Move over Iron-Man, Captain America and all the other good guys in the Marvel universe, because now it is time for Venom, one of those anti-heroes that fans of the comics seem to just lap up. This has to be one of the most eagerly anticipated comic-book films of the year and anyone who saw the reaction at Brazil’s Comic-Con earlier this year knows that there is a ready made audience for the audience which stars Tom Hardy as hard-hitting journalist Eddie Brock and Venom, Michelle Williams as his love interest Anne Weying and Riz Ahmed as arch nemesis Carlton Drake. Now Hardy, Ahmed and Williams sit down and have a chat about the film that every comic book fan wants to see.
“It is a mixture of stuff that is going to make you laugh and a mixture of stuff that is going to make you jump out of your seat,” says Ahmed trying to sum up the film quickly. “There is stuff that is quite deep, some stuff that is scary, there is action, there is a love story in there and even some really cool science-fiction stuff. There is space travel, aliens… so there is a lot going on there. People say there is something for everyone and normally when they say that they mean you know it is kind of watered down and everybody can get on board but this will bang everybody in the face with about a million kind of flavours… it is really full on.”
During the interview we also learn that it is quite ironic that Hardy and Ahmed find themselves battling it out in Venom because they have known each other for quite a few years. “We’ve known each since we were younger… about eleven years ago I think,” says Hardy looking across to Ahmed. “I’m a bit older than him, but less cool. We both kind of started out at the same time and I knew him back in the time when we were starting out. And where we come from it is a very small kind of social place so it is kind of weird for us both to be sitting here.”
The talk soon turns to the fact that they are battling each other and Ahmed laughs. “I don’t see my character as evil,” he says with a laugh “I don’t see my character as being either cool or evil to be honest. I think he is quite geeky and quite a good guy. But he is still quite terrifying so don’t get too attached. He is also a liar and very Machiavellian in a lot of ways.”
“Don’t worry I am a wretched coward,” says Hardy interrupting which results in them both bursting out into laughter. “I brought all of that to the table. And we celebrated that because that is what Venom is all about, it is the celebration of flawed human beings who have aliens attached to them, and they have to negotiate life with these aliens that have come to Earth to eat people.”
“I think a lot of people can relate to that,” Ahmed says and the two again erupt in laughter.
The person who brings some sense back to the interview is four time Oscar nominated actress Michelle Williams. “She is a professional woman and she works at a law form,” she says when talking about her character. “She is ambitious, she is intelligent, she is very sharp and she is also not willing to settle. And she makes a decision during the film that even if it breaks her heart she has to ask for more out of her partner. When we first started making this movie it was kind of the precipice of the me too movement and there was lot going on, there was a lot swirling in the air and I didn’t want to play somebody that was passive and I didn’t want to play somebody that was recessively feminine, so I envisioned her as somebody who literally wore the pants in the relationship. ”
“It was Tom Hardy he was the big time drop for me,” she says what made her want to do a comic-book movie. “That guy is one of the greats and I thought I am going to learn from him and I am going to enjoy watching him, I will enjoy being in scenes with him and I know that he will make me a better sparring partner because he works on such an unbelievably high level. He is just such a visile performer and it is like watching an animal. He is not thinking about or telegraphing his next move and so it is really exciting as a viewer because you are just waiting to see what happens and he never lets you get ahead of him. ”
The themes of the movie also seemed to appeal to Williams. “It is about a man who is dealing with a duality. A man who is dealing with a shadow side and learning both how to wrangle that and also learning more about that through the process. And then there is Venom who is a real shocker, but also more shocking is that there is a side to Venom that is so lovable and dear and we all come to know that as well.”
Venom is in cinemas now.