Believe me, this film can just be Tom Hardy speaking to the camera for two hours, and not a single soul will complain. The man is abso-fucking-lutely incredible, of course, part of it is thanks to Refn's superb direction. In Bronson, Hardy had put everything he has into playing the most violent prisoner in Britain, from being drugged out of his mind, drooling all over his mouth to brawling with prison guards, butt naked and covered in butter. If Hardy wasn't already such a well known actor, I'd have thought they went talent scouting in a mental asylum and hired the most dangerous patient to star in this. He laughed, yelled, screamed, and made that Ju-on clicking noise with his throat. Even Michael Peterson himself had described his performance as "absolute madness at it's very best."
If you think you know what kind of actor Tom Hardy is without watching Bronson, you might want to think again.