Tom Hardy Talks Booze, Crack, and Waking Up in Vomit
The A-list star lost control at an early age, but ultimately picked himself up off the floor. Literally.
Tom Hardy, star of such blockbusters as Inception (2010) and The Dark Knight Rises (2012), was once an out-of-control addict who nearly derailed his life and career with drugs and alcohol.
“I didn’t want anyone to know I was out of control, but I couldn’t hide it,” Hardy said. “Eventually, the body gives up. I was completely kaput. I was lucky I didn’t get hepatitis or AIDS.”
The London-born actor recently opened up in a sit-down with fellow former addict, Kenny Ross, which was organized by The Prince’s Trust, a charity group that helps disadvantaged youths. Hardy currently serves as the charity’s ambassador and described how he began getting into trouble at 13, when he was already experimenting with hallucinogens. Originally from an affluent home, he was kicked out of boarding schools for theft, and quickly found himself wallowing in crack cocaine and alcohol addiction. Hardy was arrested for stealing a Mercedes and possessing a gun at 17, but somehow managed to get off without punishment.
Hardy’s descent into addiction only intensified even though he studied method acting at Drama Centre London and had a significant part in Ridley Scott’s Black Hawk Down (2001). But after waking up in a puddle of his own blood and vomit on the streets of Soho in 2003, Hardy finally decided to seek help. “I went in thinking I’d do it for a little bit until I can go out and drink and people forgive me,” he said. “But I did my 28 days, and after listening to people who had been through similar circumstances I realized I did have a problem.”
Though admitting that his addiction to drugs and alcohol defined his early life, Hardy now feels that his work has taken its place. “Sometimes it’s like drinking the next beer, I will do the next film and the next, keep going, keep going,” he said. “If I stop working they might take it away from me. People will say ‘Tommy you’re doing well’ and I say ‘Am I?’”
“I love what I do, but it’s driven by a fear of not being able to do it. It’s the same with drinking – if I stop then who am I? What have I got?”