He’s not just a tough guy on screen.
Actor Tom Hardy shocked a group of martial artists in England after secretly participating in a jiu-jitsu competition over the weekend.
The Oscar-nominated star, 45, an accomplished blue belt in the self-defense discipline, not only competed at the 2022 Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Open Championship, but also took home the gold.
Hardy’s surprise appearance at the event seemed to be a hit with both attendees and spectators at the open event in Milton Keynes, 90 minutes north of London.
According to The Guardian, Hardy entered the competition under his real name, “Edward,” moving away from his stage name, which is also his middle name.
“Everyone recognized him, but he was very humble and was happy to take his time for people to take pictures with him,” the rep said, according to The Guardian. “It was a real pleasure to have him at our event.”
Hardy’s opponent, Danny Appleby, told local media that the actor’s performance at the event left him “shocked”.
“I was shocked,” said the experienced athlete. “[Hardy] said, ‘Just forget it’s me, doing what you normally would.'”
Appleby called the actor a “really tough guy,” saying, “You wouldn’t believe it when he’s a celebrity.”
“I’ve competed in about six tournaments and I’ve been on the podium in every one. But he’s probably the toughest competitor I’ve ever had — he certainly lived up to his Bane character, that’s for sure,” he said, referring to Hardy’s character in the hit 2012 film The Dark Knight Rises .
Last month, Hardy won two medals in a jiu-jitsu fundraiser for REORG, an organization that promotes jiu-jitsu as a form of therapy for veterans with mental health problems.
Hardy entered a grueling training program at the organization in preparation for his 2011 film Warrior.