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Tom Hardy’s 3 Venom Inspirations Are Not What You’re Expecting

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With the release of Venom now less than two months away, fans are getting closer to experiencing another dedicated, carefully crafted performance from Tom Hardy.

In a colourful new Esquire profile, he admits that he knew little about Eddie Brock/Venom when he signed on for the role but that following a scrupulous investigation, he came up with three key sources of inspiration: Woody Allen (his “tortured neurosis and all the humour that can come from that”), Redman (“out of control, living rent-free in his head”), and Irish mixed martial artist Conor McGregor (“the überviolence, but not all the talking”). Of course, none of this came up when Hardy was trying to land the role. As he explains, “You don’t say sh*t like that to the studio.”

With Venom, Sony intends to launch its own superhero universe, but Hardy hasn’t put much thought into the commercial viability of this enterprise. “If the odds are stacked against Sony, that’s not my f*cking business,” he says. “Tom is very mercenary when it comes to work. I cannot give a f*ck what the writer, or the director, or Larry in Baltimore thinks about my choices.”

Asked about his unusual use of the third person, Hardy reveals a conflicted inner life reminiscent of one Venom role model’s “tortured neurosis”—but with way more swearing. “Sometimes I talk in the third person because it’s a lot easier to see myself at work as a piece of meat,” he explains. “So when Tommy says he doesn’t give a f*ck what you think, it’s only because I give too much of a f*ck, and it gets to a point where it stifles me.”

Venom arrives in theatres on October 5. Check out the trailer below.