I’ve never really been one to root for the bad guy. I’ve always been a bit of a goody-goody, and I like my heroes the same way. But when it comes to Thor, I may be out numbered by Loki fans. Seems everyone loves to love this bad guy. And after meeting Tom Hiddleston (Loki) in person and talking to him about Thor: The Dark World, I am this close to rooting for the bad guy. I’m not sure I could ever root for him over Thor, but certainly I appreciate his character even more.
In person, Hiddleston is charismatic, charming and has the dreamiest English accent. Not to mention he was humble and genuinely seemed happy to meet with our group of 25 bloggers. It was a wonderful interview, complete with the dapper Hiddleston telling our group how lovely we looked in a way that made us each believe he was talking to us individually.
I wish you could have been a fly on he wall for the interview. Since I couldn’t bring you all in my evening bag, I hope you will instead enjoy a snippet of our conversation. Oh and the very last question below was from me, I’ve learned something very important when interviewing stars — never pass up the opportunity to ask a question.
Don’t worry — no spoilers ahead. We had not yet seen the movie when we interviewed Hiddleston.
Q : Do you like playing the bad guy?
Tom Hiddleston : I love playing all kinds of roles, and I hope it doesn’t sound too pretentious, but I always feel like human nature is like a piano. There are 88 keys — there are some white keys and some black keys and each character is a different chord on the piano. And basically I hope that in the course of my life I will have played all 88 keys in lots of different ways.
So I want to play heroes, and villains, and princes, and kings, and warriors, and beggars, and thieves, and lovers and, fathers, and wizards and all of those things. So that’s it, for me that’s why I’m an actor, I love studying people.
And Loki’s just a particular kind of, actually I think he’s a minor chord with a couple of black notes in there. But I loved playing him. He’s the God of Mischief, and his mischief is the thing that I love playing so much. His playfulness, his sense of fun and the challenge of course is to make him real and vulnerable and complex.
Q : How has Loki changed since we last saw him, has he reconciled with his dad, or Thor?
Tom Hiddleston : Certainly not with his dad. I think Loki’s very angry with his father still. Basically you find him in the wake of what happened in the Avengers. And he’s back and he’s in prison. He’s not in a good way.
He’s basically been written out of history, condemned to be forgotten, unseen and unheard and haunted by his demons for eternity. And I think he’s keeping himself sharp by reading a lot and keeping his mind exercised. He’s not great at the long game, Loki, but he’s very good at improvising.
So he’ll always manipulate every situation to his own self-advantage, to his own advantage. So how has he changed? I think he’s almost freer in one sense, spiritually. He’s more mischievous, he’s more fun, he’s more provocative.
But he’s also more damaged, I think, like there’s a kind of spiritual vulnerability, which is really acute. And I think he hits rock bottom in this film, he’s more alone, he’s more lonely, more sad, angrier.
Q : Is there a bit of an “agree to disagree” between the two? I mean obviously there’s tension.
Tom Hiddleston : There is. And the fascinating thing is the reason they need to get together is one that you’ll see very clearly. And it’s a, despite their antagonism, which is consistent with Avengers and in fact is even more sort of pushed to polar opposites, they are unified by a common bond, which is why they need to fight back.
I don’t want to reveal too much, but there is a big reason. And what’s interesting and what’s wonderful about this particular film is I think is the need to come together and work as a team actually gave Chris Hemsworth and myself amazing opportunities to explore that particular tension between them.
They were two brothers who were brought up as equals and best friends. And they loved each other and they fought and they played and they competed and they were rivals, but ultimately they were best friends. And then the circumstances of their adult lives have pushed them to absolute extremes. And the difference is that where in the first film and in Avengers, Thor is consistently appealing to Loki to say, “Come back,” you know, “We still love you, come back into the family”and Loki is rejecting that olive branch.
In this film Thor makes no bones about there’s no olive branch, it’s like, “I need you, and if you betray me I will kill you.”
Q : In the first Thor, and in Avengers even, I found myself really rooting for Loki. Are we gonna feel that again in this movie.
Tom Hiddleston : It’s given me so much pleasure to hear you say that because when I was a kid, when I’d watch the bad guys the ones I loved were the ones who you sort of wanted to win, or you could at least understand their motivations. And what I hope you’ll see is that he’s still vulnerable and that all of his inclination to provoke chaos, start fires, create conflict and enjoy all of that stuff, is that his delight in disorder is a mask of control.
Behind the mask is someone incredibly wounded and lost and “at sea,” and conflicted. And the duplicity of those things, dichotomy of the two, the outer and the inner, that’s gold for an actor to present a particular mask to the world.
Q : If someone visits your home and looked inside the refrigerator, what would they find?
Tom Hiddleston : Ah hah, well I’ve been on the road for a bit so I was very conscientious and emptied the fridge of all perishable food as my mum taught me before I went away. Didn’t want to come home to like moldy bread and, you know…
I think there’s probably some bottles of fizzy water and maybe some old cheese in the back, but cheese is alright I think. But normally it’s full of green vegetables, and butter, and a few eggs — you know just sort of fridgey stuff, really.
Q : Is there gonna be a Loki spinoff movie?
Tom Hiddleston : Well, at this point in time, officially I know nothing. People have asked me about it and the idea that anyone, whether it’s one man and his dog, wants to see Loki in a solo movie is such a huge complement. I hear it’s more than one man and his dog, but you know we’ll have to see. I honestly don’t know what the future of Loki is at this point, but it has been a roller coaster and it’s been more than I have ever expected.
So I feel that there’s no point in me having expectations anymore because whatever happens is gonna surpass them so I’ll just ride it out I think, just buckle up and ride it out.
Q : Not giving too much away, what was your favorite part of the film? (ME!)
Tom Hiddleston : Working with Chris Hemsworth. There are a couple of scenes where I feel like the two brothers, you just really get a sense of the particular chemistry of these two guys. And I also know that my friendship with Chris is something that infused that relationship because he and I met in 2009. We were both in our late ’20s, we’d been kicking around the business for the same amount of time.
We became very firm and fast friends, and we’ve had this amazing adventure together. I think our friendship really infuses the Thor/Loki relationship in this film and that’s probably my greatest pride. There’s a scene where they’re arguing over who gets to drive, which is one of my favorites.
For more about Thor, check out my red carpet premiere pictures and movie review.
Thor: The Dark World is now in theaters.