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‘Venom’: Tom Hardy Explains the Two Reasons He Signed On to Play the Iconic Comic Book Villain

Hardy is the face of the October superhero tentpole, which carries a hard R rating and a lot of fan expectations.

"Venom"

“Venom”

Sony/YouTube

Superhero tentpoles are having a record-breaking year thanks to the success of “Black Panther” and “Avengers: Infinity War,” and more success is likely with the fall release of “Venom.” The Sony-backed, R-rated tentpole stars Tom Hardy as the legendary villain. Hardy opened up to Entertainment Weekly ahead of Comic-Con about the main reasons he finally said “yes” to leading a major Hollywood tentpole. The first reason is simple: Venom looks awesome.

“As far as Marvel characters, I have to say for me, Venom looks the coolest,” Hardy said. “That sounds a bit shallow! But I appreciate that he has a kind of brazen swagger and a zero foxtrot attitude.”

“Venom” stars Hardy as Eddie Brock, a journalist who tries to save his public image after a scandal by writing a story investigating the Life Foundation and its leader, Dr. Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed). Brock’s investigation leads him into a lab, where he comes into contact with an alien symbiote who uses his body as a host.

“There’s a tragic clown element, which I find funny and is harmonious with some of the work that I like to do,” Hardy said about the role. “There’s something funny about the circumstances of having a gift but it’s a tragic gift. It’s a superpower you don’t really want, but at the same time, you love it. It makes you feel special. He’s a reluctant hero and an anti-hero.”

The second and arguably more important reason Hardy was attracted to the movie was the fact his character is ultimately a dual role: Brock and Venom. Hardy said developing each character’s distinct personality and voice was a major reason he signed on.

“It’s a bit like Ren and Stimpy, you know?” Hardy said. “They have different sounds. I always saw Venom as sounding like a James Brown lounge lizard, and Eddie Brock is kind of…I don’t know, an everyday kind of guy. But he’s inherited this massive ego, this beast.”

Part of the film’s humor comes Brock’s reactions to Venom’s more graphic behavior, which includes dismembering his victims with his teeth. “There’s that biting-off-heads issue,” Hardy said with a laugh, “which is not what you would expect from, say, Captain America taking down a crook.”

“Venom” opens in theaters October 5. Head over to Entertainment Weekly for more about the film and Hardy’s involvement.

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