I’m from a nice, suburban, middle-class family, but my tattoos remind me where I’ve been.

Tom got his first tattoo, the leprechaun on his outer right bicep, aged 15. Since then he has had his life documented in tattoos, each one having a deep and personal meaning.

The Irish leprechaun; an ode to his Irish heritage on his mother’s side. Not that she was impressed. “She kept saying ‘my beautiful boy, my beautiful boy,'” he recalls, laughing.

The leprechaun now has a large tribal design that swirls around it. You can’t actually see the leprechaun tattoo in Warrior as the makeup people covered it up by expanding and filling in some of the tribal design that surrounds it.

The tattoo across the right side of Tom’s stomach reads Til I die SW. Tom got this tattoo for his ex-wife Sarah Ward who he was with from 1999 to 2004. He also has a large dragon on his left arm which was an ode to Sarah Ward as she was born in the year of the dragon.

“That’s what you call a mistake tattoo,” he laughs. He points out a couple of other places where her initials have been tattooed over, in one case by a large rock design. “I had the boulder pushed right over that one.”

Underneath the dragon is the name of his agent Lindy King who he promised that if she got him into Hollywood, he would get her name tatooed on him.

“I said ‘if you ever get me into Hollywood, I’ll get your name tattooed on me.’ So I did.”

When his then girlfriend Rachael Speed found out she was pregnant, Tom got the tattoo of a star on his left shouder. Close by is a Renaissance inspired portrait of the Madonna cradling a baby with a graffiti background (not finished in the image below).

This work does not just honour Louis, Hardy explains, but also Hardy himself; his own renaissance, or re-birth.
“That was about mothering me,” he says. “I went through a lot of stuff leaving home and becoming a father and growing up to be my own mother. I have a mother; she’s amazing. But this is about being able to mother my parents and my son and myself – which is very painful. Getting my head around that growth spurt.”

Above Tom’s left elbow is the London skyline shown below with a more complete picture of The Madonna and baby tattoo.

“In addition to the Madonna and child and the Union Jack, he is planning a large tattoo on his back: an angel-themed portrait based on a photograph he took of his fiancée, Charlotte Riley, which will float above a rendering of the London skyline.”

Tom’s got the Marine Corps number of his best friend’s father tattooed across his chest above Comedy and tragedy masks with “Smile Now Cry Later”.

One of Tom’s most recent tattoos is the Union Jack on his left pectoral.

The latest pieces, including his Union Jack, Madonna and child and the portrait of his fiancee have been inked by the Bryan Glatiotis of Darkday Tattoo Studios in Vancouver while filming This Means War.

Tribal scorpion on left shoulderblade. Padre Fiero (proud father) on left clavicle. Figlio mio belissimo (my beautiful son) around lower right bicep.
Single line cross on inner right shoulder. Quill with the word “Skribe” on inner right bicep. Portrait of Charlotte Riley on back left ribs.