Few actors can match Blighty's very own Tom Hardy for sheer, scorching intensity. And said intensity will be burning off the screen in this month's action-packed release Mad Max: Fury Road.
The latest in the cult Mad Max movie franchise, the film is chock full of explosions and carnage. But the really explosive element is set to be Hardy himself, as he steps into the shoes of futuristic road warrior Max Rockatansky (previously played by Mel Gibson).
This got us thinking – which of Hardy's characters is the hardest? Join us as we rank his performances on a scale of 'Hardly' to 'Hard Man' and deliver the ultimate verdict on who's the Hardest Hardy.
How hard? Hardly
Well, let's face it – Ivan Locke is character who spends the entire movie behind the wheel of a car. Whilst sporting a wooly jumper. This troubled concrete manager has a host of his own personal demons, ones that manifest as he heads down the motorway to attend the birth of his child (it's not his wife's). Most alarmingly, he imagines his detested father sitting in the back seat of the car and rages at him. Yikes.
How hard? Harder
The actor cuts a physically imposing presence in this Prohibition era drama (a result of having bulked up for his eventual role inThe Dark Knight Rises). Hardy's character Forrest Bondurant isn't one you'd want to mess with, being prone to moments of explosively messy violence, but he is nevertheless fiercely loyal to his brothers Jack (Shia LaBeouf) and Howard (Jason Clarke). The movie is adapted from a book by Matt Bondurant, on whose ancestors the drama is based.
How hard? Even harder
Hardy's cage fighting character sports rock hard abs and an even tougher attitude in this gritty sports drama. Hardy plays ex-Marine Tommy Conlon, a man fleeing a murky past who re-enters the world of mixed martial arts under the tutelage of his alcoholic father Paddy (Oscar nominee Nick Nolte). To compound the problems, Tommy must ultimately face his brother Brendan (Joel Edgerton) in the ring. Talk about a family with issues.
Bronson (2009)/The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
How hard? Hard Man!
Yes, it's a tie between Hardy's two most ferocious and fearsome portrayals. On the one hand, we have Hardy's menacing interpretation of infamous British prisoner Charles Bronson, a man who's been behind bars pretty much all his life and who, in Hardy's hands, is a walking embodiment of rage. Then we have the villainous masked Bane in Christopher Nolan's final Batman movie, who despite the fact that we can't hear a word he's saying, still threatens Gotham City with a bomb and kills anyone who gets in his way. We think he needs a sit down with a cuppa and a biscuit.
But who's this waiting in the wings...
How hard? Hard to know
Hardy plays both of the notorious Kray twins in this soon-to-be-released drama. Ronnie and Reggie Kray were notorious gangsters who terrorised London in the 1950s and 60s, which sounds perfect for Hardy's signature blend of wired intensity. We'll find out where Legend will rank on this list when the film is released on 11th September.