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Tom Hiddleston on Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2 and comparisons to Thor's Loki

Tom Hiddleston

Feature by Rob Carnevale

TOM Hiddleston has compared playing Prince Hal in the BBC’s forthcoming adaptation of Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2 as a lot like playing Loki in Thor and Marvel Avengers Assemble.

“Artistically I was kind of excavating the same material,” he said.

The British actor was talking about his performance at a junket for The Avengers, during which he went on to explain: “The plays of Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2, and Henry V are about the nature of kingship and the weight of responsibility and the running theme can be summed up in one of Henry IV’s lines: “Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown.”

“Hal is rebellious and immature and he’s got to kind of shrug off the skin of his adolescence and understand what responsibility means and kingship and fathers and sons and being a man.

“Strangely, that’s really what Loki is all about and the relationship between Thor and Loki. It feels odd and it will look completely different, of course, because the Henry plays were shot like a medieval drama… we’re all chain mail, on horses with swords and snow. It’s the British winter. So, it’s nothing like The Avengers. But as an actor I felt like I was excavating the same kind of ground.”

Hiddleston also commented on the irony that he is treading the same ground as one of the actors he has often been compared with: Kenneth Branagh. But he said the actor, who directed him in Thor and starred alongside him in Wallander, has been nothing but supportive.

“He’s been very, very kind. When he found out I was doing them he emailed and said: “I heard you’re doing the Henrys, you’re going to have the best, best time. Good luck. They’re so lucky to have you. I can’t wait to see them.”

“So, it’s nice. I feel like I have his blessing,” he added.

Viewers can see The Hollow Crown: Henry IV Part 1 on BBC2 on Saturday, July 7, 2012. The Hollow Crown: Henry IV Part 1 airs on Saturday, July 14, 2012.

Read the full interview with Tom Hiddleston