Tom Hardy may best be known for playing the bad guy—like supervillain Bane in The Dark Knight Rises—but in real life, the 36-year-old has battled demons, such as alcoholism and drug addiction. However, in a recent interview, the star revealed he’s motivated to stay sober by an internal fear.
“I love what I do, but it’s driven by a fear of not being able to do it,” he said. “It’s the same with drinking—if I stop then who am I? What have I got?”
In the very candid interview, Tom said he was first enticed by drugs when he was 11 and the police visited his school to teach about the dangers of sniffing glue; by high school, he was expelled from boarding school and began to experiment with alcohol and crack cocaine—and battled addiction into his mid-20s.
In 2003, he checked himself into rehab and has remained clean ever since.
He admitted to The Daily Mirror that he thought he’d be able to make it through treatment and then return to drinking; it wasn’t until he did something “particularly heinous” that he was able to realize that he had a serious problem.
“I had to lose something,” Tom said. “Sometimes you have to lose something that is worth more to you than your drinking.”
Once he took action, Tom found help in the form of Alcohol Anonymous meetings and found that working filled a void once filled by substances; still, staying clean, to Tom, is managing the fear that he’s instilled in himself.
“It doesn’t matter how well I am doing,” he said. “I’m only that far away from f**king it all up.”