Movie tough guy Tom Hardy was banned from visiting real-life hard-man Charles Bronson in prison following the release of the 2008 movie Bronson. According to Bronson’s son, George Bamby, the British actor visited the man known as Britain’s most notorious prison inmate as he prepared to play him in the biopic film, but was not allowed back into the prison when it became a Hollywood hit. Hardy portrayed Bronson in the Nicholas Winding Refn directed picture, which became one of his early standout roles.
While preparing to take on the role, Tom Hardy made several authorised visits to the convicted armed robber to learn about him and make the performance as true to the man as possible. However, the prison service made it clear that he was not welcome back soon after the release of the film. Bamby said the sole reason for the ban came down to the simple fact that they don’t agree with their prisoners being made into movie stars.
Speaking on Anything Goes with James English, Bronson’s son elaborated, “I don’t think he’s spoke to Tom for a couple of years, but it’s like anything with Charlie. Tom was really nice to him, because obviously he wanted to do the film and he went to see and learn all about him and all the rest of it. But since Bronson came out, the prison service have banned Tom from visiting.”
When questioned about it further, he added, “Well, because he’d just brought a film out, Bronson. And it’s a f*cking Hollywood blockbuster and it’s all over the place and everyone knows it. They don’t want prisoners being portrayed into being big movie stars.”
Tom Hardy, who made his screen debut in Ridley Scott’s Black Hawk Down in 2001, is one of the most popular and in demand British actors working in the industry at the moment, having appeared in numerous roles on the big and small screen. His roles have included playing Mad Max in the reboot Mad Max: Fury Road, both Kray twins in Legend and has dipped into both DC and Marvel comic book movies, taking on the role of Bane in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises and more recently Venom in the movie of the same name, a role he reprises in the sequel later this year.
Hardy has also appeared in some high-profile TV shows such as Peaky Blinders, Band of Brothers and adaptations of Oliver Twist and A Christmas Carol. In possibly his strangest and most unexpected TV appearance, Hardy read children’s tales in five episodes of CBeebies Bedtime Stories, which was enjoyed equally by many children and their mothers.
Charles Bronson was originally convicted of armed robbery back in 1974. He was released from prison in 1987, only to be arrested again a year later for planning another robbery. While in prison, Bronson was frequently violent, taking hostages and causing standoffs with guards, which led to his sentence being increased to a term of life. He has been held in all three of England’s prison psychiatric hospitals and has spent much of his time inside in solitary confinement. As well as the Tom Hardy movie, he has also been the subject of numerous books, studies and interviews and even wrote a fitness book about exercising in confined spaces.
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