Editorial — Editorial of the Month – September – Tom Hardy – Dazed & Confused – Vol III/01

Tom Hardy is something of a film producer’s wet dream. He’s one of those actors whose acting skills have been repeatedly proven through pulling off demanding parts that are usually reserved for mature actors. His good looks make him the contemporary version of the matinee idol in terms of being able to attract an audience on the grounds of sex appeal, no matter the content of a film or television programme. And his off-screen antics frequently attract enough paparazzi and gossip column attention to ensure that any project he’s involved in gets that all important incidental media coverage.

Dazed & Confused Vol III/01– Tom Hardy – Photo: Rankin Styling: Scott Robin Clark

Dazed & Confused Vol III/01– Tom Hardy – Photo: Rankin Styling: Scott Robin Clark

Like many British actors who inevitably end up heading in a Hollywood direction, Hardy has worked his way up in television. In the current issue of Dazed & Confused, Hannah Lack fires the questions at Mr Hardy as he once again prepares to star in a Hollywood film, this time one that is less about proving his worthy commitment to his craft as a serious actor and more about placing him centrally as a player in the international entertainment machine. There’s something of a reunion about it all – Hardy’s up-and-coming talent was first profiled by D&C in 2007- and one gets the feeling that everyone involved is rather proud that their boy is doing so well.

The candid interview underscores Tom Hardy’s own self-awareness of a certain frisson between his private identity and aims as an actor and the kind of bad boy persona with which he has come to be associated. In a way, this is almost inevitable with the terribly English period dramas that constituted his adolescent debut on the small screen effortlessly giving way to roles as gangsters and villains. The latter, of course, are both interesting acting challenges to the serious actor and, usefully, attract a mass audience, particularly in Britain with its ambivalent attraction to characters on the wrong side of the law. Almost inevitably though there often ends up being some psychological blurring between the personal identities of these larger-than-life characters and the actors who play them.

Even the stunning black and white photos by Rankin, styled by Scott Robin Clark, that accompany the intriguing interview suggest a certain unpredictable edge to Tom Hardy, perhaps even implying that he shares more with his bad ass screen roles than his words could suggest. But, who could blame them? The dangerous sexuality that these characters ooze is a heady combination when combined with the looks of Tom Hardy whose handsome and photogenic features are certainly a lot easier on the eye than the real life equivalents of the hardened characters he has played. His appeal is almost textbook: women want him and men want to be him. Or, indeed, vice versa. It ultimately is pure box office.

But, in Tom Hardy’s case, as Lock’s article reveals, it’s not as simple as a nice boy from safe suburban England posturing as a wild and crazy gangster. Whether in the tradition of certain famed actors whose methods seem so ‘method’ that they actually need to become the deranged characters that they play, Hardy too has had his scrapes with the dark side on the road to fame. Hopefully this time his shot at old school Hollywood fame will not take a detour in the direction of his drug-induced antics that the tabloids just couldn’t wait to exploit in the past.

Dazed & Confused Vol III/01– Tom Hardy – Photo: Rankin Styling: Scott Robin Clark

Dazed & Confused Vol III/01– Tom Hardy – Photo: Rankin Styling: Scott Robin Clark