Some people might argue otherwise, but since Brad made Mr & Mrs Smith, Leo made Gatsby, De Niro makes comedies only likely to get 5 stars in Time Out and Johnny is now typecast as a camp pirate, Tom Hardy: the man of many accents, takes the crown.
Of course, there is the issue of Christian Bale. He’s made some solid performances in the last ten years, including being a really skinny insomniac in the Machinist, being Batman and being a drug addicted former boxer in the Fighter. However, he was also in Terminator and played Moses in Exodus: Gods & Kings. You just can’t ignore these things. Also, where’s the accents?
You might have noticed by now, that my judgement of acting is not necessarily the most traditional. In my eyes, if you act in a terrible movie, your career (and thus your acting) is tarnished. Being a camp pirate doesn’t necessarily make you a bad actor, and neither does acting in a movie that is a pretty weird semi-musical. However, it does mean you’ve been in shitty movies, and that just won’t do. Also, I give doing accents more weight than some people might, because accents are cool. And Tom is all about that life.
Now, I’ve just done my research, half way into writing this article and realised Tom is in a bloody musical called London Road, with Mark’s girlfriend off Peep Show. It has got positive reviews (5 stars in the Guardian and Time Out), but it’s also a musical. I just needed to put that out there. I haven’t seen it. We’re going to have to pretend that doesn’t exist, because otherwise that makes Tom and Leo pretty equal on musicals, and Leo’s filmography is ridiculous. And I really liked his South African accent in Blood Diamond. So let’s ignore that. Let’s get onto Tom.
From playing small parts in quality movies such as Black Hawk Down, Inception, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Layer Cake and the semi-let down that was RocknRolla (I mean it was better than Revolver, but so was Top Gun, Naked Gun, Naked Gun 2 1/2, and probably even Naked Gun 33 1/3), to playing leading roles in classics like Lawless, Mad Max and The Revenant (yeah I’ve already seen it. It’s great), he’s played all kinds of characters. He’s played a big crazy English criminal (Bronson), a clever English guy (Inception), a blue collar American fighter (Warrior), a deep south American bar owner (Lawless), a Brooklyn barman (The Drop), a Welsh adulterer (Locke), a Russian secret policeman (Child 44), a criminal overlord (Batman), a gruff Australian (Mad Max), two different cockneys (Legend) and most recently a 1800’s frontiersman (Revenant). I mean I love Ryan as much as the next man, but the characters in Drive, Beyond the Pines and Only God Forgives are all pretty much the same guy, just in different towns. Tom is a completely different person in every movie, who else does that?
Tom’s Best Roles
Forrest Bondurant in Lawless is a man of few words. He grunts and growls his way through most of the film like a big angry Rottweiler, occasionally releasing his fury with his fists. You don’t wanna clash this guy. This scene is reminiscent of Samuel L’s infamous Pulp Fiction speech:
Eames in Inception is a kind of forger. A typical Englishman with a dry humour, constantly parring off Joseph Gordon Levitt’s character. It’s a classic, suave, sophisticated role, that makes you think he’d be a bloody great Bond. Not as good as Idris but… apparently he’s too “urban”
Tommy Conlon in Warrior is a recovering alcoholic ex-Marine with an abusive father. He also happens to be an absolute unit. Beating up professional fighters just for the paper, he does not give a shit about the glory or the fame. Badman
On top of that, he seems to have the ability to completely change his body shape. Have you seen him in Bronson? Then look at him in Inception. It’s like two different human beings.
He’s mates with Wiley and he turns up at film premieres with his dog. He absolutely rips it out of journalists when they ask him stupid questions and just generally seems like an all round great guy. And he’s English. What a win!