Tom Hardy on The Revenant
In the recent Houston Film Critics Society 2024 movie awards the winner for Best Supporting Actor was Tom Hardy. Hardy plays a conflicted villain in The Revenant.
Having watched The Revenant multiple times in the last two months I will be the first to state that Hardy demonstrates the ultimate in concentration and comes across like a force of nature in the movie. And The Revenant was only one of three superlative performances from Hardy this year. Of course he also starred in Mad Max: Fury Road and played dual roles as the Kray Brothers in Legend. In 2024 Hardy also acted in London Road (not released domestically) and Child 44.
Great actors channel aspects of other great performances by thespians that came before them. For instance in his Oscar® winning role in There Will Be Blood, Daniel Day Lewis was obviously channeling the manner and tone of John Huston.
For The Revenant, Tom Hardy’s John Fitzgerald is an early 19th-century version of the character Tom Berenger played in Platoon (1986). For the role of Sgt. Barnes, Berenger was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor. Both Berenger and Willem Dafoe from Platoon lost that award to Michael Caine (Hannah and Her Sisters).
Hardy’s John Fitzgerald wears a headdress that resembles Berenger’s Barnes and talks with the same drawling accent. Both Fitzgerald and Barnes have moments where they elicit revulsion as well as sympathy from the audience. Also both Fitzgerald and Barnes are responsible for the abandonment of a fellow officer after they try to kill them.
This is not a case of somebody being a copycat but rather an example of some serious acting skills plowing through the limits of human endurance while also paying tribute to performances that have paved the way to that path.
— Michael Bergeron