“That really hurt”: Tom Hardy was Brutally Rejected for a Role that Made Matthew MacFadyen One of the Most Iconic Actors Ever

Tom Hardy's rejection contrasts with Matthew Macfadyen's iconic portrayal, shaping cinematic history in Pride & Prejudice.

"That really hurt": Tom Hardy was Brutally Rejected for a Role that Made Matthew MacFadyen One of the Most Iconic Actors Ever


  • Tom Hardy, known for tough guy roles, nearly landed Mr. Darcy in Pride & Prejudice but lost to Matthew Macfadyen.
  • Despite trying his hand at romance, Hardy's Hugh Grant impression couldn't sway directors, leaving him disappointed.
  • Matthew Macfadyen's portrayal of Mr. Darcy, in the 2005 Pride & Prejudice film, garnered commercial success and critical acclaim.
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In the world of movies, some roles just stick with you because of the actors who nail them. Take Matthew MacFadyen’s Mr. Darcy in the 2005 Pride & Prejudice flick, for example. But here’s a surprise: Tom Hardy, the tough guy from other movies, could’ve been in his shoes. Yeah, crazy, right? It turns out the 46-year-old auditioned for the role, but luck wasn’t on his side.

Hollywood actor Tom Hardy
Hollywood actor Tom Hardy

Instead, MacFadyen snagged it, making him a household name. It’s one of those what-if moments in Hollywood that make you wonder how things might’ve turned out differently.

Tom Hardy Wasn’t The Right Match For Mr. Darcy

Tom Hardy, one of the big shots in British movies, almost bagged the role of Mr. Darcy in Pride & Prejudice. He’s known for his versatility, playing tough guys like Bane and the Kray twins, and even Mad Max.


But get this, he also tried his hand at romance, going for roles like Mr. Darcy. Unfortunately, he missed out, and the role went to Matthew Macfadyen from Succession. Despite his tough guy roles, Hardy is actually a fan of classic characters like Mr. Darcy.

 Tom Hardy
Tom Hardy as Max Rockatansky in Warner Bros. Pictures

In an interview with the Telegraph, the actor spilled the beans about auditioning for the role. He even tried doing a Hugh Grant impression to sway director Joe Wright. But when Universal Studios boss Stacey Snider gave him the thumbs down, Hardy was crushed. He confessed,

“That hurt, that really hurt. I’d worn a blue shirt and jeans and a blue blazer and been doing my best Hugh Grant impression. But now I was back to playing the wonky skewiff-teeth kid with the bow legs.”

Despite his Hugh Grant-inspired outfit, he was back to square one, playing quirky characters. Snider gently explained why he didn’t get the gig, saying,


“Every woman in the world has an impression of who Darcy is and you’re just not it.”

While Macfadyen nailed the role and made history, you can’t help but wonder how things might’ve been different with Hardy. Nonetheless, this experience only added to Macfadyen’s legacy, solidifying him as one of the greats.

Matthew Macfadyen’s Mr. Darcy Role Made Him Iconic

Matthew Macfadyen's portrayal of Mr. Darcy
Matthew Macfadyen as Mr. Darcy (credit: via The Lighthouse)

Jane Austen’s character, Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice is a classic romantic hero loved by many.

Over the years, various actors have taken on the challenge of bringing him to life on screen. Colin Firth’s portrayal in the 1995 BBC miniseries is often praised, alongside Macfadyen’s performance in the 2005 film adaptation.


Both interpretations have their fans, and it ultimately boils down to personal preference. In the 2005 movie, Macfadyen’s portrayal of Darcy made waves. While some fans argue for Firth’s accuracy in the book, Macfadyen’s Darcy adds depth and emotional complexity to the character.

Despite the shorter screen time, Macfadyen captures Darcy’s pride and arrogance while infusing the role with a broader emotional range.

Moreover, Macfadyen’s portrayal contributed to the success of the 2005 adaptation, grossing over $121 million worldwide. His performance not only showcased his talent but also solidified his status as a memorable and iconic actor.


Written by Muskan Chaudhary

Articles Published: 694

Muskan Chaudhary, Junior Content Writer at Fandom wire. Having completed her degree in Commerce, she has written over 500 articles spanning FandomWire and Animated Times in the pop culture. She is dedicated to bring the latest and informative content from the entertainment world, thus expanding her knowledge in the field. Apart from her contributions to FandamWire, she has a keen interest in video games, sketching and playing tennis.