Tom Hardy was banned from visiting Charles Bronson in prison, according to Bronson’s son, George Bamby.
Hardy portrayed Bronson – who is known as ‘Britain’s most notorious prison inmate’ – in 2008’s Bronson, which was directed by Nicholas Winding Refn and based in part on Bronson’s life.
Bronson was convicted of armed robbery in 1974 and released in 1987, but later returned to prison in 1988 after being convicted of planning another robbery. After numerous attacks and taking several hostages whilst an inmate, Bronson was later sentenced to life imprisonment and deemed ‘Britain’s most violent inmate.’
In preparation for the role, Hardy visited Bronson in prison on several occasions. However, once the film was in cinemas, Hardy was told he could no longer visit Bronson.
Appearing on Anything Goes with James English, Bamby said: “I don’t think he’s spoke to Tom for a couple of years, but it’s like anything with Charlie.”
Tom Hardy in ‘Bronson’ – Credit: Alamy
“…Tom was really nice to him, because obviously he wanted to do the film and he went to see and learn all about him and all the rest of it. But since Bronson came out, the prison service have banned Tom from visiting.”
When asked about the reasons why Hardy was banned from visiting, Bamby said: “Well, because he’d just brought a film out, Bronson. And it’s a fucking Hollywood blockbuster and it’s all over the place and everyone knows it.
“They don’t want prisoners being portrayed into being big movie stars.”
Speaking about his work with Hardy on Bronson, director Winding Refn told NME in 2015 that he “really enjoyed working with him” on the film.
He added: “I mean, look, he’s just one of the greatest actors the UK has ever produced. He’s so versatile and visually he’s very intriguing to look at. And of course he has great theatrical skills from his time doing stage work, so he really understands acting and different approaches to performance. He’s also a really nice guy.”