Tom Hardy had big shoes to fill when he was cast at age 25 in 2002’s Star Trek Nemesis to play Shinzon, a young clone of Captain Picard—in effect, a younger version of Sir Patrick Stewart’s iconic TNG character. The big-screen role was perhaps the most difficult and scrutinized of Hardy’s young career, but a decade later the East Sheen/London native’s theatre and film stature had grown to the point he was winning leads in the 2012 Batman piece The Dark Knight Rises and the title character of the new fourth and fifth installments of the “Mad Max” films.

Born Edward Thomas Hardy in 1977, the actor had a self-admitted rough life in crime and drugs as a teen but has been “clean and sober” since 2005, three years after Nemesis.  After a full career on stage, Hardy broke out in film in Black Hawk Down, the film that got him noticed for Shinzon, as well as his US TV debut in HBO’s Band of Brothers. He returned to the UK and won several stage awards as his career matured, now topped by his breakout screen performance as Eames in Christopher Nolan’s film Inception. Other recent credits include the movies Warrior and This Means War.