Tom Hardy’s ‘Venom’ Voice Was Inspired by the Wildest Trio of Famous People
Next to his hulking frame and pleasant face, Tom Hardy has become best known for the interesting and sometimes wacky voices he assigns to each of his roles — like Bane, who sounded like Monopoly’s Uncle Pennybags negotiating to release hostages through a bullhorn. Based on the trailers for Venom, ol’ Tommy Boy has come up with another delightful voice for us to enjoy. If you’ve ever wondered about Hardy’s approach to crafting these idiosyncratic inflections, the actor has given us a peek inside his “process,” revealing the rather surprising inspirations for his version of Eddie Brock.
When you hire Tom Hardy for a movie, you don’t just get an actor or even an Actor, you get a whole experience. And, as he explains in a new interview with Esquire, though his methods are perhaps unconventional to some, he “cannot give a f—k” what anyone thinks of them. Take Eddie Brock, aka Venom, for instance: Hardy tells the magazine that when coming up with the voice(s) for the classic Spider-Man villain, he took inspiration from some surprising places:
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.” Those are not details he revealed to the execs at Sony, which is producing the movie. “You don’t say shit like that to the studio,” he says.
Hardy implies that Sony execs probably wouldn’t have been thrilled with his choices, but I disagree: I mean, when you hire Tom Hardy, you’re hiring his voice, too — a voice that, in this case, is inspired by a problematic director, a UFC fighter, and a rapper who had a major supporting role in Seed of Chucky.
And have you seen the trailers for this Venom movie? It looks like a thinly-veiled metaphor for Hardy’s relationship with his own voice, which often seems like it has a mind of its own. Don’t believe me? Read Hardy’s response when asked about the Spider-Man universe:
“If the odds are stacked against Sony, that’s not my fucking business,” Hardy says. “It’s irrelevant.” He burnishes an image of himself as a creative lone wolf, and in the third person no less: “Tom is very mercenary when it comes to work. I cannot give a fuck what the writer, or the director, or Larry in Baltimore thinks about my choices.” (He later clarifies the perspective shift: “Sometimes I talk in the third person because it’s a lot easier to see myself at work as a piece of meat. So when Tommy says he doesn’t give a fuck what you think, it’s only because I give too much of a fuck, and it gets to a point where it stifles me.”) But it’s hard to square his claims of artistic purity with the occasional very non-lone-wolf detail like, “Market research shows that the biggest fan base for Venom is ten-year-old boys in South America.”
My man here is talking in the third person because apparently Tom Hardy the actor is entirely separate from Tom Hardy the person; actor Tom, in his own words, is just a (very well-paid) “piece of meat.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Hardy reveals that the voice he’s carefully selected for his role in Josh Trank’s Fonzo — in which the slab of beef plays gangster Al Capone — is based on Bugs Bunny. You know, the iconic Warner Bros. cartoon rabbit. Bugs. Bunny.
Maybe I’ve spent too much time reading this interview, but this handsome pile of brisket is starting to make sense. Looney Tunes does sound like the kind of thing Hardy would be into; in fact, you could describe most of his characters as borderline cartoonish lunatics. Who also happen to resemble giant mountains of meats.