Tom Hardy is no stranger to the world of comic books. He famously played Bane in The Dark Knight Returns, and now he’s taking on a role that many never expected him to take: Venom.
The anti-hero has a complicated backstory and an even more complicated moral compass—which is exactly what drew Hardy to the role. That and the fact that Venom looks cool.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Hardy talked about Venom and why he decided to help kick off Sony’s Spider-Man universe.
“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.”
The struggle is not necessarily making Venom likable, but sympathetic. Hardy said he liked the duality of the role and bringing the human condition to such a dangerous character. Hardy plays a journalist named Eddie Brock who is exposed to a symbiote, which gives him extraordinary abilities.
“There’s something funny about the circumstances of having a gift but it’s a tragic gift,” Hardy said. “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.”
Hardy was drawn to the complexity of essentially playing two characters. He isn’t playing just Eddie Brock or just Venom, but both at the same time. As seen in the trailer, Brock responds to the symbiote with fear, but later learns to embrace his newfound friend.
Comic book fans are very familiar with Venom’s nastier side. Can Hardy bring a balance that makes for an interesting dual personality? We’ll find out when Venom hits theaters on October 5.