Tom Hardy for Esquire Magazine

Posted on April 18, 2014

We’re thinking this is one of those Rorschach test covers, depending on your gender and orientation.

Tom-Hardy-Esquire-Magazine-May-2014-Tom-LOrenzo-Site-TLO (1)Tom Hardy covers the May 2014 issue of Esquire magazine photographed by Greg Williams.


A straight guy is supposed to feel all “COME AT ME BRO” while a gay man is all “Give me a second to finish this mint and let my friends know where I am.”

We’re thinking the ladies are all butt-dialing 911. As they should be.

Inside, Tom reveals just how much he’s overcompensating, which makes all the above posturing instantly not very hot:

On not being manly: “I have always been frightened with men. To the point where I couldn’t go into a gym because of the testosterone and I felt weak. I don’t feel very manly. I don’t feel rugged and strong and capable in real life, not how I imagine a man ought to be. So I seek it, to mimic it and maybe understand it, or maybe to draw it into my own reality.”


Tom-Hardy-Esquire-Magazine-May-2014-Tom-LOrenzo-Site-TLO (2)

Not that we’re taking him to task for having male anxiety; just that when you openly admit how scared you are that you’re not masculine enough, the rather abrupt change toward a hypermasculine look just comes across like a manifestation of your issues.

Seriously, the knuckles? Was he LITERALLY dragging them on the floor? Or did he punch the guy who did his makeup for this shoot? It’s all so ridiculously try-hard. He was so much hotter and more interesting when he wasn’t so damn worried about whether he was butch enough.

But the beard does look good on him, we have to say.




[Photo Credit: Gregg Williams for Esquire Magazine]

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  • vahtel

    I’m sorry, he was saying words?

    • YourBaloneyDontGotNoSecondName

      Tequila shots from his navel. That is all.

    • distractible

      No kidding. My issue has Lake Bell on the cover. I don’t know who she is and I don’t care. Why does Esquire seem to assume that all readers are men and want to look at hot chicks. (Their idea of hot chicks. Not mine).

  • homofascist

    “Give me a second to finish this mint and let my friends know where I am” is the best thing I have heard this year. Thank you.

    • Latin Buddy

      I TOTALLY do this when I go to a bar. I tell my besties “see the totally-not-my-type-mistake over there? This is where I’ll be. Text me in an hour to make sure I’m ok”

      • Alloy Jane

        LOL, you just took me back 15 years with that comment. And without the smell of vomit and french fries, so that’s saying something.

        • formerlyAnon

          Except in my case it’s a good bit longer than 15 years . . .

      • homofascist

        OMG, were you at the book signing (you are in Chicago right?). I had my eyes peeled for anyone I recognized…

  • marlie

    I wish I hadn’t read the quote because that makes no sense to me. But for reals, Tom Hardy is HAWT. He’s gorgeous in that suit, though I’ll take him as he is on the cover, too.

  • Alicia

    Weird how nipples draw the eye.

    This is not the hottest he has been.

    • muzan-e

      The quote is hotter than the cover is.

      … I know, I know. My instincts are all bass-ackwards. *g*

      • Meg0GayGuys6

        … I think I like him more after that quote. Reading that, then the uncles commentary, I’m not sure if my thinking is ass backwards *or sorry, basswards, as you put it ;), but yea, I kinda like what he said,

        • Alloy Jane

          I just read his quote again and I have to say, he’s grown on me over the past few hours. And I STILL don’t know who he is (even after googling him and finding an unrecognizable pretty boy). I think the quote is definitely as much a Rorscharch test as the picture is. Being butch AND vulnerable? It speaks to my particular biological composition. Biology is fun.

          • distractible

            Tom Hardy was in “Inception” with Leo DiCaprio, and I’ve noticed him in some other flicks too, after he first caught my eye in that flick. He also played Heathcliff in a PBS (I think) version of “Wuthering Heights,” which I’d love to see, as he would seem to be a perfect Heathcliff. I know it’s available to buy. Anyway, his roles have been really diverse.

    • kimmeister

      Meanwhile, I am more fascinated by how his navel looks like an eye. I have never seen an eye-navel before.

  • The Versatile Chef

    I’m sorry, but all that tatting is a complete turn-off to me. I’m glad this trend started after my single years were over.

    /old lady rant

    • PeggyOC

      You’re not alone. One or two aren’t bad, but when you start to cover up that much skin, what’s the point? I guess I just like my skin to be skin.

      • The Versatile Chef

        Amen, sistah.

        • Rhonda Shore

          I’m with ‘ya.

          • StillGary


    • melisaurus

      As a lady with tattoos I really don’t like his. Just random doodles there’s no story.

      • The Versatile Chef

        I should clarify that I’m not against tattoos. There is a lot of fantastic artwork out there and, like you said, when they tell a story, it can be fascinating. They’re just not for me. And I suppose I wouldn’t mind them (within reason) on the right guy.

        I draw the line at neck tats, though. And the ones with the skulls and snakes and roses motif.

      • Alloy Jane

        I have them too. They’re beautiful and I feel like a walking work of art, so when other people don’t like them, I don’t get offended.

      • giddypony

        I prefer the well organized and thought out tats. I’m quite wiling to overlook his smorgasbord however…

    • Vegas Girl

      They look fake though, no? Maybe for the pic? I’ve been scrolling the comments hoping someone would say definitively “real” or “not real” but no one else even touched on them.

      • Goldie

        If you google pictures of him, I think some are real and some are fake and they’ve all been enhanced for the picture.

    • stephbellard

      YES! That’s TOO MUCH ink. You’re a hot man, not a doodle bear.

    • ScarlettHarlot

      The only person it doesn’t bother me on is David Beckham.

      • distractible

        Ha! I can’t find much wrong with David Beckham EVER. He knows how to dress, how to groom properly and I don’t know a friggin thing about soccer. Seems to be a good Dad too. The Spice Girl wife though is a puzzlement, however I don’t know anything about her.

  • Eclectic Mayhem

    I’m generally pro-beard but that particular face-fur is covering up half of his beautiful mouth. Me no likey.

    • marlie

      UGH. Those lips are his best feature.

      • Eclectic Mayhem

        It’s the most perfect pout. Positively angelic.

      • KateShouldBeWorking

        I want them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

    • VioletFem

      Seriously, talk about hiding your light under a bushel.

    • homofascist

      What is a picture of Tom Hardy if he isn’t flashing the DSL/PEL?

  • B_C_J

    Assuming what he says is true, I find his willingness to admit his fear about his perceived lack of manliness very humanizing. We all have demons that we battle. That said, he is absolutely gorgeous with that beard.

    • Sonia Perez

      I agree. It doesn’t make him less appealing, but more so!

    • Eclectic Mayhem

      Not to get all ‘Pseud’s Corner’ about it but I think he uses that confusion and dichotomy in his performances a lot, and it’s very powerful. Empire movie magazine has just done a wee online profile of him and points out – re: his role in Inception:

      “With a single line – “Don’t be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling” – he proves himself capable of playing effete and badass at exactly the same time.”

      I know some people had issues with his dialect decisions in the The Dark Knight Rises but the fact that he has to – and does – communicate Bane’s thought process to us with pretty much just his eyes is quite something. I’m in, I think he’s brilliant.

      • Alloy Jane

        Oh is THAT who he is? I couldn’t sit through the pile of wank that was TDKR, so the only bit of Bane that I’ve seen is the Market Fresh Strawberries thing on youtube, which is brilliant.

        I’m still not sure who exactly this dude is but he reminds me of Mr. Grove from Mr. Selfridge. Love the beard.

        • Heather

          He was the title character in the movie “Bronson.” I caught it on Netflix streaming a couple of years back. It’s an odd little move, but I absolutely loved it. He is nigh on unrecognizable in it (the man is very much the chameleon) but also totally nude, which was nice. Lol. That’s one movie I recommend to certain people because I think it shows that he is a hell of an actor. Oh, and he was also in a dreadful romantic comedy/action flick with Reese Witherspoon and Chris Pine a few years back. If I were nice I’d Google it, but it is so awful, that I’m not going to bother. Although, he was about the only bright spot in it.

          As for the beard? I dig it. I also like him without it. I just generally like him, I suppose.

    • Let it out

      Yes, yes, yes. This is a man who at the very least in the Q of LGBTQ, and he’s being bravely honest. He’s playing a *role* for the editorial, which he reiterates in the interview (“I don’t feel very manly. I don’t feel rugged and strong and capable in real life, not how I imagine a man ought to be. So I seek it, to mimic it and maybe understand it, or maybe to draw it into my own reality.”). I think he looks good here, but frankly, I love him any which way – his charisma and talent don’t shine in photographs like they do on film.

      • Esz

        Have you seen Bronson? He was magnificent in that – and his character is quite a brutal, ugly one. He’s really an amazing actor.

  • International Model

    From the thumbnail, I thought he was on the john, not on John.

    On the masculinity answer, it represents oddly how I feel about my femininity with a few key word changes: “I have always been frightened with [wo]men. To the point where I couldn’t go into a [insert female-centric place] because of the [estrogen] and I felt weak. I don’t feel very [wo]manly. I don’t feel [soft] and [pretty] and [maternal] in real life, not how I imagine a [wo]man ought to be. So I seek it, to mimic it and maybe understand it, or maybe to draw it into my own reality”

    Either Tom Hardy is my soul mate or someone has been peeking in my offline diary.

    • Leah Elzinga

      I ABSOLUTELY agree with this. I think it’s just more accepted for a woman to “try to be more womanly” than for a man to admit to “trying”. As for the knuckles, this is a dude that regularly boxes to stay in shape so it doesn’t throw me for a loop in the slightest. In fact my husband works construction and his hands look the same if not worse, no knuckle-dragging needed.

      • Tom and Lorenzo

        Your husband works construction. Tom is wearing makeup and posing for a photographer in expensive clothes. There’s a huge difference.

  • Jaeda Laurez

    The suit and the rough knuckles? Very sexy. But I don’t like the facial hair. He went from being Mr. Sexy Lips to “Rando drinking a PBR and mouthing ALL the words to Yeezus in a Williamsburg bar.” Do. Not. Want.

    • The Versatile Chef

      That was VERY specific. And I loved it.

    • Danielle

      HEAR HEAR. He’s almost unrecognizable. Can we go back to Tuck in “This Means War”?

  • rkdgal

    It’s interesting to me how much he doesn’t look like Tom Hardy. I spent a LOT of time examining these pics to figure out why, and I think it’s the longer mustache, which obscures his trademark upper lip. I may be wrong, and I’m willing to keep looking in order to get to the bottom of this pressing mystery.

    • Madam Von Sassypants

      He looks so different in almost every role he does. I’m constantly surprised when I see it’s him. Huge props go to him for being able to change his look so often. Very few can get away with that.

    • Goldie

      I know. I keep looking at these pictures and wondering if he’s had a nose job (or photoshop) or if his face is just thinner than usual. He totally doesn’t look like the Tom Hardy I’m used to seeing.

  • sagecreek

    Sorry, he doesn’t float my boat one little bit.

    • demidaemon

      I’m with you. Not feeling it at all.

  • Aurora Leigh

    No. This is not the Tom Hardy that I know (okay, fantasize about) and love.

  • Nikko Viquiera

    I totally skipped the interview part so as not to ruin the uhm moment.

  • Jeremy Thomas Porta

    I have never understood his appeal.

  • deltabronze

    Not familiar with him, so looked up images. He looks pretty sweet without all the facial hair. I normally love beards, but this one — not so much.

    • ScarlettHarlot

      Agreed, I love him looking more like he did in Warrior.

  • Mrs. Julien


  • MyFavoriteColorIsGlitter


  • PastryGoddess

    This is the visual equivalent of eating cardboard

  • Randy Noak

    The knuckles look Photoshopped to me, which might have been an art director’s decision that he wan’t privy to.

  • jilly_d

    Sweetie, come over here. I can make you feel strong and capable. No, no, the pants can stay over there.

  • JauntyJohn

    I vote yes.

  • Chase

    WTF happened? He was so pretty in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier Spy. This guy looks like a meth dealer. Blech.

  • YourBaloneyDontGotNoSecondName

    1. Don’t TLO know, after all this time, know better than to antagonize the BK’s with typing and thinking and whatever else they do when they put up pictures like this? To quote Dale Bozzio: “What are words for when no one listens it’s no use talkin at all.” Or if I wanted to be a shady bitch, to quote Staind: “Your words to me just a whisper.”

    2. BENIGN GROWTH! I have spent many, many years in the sun. Of Russian heritage, I don’t really burn. My skin turns black and my hair turns white. The really freaky skin thingie on my back wasn’t looking good. The biopsy came back “inconclusive”. They surgically removed the whole thing. It was benign and even if it wasn’t, they got it all. WOOHOO!

    3. I forget. He is purty. Tequila.

    • Alicia

      2 – good news!
      3 – tequila is good!

    • another_laura

      Congrats on your results! I’m throwing back a shot of Russia’s finest in your honor.

    • formerlyAnon

      Super good news on the medical!

      I’ll toast with some decent tequila. Others can have even my imaginary share of Mr. Hardy.

  • onefifteen

    Beard hate. Ruins his face.

  • Laylalola

    He has sexist mouth and lips, so I can’t forgive the facial hair. (And don’t even get me started on him playing Bane with that damn mask, it practically defeated the purpose of casting him in a Batman movie!)

  • kimmeister

    Meh, the beard just makes him look like a slimmed down Zach Galifianakis to me.

  • Morales Mike

    You could swing a dead cat (not that I believe anyone should EVER do that) in LA, NYC or SF and hit a thousand gay guys who looks JUST like this now. Yawn.

  • MartyBellerMask

    Snicker. Whatever. Who is this guy again? Oh wait, I don’t actually care. Carry on…

  • @Biting Panda

    Mmmmm, chalk me up as having the typical gay man’s reaction. Mint, anyone?

  • MilaXX

    I think the suit picture is sexier.

  • KendraMR

    I can’t stand the beard. I want to see those luscious lips, dammit!

  • formerlyAnon

    He’s too built to ring any of my bells (visually, sometimes lizard brain takes the wheel in close physical proximity to muscle). But I see why the attraction.

    I do not favor beards, either, but he’s the rare man whom I think looks better with one.

  • LeelaST

    Don’t find him attractive, don’t care what he says, just put him on the screen in a good role & I’m there. He’s magnetic.

  • Inspector_Gidget

    Self-admitted poseur. So not hot in the very least. Then again, I’ve never understood the fascination with this one.Oh I suppose I get it on a very, very surface physical level. But he’s always given me the willies more than some “rough trade” thrill.

  • GillianHolroyd

    Ugh. I’m going to have to watch Wuthering Heights all over again to get this image out of my mind.

    Or maybe I’ll just skip to the best parts of Inception: “You mustn’t be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling.”

  • largishbearishAtlish

    whats with the black spot at the top of his beard/bottom of his lip? I keep trying to tell if that is a piercing or some ink or black hair? don’t look like his beard/hair…..making me nutty…anyone else seeing this?

  • malarson2

    Netflix and watch The Virgin Queen. It’s a 2005 British mini-series and he of course plays Dudley. I think you’ll find his level of earnestness (and his clear discomfort with his pre-fixed teeth) too much to bear. But it might give you insight to these recent magazine comments.

  • CatherineRhodes

    “The greatest actor of his generation” — they’re kidding, right?

    • Gloriana Reginata

      Watch ‘Bronson’, compare it to ‘Warrior’ and then to ‘The Virgin Queen’. Or just watch him steal every scene he’s in in ‘Inception’. There’s a wonderful crop of British actors about five years younger than him, but there aren’t many I’d put up against him in his age range (only two come to mind, and none of them Americans – maybe someone else could suggest a few? I don’t watch much tv, I admit…)

  • Celticharpist

    Meh, not doing much for me. All I can focus on is that weird thing clipped on to his pants in the first picture. Anyone know what that is?

  • gloriana232

    I wouldn’t have recognized him at ALL.

  • CPK1

    why does he looks so cross on the cover? And is that a flashlight on his waistband? I am confused…..

  • wasabi

    You have to watch Wuthering Heights on Masterpiece Theater, Netflix it. I became obsessed with his lips watching this. A young Andrew Lincoln speaking in his British accent didn’t hurt either! He is a great actor.

  • demidaemon

    I don’t know if I should turn in my gay card or what, but he is doing absolutely nothing for me, except reek of douche. Sorry.

    • boweryboy

      Gurl, no worries. It’s not you. Also, I haven’t renewed my gay card in years. Let it expire.

      • demidaemon

        Maybe. At least I’m not the only one who doesn’t feel it.

  • gefeylich

    I find him so unattractive. I cannot account for all the heavy breathing he causes. I think he’s an OK actor in certain roles (Inception, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy). but to me he looks like a maraca.

  • boweryboy

    Nuh uh. No way. That cover is gross. He’s gross. I threw up a little in my mouth just looking at it, and I’m certain it wasn’t because of the food poisoning I’m recovering from.

  • Ueber de Super

    The tattoos and the strange colour of his beard make him utterly unshaggable.

  • unbornfawn

    KInda screeches douche-y to me. Unimpressive ink too.

  • jw_ny

    Oh, I know I shouldn’t, but I’m gonna go for it anyway…rawrr….

  • Fräulein K.

    Yeah, I rather appreciate the openness about his discomfort with masculinity. I much prefer men to be openly ambivalent and aware of the complications. Straight, uncomplicated machismo is not my cup of tea, those guys read as both boring and unsafe to be around to me.

    That said, these are not the most attractive photos of him.

    • Tom and Lorenzo

      As we said, it’s not the anxious masculinity that bugs here. It’s the admitted posing he does in response to it. All men are anxious about their masculinity on some level, but we don’t all turn to putting on hypermasculine drag in order to compensate for it. It’s no different from guys who buy expensive sports cars because they think they’re not macho enough without them.

      • Fräulein K.

        True, but the guy with the sports car wouldn’t admit to it, or even be aware of it, perhaps. It makes him look weak and he must realise that. I think that helps.

      • KinoEye

        The posing is never a good thing. I’ve dated two such men. It wasn’t obvious at first, but it definitely affected the way they treated me. A big reason why it didn’t work out in both cases.

        I miss my dad for a lot of reasons, but one of the big ones was how comfortable he was in his masculinity/orientation. Enough to put on a little girl’s pink backpack and headband to get her excited about school in the morning. When she was older, asking what kind of shampoo made her hair so shiny and if he could try some. All the while, laughing at hypermasculine, macho nonsense — “be a man,” for instance.

        Needless to say, I’ve got high standards, and machismo ain’t one of them.

  • d4divine

    I don’t care if he thinks he isn’t man enough…he can just may there and be quiet. Hehe

  • annejumps

    I suppose you haven’t really paid much attention to what he’s said in the past, as opposed to what he looks like — he’s talked rather often about his masculinity issues.

  • katiessh

    you realise he was styled, right? I doubt he was like- let’s make my knuckles look like I’ve been punching people out. He probably wanted to talk about anxiety to offset the slightly worrying cover

  • Columbinia

    Who talks like that? Is this his vulnerable-me pick up line? The tattoos look like he’s been tagged repeatedly.

  • St. Ace

    I hate the beard obscuring his beautifully pouty lips.

  • Pollybug

    I’m speechless. With lust.

  • Kent Roby

    I fear that he’s so desperate to leave his pretty-boy personae behind him that he will end up steroided beyond recognition and completely covered in tatttoos that are made to look like they were acquired in prison. Gosh, it must be the worst hell on earth for everyone to find you attractive. Gross.

  • Courtney

    It’s a thoroughly unattractive collection of ink. I’m not of the opinion that all tattoos have to go together or be stylistically similar, but nothing he’s got “goes” with anything else. Too many word tattoos.

  • distractible

    I was ROBBED!! Lake Bell is on the cover of my issue and I am extremely unhappy. I’ll take Tom Hardy ANY time. Not all Esquire readers are men.

  • Sissy

    those tatts are unforgivable

  • Renaissance_Man_ATL

    Bad tats and little girl boobs. Not sexy. He looks best dressed.