After the L.A. advance press screening of Deadpool, a movie and TV blogger was overheard gushing, “Wasn’t Tom Hardy great as the villain? And it was first time I could actually understand everything he said.” Which is all fine and dandy, except that Deadpool’s maniacal bad guy is not played by the brooding, scruffy, square-jawed Hardy but by the brooding, scruffy, square-jawed (and more affordable) Ed Skrein, best known for showy roles on Game of Thrones and in Transporter Refueled.
But let’s face it, the blogger’s mistake was understandable. Hollywood’s Hardy hard-on has sparked a run on growly doppelgangers for the Brando-esque 38-year-old Brit best known for Inception, The Dark Knight Rises and Max Max: Fury Road. When production delays on The Revenant forced the producers of Suicide Squad to replace Hardy in the starring role of a supervillain task force leader, they rushed in Hardy-esque hunk Joel Kinnaman. The intense, lanky 36-year-known Swedish-American is best known for TV’s The Killing, but when he co-starred with Hardy in the thriller Child 44, the two looked and sounded alike enough in their shared scenes that some viewers might have wondered whether Hardy was playing dual roles.
Another Hardy boy, the beefier, more threatening Aussie action figure Jai Courtney, not only also appears in Suicide Squad but also said yes to Terminator: Genisys and A Good Day to Die Hard when Hardy, the widely-rumored first choice, said no.
Hardy’s formidable acting chops and screen presence aside, what’s the rush to cast him and his various clones when so many young American actors are going begging? Last year, Michael Douglas made headlines for asserting that the “better-trained,” less social network-obsessed Brits were crushing U.S. actors because, aside from rough-and- ready dudes like Channing Tatum and Chris Pratt, “in the U.S., we have this relatively asexual or unisex area with sensitive young men.” Ouch. That may leave it to the most startlingly Hardy-like lad of the whole bunch—Charleston, South Carolina-born Logan Marshall-Green—to fly the national flag as our homegrown Tom. The theater-trained 40-year-old from The O.C. and Prometheus may have his work cut out for him in distinguishing himself, though. Not only did he and Hardy both make their screen debuts in Band of Brothers, and not only is Marshall-Green himself a real-life twin, but he and Hardy are also such dead ringers that their own mates might struggle to tell them apart.
So what are smart moviemakers to do? Why not shove all the Hardy boys into a new version of The Brothers Karamazov? Or if that’s too highbrow, with musical biopics all the rage, how about casting all the fine young Hardys in a flick about the Bee Gees? On second thought, no: Hardy would undoubtedly want to play all the Gibb bros himself.