‘The Dark Knight Rises’: Tom Hardy Had to Wear Platform Boots to Appear the Same Height as Christian Bale

The Dark Knight Rises was the third and final entry in Christopher Nolan’s trilogy of Batman movies. Closing out the story of Christian Bale‘s Bruce Wayne, it pitted Batman against Tom Hardy‘s take on the supervillain Bane — a hulking and enigmatic man whose strength is matched only by his cunning — who plots to take over Gotham City and “break the Bat.” Hardy’s Bane was one of the standout performances of the film, and it’s something that drew praise from critics and audiences alike, especially when it came to his shocking physical transformation that went with it. While Hardy’s willingness to change himself for a role was never in question, there was one aspect of his body that he unfortunately couldn’t do anything about — his height.

Tom Hardy’s height compared to Christian Bale was an issue in ‘The Dark Knight Rises’

Tom Hardy and Christian Bale
Tom Hardy and Christian Bale attend the European Premiere of ‘The Dark Knight Rises.’ | Dave M. Benett/WireImage/Getty Images

In the comics, the character Bane is notable as being one of Batman’s most monstrous foes despite technically being just a human. He’s frequently portrayed as being well over 7 or 8 feet tall with bulging muscles. Looking at bulk alone, he could be compared to a less green version of Marvel’s Hulk.

Clearly, Hardy is none of these things as he is a man in real life. While some fans did complain about Hardy not being as unrealistically buff as his comics counterpart, many were satisfied due to his outstanding physicality and the way he carried himself throughout the role. The movie’s producers, however, were more concerned about his height than anything else.

In real life, Hardy’s height is a respectable 5 feet, 9 inches tall, but that still leaves him shorter than Bale, who is 6 feet tall. To even things out, Hardy wore 3-inch platform shoes while in the role of Bane. This let him stand evenly with Bale and fellow star Morgan Freeman, himself over 6 feet tall, as well.

Celebrities are frequently self-conscious about their height

Hardy being made to look taller than reality is nothing new in the world of Hollywood and celebrity. The Guardian has a whole article talking about some notable examples, ranging from Ringo Starr of the Beatles all the way to former French president Nicolas Sarkozy. Height is something a lot of people are sensitive about, especially men, as being a short man is frequently seen as emasculating. The reverse is typically true for tall women, who (as the article also gives an example of) are frequently made to feel insecure about being taller than men.

At the very least, Hardy himself doesn’t seem to feel all that bad about being slightly shorter than others. He’s even joked about it in the past, saying in an interview with Empire Magazine, “I appreciate that I’m five-foot-nine and I weigh 185lbs wet-through with bricks in my pockets.” Even without any camera tricks or special shoes, though, people frequently mistake the actor for being much taller than he actually is thanks to his confidence. It’s a lesson more people could stand to learn.


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Hardy’s height was about average amog his ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ co-stars

Despite all the hubbub about Tom Hardy’s height, he was actually about the average between his various co-stars during the movie’s shooting. As mentioned before, Bale’s Batman used his real 6-foot frame without enhancements. Both Freeman’s Lucius Fox and Michael Caine’s Alfred were 6 feet, 2 inches tall, easily making them the two tallest members of the main cast. On the other side of things, Anne Hathaway’s Catwoman was only 5 feet, 7 inches tall, while Marion Cotillard’s Miranda Tate was 1 inch shorter than her. Gary Oldman as Commissioner Gordon and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Officer Blake were also 5 feet, 9 inches tall, the same as Hardy in real life.