Tom Hardy works meticulously when prepping for his roles. As he does with every part he takes on, Hardy uses personalities, both real and fictitious, to help shape his portrayal. For example, when the 40-year-old actor took on the role of Bane in The Dark Knight Rises, he focused on crafting a unique voice that borrowed from former boxing champ Bartley Gorman, as well as Elizabeth Taylor’s late husband Richard Burton.

"Bane is somebody who's in tremendous pain all the time. So he had an older voice," Hardy said. "Which is sort of Richard Burton, I suppose, you know. Slightly florid, camp English villain … in many ways, but just off-center."

In order to tackle the dual roles of Eddie Brock and Venom in the upcoming film, Hardy needed to prep for more than a year. In his profile for Esquire, he revealed that the inspirations behind those two parts were quite an eclectic and controversial trio—Woody Allen, Conor McGregor, and Redman. "Woody Allen’s tortured neurosis and all the humor that can come from that," he explains. "Conor McGregor—the überviolence but not all the talking. And Redman’—the rapper—‘out of control, living rent-free in his head." Hardy admits that acknowledging their influences to craft his image of both Venom and Brock isn’t something he would tell the executives over at Sony that are backing the film. "You don’t say shit like that to the studio," he said.

Pairing these three wildly different personalities sounds like a balancing act that has all the makings of a disaster waiting to happen, but if there's someone who can pull this off, it's Hardy. 

Head here to read the full Esquire profile. 

Venom hits theaters on October 5.