Tom Hiddleston – Loki is born out of Shakespearean cannon

Posted on 26 January 2014
By Pierce King
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Tom Hiddleston has told how he carefully crafted the character of Loki from his Shakespearean background.

The actor, who has made the role of Thor’s adopted brother Loki his own, described shooting the Avengers movie as one of the great moments of his life.

Tom, 32, who is currently setting London’s West End ablaze with a measured performance of Coriolanus at the Donmar Warehouse said that his love of the Bard helped build Loki’s character.

He said: “It’s mad and bananas and amazing.

“The first day of filming on the Avengers was definitely one of the great moments of my life; a bunch of fully grown adults, most of whom were stonking great movie stars, all pointing and laughing at each other.

“Look at you in your Spandex!” “Well, look at you in your Spandex!”

“But I can handle it for the simple reason that it genuinely feels likes it’s not real. You know when you go to a fancy dress party and everyone looks incredible and there are crazy things hanging from the ceiling?

“For about five hours or so, you enter into another world, and when you come out of it, you are sitting at home with a cup of tea and a biscuit and you’re thinking to yourself, ‘we’ll, that was weird. Fun, but weird.’

“That’s exactly what it feels like.”

Tom’s meteoric rise to stardom can be traced back to his theatre roots, when Kenneth Branagh spotted him in a dress rehearsal for Othello and cast him as his sidekick in the BBC detective series Wallander.

They also starred opposite each other in Tom Stoppard’s adaptation of Chekhov’s Ivanov at the Donmar. It was during this run that Branagh discovered he had got the job of directing the first Thor film and pushed Tom forward for audition.

Tom recalls: “We made Loki out of Shakespearean characters. We talked about King Lear with its two brothers, Macbeth with his ambition and the way Iago spins every situation for self-interest.

“Without doubt, Kenneth Branagh has been my inspiration – there is no way I would be where I am today without him.”

Now fans are pleading with Marvel for Loki to have his own spin off film and with the huge following Loki and Tom have, we wouldn’t rule it out.

Tom added: “Who knows, I’d be up for it. I have certainly loved every moment of playing Loki.”

Coriolanus is at the Donmar Warehouse until February 13.
The play will be broadcast live in cinemas in partnership with National Theatre Live on January 30.