Tom Hardy makes a surprise appearance at the 2022 Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Open Championship in Milton Keynes – and takes home the gold prize.
In a real-life Warrior moment, Tom Hardy wins a martial arts competition and proves his tough guy roles aren’t just an act. The British actor originally rose to prominence in 2010 in Christopher Nolan’s Inception, though he had previously appeared in films including Black Hawk Down, Layer Cake, and Star Trek: Nemesis. He re-teamed with Nolan twice more after that project, in the WWII thriller Dunkirk and the Batman film The Dark Knight Rises, in which he played the villain Bane. That opened the door to the world of comic book movies, which he would enter yet again in the 2018 Sony antihero hit Venom and its 2021 sequel Venom: Let There Be Carnage.
Although he has played a wide variety of roles in different genres (including the romantic comedy This Means War opposite Chris Pine and Reese Witherspoon), Hardy is typically known for giving “tough guy” performances. This encompasses a wide variety of roles, including the gruff but heroic Max in Mad Max: Fury Road and the delirious fur trapper John Fitzgerald in The Revenant. However, the roles that probably encapsulate this character the most are his turns as a bare-knuckle fighting robber who spends 30 years in solitary confinement in Bronson and as an MMA fighter in 2011’s Warrior. The latter film sees Hardy playing opposite Obi-Wan Kenobi actor Joel Edgerton as a pair of brothers who compete against one another in a mixed martial arts tournament.
Per Variety, Hardy recently made a surprise appearance in Milton Keynes, England as a contestant in the 2022 Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Open Championship. He signed up under his birth name, which is Edward Hardy, and went on to win the competition’s gold prize. According to his semi-final competitor Danny Appleby, the actor told him to “just forget it’s me and do what you would normally do.“
It’s not uncommon for actors to be given a crash course in the skills their characters need to know. However, this usually amounts to a 6-8 week training period, so they can learn to play the piano, dance ballet, or perform whatever martial art they need to look proficient in onscreen. Many actors typically don’t keep up with these skills afterward, but considering how many times Hardy has played a fighter, it seems that he has sought to keep his skills sharp.
His pursuit of this Warrior-style mixed martial arts win seems to be a completely personal endeavor. Although he is signed on for several upcoming action projects, none of them would require that particular set of skills. This includes Venom 3, which will rely more on buddy comedy and CGI-driven superhero mayhem than actual hand-to-hand combat.