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Tom Hardy Says He Channeled ‘Woody Allen’s Tortured Neurosis’ for ‘Venom,’ but He Didn’t Tell Sony That

Hardy also channeled mixed martial arts champion Connor McGregor when creating his upcoming screen version of Eddie Brock/Venom.

Tom Hardy, "Venom"

Tom Hardy, “Venom”


Tom Hardy is taking on the most visible role of his career in Sony’s “Venom,” in which he plays skittish journalist Eddie Brock and his eponymous alter-ego. In order to tackle the challenge of playing the movie’s dual roles, Hardy looked to an odd mix of reference points. The actor revealed to Esquire it was none other than Woody Allen that informed his approach to Brock.

While reading the script, Hardy said Eddie Brock and Venom reminded him of three specific people: “Woody Allen’s tortured neurosis and all the humor that can come from that. Conor McGregor—the überviolence but not all the talking. And Redman—out of control, living rent-free in his head.”

Hardy admitted he knew better than to tell the executives at Sony about channeling Allen and this unusual mix of influences when he was being considered for the role. “You don’t say shit like that to the studio,” Hardy said.

Anyone who has watched one of the three “Venom” trailers Sony has released can probably spot Woody Allen’s trademark jitters in Hardy’s approach to Brock. The actor told Esquire he spent over a year researching and preparing to play Brock/Venom. Unsurprisingly, Hardy had a similarly strange approach to taking on Al Capone, who he plays in Josh Trank’s upcoming “Fonzo.” The actor said Bugs Bunny was the influence behind his take on the infamous mob boss.

“Venom” opens in theaters nationwide on October 5. Head over to Esquire to read Hardy’s profile in its entirety.

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