Tom Hiddleston 'LOKI' Interview, THORPosted by: Sheila Roberts
Following Marvel’s exciting panel presentation and introduction of The Avengers cast to an enthusiastic crowd of fans at San Diego’s Comic Con accompanied by a teaser trailer narrated by none other than Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury, MoviesOnline had the opportunity to sit down with Tom Hiddleston to talk about his new movie, Thor.
Hiddleston, who trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), plays Loki, Thor’s adoptive brother and nemesis. He discussed what it was like playing one of the great villains of the Marvel universe, how he collaborated with acclaimed director Kenneth Branagh, and why he might go pole dancing if he came back in the body of a woman like Loki did after Ragnarok. Here’s what he had to say:
Q: Did you just arrive?
Tom Hiddleston: I arrived by midnight last night from London. I’m actually prepping something else so I couldn’t be here particularly early.
Q: Loki is one of the great villains of the Marvel universe.
Tom Hiddleston: He certainly is.
Q: Did you have a wide range to have at it or were there specific parameters to your villainy?
Tom Hiddleston: Ken and I discussed a lot very early on because we both read a lot of the comics and there were so many facets of him in the comics. There was kind of an agent of chaos who would go down to earth and turn whales into sea serpents and plows into dragons and whole streets of cars in New York into ice cream. But then there was also this damaged brother, this younger brother who didn’t receive as much love as his elder brother and who was passed over, rejected, betrayed, and I think that became really interesting for both of us actually. Ken and I suddenly decided we wanted to root all of his mischief in a truthful, psychological damage. He essentially was the younger brother. He was never going to be king and he wished that he could, so all of his stuff comes from wanting to please his father, although there’s a big reveal about who his father really is in the course of the film which I won’t reveal. But it was rooted in that. I found the duality of that, the sort of he’s a villain, he has a lot of fun, he’s a mischievous prankster but at the same time he’s in deep, deep pain.
Q: Is that reveal something that’s not in the comic book?
Tom Hiddleston: No, it’s in the comics.
Q: So we can do our research.
Tom Hiddleston: You can. Look into the truth of Loki’s lineage and you will find it.
Q: Were you aware that Loki was a woman for the last several years?
Tom Hiddleston: Yeah, I was. Yeah. But I thought “Why guys? Why’d you give me the job? I really don’t have the materials.” (Laughs) He’s only a woman. He comes back as a woman after Ragnarok. In Norse mythology, Ragnarok is the end of time. It’s the end of not just the world, it’s the end of the universe and the spirit of Thor is pulled back from the kind of underworld and he recreates Asgard somewhere in New Mexico and he brings all of the key figures from Asgard back and he brings Loki back and Loki just chooses to come back in the body of a woman. And then what’s later revealed is that he’s come back and he’s stolen the body of Sif and he’s come back inside Sif’s body. But this is way, way, way ahead in the evolution of the mythology.
Q: If you came back as a woman, what’s the first thing you would do?
Tom Hiddleston: (Laughs) Implants, I would say. I don’t know what I’m going to do with these guys (referring to his lack of breasts). Did you mean if I already had them?
Q: If you came back in the body of a woman.
Tom Hiddleston: I might go pole dancing. Yeah. See what that feels like.
Q: Kenneth seems to give his actors a lot of stuff to work with such as books and movies. What did he give you to play the villain? Where did you start?
Tom Hiddleston: Interestingly enough, he said to have a look at Peter O’Toole in two specific films: The Lion in Winter and Lawrence of Arabia. I mean, two magnificent performances. What’s interesting about The Lion in Winter is he plays King Henry and what’s beautiful about his performance is that you see how damaged he is. And there’s a rawness. It’s almost as if he’s living with a layer of skin peeled away. He’s grandiose and teary, and in a moment, by turns, hilarious and then terrifying. What we wanted was that kind of emotional volatility. He said, “Just have a look. Don’t necessarilyâ€¦” It’s a different acting style. It’s not quite the same thing. What’s fascinating is to go back and watch an actor as great as O’Toole and head for those high hills. And then actually on set, we used to do different takes of different scenes and we’d have three different versions. The first one would always be like he’d say you can have one for free. The second take would be the Peter O’Toole take. The third take would be the Clint Eastwood take and the fourth take would be the Jack Nicholson. So it was like I had these three great actors who I was trying to pull stuff from.
Q: Which one did you end up using more often?
Tom Hiddleston: He used to love the Clint actually. It was between the Clint and the Jack because the Clint would be like whatever you’re feeling, put it away in a drawer somewhere at the bottom of you and throw away the key. And Jack’s would be just like [imitating Nicholson’s voice and delivery] “Have a *really* good time!” There was that kind of relish, a deep sense of enjoyment like he was really enjoying himself.
“Thor” is scheduled for theatrical release on May 6, 2011. If you have not already you should checkout the Comic Con Thor Movie Trailer