Considered an underrated gem of Hollywood, the 2008 movie Bronson revolves around the life of Michael Peterson, a young man who was sentenced to seven-year confinement on the charges of robbing a post office. Portrayed by Tom Hardy, the biographical action thriller follows the life of Peterson, who later develops an alter-ego and is famously known as Charles Bronson from 1987.
The story of Britain’s most violent criminal, the Nicolas Winding Refn movie mostly received positive reviews barring a few that criticized it for its violence. However, what many critics would have failed to recognize is how the film showcased a part of the real Bronson on screen.
When the real Charles Bronson shaved off his hair for Tom Hardy
Widely appreciated for Hardy’s acting, screenplay writing, as well as its direction, Bronson received critical acclaim for rationalizing and portraying Charles Bronson’s behavior to the wider audiences. With an aim to make the movie as close to reality as possible, Tom Hardy had multiple conversations with an imprisoned Bronson during the production phase of the film.
Prior to meeting him in person, Hardy contacted Bronson over the telephone. And when he met the Venom actor in person, he was impressed by the physique he managed to build for the role. Moreover, he couldn’t believe how good Hardy was at impersonating him.
Highly influenced by the actor’s dedication to the role, Bronson shaved off his trademark mustache for Hardy to use it as a prop and wear it in the film. Admitting that he does not believe anyone else on the planet can play his role like Tom Hardy did, Bronson said that he felt that Hardy was more like him than he himself was.
Initially, Bronson was not allowed to watch the film. And respecting the decision, he said that if his mother likes the movie, he too will love it. However, in November 2011, he received the permission to watch the movie.
Charles Bronson’s reaction to the movie
Reportedly, on November 15, 2011, Charles Bronson watched the biographical action thriller based on his life. Calling it “theatrical, creative, and brilliant,” Bronson showered praises upon Hardy for his exceptional acting skills.
Bronson, who was initially not happy about casting Hardy, gained an immense amount of trust in the actor when he watched his performance in the movie. Applauding the Inception actor, Bronson said, “If I were to die in jail then at least I live on through Britain’s No 1 actor.”
The movie was a critical success with box office collections amounting to around $2.3 million. Apart from studying Bronson’s life and thought process, Hardy had to invest an insane amount of time and effort in gaining fat and building muscles for the role.