The 37 year old British actor has recently come clean about his past with drugs and alcohol. Hardy, who is best known for his portrayals of stoic, tough guys in films such as Inception (2010), The Dark Knight Rises (2012), and Mad Max: Fury Road (2015), says that his drug habit began to take a serious toll on his life. He admits that during the darkest days of his addiction, he would have done anything for a fix.
Hardy began experimenting with drugs at an early age. At age 13, he was regularly taking hallucinogens. His well to do parents enrolled the young boy in boarding schools only to have him kicked out for theft and drug possession.
After leaving school for good, Hardy found himself getting deeper into a crack cocaine addiction and engaging in criminal behavior to support his habit. At age 17, Hardy was arrested for stealing an automobile and having a gun in his possession. The troubled teenager was able to walk away from the incident without any serious charges.
Even as Hardy began taking acting more seriously as a young adult and enrolling in method acting classes at London's Drama Centre, his addiction grew more serious. Just a couple of years after getting his first major film gig in Black Hawk Down (2001), Hardy found himself at an extreme low point.
After a night of intense partying in New York, Hardy found himself waking up on the street covered in his own blood and vomit. The incident was a wake up call for the actor, who knew that it was time to get help for a problem that had clearly grown out of control. Hardy didn't take rehab seriously at first, admitting that he thought he could complete treatment and then go back to drinking with a clearer conscience.
However after spending 28 days in treatment, things changed for the young actor. Hearing about the experiences of others in recovery and sharing his own story made the young actor realize that he indeed had a problem that went much deeper.
Hardy is honest about how drugs and alcohol took a toll on his early years, saying it definitely shaped who he is now, but is no longer a part of his life. Acting has taken the place of drugs for Hardy and is the thing that drives him. He now focuses all his energy on his roles, creating the intensity Hardy is known for.
In addition to acting, Hardy has also devoted time to various charities, including the UK based charity group The Prince's Trust, which helps young people whose lives have been affected by addiction, homelessness, gangs, and other disadvantages get back on their feet.
As an ambassador for the group, Hardy has led workshops with youths and spoken about his own experiences in an effort to inspire and encourage others who may be going through the same struggles.
He says the group is important to him because they give hope to thousands of young people who deserve a second chance at life. Hardy says it's the same kind of second chance he had that allowed him to turn his life around.
Today, Hardy continues to enjoy success as an actor. His most recent work in Mad Max: Fury Road has been received well by fans and critics alike. Hardy recently married longtime girlfriend, fellow actor Charlotte Riley, and is also a devoted father to a young son.