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Is Tom Hardy Turning Into His Characters?

And 18 other questions relating to the real-life story about Tom Hardy chasing down a thief in the most Tom Hardy way possible

(Getty Images/Ringer illustration)
(Getty Images/Ringer illustration)

Here is an actual headline published in the world on this most blessed of Tuesdays: “Tom Hardy chases down moped thief, declares: ‘I caught the c***.’”

It helps if you read it with a British accent. It is best if you growl it as though the words personally killed your mother, perhaps after trapping her in a loveless marriage and abandoning her to pay its gambling debts. This is how Tom Hardy would say it.

According to The Sun, the tabloidy star at the center of this particular tidbit of gossip, the story is that Hardy, while out and about in the London neighborhood where he lives, witnessed two teens crash a moped into a “£50,000 Mercedes.” As the teens fled the scene, the actor gave chase “through gardens and across a building site,” vaulting over walls — plural — before he “grabbed [one of the thieves] by the scruff of the neck and patted him down for concealed weapons.” The moped, it turned out, was stolen, and the teens were arrested. In the story, one of them is referred to as a “yob,” which does not seem like slang for anything good.

Hardy has not spoken publicly about the incident — a spokesperson declined to comment to The Sun — though one witness did claim to hear Hardy say, “This little s*** nicked something and now he’s got himself a ­broken leg,” as well as that very headline-worthy quote I already mentioned. Local police confirmed part of the report, though details are scant: They said only that two bemopedded thieves crashed into another vehicle and then ran off before “one was detained by Tom Hardy.” “Both suspects were initially taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries,” the police continued.

This is a truly remarkable, perfectly Tom Hardian story, but so much remains unanswered. Namely:

1. Did Tom Hardy know the moped was stolen? Like, was this a little-old-lady-STOP-THIEF! sort of situation? Does Tom Hardy merely harbor a deep-seated distrust of teens on rapidly moving vehicles? Maybe Hardy has a sixth sense for injustice?

2. Perhaps Hardy was just trying to avenge the Mercedes owner?

3. Or, wait — was he the Mercedes owner?

4. Maybe he just saw something moving fast and wanted to catch it, like a cat?

5. Did Hardy, having garden-crossed and wall-vaulted and scruff-grabbed, really then say, “I caught the c***,” as The Sun alleges?

6. What about “This little s*** nicked something and now he’s got himself a broken leg”?

7. Is there some kind of prize we can give Tom Hardy for most effectively embodying his onscreen characters in real life?

8. Or is he just … actually like this in person?

9. Did Hardy break the thief’s leg? He sure seems to be speaking of this teen’s injuries with some authority.

10. Would that even be a crime, or is this like a Wild West kind of thing where we agree that justice has been served and never speak of it again?

11. “I don’t have any friends. I don’t keep them or entertain them for any of that kind of problem. So I like to keep [to] myself. I have a dog and a son. A dog couldn’t do anything to upset me, you know, and neither could my son.” I don’t have a question; just wanted to share this Tom Hardy quote.

12. The Sun report has him going through strangers’ back gardens, like Ferris freakin’ Bueller. How did he know about all these shortcuts? Had Hardy done this before?

13. At the moment that the suspect was “detained by Tom Hardy,” do we think that he recognized who he was?

14. Would that make you more or less afraid for your life?

15. Was Hardy murmuring incantations? He was definitely murmuring incantations.

16. Did he actually look “as mad as he does on telly,” as one witness described? (Actually, I can answer this one: absolutely yes.)

17. Are Hardy’s increasingly dark and violent roles maybe a little more autobiographical than we previously thought? Did he, uh, develop certain skills while playing Bane? What about on the set of Taboo:

18. Tom, have you acquired a taste for human flesh?

19. Did you … did you eat the yob’s leg?!