British actor Tom Hardy is convinced he is lucky to be alive after battling drug addiction.
The Dark Knight Rises star fell into a downward spiral of alcohol, illegal substance abuse and criminal behaviour in his youth before kicking his addictions in 2003.
Hardy now refers to his battle with drugs as a "near-death experience" and insists a stern warning from a friend brought him back from the brink of self-destruction.
He tells U.S. Esquire magazine, "I was a shameful suburban statistic. I was told very clearly, 'You go down that road, Tom, you won't come back. That's it. All you need to know.' And that message stayed with me very clearly for the rest of my days. The beginning, really, of a new life. I couldn't value life until I risk losing something worth more to me than my behaviour (sic). I am f**king lucky to be here, to be honest.
"Any near-death experience - if you're lucky enough to f**king realise that it is one - is going to leave an indelible mark on you. And then you add shame and guilt and fear into that, it's a recipe for awareness if you have the ability to become aware from it. And good things can come back into your life."