Thor: The Dark World - Tom Hiddleston interview
Interview by Rob Carnevale
TOM Hiddleston talks about continued love for playing Loki in Thor: The Dark World and addresses the question of whether he believes he is really evil.
He also talks about working with Chris Hemsworth and creating a believable sibling rivalry and the joy of working with Natalie Portman. He was speaking at a UK press conference for the film.
Q. Trust is a prevalent theme in the film between Thor and Loki and I was wondering how the two of you work together now that you have done a number of films together? Are you free to experiment because there is that trust between you?
Tom Hiddleston: It is absolutely true. From the beginning of Kenneth Branagh’s Thor, all the way through Joss Whedon’s Avengers and into Alan [Taylor]’s The Dark World, it has been an amazing adventure for both of us. The two characters define each other and need each other. All acting is about what happens in the space between people and the more you trust each other, the deeper you can go. When I am on set with Chris, whatever he serves I return and he serves it back and that is the joy of it for me.
Q. What, if anything, did you draw from to get into the sibling rivalry that exists between you and your brother, Thor, in the fim?
Tom Hiddleston: Well, I have two sisters and so it is slightly different. I suppose the thing about siblings is they know you better than anyone and there is that thing of always being bound together by your histories. There is something very honest about your interaction with them – you can’t lie in front of your siblings. In this film, I love that Thor is able to demand from Loki that he play his hand. Loki is someone who is constantly in control and is someone who will never show you how he really feels – the only person who gets close to him is Thor, and that seems very true of sibling relationships. I absolutely second the spaceship scene. I have actually been on a road-trip with Chris and Liam and it was very similar to that [laughs]. But if you spend time with Luke, he will just knock their heads together and say: “Shut up, boys.”
Q. How did you enjoy having Natalie Portman come along for the ride this time? Tom Hiddleston: I loved working with Natalie. In the first film, Loki is aware of Jane Foster’s presence, and refers to her, but it was so fun to see what happens when the two shared the same space – violence, as you will see [laughs].
Q. If Comic Con is anything to go by, people really do love Loki, so what do you think it is about this character that people really do seem to love – perhaps more over Thor?
Tom Hiddleston: I want to say in response to the second part of your question, I think Loki is defined by Thor, he is defined by being in opposition to him. They are Yin and Yang, the sun and the moon, the whole point of them is that they are in opposition. The whole popularity of the character has been such an amazing surprise -I never expected anything like this in my wildest dreams. I found him a fascinating prospect because he is a mixture of playfulness, charm and mischief, that’s his moniker, he is the God of Mischief, so there’s a playfulness to him, but he is a broken character – he is grief-stricken, and bitter, and jealous, and angry, and lonely and proud. And so the cocktail of all of his psychological damage and his playfulness, as an actor, is just a really interesting thing to inhabit.
Q. The Marvel universe is getting more fantastic and more out there, so I was wondering how the actors grounded some of that to make it more palatable while staying true to the characters?
Tom Hiddleston: I suppose the thing that I always think is grounding about these films is the family relationships. We’re travelling through space and time, we’re dealing with gods and monsters, but at the heart of the film, from my perspective, is a family – a father, two sons, two brothers, a mother and the fractious, intimate interaction that they have.
Q. Malekith is the enemy in this and so while Loki is seen as the enemy he is not the main antagonist. Deep down to you think that he is really evil or is it just a facade?
Tom Hiddleston: It’s a question that I have asked myself three times now [laughs]. Every villain is a hero in his own mind and people make choices and they always justify those choices, no matter how misguided their motivation. The great privilege and thrill for me to play this character across three films, is that he didn’t start out that way. The narrative that was afforded to me in the first film was this idea of a young prince who is brought up believing in his right to a throne and his Asgardian inheritance, but this whole story is a lie and he was adopted and left to die on a frozen rock. And that is essentially what breaks his heart. And all of his villainy and his bad guy credentials come from something deeply vulnerable. And that’s a gift because it means that across Thor, Avengers and The Dark World that I can play a dynamic with Chris and with Anthony Hopkins and Renee Russo, which is, to what extent is he redeemable? Can he be pulled back towards the light? It’s a very, very fun fault-line to dance on.