HARDY KIND OF VENOM
ACTOR JUST WANTED TO PLAY THIS HERO AND MONSTER CHARACTER
Playing the hero and the monster all wrapped up into one character intrigued Tom Hardy. The Oscar nominee, who has played his fair share of villains and even twin gangsters on the big screen, joins the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Venom. The stand-alone film tells the story of journalist Eddie Brock, who bonds with a powerful alien symbiote. Q: Did you read any superhero comic books when you were a kid? A: I had a look at Spider-man and a look at Batman but I found them too complicated for me as a youngster. I remember those sorts of comic books being for a more discerning crowd. There were record collectors and comic collectors; they were specific to a certain type of person. I used to watch Batman on the telly, the original show where he is wearing grey Lycra, and I used to watch the old movie over and over again where Batman fights the rubber shark. Q: What about now you have kids? A: Having children myself, I’ve realised that they know everything about this stuff ! But when I looked at Superman and I looked at Spider-man, I wasn’t drawn into their heroism. They were cool for an eight-year-old but they didn’t hold me as an adult. I gravitate towards things that are a little darker. Q: What did you think of Venom when you first came across him? A: Now, Venom is cool, man – he’s a badass. My son was telling me all about him – he loves Venom. He’s a great character to play because Venom is ruthless and, basically, there are no rules. He’s so complex. Q: Do you see yourself as playing multiple characters in this film – Eddie Brock on the one hand, then Venom on the other hand? A: Yes. There was a lot of range to play within the psychological dynamics of this superhero movie. And I found that to be exciting because it is multi-personality: one is a human character and the other is an alien. I get to play opposite a seven-foot-tall creature. And Eddie Brock has to handle that living inside him. The two of them have a union in one. “We are Venom”, is their mantra. Q: Did playing these two elements in one character recall your work on Legend? A: It is similar to Legend in a way. I thought it would be really cool because I could pick up where I left off playing the Kray twins in Legend. And with Venom ,I could do it in both fantasy and reality. Venom has an insatiable appetite and doesn’t conform to any of our human rules. It is like the Midas Touch – you have everything and nothing. The two of them, Eddie and Venom, they need each other. If one of them dies, then they both die. They’re like an odd couple. One is a seven-foot alien and the other is a five-foot-nine investigative journalist who would rather not run up a building. In a way, Eddie is forced to come to terms with the darker side of his personality that the symbiote brings out. Q: Did you like the fact that this film is solely about Venom and does not feature Spider-man? A: The movie stands alone, absolutely. A man gets a parasite in him that turns into a f---ing big alien. That in itself held water. There are several recipients of Venom in the Marvel history and I was open to what my version of that might be, and what I might do with the character. It didn’t make much difference to me whether he ends up in the wider Marvel universe later on. I just wanted to play Venom. Venom opens in cinemas on Thursday.