The “Locke” actor, 36, opened up to the May issue of Esquire about playing Bane in “The Dark Knight Rises” and his image as a macho man.
"I have always been frightened with men," Hardy said. "To the point where I couldn’t go into a gym because of the testosterone and I felt weak. I don’t feel very manly," he continued. "I don’t feel rugged and strong and capable in real life, not how I imagine a man ought to be. So I seek it, to mimic it and maybe understand it, or maybe to draw it into my own reality. People who are scary, they terrify me, but I can imitate them."
The actor opened up about ‘not feeling manly’ among othe men in the gym. ”I’m not a fighter. I’m a petit little bourgeois boy from London,” he added. “I don’t fight, I mimic.”
The actor also opened up about his struggles with substance abuse. “I was a shameful suburban statistic,” Hardy said, noting that his alcohol and drug use led to him getting kicked out of school in his younger days. “I was told very clearly, ‘You go down that road, Tom, you won’t come back. That’s it. All you need to know.’ And that message stayed with me very clearly for the rest of my days. The beginning, really, of a new life.”
"I couldn’t value life until I risked losing something worth more to me than my behavior," the actor explained. "I am f—-ing lucky to be here, to be honest. Any near-death experience — if you’re lucky enough to f—-ing realize that it is one — is going to leave an indelible mark on you. And then you add shame and guilt and fear into that, it’s a recipe for awareness if you have the ability to become aware from it. And good things can come back into your life."
ph. Greg Williams