The well-known British actor, producer and screenwriter Tom Hardy gained quite a good muscle mass before acting in such films as “Warrior” and “The Dark Knight”. And in order to play a role in the movie “Bronson” Tom had to put on 20 kg in just a few months. How did he quickly gain the necessary weight and turn his muscles into steel? We will tell you about it in this article, but first, maybe you will be interested to know more about this talented actor.
Short biography of Tom Hardy
Edward Thomas “Tom” Hardy was born on September 15, 1977 in London (England, UK) to a creative family. The actor’s mother, Anne Hardy, worked as an artist, and his father, Edward Hardy, wrote comedies and scripts for commercials.
Tom showed interest in the acting profession in his childhood. He studied at Richmond Theater School, and after graduating he entered the London Drama Center. For two years he was trained by a teacher who had taught the famous Hollywood actor Anthony Hopkins.
Tom’s film career began in 2001, when he played private John Yanovech in the military multi-series drama “Band of Brothers”. This mini-series about the Second World War was shot on the basis of the book of the same name by Stephen Ambrose, and the aspiring actor played alongside such partners as Ron Livingston, David Schwimmer and Donnie Wahlberg.
In the same year, Tom’s debut on the big screen took place: he starred in the Ridley Scott’s military thriller “Black Hawk Down” (2001). Hardy played small roles in both projects, but after these, the actor began to steadily receive invitations to act in pictures. In 2002, he appeared in three films: “Simon: An English Legionnaire” (2002), “Star Trek: Nemesis” (2002) and “Dot the I” (2002). In the fantastic action movie “Star Trek: Nemesis” Tom landed his first prominent role of Reman Pretor Shinzon, a clone of Jean-Luc Picard, the captain of the Enterprise.
In 2003 and 2004, Tom Hardy continued to star in films, and in 2005 he appeared in several TV projects, the most successful of which was the historical series “The Virgin Queen”. Tom played the role of Robert Dudley, a childhood friend of Queen Elizabeth I. At the same time, Hardy actively played on stage in live theater as well, and in 2003 he was awarded the London Evening Standard Theater Award.
In 2007, the film “Stuart: A Life Backwards” was released. It was based on real events, and Hardy played the role of the main character, a homeless alcoholic drug addict Stuart Schorter. The actor’s popularity was gradually growing, and he primarily played secondary heroes in high-budget films or main characters in more modest projects. In 2008, Tom performed one of his most famous roles, starring with Gerard Butler and Mark Strong in the Guy Ritchie’s criminal comedy “Rocknrolla”. The actor played Pretty Bob, a bandit of non-traditional orientation, who falls in love with the leader of his criminal group. After that, he starred in such films as:
- “Thick as Thieves”, 2009;
- “Inception”, 2010;
- “Mad Max: Fury Road”, 2015;
- “Legend”, 2015;
- “Dunkirk”, 2017.
Sports and martial arts in Tom Hardy’s life
To get in good shape before filming movies where his character needs impressive muscle mass, the actor had to train a lot. In addition to the crazy training in the gym, Tom Hardy also was required to master many different types of martial arts. The actor chose for himself the following:
- Thai boxing;
The popular actor had to perform such exercises as: barbell bench press; lifting heavy loads from various positions; squats with a load (dumbbells weighing not less than 3 kg); deadlift and others. In each exercise, he had to perform at least 2 sets, each having 6-8 reps.
According to Hardy himself, he constantly changed the load in his workout program. Tom alternated different kinds of sports. For example, he could do power exercises with heavy lifting for two hours, after that he moved on to such sport as boxing, and so on. Hardy had to exercise for at least six days a week. Before shooting a film, the actor practiced such intensive exercising for two months. Thus, looking at him with the naked eye, the result of such efforts was obvious. On average, it took him at least 4 hours to do one workout; in other words, the actor spent a lot of time in the gym.
Tom Hardy’s nutrition system
Before acting in the movie “Bronson”, the actor did not want to give up unhealthy, heavy food, such as, for example, fast food and pizza, because he needed to consume a lot of carbohydrates and fats. Despite the fact that Tom’s food was not always healthy, he ate until he was satisfied. Hardy could sometimes treat himself with a sweet dessert. Thanks to his approach, the actor gained a great deal of weight and muscle mass in a short time.
Before Hardy’s acting in the movie “Warrior” the basis of his diet comprised rice, broccoli and boiled chicken. He tried to keep himself in hand, and his nutrition system at that time was low in carbohydrates, because he needed to have a good muscle definition (and not just be huge like in “Bronson”). Hardy had to forget about empty calories and fast food. He had an average of 5-6 meals a day. If the actor ate something extra, then he had to get rid of those calories during training, by increasing the load.
During the day, Hardy took proteins as sports supplements. That allowed him to quickly gain the necessary muscle mass. During the workout session, he used amino acids. Thanks to this approach to his nutrition, the actor was able to gain good muscle mass and still look lean. If you compared the Tom Hardy of three to four months before filming with the Tom Hardy after that, you might think that these are two completely different persons. With the help of proper nutrition and augmented exercise, the British actor completely changed his appearance and figure.
Did Tom Hardy use steroids?
When Tom Hardy starred in “Bronson”, “The Dark Knight” and “The Warrior”, he was already over 30 years old. Just think about how much effort he needed to expend. As Hardy himself said in an interview, he did not use steroids, which is understandable, because virtually no actors actually do.
At the moment there is no concrete evidence indicating that Tom Hardy used “juice” to get any short-term effects from steroids. The fact that he looks very muscular in some of his films is no proof that he has been taking illegal drugs. Unlike sports, where athletes undergo regular doping tests, Hollywood does not do so. Remember Dwayne Johnson or Arnold Schwarzenegger. No one ever saw the need to test them, did they?
Users’ viewpoints on Tom Hardy’s using steroids
Internet users have different viewpoints on Tom Hardy’s using steroids. Some of them believe that the actor had been on the juice to gain such a huge muscle mass in such a short period of time. Others argue that Tom has more fat than muscle, therefore he could have achieved this result due to eating high-calorie food. Bodybuilding experts state that if Tom really did steroid cycle, he did it incorrectly, as his figure left much to be desired compared to others who worked out rigorously. The media doesn’t show great interest in this matter, because the public generally accepts the fact of movie stars’ using steroids when preparing for filming. In the case of sportsmen this practice is strongly criticized.
All in all, there is both evidence proving Tom Hardy’s using steroids and gossip exaggerating this fact. Therefore, it’s up to the cinema celebrity to clarify this problem. Maybe someday he will be able to admit or deny taking drugs for enhancing muscle mass.