Tom Hardy is one of the most recognisable stars in Hollywood right now thanks to his keen ability to disappear into distinctive characters and roles.
From playing Britain’s most notorious prisoner in Bronson, to Bane in The Dark Knight and The Krays in Legend, Hardy is back once playing another challenging dual role as Eddie Brock and Venom in the Sony’s new Marvel film of the same name.
Read more: Tom Hardy’s 10 best films
The antihero is a typical choice for the British star, who loves to shun conventional acting opportunities and go for obscure ones in order to stand out from the crowd.
To celebrate his penchant for the peculiar here are 12 weird facts you might not know about Tom.
Tom Hardy won a modelling contest on The Big Breakfast
In 1998, the then-drama student entered a male modelling competition hosted by the beloved Channel 4 breakfast show.
The Find Me A Model campaign was hosted by Johnny Vaughn and Denise Van Outen and the budding actor who was described as “a virile Virgo with dreamy bluey green eyes.”
During the competition, Tom admitted he loved Eddie Izzard, hated football and would love to model with Christy Turlington and Kate Moss.
Tom Hardy is obsessed with Gary Oldman
He first shared his love for the British actor during that Big Breakfast appearance but reiterated in 2011 during an interview with Shortlist. “Gary Oldman is my absolute complete and utter hero. He’s the f**king man. I look at him and I want to be like that for my generation—I want to have that same quality. He’s incredible.”
Hardy has since appeared in four movies opposite his hero: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011), Lawless (2012), The Dark Knight Rises (2012) and Child 44 (2015).
Star Trek: Nemesis broke Tom Hardy
It’s weird to think that Star Trek could trigger drug abuse that was the case for Tom when he appeared in 2002’s Nemesis. Hardy’s had issues with drugs since he was a teenager but after appearing in the Star Trek movie (as Captain Picard’s Reman clone Shinzon) he became addicted to alcohol and crack. Tom had been sober the entire shoot, explaining that he was “terrified” that he would do a bad job.
“Every day on that set, I was terrified – which worked for the character anyway. You can’t hide that, the camera will pick it up,” he explained to Total Film years later. “I was genuinely out of my depth. The whole thing was ‘How can I do this?’ I took it very seriously, with my technique. I didn’t have a single drink when I did it – for three months. Friday night, nothing! I’d never been so focused in my life!”
After the film was critically mauled he descended back into drug use until, a year later, he entered rehab after waking up in a pool of his own puke and blood in London’s Soho. Tom’s been sober ever since.
Tom Hardy is best mates with his stunt double
In 2013, Jacob Tomuri began work as the actor’s stuntman for Mad Max: Fury Road and has since doubled as the actor in Legend and The Revenant. Their friendship continues between movies as they fill up each other’s social media with motorcycle trips and watching big fights together.
Tom Hardy loves a Dubsmash
A post shared by Jacob Tomuri (@jaketomuri) on Aug 26, 2015 at 1:32am PDT
During the filming of Mad Max: Fury Road, Tom and Jake were partial to a turn on the miming app which allows you to record yourself lip-syncing to a song while it plays. Their Beach Boys and Wu-Tang Clan renditions were particularly fun.
Tom Hardy loves getting naked
Hardy has got a banging body so it’s no wonder he likes to get it out and people working on his BBC series Taboo frequently saw him in his birthday suit.
The actor confirmed this during an appearance on Alan Carr’s Chatty Man to promote the show where he discussed how much he loved getting naked.
“Every week there was a naked Monday […] I was naked, and I had to walk around in the water in Tilbury, around the woods,” he said.
Tom Hardy loves dogs more than life itself
The actor’s love of dogs is well known but during an appearance on Paul O’Grady’s For the Love of Dogs fans learned it went far further than pet ownership. During the TV show, Tom took the host round an animal rescue centre near him that he frequently visits to hug the canines.
“They let me come in to see the dogs and to give them a cuddle,” he said. The perks of fame eh?
Tom Hardy’s MySpace page is iconic
The actor, like many of us, had MySpace back in the day and many fans had been archiving his candid videos and photos. In 2015, around the time of Mad Max: Fury Road’s release, the Internet got wind and these snaps went viral.
There are so many great shots to choose from, showing Tom as pretty carefree, but the above Speedos shots might be our favourite.
Tom Hardy is a crime stopper
In 2017, the police confirmed that Tom Hardy detained one of two moped thieves who had crashed into another car in Richmond, London.
Onlookers said Tom sprinted through gardens and a building site before declaring he’d “caught the c***,” after grabbing him by the scruff of his neck, though the heroics didn’t stop there.
The actor says he reached out to the 16-year-old criminal to help him and get on the right track. Tom no doubt saw himself in the thief as he himself had been arrested for joyriding in a stolen car while carrying a gun, at the age of 17.
Tom Hardy is a self-confessed manipulator
Tom said he couldn’t do any other job because pretending was the only thing that kept his attention. “I didn’t really want to do things that I found boring,” he told Shortlist.
“The only thing that kept my attention was to play and have fun and manipulate. I’ve always been a liar, always been able to manipulate. I pretty much get whatever I want.”
Tom Hardy ❤ emojis
A post shared by Tom Hardy (@tomhardy) on Jul 1, 2018 at 1:33am PDT
Who knew Tom Hardy was such an emoji fan?
Not a post gets published without a slew of emoticons to go with it and the halo one gets more use than most, which is fitting because he is also an angel.
Tom Hardy has a tattoo dedicated to the screenwriter of Fifty Shades of Grey
A post shared by Tom Hardy (@tomhardy) on Jun 26, 2018 at 3:24am PDT
Tom met Kelly Marcel while she was working at a Prime Time Video in Battersea and he was hosting an actors workshop at the Latchmere pub nearby. They became pals and he brought her on to do script edits on Bronson with Nicholas Winding Refn.
His “Skribe” tattoo is a tribute to her and the pair have recently worked on Venom together with Kelly penning the script and serving as executive producer.
Venom is in cinemas on Wednesday.