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He once admitted, "I would have sold my mother for a rock of crack," and has described the moment he woke up lying in a pool of blood and vomit on London's Old Compton Street with a crack pipe in his hand.
But even with such a high-calibre start, he was in serious danger of losing it.His friendship is something to be treasured; his enmity is something to be feared. Tom Hardy is not your average actor, not your average movie star. He started out averagely enough but quickly demonstrated a reluctance to stay so.Also, have you seen the pictures that go with this article? All of them, from the makeup to the location, to the outfits, to the gun and fruit props. Tom Hardy was born on 15 September 1977, the only child of Edward (aka "Chips"), an advertising executive and sometime comedy writer, and Anne, an artist.My head is a bit wonky."It's early November when we meet in a postproduction house in Soho, central London, and Hardy has a deadline.He needs to finalise the edit on the third episode of is set in 1814, and Hardy plays James Delaney, an adventurer who returns home from 10 years in the Congo to discover that his recently dead father has bequeathed him an unusual inheritance, which is of interest to both the British and American governments and the East India Company.And you keep on doing stuff that's nonsense, and you of all people have been born with opportunities.' So I had words with myself about the reality of wanking about when there's such a lot to be getting on with." He's been sober since 2003, though the impulses are still there.
In Canada, he told me about "Arthur", the orangutan who is the metaphorical manifestation of his destructive urges, which he likens to Winston Churchill's "black dog" of depression. There's an idea that actors should come to roles as blank slates, so that your knowledge of their real lives doesn't detract from the role they're playing, but with Hardy it feels that his experiences add another layer to his performances.
Hardy bet a tattoo of the winner's choosing that he wouldn't. Hardy recreates Di Caprio's design on a Post-it note for me.
"He wrote, in this really shitty handwriting: 'Leo knows everything.' Ha!
I was like, 'OK, I'll get it done, but you have to write it properly.'"And he probably will.
Hardy's body art is very much a statement of his commitment: to his lovers, to his family, to himself. He has her name, Lindy King, tattooed on the inside of his arm, which he said he would do if she ever got him into Hollywood.
Thanks to gigs like But Hardy is both in Hollywood and not in Hollywood.