9 Times Tom Hardy Made Bad Look So Good

Hardy is the ultimate emotionally complex bad guy.

Tom Hardy might have the face of an angel and the box office bankability of a god, which makes it that much stranger that he almost never plays one of the good guys.

Instead, Hardy has made his name in roles that are... well, not pure unadulterated evil, exactly, but certainly on the spectrum. The bank robber with a romantic secret; the Batman nemesis with a tragic past; the hero from classic literature who couldn't help killing the thing he loved.

Hardy's bad guys aren't just bad. They're damaged, complex, emotionally contradictory, and -- let's be honest -- strangely appealing, even at their worst. And today, in honor of Tom Hardy's birthday, we're looking back on the best times he made being bad look pretty damn great.

  1. When he was literally named "Handsome Bob" despite being a law-breaking bank robber.
  2. When you didn't even need to drink the bootleg moonshine he made in "Lawless," 'cause just looking at his face was intoxicating enough.
  3. When he brought emotional complexity to the role of a megalomaniacal comic-book villain.
  4. When he played Bob Saginowski, who had a violent past but also a soft spot for puppies.
  5. When he was the most beautiful murderer ever to terrorize a Dickensian orphan boy.
  6. When Mad Max was the morally ambiguous hero of the year.
  7. When he was the hottest ultimate fighter with the deepest, darkest well of daddy issues.
  8. When he was a tormented, self-sabotaging Edwardian emo hearthrob dragging his emotional baggage all over the moors.
  9. And finally, when he sold us on "This Means War." Because this movie was not so great, but because Tom Hardy was in it, we watched it anyway. AND WE LIKED IT.