How Tom Hardy got ‘obsessed’ with ‘Venom’ – and decided to take on the Marvel universe

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – He laughs at the notion, but it’s true: Tom Hardy has gone Hollywood.

The well-inked English actor, who rose to fame in raw, brawny movies such as  “Bronson” and “Warrior,” has been slowly ascending in major studio films for some time. “The Dark Knight Rises.” “Mad Max: Fury Road.” “The Revenant,” which earned him his first Oscar nomination.

Cut to 2018, and he’s the face of Sony Pictures’ burgeoning Marvel universe, thanks to the comic book adaptation “Venom” (in theaters Friday). “I’m half the face,” Hardy deadpans, his baseball cap recently discarded. He points to Exhibit A: a movie poster 10 feet away in which the actor’s head is half-covered by a terrifying, toothy alien.

In “Venom,” Hardy plays the amorphous, carnivorous parasite who slimes into San Francisco and into the body of an investigative journalist named Eddie Brock (also played by Hardy). The PG-13 film, far darker than its Disney-backed, “Avengers”-style brethren, is more akin to menacing, if wry, films such as  “Ghostbusters” and Tim Burton’s “Batman.” 

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