When London-born actor and all-around badass Tom Hardy takes on a role, he really takes it on. Hardy has gone through some truly extreme body transformations for his movies over the years, bulking up and getting cut to play supervillains, insane criminals, and MMA fighters. Tom Hardy’s best body transformations come for some of his best roles—he truly lives as the character.
The Academy Award-nominated actor started his career playing a fairly skinny soldier in HBO’s Band of Brothers. By the time he played Bane in The Dark Knight Rises, Hardy had added 30lbs of pure muscle to his frame.
But it didn’t come without a cost. “I think you pay the price with any drastic physical changes,” Hardy said in an interview. “It was alright when I was younger…but I think as you get into your 40s you have to be more mindful of the rapid training, packing on a lot of weight and getting physical, and then not having enough time to keep training because you’re busy filming, so your body is swimming in two different directions at the same time.”
While it’s taxed his body, Hardy’s done it again: Hardy starred as the fan-favorite Spider-Man villain Venom in the titular film and worked with pro fighters and MMA trainers to get in shape.
Here’s a look at Hardy’s most extreme body transformations, and how he got them done.