Tom Hardy may be known for playing hardened characters, but in real life, he’s a man with a soft spot for animals.
“The Revenant” actor has penned a heartfelt tribute to his “bestest friend ever,” a 6-year-old rescue dog named Woodstock that died following a six-month battle with an inflammatory muscle disease called polymyositis.
“I don’t normally speak out about family and friends but this is an unusual circumstance,” he wrote in a blog post that was shared on Tumblr Wednesday. “He was far too young to leave us and we at home are devastated by his loss.”
In the detailed tribute, Hardy recalled first laying eyes on Woodstock when he was an 11-week-old puppy that was scared, hungry and covered in feces, near an Atlanta interstate during filming of his 2012 movie, “Lawless.”
After an uncertain chase near the bustling traffic, he was able to bring the dog to the safety of his car where he said the exhausted dog “lay on my shoulder and fell asleep.”
“Never forget that night. It was wonderful,” he wrote. “I will always be eternally grateful to Georgia. It gave me the greatest of joys of being a dog owner.”
A representative for Hardy confirmed to HuffPost UK that the actor had penned the tribute.
Woodstock went on to have a well-known presence as Hardy’s four-legged sidekick of sorts.
He appeared alongside him at the premier of his movie “Legend” and, as Hardy pointed out, earned a spot on Time magazine’s Most Influential Animals of 2016, coming in at number 73.
“He beat JAWS. Something we all thought was brilliant,” Harvey raved.
The pooch also protected his wife, actress Charlotte Riley, when she was pregnant with their child, he said.
“He was an Angel. And he was my best friend. We went through so much together,” Hardy praised his beloved dog. “Thank you Woody for choosing to find us. We will love you and be with you and you with us forever. Never ever ever forgotten. Your Boy tom,” he signed his letter.