The 43-year-old likes to really commit to a role. But he's also highly committed to his tattoos collection, which reminds him of special moments, people and experiences in his life (not to mention lost bets).
And nothing spells commitment in a relationship more than having your significant other permanently tattooed on you. But as Hardy and many other romantics have learned pretty much since tattoos were invented, the ink often outlives the relationships.
Tom Hardy tattoos meaning
Hardy got his first tat at the age of 15 and he's now got 30 of them. From dragons to former lovers, and even losing a bet with fellow actors, here's what all of his tattoos mean.
1) Leprechaun tattoo
Hardy got his first tattoo at age 15, which is the leprechaun on his right arm. In Irish culture, this little fairytale character represents magic and good fortune.
According to Ranker, it's an ode to his Irish heritage on his mother's side.
2) Tribal pattern
Hardy later got his leprechaun tat filled in and a tribal pattern now covers over where the jolly little fella once sa
3) Scorpion tattoo
The scorpion inked on the upper left of his back is another one of the star's earliest tattoos. We're not exactly sure what Hardy sees in it, but the Scorpion carries many meanings.
Just to name a few, the venomous insect can symbolise devotion, justice, courage, passion, death, duality, betrayal. The Scorpion is also the patron of dead souls in some cultures.
4) 'Leo Knows All' tattoo
In 2018, Hardy added another tat to his collection after losing a bet to Leonardo DiCaprio that he wouldn't win an Academy Award for his role in The Revenant.
Of course, we all know that DiCaprio did, indeed, win the golden statue for that character and as a result, co-star Hardy had to get 'Leo Knows All' inked somewhere on his arm.
5) Dragon tattoo
Hardy has a large dragon inked on the inside of his left bicep. Apparently it's symbolic of his ex-wife Sarah Ward, who was born in the year of the dragon. They were married for nearly 10 years, between 1999-2008.
6) 'Till I die SW' tattoo
Speaking of Sarah Ward, Tom also has 'Till I die SW' written on the side of his stomach (awkward).
7) Star tattoo
Hardy's got a star etched on his left shoulder from when he found out his then-girlfriend, Rachel Speed, was pregnant with their son, Louis. They dated for four years after meeting on the set of The Virgin Queen in 2005.
8) 'Charlotte' tattoo
If you've got your exes tattooed on you, the least you can do is find a space for your current wife too. And that's exactly what Hardy did.
He's got 'Charlotte' written on his shoulder, which is his current wife Charlotte Riley. They got married in 2014 and they have a daughter and a son together.
9) Portrait of his wife, Charlotte tattoo
To accompany her name on his shoulder, Hardy's got a portrait of his wife, Charlotte, tattooed on the left side of his back
10) 'LINDY King' tattoo
Another woman in his life, who isn't a former lover, has also made it into Hardy's tattoo collection.
That woman is Lindy King, who was promised a permanent spot on Tom Hardy's skin (lucky girl) after keeping her promise of getting him into Hollywood. So 'Lindy King' is written on the inside of his arm.
11) Marine Corps number tattoo
No - Tom Hardy was never in the Marines. But his best mate's dad was and died in action, which is why Hardy has 'his Marine Corps number 1338046' etched near his right collar bone.
12) Comedy and tragedy masks tattoo
It doesn't take a genius to work out why Hardy, an actor, has a picture of the comedy and tragedy masks inked on his right pec, which is the symbol for theatre and the arts.
13) 'Smile now, Cry later' tattoo
Hardy has 'Smile now' written just above the comedy and tragedy masks and 'Cry later' written just below.
We're not sure exactly what this means, but to us it appears to be a mantra of 'getting on with it' (whatever it is) with a brave face first and crying about/dealing with it later.
14) Single crosses tattoo
Again, these tattoos are a bit of a mystery. Hardy's got three single crosses inked around the comedy and tragedy masks on his right pec and shoulder.
Maybe they're just decorative? Although knowing Hardy, there's bound to be a deeper meaning to them.
15) 'Padre Fiero' tattoo
'Padre Fiero' which means 'proud father' is tattooed on his left pec, close to his heart, aww.
16) 'Figlio mio bellissimo' tattoo
17) Madonna portrait tattoo
The Madonna portrait has a deeper meaning than you think. The portrait - as in Mary, Jesus' mother according to the Christian faith, not the pop star - is seen cradling a baby in the image.
Hardy explained: "That was about mothering me. I went through a lot of stuff leaving home and becoming a father and growing up to be my own mother. "I have a mother; she's amazing. But this is about being able to mother my parents and my son and myself - which is very painful. Getting my head around that growth spurt," he said.
18) Union Jack tattoo
Tom has a Union Jack tattooed on his left pec - we wouldn't want it to feel left out with so much ink on the right one now would we?
The Union Jack is obviously a nod to his nationality and the country he calls home. Ironically though, according to Body Art Guru, he got this tattoo done in Canada.
19) Feather and the word 'Scribe' tattoo
Hardy has a feather and the word 'Scribe' inked on his right bicep. Apparently this tat is in respect for his friend Kelly Marcell, who works as a scriptwriter.
20) Raven tattoo
Hardy has a small silhouette of a raven tattooed to his left pec, right by his nipple.
Apparently, this tat holds great importance in the actor's life, as it symbolises his two most major films - Mad Max and The Dark Knight Rises.
21) Angry wolf tattoo
The 'angry' wolf tattooed on his inner left forearm symbolises his role in The Revenant.22) Sacred heart tattoo
A sacred heart tattoo is inked to his left pec, towards his underarm.
Apparently, this tattoo has long represented Jesus Christ's undying love for mankind, and those who have this tattoo are showing their devotion to the church and to Jesus.
23) Skull wearing a hat tattoo
Hardy has a skull wearing a top hat on his left arm. We're not sure about the meaning of this one, but skulls are usually a symbol of death. At least adding a top hat gives it that gentlemanly twist though.
24) Feather tattoo
Just beneath the skull and hat tat, Hardy has another feather tattoo located on his left wrist. Feathers can have a multitude of meanings. They're often associated with angels, but they can also be a symbol of freedom, courage or travel.
25) Playing card tattoo
Hardy has a playing card tattooed on the right side of his stomach. It doesn't appear to be any particular card from the traditional deck. A playing card tattoo is traditionally used as a symbol of good luck and fortune.
26) Flying birds tattoo
Hardy has flying birds silhouettes tattooed on his right shoulder and neck. Birds are usually a symbol of freedom.
27) 'LH' tattoo
Hardy has the initials of his son, Louis Thomas Hardy, on his left arm.
28) 'II Q&R' tattoo
The tiny 'II Q&R' tattoo scribed on his right bicep stands for 'To Observe and Reflect,' which is said to be Hardy's mantra.
29) Dog tattoo
Hardy got a tattoo of his pitbull Muzzle on the left side of his back, which is in memory of his beloved pet.
30) 'W' tattoo
Last but not least, there's a 'W' on Hardy's right bicep, which is another nod to his ex Sarah Ward.
So there you have it, a comprehensive guide to Tom Hardy's many tattoos.
Featured Image Credit: tom-hardy.org