Tom Hardy is the kind of tough guy who looks like he needs a hug. He is covered in muscles and tattoos and sweat, but he has the face of a sad angel.
When girls say they like bad boys, this is the sort of dude they mean.
Throughout his career, Hardy has gravitated towards complex hard men and his new film The Drop, opening tomorrow, is no different.
The English actor plays Bob, a bartender who gets mixed up with local gangsters. Meanwhile, he is also nursing a wounded pitbull back to health.
Of course, Bob is just the tip of Hardy's acting iceberg.
Let's take a closer look at the many shades-of-grey fellows he has played.
BOB THE DROP (2014)
BAD BOY BOB
As soon as you hear Bob's Brooklyn accent, you know that he is a tough guy and not to be messed with. He works as a bartender in a "drop bar" with Marv (the late James Gandolfini in his final role). A drop bar is where gangsters launder their money.
When the bar gets robbed, it opens a whole can of worms and Bob has to decide how deep he wants to go into the darkness with Marv.
GOOD GUY BOB
If you want to see Bob's sensitive side, look no further than the pitbull puppy that he finds in a garbage can and nurses back to health. He also has a tender relationship with his pretty neighbour Nadia (Noomi Rapace).
BAD TO GOOD RATIO - 5 : 5
BANE THE DARK KNIGHT RISES (2012)
BAD BOY BANE
Well, he is a terrorist.
Bane takes over Gotham city under the guise of liberating the people, but his actual intent is to destroy the city and its protector, Batman.
Hardy put on 14 kg of muscle to make the character more menacing.
GOOD GUY BANE
The tragedy of Bane is that he started off as a brave and compassionate guy.
Born into a hellish prison, he was brutalised after saving a young girl, Talia al Ghul (Marion Cotillard), from a murderous mob.
That was how he ended up with a disfigured face, necessitating his trademark mask.
BAD TO GOOD RATIO - 8 : 2
TOMMY WARRIOR (2011)
BAD BOY TOMMY
This guy is a brute.
Filled with demons, thanks to his alcoholic father (Nick Nolte), Tommy is an Iraq War deserter who enters a mixed martial arts tournament to claim the huge purse.
He is relentless in the ring, beating his opponents to a bloody pulp. He resents his big brother (Joel Edgerton), who ends up as his opponent in the tournament's final round.
GOOD GUY TOMMY
The reason Tommy wants to win the tournament's $5 million prize is to help the family of a fallen brother-in-arms.
He was also the only one around to take care of his dying mother after his brother left home - which explains his resentment towards him.
BAD TO GOOD RATIO - 2 : 8
EAMES INCEPTION (2010)
BAD BOY EAMES
This sharply dressed rogue loves to gamble, drink and fight. He is also a forger, with loads of shady connections in the dream underworld.
The worst thing about him is that he is always picking on poor Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt). How dare he!
GOOD GUY EAMES
Oozing old-world sophistication, Eames is brilliant and imaginative, which makes him the go-to guy for professional dream stealer Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio).
He is a good friend... if the money's right.
BAD TO GOOD RATIO - 4 : 6
This article was first published on October 15, 2014.
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