Tom Hardy once auditioned for Darcy in ‘Pride & Prejudice’, was stupidly rejected

This is my new favorite photo of our Bloke, Tom Hardy. My God. I don’t know if this photo is recent, but it was posted to the Tom Hardy With Dogs Twitter account, which is absolutely wonderful way to spend a few hours/days. Anyway, Legend comes out in America this weekend, so I thought I might devote some time to the Bloke. The LA Times recently did an interview with him (he says at the beginning that he’s waiting for the baby to be born, which means this interview was probably conducted about five weeks ago). Some highlights:

How he learns how to play characters: “I think things that frighten me are compelling and I want to understand them. Wherever I go around the world, there’s always somebody out there who’s a bit scary and I’ll collect that. Or animals — I’ll learn from animals as well. Though you can’t really talk to an angry orangutan in the same way you can talk to a lot of people.”

He doesn’t think he’s a romantic lead: “I remember when I was younger, I went up to play Mr. Darcy [in an adaptation of 'Pride and Prejudice,']. One of the execs at the studio told me quite categorically, ‘Every woman has an idea of who Mr. Darcy is, and I’m afraid you’re just not it.’ I was like, ‘Fair enough.’ I’m obviously not a romantic lead, so I’m not going to focus a lot of my attention on being something that I’m not. I like to play people who’ve got a bit of range on them: a little bit of dark and a little bit of light.”

He doesn’t want to be famous just for the sake of it: “I’m just Tommy who does his thing. I guarantee you within a couple of years’ time this will all blow over and I’ll be back to being about as interesting as I am, which is not very interesting at all. I’m just doing a bit of acting now and then. It’s like I came to deliver a pizza and I got really lucky.”

[From The LA Times]

I’ve been saying that I would absolutely love it if Tom walked away with an Oscar nomination this year for The Revenant, although he would likely not want to participate in any personal campaign… although I bet he would hustle for the movie in general. He could still hustle AND be “just Tommy who does his thing.”

As for Tom Hardy as Mr. Darcy… OMG. Was this for the Pride & Prejudice with Keira Knightley as Lizzie? I love that version, truly. I love Matthew Macfadyen in the role of Darcy. While I would love to see Tom take on that kind of romantic hero, casting Tom as Darcy would change the movie completely. I bet he could have pulled it off though. He would also be amazing as Captain Wentworth in Persuasion. I would love it if he just took ANY romantic roles at this point.

Photos courtesy of Twitter, WENN.

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99 Responses to “Tom Hardy once auditioned for Darcy in ‘Pride & Prejudice’, was stupidly rejected”

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  1. Melody says:

    I can’t picture the contained urgency of Darcy coming out of the Bloke. The Bloke is all out there – a better Bingham.

    • Zwella Ingrid says:

      Bingly not Darcy. Sorry, but Darcy is out. I do love Tom Hardy though.

      • Melody says:

        Ah! Bingly – not Bingham – that’s what I meant. Bingham has secrets and manners, the Bloke has none. But still, even as Bingly, the Bloke would struggle with the earnest bumbling deferential nature of Bingly, so yeah, not even that.

        Somebody write a better 50 Shades kind of thing, omnisexual tortured barely contained character with a murder under his belt and the Bloke will do it better than anyone.

    • Jellybean says:

      I’m sorry, I like Tom Hardy well enough as an actor, but he doesn’t belong anywhere near pride and Prejudice.

    • zinjojo says:

      I don’t see Tom as Darcy, but I think he would make a fantastic Captain Wentworth. Yum.

    • Liberty says:

      Love Hardy, but, no, not a Darcy at all, in my tiny opinion. But maybe…. a Mr Wickham?

      Sidenote: Ii maintain that Elliot Cowan’s version in the 2008 ITV production of Lost In Austen was hands-down the best for haughtiness, heat, gravity, body work (movement) and intensity, even though it was not a traditional telling. I adore the book. Watching Cowan was the first time I said, “THAT’S IT!!!!” and put a face to the words, lol.

      I like the suggestion of Hardy as Wentworth in Persuasion, though.

  2. WindowChair5 says:

    This man is all kinds of hot. And he seems like a cool dude who just does his thing. He could be my romantic lead any day of the week. Love him to bits!

  3. Lilacflowers says:

    The Bloke and dogs!

  4. Naya says:

    Wasnt he a romantic lead in some Reese Witherspoon film though? His casting as Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights was puzzling to me. I mean he can certainly bring the brooding and the madness but Heathcliff is supposed to have harsh dark features. I mean thats why he is considered a “savage” and an outsider isnt it.

    • V4Real says:

      “Wasnt he a romantic lead in some Reese Witherspoon film though?”

      Yeah, I think he kind of regretted that one. The movie was “This Mean War” with Reese, Chris Pine and Hardy.

    • bluhare says:

      I liked him as Heathcliff actually.

      I think he can do romantic, and I also think he’d have brought a certain je ne sais quoi to Darcy!

      • Naya says:

        Oh he was a fantastic actor in Wuthering. I just meant that a guy so objectively beautiful was ill suited for the role. Also that Heathcliff was suspected to have “gypsy” ancestry or even to be from a different continent because he was so dark. I loved his performance though.

    • rose says:

      God, he was so brooding hot and awesome in Wuthering Heights (2009); i recommend anyone to watch this!

  5. Mom2two says:

    He’s right, he is not the romantic lead type. I think the roles he is getting work well for him.

  6. mia girl says:

    Yeah, those execs were right. He’s a great actor, but not for Darcy.

    For me, the Joe Wright/Keira Knightly version of Pride and Prejudice is as close to perfection as it’s going to get. Matthew Macfadyen was great and in fact, I think vastly underappreciated as Mr. Darcy.

    “I love you, most ardently” – it gets me every time.

    • mimif says:


    • jugstorecowboy says:

      I haven’t seen that one, because Colin Firth. But Matthew Macfadyen really makes me want to hold him on Ripper Street so maybe I’ll give it a go!

      • Betti says:

        I love Ripper St but i have no hots for him – its all for Jerome!!!

      • Ankhel says:

        Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy is all the reasons.

      • mia girl says:

        Yes of course, Colin Firth. I mean come on. He IS the original Mr. Darcy right?

        But IMO the film version is just so much better than the BBC version all around. Full package – a better Elizabeth in Keira Knightly, costumes, supporting players (Dame Judy Dench!!), the score (lovely in every way), the cinematography…

        And yes, in some ways a better – or a different Mr. Darcy. McFadden plays him less, “uptight” maybe. I’m not sure. But don’t ask me to pick which Mr. Darcy I prefer. Maybe I’d alternate nights. Ha!

        Anyway I am rambling on because I love this movie – it is one of my “go tos” when I am depressed/tired/need to escape. So yes, watch it!

      • Locke Lamora says:

        Actually, Andrew Osborn was the original Darcy – in 1938. But Firth and Macfadyen were the best Darcys.
        Phisically, Elizabeth Garvie came the closest to how I imagined Elizabeth to look rom the books. Both Keira and Ehle were a bit too pretty.

      • Carol says:

        Thinking of the KK movie as a faithful adaptation of Jane Austen’s marvelous book makes me twitchy. There were pigs in the house. Lizzy gets proposed to in her nightgown for heavens sakes. Jane was not amused. Colin Firth is Mr. Darcy because he understood every layer of his character, even to the point of being a little hurt when people kept talking about the disastrous first proposal. Matthew watered down Darcy to “He’s shy.” Give me the miniseries any day.

      • Ankhel says:

        I like Keira Knightley and think she’s very beautiful, but I was never able to buy her as Elizabeth. Her teeth, much on display, were fully Hollywood, not realistic for a 19th century woman. Also, her modern frame wouldn’t have been considered attractive at that time, and men did find Elizabeth attractive.

        Oh, and Elizabeth Swann and Elizabeth Bennet are the same person, apparently. Distracting too.

    • Locke Lamora says:

      Sacriligeous comment – I liked that version much more than the Firth/Ehle series, and I think Keira and Matthew were better as Lizzie and Darcy. And I’ve seen pretty much every Jane Austen movie or series ever.

      Hardy would have been horrible as Darcy – he doesn’t have that cold quality. His cold would have been straight up psycho.
      I don’t find him the least bit hot either. Macfadyen is much more attractive.

      • mia girl says:

        Ha! I just said the same thing. I prefer the movie.

        And LMAO at Hardy as “Psycho Darcy”

      • Kaiser says:

        I love Firth as Darcy, but I think I like the film version so much because Keira & Matthew were close to the ages of the book Lizzie & Darcy.

        I also think you guys are totally underestimating The Bloke’s ability to play a straight-laced romantic lead. Really think about it – he could totally do it!!!

      • mia girl says:

        He could do it, but not Darcy. Maybe Mr. Rochester?

      • Kitten says:

        What Kaiser said. There isn’t a role this guy can’t master IMO.

      • Liv says:

        He might be wrong for Darcy, but I can totally imagine him as a romantic lead. He was great as Heathcliff!

      • Locke Lamora says:

        Let’s agree to disagree. I think there are certain types of roles actors just can’t play beacuse they give off a totally dofferent vibe, with the exception of, I don’t know, Daniel Day-Lewis, and Hardy is no Daniel Day-Lewis.

      • Lilacflowers says:

        Hardy would be great as Mr. Collins

      • mia girl says:

        OMG Lilac that would be the sexiest Mr. Collins ever.

      • bluhare says:

        Yes, but we wouldn’t feel bad for Charlotte having to marry Collins if Hardy played him!

    • Bridget says:

      I really like McFayden as well, he really got the slow burn right. Could Tom Hardy telegraph restraint like that? I mean, could we actually believe that anyone would interact with Hardy like that and NOT know that he was into her? Because that’s supposed to be the whole first half – Elizabeth being snubbed by Darcy and then reading all of his later actions as a further snub, all the while he’s pretty much burning for her.

      • mia girl says:

        Slow burn…. YES! Great way to put it. Thanks! I was struggling with how to describe McFayden’s Mr.Darcy. He nailed the slow burn.

      • Ankhel says:

        I now picture a small group of gloomy girlscouts, standing over a nearly invisible fire, wisps of sour smoke rising. In a torrential downpour.

        That was my soul, watching McFadyens “slow burn”.

    • Liv says:

      Good god, Matthew MacFadyen was the worst Darcy ever! I really want to know who told that Tom and then went on and took Matthew MacFadyen. Biggest. fail. ever. Ugh! He ruined the film for me, he was more Mr Collins than anything else!

      • Livvers says:

        Thank goodness you said this and made me feel a little less alone in the world. I will never understand how MacFadyen, who can communicate so much with his silence on Spooks, MI5, merely projected emo moping wet blanketness as Darcy. I can’t watch him in the film without thinking he’s going to break out in tears.

      • Liberty says:

        Agreed. He seemed limp and damp as Darcy.

        Also, he somehow he reminds me of John Cusack, and that distracted me in that role as well, apart from his damp snuffly rendition of depressed Darcy.

    • Lilacflowers says:

      I absolutely love that version.

    • boredblond says:

      There have been nine film and tv adaptations over the years, can you believe it? I’ve only seen four, but Firth is far and away the ultimate Darcy, and Olivier is runner up (opinion, folks)…both pulled off the perfect haughtiness…and of course, looked good doing it.

    • Neha says:

      Same. I feel all the feels with that version. The rain scene? I still gasp everytime I see it.

    • Guest says:

      I would sign this any day. I loved Matthew. Perfect Darcy. Hardy as Darcy? Geez. No thanks. Don’t get the hype and he might be cool or whatever but he isn’t good looking or hot nor charming. At least for me. Sorry.

    • Cranberry says:

      — “Joe Wright/Keira Knightly version of Pride and Prejudice is as close to perfection as it’s going to get”

      What? Are you joking?

      I can agree that it was an enjoyable romantic film to watch, but it is vastly inferior to the BBC version with Colin Firth & Jennifer Ehle. That my friend was PERFECTION! Every single role in that production was cast superbly. Nothing was over or under played. Every thing, every scene was spot on the book as well as had the right tone and pace of reading Jane’s P&P. That’s why they did it as a mini-series so that they could do it faithfully and did not spare any expenses or cut any corners – and It Worked! It was thoroughly gratifying and delightful to watch all 6 hours of it. I’ve seen it all the way through at least 3-4 times.

      Not all films are better that television productions especially these days. The Joe Wright/Keira Knightly version was an interesting take on the story, a more dirtier, fast pace and chaotic, more “real” and less formal interpretation. But I felt discombobulated and dissatisfied with much of those effects. The pace was too quick many times, and subtleties didn’t have enough time to settle in. There were several off beats in the editing and awkward dramatic inflections. Kudos for trying a different interpretation of P&P. In general it was good and enjoyable, but perfection it was not.

      As most agree Firth is Darcy hands down, but Jennifer Ehle is not appreciated enough for her performance as Lizzy. She was absolute perfection, and I love her for it. The production would not have been nearly as good without her. To me she will always be the Lizzy I imagine when I read P & P.

      • Liv says:


        The version with Firth and Ehle is everything. I absolutely love it and our family is rewatching it over and over again.

      • mia girl says:

        Well, if I wrote it, then I am not joking!

        But when you quoted my comment you left off an important part… “For me”. Things are subjective and we can just agree to disagree, right?

        Listen, I love the BBC version and have seen it twice. I agree that as a miniseries it does have the time to capture so much more of the story and is almost perfectly faithful to the book. We are totally in agreement that it is a stellar production. Collin Firth was amazing and I fell in love with him.

        Still with that said, I just happen to love the film more. I personally enjoy many of the things you say you don’t about Joe Wright’s take on the source material. Not claiming it is a perfect production. Just saying that for me, it is as close to a perfect viewing experience as I get.

      • Locke Lamora says:

        I wouldn’t say the series was cast perfectly – while Firth and Ehle were great, other characters, like Mrs. Bennet and Jane were much better in the movie.

      • Cranberry says:

        @Locke Lamora – OMG – No just no. Mrs. Bennet in Davies/BBC production was perfect. She was so good – at being so, so bad. I hardly remember the performance of Mrs. Bennet in the film. I was impressed with Rosamund Pike in the film, but Jane performances are difficult to measure cause the character is very subdued. I’d say both performances were right for the production they were in although I think, with a few adjustments, Rosamund’s Jane would have been fine swapped into Davies’ P&P. I think the part of Jane is very hard to play actually because she’s so subdued and kind of one dimensional.

      • Ankhel says:

        Mrs. Bennet in the BBC version is a full on comedy act – complete with scenery chewing and hysterics. Which is how Austen wrote her, and I love it. Still, the movie version of her is pretty good. It’s one of the redeeming qualities of what I consider a movie made by someone who didn’t really get the period, and visibly struggled with the movie format for such long story.

        Jane Bennet though – just no. Rosamund Pike brings as little substance to that part as she normally does, and she’s a modern English rose. The BBC Jane is stunning – small shoulders, long neck, small mouth, Roman nose and large, almost bovine eyes. She’s simply perfect as a grand, early 19th century beauty. And then she plays Jane so gently, naively and sweetly, but with deep waters. Perfection. (Yeah, I know I nitpick. I love the book to distraction.)

    • A mascarada says:

      Agree with everything. The chemistry between MacFadyen & Knightley was great.

  7. Betti says:

    OMG I totally love that the fan was all ‘pose with my dog please’ and he was all for it. Even Alan Carr teased him about it. I LOVE HIM!!!

  8. Chinoiserie says:

    I love Knightley and the other actresses in the film as well as some other characters but they got the wrong Darcy. I do not know if Hardy would have been great but it might have been interesting.

    • Locke Lamora says:

      I thought Matthew Macfadyen was perfect as Darcy. The reserved Darcy wa san interesting spin on the character.

    • Ankhel says:

      Agreed. McFadyen was strangely uncharismatic and detached-looking. Darcy is a character who should always smoulder, even when reserved.

    • Liv says:

      Yes, I’m with you! He was more Mr Collins than Darcy, so pathetic and whiney!

  9. Micki says:

    I don’t see him as Jane Austin’s anything actually.
    And Ciaran Hinds was the best Capt. Wentworth I’ve seen so far.

  10. alice says:

    “i’m not focusing my attention in being something i’m not”
    I consider hardy one of the best actors of his generation, if not the best, but this statement surprises me. I know that the romantic lead roles often offer nothing to a curious thespian like him, just money and popularity, clout. But taking risks is something I see him doing, he certainly tried with that awful Witherspoon- Chris Pine romantic comedy and it went bad.I also know that, in the end, really versatile actors are just a few and most of the time, 99% of the actors, even the more talented ones, play different versions of themselves.ok. But “being something you’re not” is what actors do for a living.

  11. Bridget says:

    Tom Hardy would have been way too pretty to play Darcy, and I think it would have changed a lot about how the character came across. Though I think he would have made a great Wickham.

    • sauvage says:

      My thoughts exactly, The Bloke would have made a very good Wickham. Rupert Friend was the better choice, though… Tom Hardy, to me, OOZES sensuality. It might have been too obvious from the get-go that Wickham is up to no good…

      • Bridget says:

        And that’s the thing. It isn’t that Hardy couldn’t do a romance, it’s that he just wouldn’t fit that particular role in that particular romance.

  12. Snowflake says:

    Maybe his problem is he’s just too good looking! Haha, you know like what some of these female actresses say 😄

  13. Penelope says:

    He makes my head spin. Love him so much!

  14. kri says:

    Those bitches faces are INSUFFERABLY smug!! Although I know I would be even smugger(it’s a word now!) if I was that close to TH. I need a pizza delivery right about now, Mr. Hardy.

  15. ds says:

    I thought he was great as Heathcliff. That’s the first movie I saw him in, and he had totally captured my attention. He brought both the beastly and vulnerable side to him. I remember thinking: “this guy needs to make it big. World needs more of this energy on screen.” So, yes he can bring those characters; it all depends on directors vision I guess.

    • Nic919 says:

      I liked him as Heathcliff too. He would probably be a good Mr Rochester too. His temperament suits the Bronte style, but I just don’t see him pulling off the more reserved style that is found in Austen’s novels.
      That is my biggest issue with the Joe Wright version of P and P. Jane Austen did not write the romantic style novels that the Brontes did and the characters did not wander about in the moors at the end. Regency style is not Romantic and it was obvious that Joe Wright did not know the difference. I was waiting for Victorian style dresses to end up in the film because that is how bad it was.

      Colin Firth is still the best Darcy out there. Anyone who has read the novel would see that he best captures the spirit of how Austen wrote this character. There is a reason why we are still talking about his performance in a mini series made back in 1995.

    • Cranberry says:

      That’s what I thought of him too after seeing The Virgin Queen.

  16. EN says:

    I think Hardy can make a great romantic lead in a modern set or romcom, just not a Byronic type. He is too laid back even when he is being serious or intense.

    • Ankhel says:

      Mhm, I agree. Hardy can’t do the whole tall, dark and intense bit, not in the reserved Old World manner anyway. He’s too much of the open, rugged outdoorsy type. Perfect as a sportsman or explorer, wrong as Darcy, Dracula or even a Sherlock.

  17. Sneffnie says:

    Tom Hardy as the love-scorned, resentful war hero Captain Wentworth???? YES. Sign him up!! I never knew how badly I needed to see him throw loaded, sidelong glances at Anne Elliott across a ballroom until just this moment.

  18. Huckle says:

    OMG, I love Persuasion! I love it more than any other Jane Austen book movies. Nobody ever talks about it either and it’s so wonderful!!

  19. bellebottomblues says:

    Didnt see if this was already addressed, if so sorry…..but he played a helluva romantic lead way back when in “the virgin queen”
    He was Robert Dudley. He was so young then and I didn’t have a clue who he was but I remember thinking omg who is that? And look at that lucious mouth lol

    • Cranberry says:

      Yes. Loved the “Virgin Queen”. That was such a great production. Again it was a perfect production and interpretation of Elisabeth I story. He was excellent as Dudley. He was sexy and masculine and rugged even in tights. It totally worked. That’s when I first noticed TH and became a fan.
      Also, again, the female leads of these excellent BBC productions are not credited nearly enough considering how excellent and supreme they were in the f*cking Lead and title roles. Both the male leads were celebrated and went on to have major Hollywood film careers (that they deserve). But these great female actresses seemed to get very little recognition for there outstanding performances and not much good roles on this level since, WTF. Not that they have to be Hollywood level, still just so few good parts and films back then for these wonderful actresses. What a shame.

      • Bridget says:

        What are you talking about? Jennifer Ehle got a lot of recognition for her part. And Colin Firth was the only man who really eclipsed his leading lady in an Austen production – for the most part, they’re all heavily associated with the women.

      • Cranberry says:

        @Bridget — Yes, she may have gotten a lot of recognition, and she continues to be cast in things, but usually in small roles or very subdued roles that aren’t fully developed. And the same for Anne-Marie Duff who’s still doing a lot of great work, but she is so versatile and intense, she could have been featured in more big productions imo.
        My point is more that for actresses, being recognized for excellent performances doesn’t translated into bigger and better roles the way it does for male actors, especially in Duff’s case. There just hasn’t been enough good roles, central roles out there for actresses. Although I think these past few years has hopefully started to turn that around, but still not nearly enough imo.

  20. Elizabeth says:

    I don’t get this guy’s charm.

  21. Kat says:

    Keira Knightley’s terrible wigs / hairpieces just kill that version of P&P (especially in the ball scenes). Once seen it cannot be unseen.

    • Ankhel says:

      Well, the hair and the mostly shabby dresses she wears does help disguise the fact that Keira Knightley is a raving beauty, even better looking than Rosamund Pike as Jane. So, there’s that.

  22. amilu says:

    I could buy him as Wentworth but not as Darcy. He’s just not posh enough. And that’s how I like him!

    Others up in the comments section suggested he’d be a better Bingley, but I can’t see that either! Bingley is sweet and innocuous. Hardy is too rough around the edges for that character, too. If anything in P&P, I’d cast him as Wickham.

  23. LAK says:

    Nope. He’s all wrong for ‘Mr Darcy’.