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?”
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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.
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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.”
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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.”