Over the past few years, Tom Hardy has become one of Hollywood’s brightest and most bankable stars. The Mad Mad: Fury Road icon is everywhere this summer. But the question “Is Tom Hardy gay?” has become louder, too. It’s actually a somewhat complicated question, one to which Tom has given several frank but contradictory responses throughout the years.
Hardy was first popped the question in a major venue by UK tabloid the Daily Mail in the summer of 2010, when Hardy’s role in Inception had made him a major star. His response was characteristically blunt:
As a boy? Of course I have. I’m an actor for f*ck’s sake. I’ve played with everything and everyone. I love the form and the physicality, but now that I’m in my thirties, it doesn’t do it for me. I’m done experimenting but there’s plenty of stuff in a relationship with another man, especially gay men, that I need in my life. A lot of gay men get my thing for shoes. I have definite feminine qualities and a lot of gay men are incredibly masculine.
While that might look like a straightforward answer, though, it’s actually somewhat tricky. Being gay and having had gay sex are not the same thing–which is a distinction Hardy seems to be aware of, since he’s not answering the question “Are you gay?” (which was the implication) but “Have you had gay sex?” (which is the salacious–and first–part of the answer).
And, in an interview with Now from the same era, Hardy gave a similarly deceptive response to a related question:
A lot of people say I seem masculine, but I don’t feel it. I feel intrinsically feminine. I’d love to be one of the boys but I always felt a bit on the outside. Maybe my masculine qualities come from overcompensating because I’m not one of the boys.
In a Marie Claire interview a year and a half later, Hardy turns the question from “Is or isn’t” to “Isn’t or is Tom Hardy gay?” The interviewer asks Hardy if he feels he’s ever been too blunt when talking to the media, and uses that as a pivot point for addressing homosexuality:
I don’t regret anything I’ve ever said. It’s just a shame things are misconstrued and I don’t get the opportunity to explain….I have never put my penis in a man. I’ve never had a c*ck in my *rse, and I have no f*cking desire for it. If that’s what you like, cool. But it doesn’t do it for me.
As for his straight life, Hardy has a seven-year-old son from a relationship with ex-girlfriend Rachael Speed. Speed and Hardy never married, but Hardy has tied the knot twice: his first marriage, to Sarah Ward, lasted from 1999 until 2004. His second, to fellow actor Charlotte Riley, began in 2008; the couple were engaged in 2010, and married last July.
So: Is Tom Hardy gay? The answer would appear to be: “Kinda.” Sexuality is flexible, y’all. Like emotion; like the human body in the heat of passion. But, if you’re disappointed, remember that we all get to watch Tom Hardy act–and that is a nice thing to do.
(Photo credits: Tom Hardy gay via MySpace)