Tom Hardy stops short of stating fatherhood saved him – but it did make him “get his act together”
The 38-year-old actor who has both Irish and English heritage, has a seven-year-old son with his ex-girlfriend Rachael Speed.
In October (15) his wife Charlotte Riley gave birth to their first child, Louis. Becoming a dad was a profound experience for Tom, who spent time in rehab to battle addiction issues and has been clean for over a decade.
“I wouldn’t say it saved my life, but it definitely changed my life,” he told Britain’s The Daily Mail newspaper. “That was when the penny dropped that there was no longer very much time for me to think about myself any more – about what I might like to do or who I want to be – because there is somebody now on the planet who really needs me to get my act together and focus on something that is more important than me.”
Tom has become known for playing violent and evil characters – he starred as Bane in 2012 Batman movie The Dark Knight Rises and played twin gangsters Ronnie and Reggie Kray in 2015’s Legend. At home he’s simply known as a dad though – in part because as of yet Louis hasn’t been allowed to see him on screen.
“My older son really wants to watch Mad Max (Fury Road), but I’ve told him that he can’t – he’s got to watch the Harry Potter films first!” he laughed.
The star is drawn to dark characters, explaining playing them means he can experiment with a fantasy world. It allows him to understand what it would be like to live on the edges of society, insisting in real life he has no time for the sort of violence which encapsulates his alter egos.
“You might be surprised to hear that I feel very healthily indifferent to anything like that, because I do know that it’s pretend!” he laughed.
“Now, out here in the real world, there are real-life people who do heinous and horrible things. And they’re not just in the gangster world, either. You can go right through society, from commerce, to politics, to shopkeepers, and find them in all walks of life. The bad people out there are terrifying.”
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