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Tom Hardy Used His Past Mental Health Issues To Play 'Venom'

Tom Hardy Used His Past Mental Health Issues To Play 'Venom'

If you can make negative experiences positive, it's a useful tool to have. The film looks great, too

It's not long now until we get to see Tom Hardy in Venom at the cinema. It's due to be released at cinemas worldwide on 5 October, and the latest trailer has really set people talking about it.

Venom sees Tom Hardy taking on the role of a hapless journalist named Eddie Brock who - through a bizarre and unfortunate turn of events - becomes entangled with a malevolent alien symbiote called Venom.

Venom gives Brock a whole host of superpowers, but it all comes at a cost. The comic books were a fascinating exploration of how two beings with different ideas and minds can exist within the same body - constantly jostling for supremacy and control.

In a recent interview with Esquire magazine, Hardy spoke about how he used his own personal experiences and past mental health issues to inform his portrayal of the character.

Hardy has spoken previously about his struggles with alcohol and substance misuse, and he spoke again about how he used his previous knowledge of addiction and confrontation of the spectre of mental health to step into the role.


He said: "To me it's exciting because it's a double act. The character has an ethical framework, the alien by virtue of coming from another planet doesn't have the same ethical framework, and they have to work out how to be together, so they click.

"He now has a beast who lives rent-free in him. It could be like somebody who's contracted a tropical disease and gone mad.

"It's like acting out mental illness in some aspects, of which I have a fair understanding, having had a certain amount of mental health problems of my own, which are relevant, being an addict. So, I might as well fucking use it."

True enough, if you can turn negative experiences to more positive uses than that is a useful skill to have.

Speaking about his roles - Hardy plays both the alien Venom and Eddie Brock - he said that the internal battle between the two was one of the things that made him so interested in the role.

Even when the alien isn't visible, he is still wrestling for control of the body that he and Brock share, he said: "Constantly trying to negotiate internal politics, but no one else can see it, so it's just a man talking to himself."

Hardy obviously sees a lot of himself in the two characters. He added: "I think I have multiple personas and characters in me that present and represent different parts of me, that I allow to sit in the driving seat. They're all me."

Featured Image Credit: Sony/Marvel

Topics: Film, Entertainment, TV and Film, venom, Mental Health, Alcohol, Drugs, tom hardy, Marvel