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What Happened to Tom Hardy's Tattoos in THE DARK KNIGHT RISES? [Movies]

"I'm from a nice, suburban, middle-class family, but my tattoos remind me where I've been," Tom Hardy said. If you watched The Dark Knight Rises you probably enjoyed Tom Hardy's performance as Bane, but if you're a Tom Hardy fan you probably wondered: What happened to his tattoos?

Tom got his first tattoo, the leprechaun on his outer right bicep at age 15. Since then he's gotten dozens of tattoos that cover his shoulders and arms. Bane is supposed to be from a foreign prison and wouldn't have tattoos of Leprechauns and Madonna on his arms, so they got rid of them. How?

It turns out a bunch of people wondered the same thing and came to the surprising conclusion that it was done in post-production using CGI. It's pretty cool, but completely false.  WhatCulture said, "You’d think the easy way for Bane to appear inkless (because what sane tattoo artist would go near him with a needle) would be make up, but some production stills clearly show Hardy on set with Mother Mary on full show, suggesting it was a post production job with the art CGI’d out."

Looking at behind-the-scenes pictures, it would look like Tom Hardy's tattoos were covered in post-production, but it was deceptively simple. They used heavy pancake makeup. You can tell because one of the shots shows the makeup smearing off.

What about the shots from the stadium without makeup? Another easy answer: He wore shirts. He wore long sleeve shirts and coats in a lot of scenes. So they didn't need the makeup. All the stadium pictures have him without a shirt, but the movie shows him with a coat on. Why? Because it was filmed in the summertime and it was hot in that coat and mask. So Tom Hardy would take the coat off between takes.

As final proof, here's a behind-the-scenes shot of Hardy with director Christopher Nolan. If they used CGI to get rid of the tattoos Tom Hardy would still have the tats. There would be no point in airbrushing a behind-the-scenes picture.
So that ends that.

Are you surprised by how they got rid of Hardy's tattoos? Would you have believed the rumors about CGI?

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  1. I always assumed it was CGI. That now has been debunked!

  2. Good old fashioned makeup - good for them!

  3. I totally believed it David! This article started because I started hunting down the CGI artists because I figured it was a fascinating story. After a fruitless search I started in the other direction and came to the truth. It would have been awesome if it was true though.

  4. Fascinating! I assumed it was CGI too.

    By the way, a buddy of mine was one of the Gotham football players in that scene. He got to keep the jersey, and he's going to be in Batman vs Superman too.

  5. CGI is a logical explanation but I suppose the makeup was probably cheaper. Plus then we didn't need to add three-dozen more names to the credits. I thought I heard that they used CGI on Anjelina Jolie in some movie she's in.

  6. No matter what happen to the tattoo of tom hardy, he is the best 2nd villain of Batman, I really like the bane's coat and the role he played in this movie and they way he had destroyed batman's Empire and captured that technology of Wayne Enterprises.


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