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