I recently had the beyond amazing privilege to fly out to California for the red carpet premiere of THOR: THE DARK WORLD! While out there, oh-so-awesome opportunity to interview Tom Hiddleston, who plays Loki, the God of Mischief, in Marvel’s Thor/Avengers series. Now I admit, I’m totally a #TeamThor girl. Prior to this trip, I noticed all the fan love for Loki via the #LokiArmy and #LokiLadies. Actually we even had a good number of Loki Ladies in our blogger group!
As Tom walked into the room, he greeted us with a huge warm smile! He claimed that he felt like the “President or something” given our enthusiastic response to his arrival. He noted sarcastically in a polite manner “well I play the bad guy, you probably know that. I feel like I should be sitting here with a white cat and stroking it.” Polite and funny? This interview was off to a good start!
Below I’ve included some highlights from the interview. Tom was beyond charming and such a nice fellow to meet! He was gracious and genuine. One of the highlights? He actually stopped the interview at one point because he just wanted to tell us how beautiful he thought we all looked. No really. Cue the swooning (yes, I know that even the one daddy blogger in the group was swooning too!). Okay, I know his compliments were directed to the room… but it’s not every day a celebrity tells me I’m beautiful. So yes, I had to mention it!
How did you get in character to play a bad guy, and do you really like playing those kind of roles?
TOM: Second question first. 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 where some white keys and some black keys and each character is a different chord on the piano. I hope that in the course of my life I will have played all 88 keys in lots of different ways. So I’ll have played heroes, and villains, and princes and kings and warriors and beggars and thieves and lovers and fathers and wizards. For me that’s why I’m an actor. I love studying people.
Loki is a minor chord with a couple of black notes in there. I loved playing him. I suppose the first question, my answer to it is that he’s the God of Mischief. Thor is the God of Thunder and Loki is 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.
How has Loki changed since we last saw him? Has he reconciled with his dad?
TOM: He certainly has not reconciled 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. He’s back and he’s in prison. He’s basically been written out of history, condemned to be forgotten, unseen and unheard and haunted by his demons for eternity. 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. 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 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.
You’d said earlier you liked the mischief part of the character. When you walk into a franchise like Avengers and Thor, the fans are really dedicated, did you have any leeway with what’s going on more with that mischief part that you liked that maybe wasn’t exactly written into the script initially?
TOM: That breaks his heart. He was also a very intelligent sort of a fantastic strategist, who was a master of magic. We got into Avengers and Joss Whedon really encouraged me to have a good time. With Loki suddenly there was this self-acceptance of his true nature and that that gave him a confidence to play. I enjoyed all of that so much in Avengers that I spoke to Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios and to Aaron Taylor, the director, saying, “We’ve got to have fun with it.”
Thor is the God of Thunder. And Thunder is powerful, strong and he’s noble and upstanding. He’s a prince. If there were a pack of fireworks, Loki is the firework on the end. You’re not quite sure what it’s gonna do. He’s the wild card. If you light the fuse, the firework’ll go up and around and spin around you and explode in a ball of multicolored fire. That is spiritually who Loki is. Playing on his unpredictability and his playfulness has been really fun.
In the first Thor and in Avengers even I found myself really rooting for Loki. Are we gonna feel that again in this movie too? (Note I did not ask this question. I was still clinging to my #TeamThor status at this point… despite the power of Tom’s genuine nature, hehe.)
TOM: It really, 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. 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 his delight in disorder, is a mask of control. Behind the mask is someone incredibly wounded and lost and “at sea,” and conflicted. 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.
TOM: I’ve been on the road for a bit so I was very conscientious and emptied the fridge of all perishable food! My mum taught me that before I went away. I didn’t want to come home to like moldy bread… I think there’s probably some bottles of fizzy water. Maybe some old cheese in the back, but cheese is alright I think. Normally it’s full of green vegetables, butter, and a few eggs. You know just sort of fridgey stuff, really.
In Marvel’s Avengers they team up a lot of superheroes and I was wondering if Loki teamed up with one of Marvel’s villains, who would it be and why?
TOM: The thing about getting a group of villains together is that they don’t get anything done. They’re all acting out of self-interest. “No, I want to take over the world!!” “No, but it’s mine!!” “No, but it,” and then it’s over, it’s finished. I’d love to see him with who in the comics he teams up with, which is the Enchantress. She is a sort of big, beautiful blonde, who is as untrustworthy and as skilled in the powers of magic as he is.
I’d love to see him with Dr. Doom, who was one of Spiderman’s big villains. There’s a villain called Surtur, and he’s the fire demon who is a pretty crazy cat. I think that would be an interesting alliance. But I feel like if Loki ever teams up he’s just using people, you know.
Not giving too much away, what was your favorite part of the film?
TOM: Working with Chris Hemsworth! There are a couple of scenes where I feel like with the two brothers, you just really get a sense of the particular chemistry of these two guys. I know that my friendship with Chris is something that infused that relationship. Him and I met in 2009, we were both in our late ’20s, and we’d been kicking around the business for the same amount of time. We became very firm and fast friends. 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 I feel is one of my favorites.
One interesting fact we learned during the interview is that Tom “officially” knows nothing about a Loki spinoff. So that made us wonder… does this mean he “unofficially” knows something? I’m sure I speak correctly when I state that us bloggers in the interview would be more than happy to support a Loki spinoff film!
During the interview it was noted we were out of time. Tom quickly said that we could squeeze in a few more questions! In fact, he even took time to do some of his famous impressions for us! He performed as both veteran actors Sean Connery and Christopher Walken as they would play Loki. To say his impressions were hilarious is an understatement. Tom had us in stitches laughing.
We were out of time, and Tom had to head to another interview… but you know how the theme of the post has pretty much been about what a genuinely pleasant guy he is? Sure enough, he took time for a group photo!
Tom really was such a delight to interview. Now like I said in the beginning, I was a total #TeamThor girl. Though maybe… just maybe… I’m feeling like I should join the #LokiArmy. Like these devotees below! We’ll see!
Don’t forget to connect with THOR on Facebook and Twitter! The film is out NOW! Yes, Thor: The Dark World hit theaters last Friday, November 8th! Yes, I’ve already seen it again and plan on heading to the theater for another viewing this week.
While I attended an expense paid trip by Disney to the Thor: The Dark World Premiere, all opinions are 100% my own.