Every year, it seems like more faces ascend to "A-List" status. Last year, Chris Pratt joined the ranks after his portrayal of Star-Lord in Marvel's Guardians if the Galaxy. We are almost halfway into this year, and no actors or actresses have really stepped into the spotlight yet. However, I know of one talented actor who is way overdue for some hard-earned recognition: The one, the only, Tom Hardy.
Now Hardy isn't new to acting. In fact, he's played some pretty large roles in recent films, including the villain Bane in The Dark Knight Rises. That being said, whenever I'm in a conversation about film and the wonderful people that we see on-camera, the name Tom Hardy is usually met with raised eyebrows and a quizzical stare. Now that the new Mad Max movie is coming out, I think it is finally time for Tom Hardy to get some more love.
This is why...
He's A Very Flexible Actor
Hardy has acted in a number of different roles, most showcasing a different side of his versatility. Even though he has quite a few action roles to his name, such as Bane in The Dark Knight Rises and Tommy Conlon in Warrior, one of my favorite Hardy performances came from his role as Tuck in This Means War.
This Means War is about two spies, played by Chris Pine and Tom Hardy, who both try to get back in the dating game. They both unintentionally end up going after the same girl, played by Reese Witherspoon. The movie is hilarious, and Hardy plays a more laid-back, casual character compared to his other roles.
Another staple of flexible acting is the ability to change one's voice. I don't necessarily mean voice acting, I mean tone, style, and accents. Benedict Cumberbatch is a brilliant actor, but he surprised the world when he changed his deep, almost menacing British voice to a stuttering, bewildered voice with a Southern accent in August: Osage County.
Tom Hardy made the same leap in the 2012 flick Lawless. He went from his traditional voice to a sultry southern one that sounds impeccable. Even famous actors like Brad Pitt haven't quite mastered the southern speech (have you seen Inglorious Basterds?) as well as Hardy has.
He Is Joining Superhero Cinema
Superhero films are some of the most successful of our generation, with movies like The Avengers setting big box office records. Marvel and DC both have colossal line-ups for the next several years, meaning that a lot of new characters are going to be introduced. Not only has Tom openly voiced his desire to play the newest version of the Punisher, he has also recently stated that he has another DC role in his near future.
Who knows, maybe Tom could pull off both, like Ryan Reynolds did with Green Lantern and Deadpool. Either way, if Fury Road doesn't dramatically boost his popularity, you can bet that his role as a future comic character will.
He's Willing To Join Franchises
If playing in the Batman movies and potentially signing up for more superhero movies isn't enough, Hardy has proven to be a willing franchise head by starring in Mad Max: Fury Road. Mad Max has been a huge franchise since the 70's, and its back in business again, with Tom Hardy playing the title character.
I truly believe Mad Max could be the next big trilogy, and Hardy has signed up for the complete set. Fury Road was simply incredible, and a big part of the film's success was Hardy's performance as the signature anti-hero. If he isn't a huge star once everybody goes to see Fury Road, he certainly will be once the next franchise installments roll in.
He Certainly Has The Charm
As much as I hate to say it, a large factor for actor's popularity is their appearance. Tom Hiddleston became a bigger name once he became the item of many fans' affections after playing Loki in Thor. Margot Robbie became a bigger name once she showed some skin in Wolf of Wall Street. Nothing against him as an actor, but I doubt that Channing Tatum would be nearly as popular without starring in Magic Mike.
Tom Hardy has the figure to accumulate similar "interest." He's a tall, muscular man with broad shoulders. From what I hear, women are into that!