Tom Hardy is the British movie star of such films as The Dark Knight Rises, Dunkirk, and the upcoming Marvel spin-off Venom. He’s also currently celebrating thirteen years of sobriety and has been speaking out about his battles with addiction.
Wrestling With the Beast of Addiction
As Metro reports, Hardy had a troubled youth. Your Tango reports that Hardy started experimenting with drugs at the age of 13. He was kicked out of boarding school, and he did several stints in jail as a youth.
Hardy also struggled with anxiety. “I’m just a frightened bloke,” he told Your Tango. “Everything scares me. Not being in control, not knowing, anticipation, waiting for something to go wrong.”
Hardy turned his back on drugs in 2003. His marriage collapsed, and he did a stint in rehab to get himself together.
Like many suffering from addiction, Hardy had a bottom, and he said at his lowest he was willing to “sell my mother” for cocaine. He went “entirely off the rails” after a movie he starred in, Star Trek: Nemesis flopped at the box office. While he wound up passed out in a pool of puke before getting sober, he says, “I’m lucky I didn’t have some terrible accident or end up in prison or dead – because that’s where I was going.”
Hardy calls addiction a disease and “my beast.” He says, “Now I know my beast and I know how to manage it. It’s like living with a 400-pound orangutan that wants to kill me. It’s much more powerful than me, doesn’t speak the same language and it runs around in the darkness of my soul.”
The Turning Point
Hardy came to a point where he says he became “a shameful suburban statistic. I was told very clearly, ‘You go down that road, Tom, you won’t come back.’ That’s it. All you need to know. That message stayed with me clearly for the rest of my days. I am fucking lucky to be here.”
Not that his journey has been easy. “It was hard enough for me to say, ‘I’m an alcoholic.’ But staying stopped is fucking hard.”
When Hardy first went into rehab, he says he “went in thinking I’d do it for a little bit until I can go out and drink and people forgive me. I did my 28 days, and after listening to people who had been through similar circumstances I realized I did have a problem.”
Hardy told GQ, “I’ve been sober longer than I’d been drinking now. It’s a nice place to be. But I don’t turn my back on it – it doesn’t mean for one minute it can’t bite me in the ass. It’s part of ‘the story’ that I used to be Bad Boy Tom – because that’s not true either. Just bog-standard drunk – got lucky, got recovery, stuck to it like fucking glue. Really grateful.”
Hardy’s fans are grateful he pulled himself together and became one of the most versatile and unique actors in the business. While Hardy is certainly glad he’s a successful actor, he’s clearly more proud of being sober and a good family man.