CATEGORIES Movie News"The Avengers" villain Loki is menacing and mad, but the actor who plays him, Tom Hiddleston, couldn't be more charming and humble, especially about his growing (and extremely devoted) Internet following. (Did you know there are sites dedicated just to his voice and his laugh?)
Hiddleston spoke to Moviefone about which movie villains have inspired him, the Tom Hiddleston Tumblrs and how Woody Allen would have directed "The Avengers." (Hiddleston played F. Scott Fitzgerald in Allen's 2011 film, "Midnight in Paris.")
I blush to say it, but are you aware there's a "F-ck Yeah, Tom Hiddleston" tumblr? [Smiles] I am.
And that there's also a "F-ck Yeah, Tom Hiddleston's Voice" tumblr? I'm not aware of that one. That's incredible. I was informed yesterday that there's a Twitter account for my laugh. Very hard to get used to things like that. Pretty amazing.
It's flattering, though. Yeah, enormously. It's sort of surreal. Because these are just things that seem perfectly natural and innate.
Does it make you self-conscious? No. Can't be. Otherwise I'd have to roll over and push up the daisies.
Loki has a magnificent sort of "Kneel before Zod" moment in the film. Were you thinking of General Zod [from 'Superman II'] during that scene? Sure, yeah. I grew up watching that film. Those Christopher Reeve "Superman" films are part of my childhood. But I think all of the villains in history have been like that. They've had an enormous vanity which feeds an ego born out of a kind of incredible lack of self esteem. You look at the greatest villains in human history, the fascists, the autocrats, they all wanted people to kneel before them because they don't love themselves enough. It was hilarious. The night we filmed that, the set in "Stuttgart" is actually downtown Cleveland. We were shooting nights so I did that speech at four in the morning, on my own with a group of Cleveland extras who I'd just met that night. It was so hard. I felt quite self-conscious the first time I did it, because I thought, "What if all these people think I'm actually like this?" And then you have to go, "Well, Loki believes he's above them, so I have to find it." They were really fun, though. They were really game. It's a fun part. Totally fun role.
It seems like you and Loki are having a lot of fun in that scene. I hope I'm having a better time than he is. I hope I like myself more than he does.
Loki definitely has style, with the horns and the cape. Yeah, the cape. He's like a crazy, creepy Gothic rock star.
You're also going to be in "Thor 2." That's a pretty long run for a villain. I like to think of him as sort of an anti-hero more than a villain. He's much more complicated than your average bad guy.
True. There are those moments where you think he might give in and join Thor... ... And then it doesn't happen. It's really exciting, because I love working with Chris [Hemsworth]. It's really nice when you click with someone and you just have a good chemistry. We trust each other, so when you get on set, you can just go at it and key into the zone quicker.
You have one-on-one scenes with just about all of the Avengers. Which one did you enjoy the most? It's so hard. It's like playing tennis, you play a different rally with different people. Every actor is different and the chemistry between actors is different. I was really delighted by some scenes I didn't expect to be as fun as they were. I actually loved the scenes when I'm in the cell with Scarlett [Johansson]. That scene is so brilliantly written because they're kind of similar characters, Black Widow and Loki. They're both strategists, they're both very hard to read, they're underhanded and sneaky and they recognize each other. It's like a kind of chess game. They're both trying to get secrets out of the other one and they play each other immaculately. And [sort of spoiler!] Joss wrote the most beautiful twist, which is Loki gets Black Widow to confess something that she cares about and then turns it on its head and then she turns that on its head. Scarlett is brilliant. We had a really good time with it.
You originally tried out for Thor. But now, looking back, if you could play any of the other Avengers, which would be the most fun? [Laughs]. Gosh, that's a good question...
Could you see yourself as Captain America, for example? It might be a stretch! In a weird way, I'd sort of love to see that. I'd love to see The Avengers with Robert Downey, Jr. playing Loki and Clark Gregg playing Thor and I play Captain America. Jeremy [Renner] can play Black Widow.
Your character in "War Horse" is somewhat similar to Steve Rogers: Very noble, very patriotic. Yes. He's very decent, the best kind of man. Yeah. You're absolutely right. He's a Captain. A soldier. And I played F. Scott Fitzgerald [in Woody Allen's "Midnight in Paris."] He was American.
Speaking of Woody Allen, my editors wanted me to ask if he were directing "The Avengers," how would he direct a fight between Loki and Thor? [Laughs]. We would do one take and he would say, [affecting a high-pitched, soft-spoken American accent], "Okay, let's do one more. Maybe a little faster."
How would he change the dialogue? He wouldn't. But he'd say, [reverting to his shy Woody accent], "Okay, make something up. Maybe make it funny."
What's your favorite moment in the movie? Wow, there's so many. It's hard because there are action beats and then there are acting scenes and they feel different. I love it in the third act when they all get together and fight the bad guys. I'm sort of a sentimental old goat and I find myself cheering them all on. I think I deserve it. And I'm really tickled by what happens between the Hulk and Loki at the end. It's really funny.
People were laughing so hard, they drowned out some of the dialogue there. That was a really funny moment on the page and I'm so pleased that it's translated to the screen.
Who would you consider the ultimate movie villain? There's a couple that I think that rank among the finest. Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter is very special. He's just so restrained. That's what's always defined Tony's work is his incredible power of suggestion with just the smallest, smallest detail. And then you have an incredibly electrifying firebrand performance like Heath Ledger's in "The Dark Knight," which I found very, very inspiring. As a young actor, you watch that film and you watch his performance and it was sort of a call to arms. It really raised the bar for acting, not just in superhero films, but in all film. It was just so brave, so risky and anarchic.
So what would happen if you pitted the Joker versus Loki? Well, it's not going to end well for whichever city they're fighting in. Buildings are going to burn. The Joker is a man and Loki is a god, so I'd have to say that Loki would take the Joker down. [Smiles.] To Chinatown.