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‘Venom’ Star Tom Hardy Compares Marvel Antihero to ‘Ren and Stimpy’

Movie directed by Ruben Fleischer also stars Michelle Williams and Riz Ahmed

If the terrifyingly sharped-toothed and violent antihero Tom Hardy plays in “Venom” wasn’t enough to suggest the film would be insane, the actor told Entertainment Weekly that he drew from ’90s cult cartoon “Ren and Stimpy” when developing the character.

During an interview with the publication, Hardy said the duality of the role is what attracted him to the movie. “It’s a bit like Ren and Stimpy, you know?” the British actor told EW. “They have different sounds. I always saw Venom as sounding like a James Brown lounge lizard, and Eddie Brock is kind of … I don’t know, an everyday kind of guy. But he’s inherited this massive ego, this beast.

“There’s that biting-off-heads issue, which is not what you would expect from, say, Captain America taking down a crook,” he added.

“Ren and Stimpy,” created by John Kricfalusi, was an animated series that’s been credited with inspiring popular shows such as “SpongeBob Squarepants,” “Adventure Time” and “Rick and Morty.”

The show, while eventually receiving critical acclaim, was controversial during its run. The Nickelodeon cartoon was chock full of off-color humor, sexual innuendo, dark plot lines, adult jokes and violence.

“Ren and Stimpy” followed the adventures of Ren, an unstable, verging on insane, chihuahua, and, Stimpy, a good-natured, dimwitted cat, and it was often painfully disturbing. There’s an episode in which when Ren got so angry he describes in excruciating detail how he wants to gouge out Stimpy’s eye and pull his arms from their sockets.

And there was the time Ren pulled nerve endings out of his gums where teeth used to be. It’s pretty likely that that insanity is what Hardy applied to the Venom side of the psyche.

In “Venom,” Hardy plays investigative journalist Eddie Brock, who gains the ability to transform into a horrifying and violent sharp-fanged creature known as Venom, that uses his body as a host in order to survive.

The film, directed by Ruben Fleischer, also stars Michelle Williams and Riz Ahmed and is expected to hit theaters Oct. 5.