To further his acting ambition, Hardy later studied at Richmond Drama School, and subsequently at the Drama Centre London.
He played the lead role of Stuart Shorter, a homeless man who had been subjected to years of abuse and whose death was possibly a suicide.
In 2008, Hardy starred in the film Bronson, about the real-life English prisoner Charles Bronson, who has spent most of his adult life in solitary confinement.
He appeared alongside Mark Rylance, Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy and Harry Styles.
In 2017, Hardy starred in the eight-part BBC One television drama series Taboo.
In the same year, he gained some heavy international exposure as the Reman Praetor Shinzon, a clone of USS Enterprise Captain Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: Nemesis.