Tom Hardy loves puppies, so we love Tom Hardy. That’s science. Tom Hardy also likes accepting movies based on whether or not he can do a weird accent in them or not. I mean, I assume. It’s something that needs to be examined. Come with me. And you’ll be. In a world of sweet aural fixation!
First up, the baseline. Here’s what real-life, not-a-fictional-person Tom Hardy sounds like:
Band of Brothers (2001)
AKA baby Tom Hardy tries an American accent. He almost holds onto it until about 20 seconds in, and then… no. He tried so hard, and got so far. And in the end, it doesn’t even matter.
Now let’s move on, past Black Hawk Down and Layer Cake and that Star Trek movie that absolutely did not happen and he was not in. Next up:
The Virgin Queen (2006)
He’s not too far off from his normal voice in this BBC miniseries. A little posher, a little softer. We need to talk about that haircut and single pearl earring, though.
Two years later Hardy mixes it up a little bit in Bronson, where his accent is more… Cockney? I guess? British Pajiba reader, step in and help me out here. Regional differences aside, it’s fairly similar to what he had going in The Virgin Queen, if decidedly screamier.
Ditto Inception. He ducked back into the British safety zone following his failed Band of Brothers experiment, fearing his own raw accent power should he not have the proper vocal chops to contain it. But you can hear the strain tinging the edges of his words here. There’s a multi-accepted fiend lurking in the fricatives, ready to break free. All it needs is a little push. And that is…
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)
Look, I’m not saying that Gary Oldman, Mr. Is-Famously-Said-To-Do-a-Different-Accent-In-Every-Film, popped a burlap sack over his Tinker co-star Tom Hardy’s head and spirited him away to a secret initiation room for a cult devoted to eating macarons, slaughtering lambs, and doing weird accents, but I’m also not saying that didn’t happen. Lo and behold, the very same year that Tinker came out…
Mumbly Pittsburghian, bitches! Tom Hardy’s Pokémon evolution has begun. Also, let’s not talk about Warrior anymore, because I don’t want to start crying. That movie does things to me, man. Next up, a movie that evokes no emotional response that’s not complete and utter horror:
This Means War (2012)
AKA the movie where Tom Hardy’s British accent is cited, completely seriously, as a reason not to date him. Who wrote this movie? Are they a space alien? As if Hardy somehow sensed while filming this atrocity that he should henceforth reject every single thing it chooses to be (seriously, I’m sorry for reminding you that it exists), in his other two 2012 movies (and damn, he’s been busy) Tom Hardy went FULL-ON ACCENT BONKERS RIDICULOUS.
NASALLY SOUTHERN, Y’ALLLLLLLLLLLLL.
And the pinnacle of this particular mountain, the one, the only:
The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
Tom Hardy will do a Batman movie wearing a mask using whatever-the-fuck incomprehensible accent this is if he fucking wants to. He made it through This Means War and came out the other side unscathed (the same cannot be said for those of us who saw it). He’s honey badger. He don’t give a shit. He has his puppies.
How do you even follow Bane’s infamous nasally mumble? Oh, I dunno, doing a movie where you sit in a car talking in a weird Russianesque accent for 85 minutes for no stated reason? (Not that there needs to be one. People have Russian accents sometimes.) “Hey Rebecca, do you want to watch Tom Hardy act for an hour and a half?” “Yeah, OK. Are there puppies?” “But Rebecca, what if he’s doing a weird Russian acccent?” “…I don’t even require puppies now.”
The Drop (2014)
And that brings us to last weekend’s new release The Drop, where his accent is…. Brooklynnnnn? Brooklynish. Don’t question it. The Tom Hardy accent train is U N S T O P P A B L E. What’s next: A Bostonian accent? Surfer dude/South African fusion? Only the gods know.