The Evolution of Tom Hardy: From 'Band of Brothers' to 'Venom' (Photos)

Actor has gone to Romulus, Versailles, Gotham City and the Wasteland

Tom Hardy has done it all. He’s played witty rogues, brutal villains and brooding heroes.  Take a look back at the English actor’s career trajectory.

Hardy’s first big screen role came in 2001 on the HBO miniseries “Band of Brothers” as Pvt. John Janovec, a replacement soldier whose first scene features him getting caught having sex with a German woman by his commanding officer.

That same year, Hardy had another small role as a soldier in “Black Hawk Down,” a war film about the bloody Battle of Mogadishu in Somalia between U.S. forces and rebel militias that have started a civil war.

Before becoming Bane, Hardy got some practice playing a supervillain in the maligned “Star Trek: Nemesis.” He played Shinzon, a clone of Captain Picard who has staged a rebellion against the Romulan government, forcing the Enterprise to come to the aid of their most hostile foes.

Following “Nemesis,” Hardy took roles in several English plays and TV movies. He received an Olivier nomination for his work in the play “In Arabia We’d All Be Kings” as a failed actor who has fallen into a crack cocaine addiction.

Hardy made his return to the big screen in 2006 when he donned a powdered wig and strolled into Versailles in “Marie Antoinette.”

2008 saw Hardy join Guy Ritchie for the crime film “RocknRolla” as a closeted gay member of the “Wild Bunch” gang. The film also starred Gerard Butler and Idris Elba.

Hardy had his breakthrough in 2010 as the dashing forger Eames in Christopher Nolan’s “Inception.” The actor won over moviegoers with his quick wit and banter with Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Hardy then got a shot at some more serious fare alongside Gary Oldman and Colin Firth in “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.” Hardy played Ricki Tarr, a spy framed for murder who claims there is a mole hidden in British Intelligence.

In 2011, Hardy underwent intense MMA training to bulk up for “Warrior,” the story of a Marine who slowly begins to reconcile with his estranged father and brother after he enters into a high-stakes tournament.

Hardy reunited with Nolan in 2012 to play one of his most iconic roles: Bane in “The Dark Knight Rises.” Hardy’s “Warrior” physique, breathing mask, and unmistakable accent made him an instant hit with Batman fans.

In 2014, Hardy performed alongside the late James Gandolfini in his final film, “The Drop.” Hardy played a bartender at a tavern that stores money for the mafia. Hardy tries to balance his boss’ life of crime with his attempts to lead a normal life, but a dark secret threatens to drag him back into a world of violence.

The same year, Hardy joined the cast of the British crime drama “Peaky Blinders” as a Jewish gang leader named Alfie Solomons. The show’s creator, Oscar-nominated writer Steven Knight, would go on to co-create “Taboo” with Hardy.

2015 was a massive year for Hardy, as he appeared in five films. In “Legend,” he played a set of gangster twins with the aid of special effects.

But the biggest moment of his career came through not one but two Oscar-nominated films. In the summer, he succeeded Mel Gibson as Max Rockatansky in the critically acclaimed “Mad Max: Fury Road.”

Then, in the winter, Hardy earned his first Oscar nomination for his performance as the murderous John Fitzgerald in “The Revenant.”

Hardy reunited with Christopher Nolan for a third time in the 2017  World War II film “Dunkirk,” about the evacuation of over 300,000 Allied soldiers from the titular French town.

Also in 2017, Hardy played the lead role in “Taboo,” a miniseries he developed with his father, Edward, and Steven Knight, about an adventurer who returns to London in 1812 to help rebuild his family’s shipping empire.

In 2018’s “Venom,” Hardy played a reporter named Eddie Brock who gets bonded to a symbiote that’s part of an invasion of Earth — but decides to protect the planet instead.

Hardy returned Eddie/Venom in the 2021 sequel “Venom: Let There Be Carnage,” taking on another symbiote bonded to serial killer Cletus Kasady. Oh, and the weird romance between the two is kicked up a notch.

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