Tom Hardy has, over the course of a hugely impressive career, become synonymous with intense, unforgettable performances. His most recent hit, Taboo, arrives on Blu-ray and DVD on May 29th courtesy of STUDIOCANAL and is a brooding, violent and completely absorbing period piece that only serves to increase the general sense of admiration one has when watching him perform. As James Keziah Delaney, Hardy delivers a layered and complex performance as a wronged man out for revenge against a raft of nefarious Regency bounders – so far, so Hardy.
There’s something else, though, that distinguishes Hardy from the rest when it comes to his performances, and that’s his voice. Seemingly ever-changing and as much a part of the characters he plays as any of his physical transformations, Hardy’s dulcet tones truly do transport you into the unfolding drama, be he taking down Regency toffs in Taboo or beating up Batman as Bane. Let’s have a look (or a listen) to some of his most memorable moments:
Decked out like an old school circus strongman, Hardy’s electrifying turn as violent criminal Charles Bronson was a physical performance in every sense of the word, made all the more powerful by his vocal contortions. Feast your ears:
Hardy goes regional American in this tale of a booze-soaked crime family. For someone who mostly plays it British, the Yankee drawl is a fresh direction and one that’s impossible not to listen intently to.
The Dark Knight Rises
Regularly voted as one of the best superhero films ever, Christopher Nolan’s final Batman movie stars Hardy as man-mountain and bat-backbreaker Bane. Striking at first, Hardy’s vocals are ultimately what draw you past the muscle and the effect is powerful.
Tackling the dual role of both Ronnie and Reggie Kray, Hardy once again delivers an incredibly layered performance – twice! Psychotic and tender in equal measure, both performances, as is often the case with Hardy, rely on far more than mere physicality.
Hardy’s first pairing with Taboo scribe Steven Knight sees him in a car for the duration with a barely perceptible head cold and a convincingly authentic Welsh accent. The result is a soft-spoken entry into this list, still not without a level of threat, mind…
In a movie now infamous for its lack of dialogue – particularly from Oscar-winner Leonardo DiCaprio – it may seem unusual to include The Revenant in this list. And yet Hardy’s vocal contributions to Alejandro González Iñárritu’s masterpiece simply could not be omitted. Adopting the southern drawl once again, Hardy’s voice is simultaneously smooth and cutting, forming a sinister effect as the villain of the piece.
A further collaboration with Knight saw Hardy arrive in the critically lauded Peaky Blinders, delivering perhaps his most nuanced vocal performance to date as Jewish gangster Alfie Solomans.
Perhaps Hardy’s finest hour, Taboo is, simply put, a masterpiece of brooding intent. Again, his towering physicality combines with a vocal performance that’s little short of rapturous – so it’s fantastic news that the first season is available shortly and that a second season is on the way. Hurrah!
TABOO IS AVAILABLE ON BLU-RAY AND DVD FROM MAY 29TH COURTESY OF STUDIOCANAL