Tom Hardy has become a favourite in recent years - not just with fans, but also Hollywood heavyweights who have queued up to work with him - and as he celebrates his 40th birthday, what better time to look back at his achievements?
While the actor often stays out of the spotlight, he makes his time in it count, and it’s not just been about record-breaking movies and bagging countless award nominations.
When he’s not busy catching the Academy’s eye, Tom can sometimes be found shutting down sexist questions, combatting real-life criminals and chilling at a rescue dog’s home.
Don’t believe us? Here are 13 times he was a total gift to us...
1. The bedtime stories
In news that delighted parents up and down the country, it was announced that Tom was set to read three CBeebies Bedtime Stories, in late 2016.
The episodes themselves were then impeccably timed, with the first airing on New Year’s Eve. The second was then aired on Valentine’s Day, leaving people up and down the country cancelling their restaurant bookings.
2. Tom’s tribute to his dog, Woody
The actor rarely comments on his personal life but the death of his loyal companion, Woody, led him to post an emotional blog and tribute video online. In it, he called the canine his “bestest friend ever”, telling fans he was “devastated” but “ultimately grateful for his loyal companionship.”
3. When he was all of us at Disneyland
That smile. ❤️
4. His performance in ‘Dunkirk’
If you haven’t already seen this film then 1. Why on earth not??? And 2. Don’t worry, we’re not about to spoil any of it. Let’s just say that while the film’s ensemble cast is comprised of extraordinary characters, Tom manages to stand out thanks to his star turn as an RAF pilot.
5. When he transformed Saturday nights
The BBC healed our January blues in record time when they decided to air Tom’s drama ‘Taboo’ - which he helped create as well as star in - on Saturday nights in early 2017. Our weekends haven’t been the same since (bring on series two).
6. Tom’s Grenfell Tower and Manchester bombing fundraising
On a more serious note, the actor has used his A-list status to do some good on two occasions so far this year, creating JustGiving pages in the wake of both the Grenfell Tower fire and the Manchester Arena bombing.
7. When he offered some real talk on Hollywood movies
Tom’s explanation of why fans won’t be seeing him playing a superhero anytime soon was impossible to disagree with.
“You’ve got to look like you’ve just come off a vegan diet, gone to the gym, part Navy Seal, really clean-valued, clean-living, moralistic — and then you go out and save the world from an impending danger that isn’t really dangerous at all,” he said. “And it becomes not committed to any sense of the gubbins of reality: I don’t recognise this man.”
8. That time he performed an actual citizen’s arrest
Seriously, is there anything he can’t do? Tom snatched the title of April’s Most Surprising Celebrity Headline when he chased down a man who had stolen a moped, near his home in Richmond.
While the star’s rep has never confirmed - or denied - the reports, it’s believed the actor was pretty happy with his feat and told bystanders: “I caught the c***!”
9. When he politely clapped back at a journalist
Drew McWeeny was not happy with Tom apparently kept him waiting at a ‘The Revenant’ junket and took to Twitter to make his feelings very (very) clear.
In a move that Drew probably wasn’t expecting, Tom issued a reply to the tweets - in which the journalist had labelled him a “spoiled baby and delicate f**king flower” - with a beyond polite letter that he signed off with: “Best regards and thanks for calling me an asshole a lot Tommy xxx.” Read his response in full here.
10. And when he shut down a sexist question
Tom (rightly) wasn’t best pleased to be asked how he felt about sharing so much screen time with a woman - Shock! Horror! - in ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ and quickly made his feelings known.
After one of the best shadiest looks of all-time and a perfect, pregnant pause, he said: “No. Not for one minute.”
11. His visit to Battersea Dog’s Home
Tom appeared on an episode of ‘Paul O’Grady’s Love Of Dogs’, where he promptly fell in love with basically every single dog that walked into the room.
12. When he played both Kray twins
Why have one role in a film when you can have two, eh?
13. And finally… when Tom took part in a ‘Big Breakfast’ modelling competition
Everybody has to start somewhere and long before the Oscar nomination and worldwide stardom, Tom made his modelling debut on the breakfast TV show.
In one of the most ’90s things to ever happen, he wore an alice band on his hair and won.