Sunday 25 September 2016

Tom Hardy says fatherhood changed him after 'dark times' of drug addiction

Sasha Brady

Published 22/01/2016 | 10:23

Actor Tom Hardy grew a beard for The Revenant.
Actor Tom Hardy grew a beard for The Revenant.
Tom Hardy and his wife Charlotte Riley attending the Legend world premiere at Odeon Leicester Square
Tom Hardy and Charlotte Riley at the British Independent Film Awards in London

Tom Hardy has spoken about how acting and fatherhood changed him life after his 'dark times' of drug addiction.

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The British actor and his wife Charlotte Riley gave birth to the couple's first child last October. Tom also has a seven-year-old son Louis with ex-girlfriend Rachel Speed.

Becoming a father was a profound experience for Tom who battled drug addiction issues in his past. The 38-year-old actor has been sober for over a decade now and credits acting and fatherhood with changing his life for the better.

"I wouldn’t say it saved my life, but it definitely changed my life," he told Britain's The Daily Mail newspaper.

Tom Hardy and his wife Charlotte Riley attending the Legend world premiere at Odeon Leicester Square
Tom Hardy and his wife Charlotte Riley attending the Legend world premiere at Odeon Leicester Square

"That was when the penny dropped that there was no longer very much time for me to think about myself any more - about what I might like to do or who I want to be - because there is somebody now on the planet who really needs me to get my act together and focus on something that is more important than me."

The Oscar-nominated actor was plagued by drug and alcohol addiction from a young age. He was expelled from his boarding school in Surrey for stealing and by the age of 16 he was addicted to alcohol and crack cocaine, occasionally running into trouble with the law.

Leonardo DiCaprio, left, and Tom Hardy are both nominated in the best actor category
Leonardo DiCaprio, left, and Tom Hardy are both nominated in the best actor category

He was so heavily addcited that he once reportedly said: "I would have sold my mother for a rock of crack."

The Revenant star's issues came to a head when he was found lying in a pool of blood and vomit in London after collapsing from a crack cocaine binge.

"That was a lesson to me,’ he said later.

He now tries to help others as an ambassador for The Prince’s Trust, but knows that the dangers of addiction never really go away.

Tom Hardy and Charlotte Riley at the British Independent Film Awards in London
Tom Hardy and Charlotte Riley at the British Independent Film Awards in London

"The only thing that saved me through that dark time was acting.

"I originally got into it because I wanted to make my father proud of me. Because I was an only child, this was very important to me — and there wasn’t very much of anything else that I could do.

"But acting was something I could do — and because I found that I was good at it, I wanted to make the effort to invest time and effort into doing it, " he said.

And now the actor cherishes his role as a father.

Tom Hardy and his dog Woody attend the UK Premiere of
Tom Hardy and his dog Woody attend the UK Premiere of "Legend" at Odeon Leicester Square on September 3, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)

"When I go home, I am not Tommy the actor, I am Tommy the dad, largely because my children aren’t allowed to watch any of my films yet," he told the Daily Mail.

"My older son really wants to watch Mad Max, but I’ve told him that he can’t — he’s got to watch the Harry Potter films first!"

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