Tom Hiddleston talks Loki, Thor, Avengers, Shakespeare, and more
|NEWS - MOVIE NEWS|
Supervillain, Shakespeare nerd, and self-deprecator...
Update: The interview has now been updated as follows: "EDITOR'S NOTE: There have been some questions about one of the quotes in this interview. We have checked the interview tape and the quotes are accurate, but Mr. Hiddleston is joking about his performance in THOR."
In a recent interview, the actor Tom Hiddleston, who plays Loki in Thor and The Avengers, as well as being some other films that don’t involve superheroes, underplays his celebrated performance, saying:
“And I also felt like I’d been rubbish in THOR [laughs] – there was no way I was going to come back.”
If he’s not exaggerating, this is quite remarkable. As most fans will be well aware, Tom Hiddleston’s performance as Loki in Thor is a brilliant, breakthrough role, with plenty of nuance and charisma.
But a lot of very talented people often have self-doubt. For instance, J.R.R. Tolkien didn’t think The Lord of the Rings was worth publishing until his friend C.S. Lewis persuaded him otherwise.
The thing is to be humble, rather than going the Loki route and trying to prove yourself by grandiose attempts to conquer the world. Because Hulk generally not smash humble people. At least, when Hulk can tell friend from foe, which: not always.
When asked whether he was daunted by the thought of taking on a role that’s so familiar to people, with Loki, Hiddleston replied, “I never get afraid of things, I only get excited.”
He’s like Scotty in Star Trek (2009). While Dr. McCoy/Bones is like, “Space is disease and death wrapped in darkness and silence…”, Scotty’s all, “I like this ship! It’s exciting!”
Hiddleston went on to say:
“It’s just so much fun, he’s such a great character, never mind the iconography. I don’t know, it’s like playing an iconic Shakespearean character or something, it’s just a privilege to be asked to do it and for a character like Loki to have such a level of complexity and so many layers to him, so many things to explore, especially when he is as well-written as he was in this film by Joss. When I read it, I couldn’t believe my luck. The film is called THE AVENGERS, and yet Loki was on almost every page.”
Tom Hiddleston also reveals that Joss Whedon saw Thor, loved it, and said, “I want to take that relationship and make the stakes higher. You’ve got these two brothers who are fighting each other and now what’s at stake is the fate of Planet Earth, because that’s what’s going on.” Of course, this is just an application of the formula that Joss Whedon’s so good at: Human drama + Epic stakes = Awesome.
And that dynamic worked brilliantly in The Avengers, whetting the appetite for Thor 2. However, Marvel President Kevin Feige has promised "a major new villain. A major, major new antagonist...", who won't be Thanos. It's not clear whether or not this major mystery villain will be the one that Mads Mikkelsen (Casino Royale) is in talks to play, although "…Hiddleston’s Loki character is still said to have a big part.”
In any case, the Thor and Loki dynamic will no doubt continue to be explored, since there's so much there. A while back, Tom Hiddleston said that “Thor and Loki are defined by each other.” He also hinted about the possibility of Loki's redemption:
“What Chris Hemsworth and I would love is to be allowed to have a moment – maybe not in Thor 2 but at some stage – when Loki is forgiven.”
Going back to the more recent interview, Tom Hiddleston, who has plenty of experience as a theatre actor, revealed his geeky roots:
“Well, the thing that I suppose is closest to my heart is Shakespeare. I really am a nerd about Shakespeare, I love it [laughs] and the reason why is because he’s one of the wisest, most compassionate writers in the course of Western literature, in the course of all literature. And he understood human nature so deeply, not just our great capacity for virtue and for goodness, and for love, but our capacity for pain and destruction and anger. His bad guys are the best bad guys in the biz, like Iago in OTHELLO and Edmund in KING LEAR and Cassius in JULIUS CAESAR.”
And then he was asked about his Avengers director Joss Whedon, a fellow Shakespeare fan:
“Have you been involved in any of the Shakespeare readings that led to his filming of MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING?”
“I haven’t, actually [laughs]. But we talked about it a lot, we talked about Shakespeare, and I’m desperate to see his MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, can’t wait to see it.”
So when you’re casting your next Shakespeare adaptation, Joss, you know who to call…
Hiddleston also confirmed that he’ll be in Thor 2, and complimented his Avengers co-stars, emphasising just how genuinely honoured he felt to be among them. He said, “I felt like the undergraduate in this cast”, which brings to mind images of Robert Downey Jr./Tony Stark as the most popular professor ever. He’d probably fly in to the lecture hall in the Iron Man suit and everything…
And, in current Tom Hiddleston-related news, the article informs us that:
“Hiddleston is currently filming in the title role of a telefilm of William Shakespeare’s HENRY V, having wrapped on HENRY IV PARTS I & II.”
This version of Henry IV will be separate from the version starring Harry Lennix.
On that note, here is a clip of Tom Hiddleston's mesmerising take on a famous monologue from Henry V, proving that every Shakespeare adaptation should have a Tom Hiddleston.
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