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In recent years, Tom Hardy has become one of the most prolific and respected actors working today. This is in no small part due to his willingness to transform his body for any role requiring him to do so. These incredible body transformations can be seen in roles such as: Bronson, in which he gained a considerable amount of muscle and body-fat; Warrior, in which he cut weight to play a shredded MMA fighter; and the infamous role of Bane in the Dark Knight Rises, in which he gained 30lbs of muscle and strength.
The Academy Award-nominated actor has a penchant for adding pounds of solid muscle onto his normally svelte frame, in relatively short periods of time. But it was for his role as Bane in The Dark Knight Rises that he really pulled out all the stops.
To become as physically imposing as possible to play Bane, Hardy trained up to an insane four times per day, splitting the workouts into intense 20-minute strength training spurts. This was done so Hardy, who only stands at 5’9” and is shorter than co-star Christian Bale, would look like a villain who could actually break Batman’s back; a feat that Hardy accomplished, but not without some negative side effects.
In a recent interview with The Daily Beast, Hardy discussed how adding so much muscle at his age proved to be somewhat detrimental to his health. On the topic of gaining muscle, Hardy said, “I think you pay the price with any drastic physical changes. It was alright when I was younger… but I think as you get into your 40s you have to be more mindful of the rapid training, packing on a lot of weight and getting physical, and then not having enough time to keep training because you’re busy filming, so your body is swimming in two different directions at the same time.”
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“I haven’t damaged my body, but I’m certainly a bit achier than I used to be! I certainly have joints that click that probably shouldn’t click, you know what I mean? And carrying my children is a little bit harder than it used to be—but don’t tell them!” Hardy finished. Now, this isn’t the desired outcome when training to improve one’s physique. But even with the added aches and pains attributed to such an immense body transformation, it doesn’t appear Hardy is likely to avoid similar transformations in the future.
He has signed on for the Mad Max sequels and is contracted for a new film by Josh Trank; in which Hardy is set to portray an aging Al Capone. For the role, Hardy said, “It’s not the classic Al Capone that you necessarily envision with the silhouette. I don’t want to give too much away about it, but there’s definitely a transformation with that role.”
In the same interview, he also stated, “I don’t know if it’s as drastic [the body transformation] as Bane. I’ve probably damaged my body too much. I’m only little! If I keep putting on weight, I’ll collapse like a house of cards under too much pressure.”
It’s hard to imagine a man in his 40s still pushing his body to the limits the way Hardy does—and as a famous actor, it’s not like he really needs to keep doing so. But success doesn’t come easy—and for Hardy, these grueling body transformations are just a part of the job. So, we would just like to say, keep up the good work Tom. We look forward to seeing anything you do. But please, be careful.