Despite his turbulent youth, Tom Hardy won The Big Breakfast's competition ‘Find Me a Supermodel’ in 1998, at the age of 21.
His debut TV show was Steven Spielberg’s war series ‘Band of Brothers’ in 2001. A few months later he landed his debut film, Ridley Scott's war thriller 'Black Hawk Down’. Although his performance received positive reviews from critics, military officials and other groups criticized the film.
His next film ‘Star Trek: Nemesis’ in 2002 was a science fiction, wherein he portrayed Praetor Shinzon, the leader of the Reman warriors.
In 2003, he did the film ‘dot the i’, a psychological thriller, and soon after, he travelled to Morocco for ‘Simon: An English Legionnaire’, a film about a young Englishman during the French-Algerian conflict. In the same year, he did ‘LD 50 Lethal Dose’ a UK horror film.
In 2003, he appeared as Skank in a play, ‘In Arabia We'd All Be Kings’, performed in London. Critics reviewed his performance as “remarkable”; it also won him accolades.
In 2005, he was featured in the BBC miniseries ‘The Virgin Queen’, wherein he portrayed Robert Dudley, a childhood friend of Elizabeth I. In 2006, he appeared in BBC Four’s ‘A for Andromeda’, a remake of a 1961 TV series.
In 2007, he appeared in the lead role in BBC Two's ‘Stuart: A Life Backwards’, wherein he portrayed Stuart Shorter, a homeless man, subjected to years of abuse.
In 2008, he portrayed a drug-addicted rapist in the British crime thriller ‘WΔZ.’ In the same year, he appeared in ‘RocknRolla’ a British-American crime comedy film, in which he portrayed Handsome Bob, a closeted gay member of The Wild Bunch.
In 2009, he put on 19 kg to play the character Bronson/Peterson in the film ‘Bronson’, the real-life story of prisoner Charles Bronson. In June 2009, he portrayed a gangster in the TV drama ‘The Take’ on Sky One. In August, he starred in ITV's ‘Wuthering Heights’, wherein he played Heathcliff.
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In 2010, he portrayed Sam, an alcoholic, in the play ‘The Long Red Road’, performed at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago. He won positive reviews for his performance. In the same year, he played Eames in Christopher Nolan's ‘Inception’, a science fiction thriller.
In 2011, he starred in the film ‘Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy’, an adaptation of the 1979 TV miniseries on BBC TV. In the same year, his portrayal of Tommy Riordan, in the film ‘Warrior’, earned him appreciations from critics.
In 2012, he starred in ‘This Means War’, a superhero film, wherein he played the supervillain Bane, for which he had gained 14kg. In the same year, he portrayed a bootlegger in ‘Lawless’, an American crime drama film.
In 2014, Hardy played Bob Saginowski, a bartender in ‘The Drop’, an American crime drama film, directed by Michaël R. That year, he also appeared in the BBC series ‘Peaky Blinders’ in its second series, portraying Alfie Solomons, the head of a Jewish gang.
In 2015, he landed five films. First, he appeared in ‘Child 44’, where he played Leo Demidov, a Soviet secret police agent. The film was critically and commercially unsuccessful, but his performance received appreciation.
His performance as Max Rockatansky in his next film ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ in 2015 was praised by the critics. The film was a smashing hit at the box office.
His third film in 2015 was the crime thriller ‘Legend’, wherein he played the dual role of the Kray brothers who are gangsters. His fourth film in 2015 was ‘The Revenant’ an American semi-biographical film.
In 2017, he appeared in ‘Dunkirk’ a war film. It was about the British military evacuation of the French port of Dunkirk during World War II. Hardy will also portray a war photographer in the film ‘Unreasonable Behavior’. He will feature in Josh Trank's Al Capone biopic ‘Fonzo’ as well.
On the TV front, as of 2017, he appears in BBC One TV series ‘Taboo’, which is created by Steven Knight, Hardy, and his father Edward. Hardy has written the story. He will also appear in ‘Venom’, which will be released in 2018.