Tom Hardy has been on a hot streak lately. He has been acting for quite sometime but it wasn’t until Bronson that he got noticed. His performance in Bronson is nothing short of amazing. He has a raw intensity that really elevates a rather simple movie. He entered the game in Black Hawk Down and acted in smaller roles is plenty of movies including the main villain in Star Trek: Nemesis but really didn’t get the street credit that he does now. Inception was the next movie where he really stood out. Working with Christopher Nolan really expedited his career in the best possible way. He brought complexity to a character who didn’t get enough screen time. Not long afterwards he played the character Tommy Riordan in Warrior which was another performance showcasing his ability to make a treating and imposing character while also grounding him reality. Before Warrior and after Inception, Hardy was cast as the villain Bane in The Dark Knight Rises, a perfect casting considering his roles in Warrior and Bronson. The Dark Knight Rises made him the house hold name that he is today. He was able to express sincere emotion while wearing a mask that covered the majority of his face.
Even in the poorly received This Means War, Hardy is able to bring some depth to his character. It wasn’t until Locke that he was able to use the extent of his talent. He gives a stunning performance as Ivan Locke, a construction manager and his tough decision between his job, wife, and the destructive force that will tear everything apart. Set in a singular location the entire film rests on Hardy’s shoulders and he is able to carry the movie and elevate his talent.
Even The Drop (review in progress) even with two other fantastic performances from James Gandolfini and Matthias Schoernaerts, who is just as powerful an actor you are unable to take your eyes of his performance.
Sometimes an actor will play the same character in every movie, I’m looking at you Tom Cruise, but you never once think that Tom Hardy is imitating the same character but instead creating a completely new character every time. I think this is what makes Tom Hardy the powerhouse actor that he is.