Tom Hardy Landed His Breakthrough Role Thanks to… His Naked Audition Tape
Every major actor had that one breakthrough role — but in the case of Tom Hardy, it’s the way he booked it rather than the character himself that ultimately stands out.
Today, Tom Hardy is among the most prominent A-listers in Hollywood, famous and adored all over the world. His track record is nothing short of phenomenal, and the sheer number of compelling and hugely different roles he’s undertaken is striking. However, just like every other major actor, Hardy had quite humble beginnings.
Right before his breakthrough role in Star Trek: Nemesis, Tom Hardy barely had any noteworthy screen appearances. The final installment of Star Trek’s The Last Generation timeline jumpstarted the actor’s career and opened many doors before him — but the way he booked this role was rather, let’s say, unorthodox.
Finding the perfect actor for the part of Praetor Shinzon, Picard’s younger clone, proved to be quite a struggle for the Star Trek production team. They needed to find someone who’d look like young Patrick Stewart, and they were not having any luck with that quest.
“I had a friend who had been an agent of mine in London. I called her and said, 'Look, they said they've seen everyone but is there any actor you know who Star Trek [producers] haven't seen who could be me and younger?’ And she said, ‘Absolutely. I know just the man.’ <...> I have a lot of respect for her, so Tom put himself on video,” Stewart shared with ET.
Hardy was, at the time, in Morocco, so he filmed his audition and sent it to the Star Trek team. Knowing he’d only have one chance, the young actor clearly wanted to stand out from the crowd — and stand out he did. He sent a naked audition tape!
"It was a bizarre video and there are some people who believe he was actually naked in this video. He had the sides of some of the Shinzon scenes, but he was improvising them. He wasn't really doing what was in the script. It certainly made us all sit up and pay attention,” Stewart chuckled.
This rather peculiar audition tape ensured the Star Trek team that Tom Hardy was the guy for the job — and starting from Nemesis, the young actor’s career skyrocketed. Today, Tom Hardy is among the biggest names in the movie industry, and it’s pretty funny to realize that it all happened thanks to one audacious naked audition tape.