ByChloe Gale, writer at
"I'm not just selling the script. I'm selling me!"
Chloe Gale

Tom Hardy is Hollywood's tattooed bad-boy. He oozes sex appeal and attitude, but don't been fooled into thinking those tattoos are all show and no meaning. Hardy has put considerable thought into each and every inking that covers his buff bod.

When interviewed by The Global and Mail, Hardy had this to say:

"Every tattoo I have means something to me. Each one is something that I've been through in my life or I've done or I've been. So I map that out on me, where I've been and where I'm going."

Of course it makes sense to plan and really consider all tattoos, as they are a very permanent feature. What better way to tell the story of your life and the struggles you've been through by wearing everything quite literally on your sleeve? So deep, man.

Tom's Tattoos And The Meaning Behind Them

Top left :

  • “Figlio mio bellissimo” (My Beautiful Son), Tom has an eight year old son called Louis and we think it's sweet that Hardy takes his son with him, everywhere he goes.
  • The Leprechaun, Tom's mother, Elizabeth Anne Hardy has Irish heritage and this is a little nod to her.

Top middle:

  • The dragon, his now ex-wife Sarah Ward was born the year of the dragon. it's very sweet that at the time of them being together he wanted something of his wife to take with him. Unfortunately now they've spilt, Tom is understandably having a lot of his Sarah inspired tattoos covered.
Image: Splash
Image: Splash

Top right:

  • “Padre Fiero” which translated means Proud/fierce Father. Tom clearly takes his role as a father very seriously. We see him as a big lion protecting his cub, sweet and very sexy.
  • The Union Jack, being in Hollywood, actors often remark on missing home and loosing themselves. Tom is clearly trying to stay grounded and stay true to his British roots. Rule Britannia! Tom flew all the way to Vancouver to have this tattoo done by an artist he truly trusts.
  • The raven, the bird is able to transform and can shape-shift into other characters, similar to the way Hardy does when acting. It's also a dark and powerful omen, could this be how Tom sees himself?
Image: Esquire
Image: Esquire

Middle left:

  • "1338046", in honor of Pnut’s (Tom's best friend) father, who was his trainer for the movie Warrior. Hardy has had his Marine Corps number added to his tattoos. A reminder of discipline and strength perhaps
  • The two masks could be an ode to his theatrical trainings, but they also point to his own personal motto "smile now, cry later."

Middle center:

  • Crosses are found all over Hardy's body, strong religious undertones throughout his body art. It's unclear if Hardy is religious or he has a purely aesthetic connection to the symbolism of the cross.
  • "Harlow" is derived from the Old English, meaning rock or army. It harks back again to this idea of roots, especially British roots. Tom clearly enjoys painting connotations of strength upon himself.
Image: Esquire
Image: Esquire

Middle right:

  • The Virgin Mary. Tom got this tattoo when he found out then girlfriend, Rachael, was pregnant. This ties into the religious imagery and probably harks to the miracle of life that have him his son, Louis.

Bottom left:

  • "Till I die SW" meaning 'Till I Die Sarah Ward,' another ode to his now ex-wife. Such a romantic! This is one of the tattoos Hardy is said to regret having, as he did it under the haze of love.

Bottom middle:

  • The wolf, dogs are a huge part of Hardy's life, so the wolf is symbolic of the connection he has to both dogs and the wild. Dogs are also decedents of wolves, maybe Tom feels like he's been tamed somewhat?
Hardy's tribal tattoo is divisive
Hardy's tribal tattoo is divisive

Bottom right:

  • Tribal design, strong, wild and expressive. This is often one of Tom's most discussed tattoos. Many fans oppose the tribal markings, whilst others think it ties in nicely with the others. Personally, I think it's a pretty potent symbol of the follies of youth.

To see some of Tom's tattoos in motion watch this clip below from Warrior, beware spoilers though, it's the final fight scene:

Tom the Tattoo Artist

We love of Tom's ink and we always love to see when he adds to his rapidly growing living artwork. Tom is obviously a huge fan of tattoos, but did you know he's tried his hand at tattooing a few times too?


Sure the design you'd get might not be the most well-executed in the world, but could you imagine how cool it would be to have permanent reminder of the time you'd met Tom Hardy? You'd hope with all his experience and extensive collection he'd be able to create something unique for you.

See Also:

Hardy Inspired Tats

Tom has a fabulous selection of tattoos and they've clearly given some fanatics inspiration for their own inks. From the good, the bad and the ugly, let's have a look at a selection of Tom Hardy inspired tattoos:

Now that's a hardcore Tom fan, but we must admit the likeness is definitely there.

The shading and rendering on this is incredible. We wonder how long this would have taken? Tom would be proud, we reckon.

For when you need a permanent reminder as to when the fantasy love of your life came into this world.

These ladies certainly do love Mr Hardy, because that is quite the commitment. We have no doubt Tom will add to his collection soon and we wait excitedly to see what he has done next.

Which of Tom Hardy's tattoos is your favorite?

(Sources: The Global and Mail, Esquire, Daily Mail)


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