tom has managed to capture the complexity beautifully,” Masters told The Times. A few years later, Hardy was cast by the Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn for the title role in BRONSON, a biopic based on the career criminal and bare-knuckle boxer once dubbed the “most violent prisoner in Britain.” For this role, he grew a moustache, shaved his head and put on 40 pounds of muscle. But it was not simple physical transformation that won critics' hearts. Declaring Hardy's portrayal of Bronson “remarkable,” the Chicago Tribune's Michael Philipps wrote, “This is an actor with a memorably expressive rasp of a voice, both blunt and musical. He knows how to work a close-up and perform in an arena of heightened realism, as well as purely artificial theatricality. The movie is very nearly a solo performance piece — “In the Belly of the Beast,” starring a saber-toothed tiger.”