Ben Hardy is one of Britain’s brightest young actors, graduating from EastEnders to star in the likes of X-Men, Bohemian Rhapsody, and the upcoming Pixie. He speaks about the allure of fame and sharing his Instagram with Black Lives Matter
It’s at 1.2M followers, I’m conceited enough to know that,” says Ben Hardy, his features and gentle Dorset inflection slightly softened over Zoom when we speak in late September.
This isn’t some sort of not-so-humble brag – we’re talking about Hardy’s Instagram, which is looking a bit different these days. He handed the reins over to Black Lives Matter for the past three months, who ran three different takeovers, including one by the African Rainbow Family , an organisation working for equality for LGBTIQ people of African heritage; and one by activist and model Adenike, who campaigns for both BLM and Extinction Rebellion.
The content – powerful black-and-white shots from the BLM protests in July; brightly coloured squares detailing the facts about the struggles faced by the black community – is a definite departure from his previous posts.
Before the takeover, there’s a shot of Hardy slurping a milkshake alongside the words: “Getting my Kelis on.” Other posts include group shots from movie premieres, posed images from photoshoots (complete with self-deprecating captions) and silly BTS photos from last years’ Oscars.
All in all, it makes for quite the contrast – and it’s safe to say you wouldn’t initially have come to Hardy’s Instagram page to broaden your horizons on racial issues.
Instead, the 29 year old is probably better known for his roles on screens big and small. He first made his way into national consciousness during his stint as Peter Beale on EastEnders. From there, his career has made a stratospheric leap. He went on to play Archangel in X Men: Apocalypse in 2016, and in 2018 took on the role of Roger Taylor in the Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody.
The latter saw him earn a nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture at the 25th Screen Actors Guild Awards, while the film was also nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars. Most recently he plays lead character Frank in new comedy thriller Pixie, out in October.
And he isn’t only known for his acting talents. He has a plethora of Instagram fan accounts including one with the handle @hardyhoe (10k followers), populated by candid shots and details of his comings and goings.
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