Tom Hardy says there's a simple reason he wanted to play Venom: "He's the coolest!" And that his interpretation of both sides of the character comes from a classic '90s cartoon.

Talking to EW about his upcoming superhero film, Hardy said, "As far as Marvel characters, I have to say for me, Venom looks the coolest. That sounds a bit shallow! But I appreciate that he has a kind of brazen swagger and a zero foxtrot attitude."

For the uninitiated, Venom is a bit of a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde character. His human side is all-American journalist Eddie Brock. But when an investigation exposes him to an alien known as a symbiote, he's infected with an alter-ego that's got razor-sharp teeth, a wicked tongue and crazy powers.

And a tendency to bite off heads. Hardy admits that Venom's brutal method of dealing with adversaries "is not what you would expect from, say, Captain America taking down a crook.”

Hardy explained he took inspiration for the character's dual personalities from a feuding dog-and-cat duo. "It’s a bit like Ren and Stimpy, you know?," he said to EW. "They have different sounds. I always saw Venom as sounding like a James Brown lounge lizard, and Eddie Brock is kind of…” — he switches to an aw-shucks American accent — “I don’t know, an everyday kind of guy. But he’s inherited this massive ego, this beast.

"There’s a tragic clown element, which I find funny and is harmonious with some of the work that I like to do," says Hardy of playing a vastly different villain than, say, Batman's nemesis Bane.

Although Venom exists in the Spider-Man 'verse, he won't share the same cinematic space as current Spidey Tom Holland. And he won't be a retread of the character as played by Topher Grace in the best-forgotten "Spider-Man 3."

Director Ruben Fleischer ("Zombieland") says that he and Hardy "talked a lot about a werewolf and what it is when you get infected or bit by a werewolf." But instead of transforming into a wolf a la "An American Werewolf in London," the human side has to coexist with the beast.

In other words, no Tom Hardy waking up naked in the wolf cage at the zoo and wondering what the hell happened the night before.

Two new photos over at EW include one with Riz Ahmed and Hardy strapped to a chair for what looks like an uncomfortable interrogation.


"Venom" hits heaters October 5.

[Via EW]