‘It’s an honour to play Loki,’ says Tom Hiddleston

The actor talks to Katie Ellis about playing the God of Mischief for over a decade and exploring the MCU multiverse  
It’s an honour to play Loki, says Tom Hiddleston
It’s an honour to play Loki, says Tom Hiddleston

Season 1 of Loki was an extraordinary jigsaw puzzle, taking the titular character out of everything that was familiar and introducing him to a new world. It was all about placing his chaotic, improvising quality inside the institution of order, structure, and form at the Time Variance Authority (TVA).

How would you say Season 2 of Loki compares to the first?

Season 1 felt like an extraordinary jigsaw puzzle of taking Loki out of everything that was familiar and introducing him to a new world. It was all about placing his chaotic, improvising quality inside this institution of order, structure and form at the Time Variance Authority (TVA). Now, in the new season, he is faced with two existential questions: Who am I? Where am I?

You and Owen Wilson (who plays Mobius M Mobius, a bureaucrat at the TVA) make a great double-act on the show. What was he like to work with? 

I love working with Owen. He is just so clever and talented. He’s a joy to work with.

How did (director) Kenneth Branagh help you shape Loki in the first Thor movie?

Kenneth was careful about creating an emotional breadth and depth for the character that felt profound and classical.  We talked a little bit about Shakespearean villains. Cassius in Julius Caesar is described as having a lean and hungry look, so that became a good reference point for us. An obvious comparison was the relationship between Edmund and Edgar in King Lear, a legitimate and an illegitimate son; two brothers competing in some way. But, I think the greatest gift was the arc of Loki in the first film. It was poignant. It meant that as an antagonist, later on, I had this cornerstone of vulnerability. It made the role more layered, interesting and sophisticated.

Was there a point where you thought that you were finished as Loki?

Yeah, I thought Thor: The Dark World was it. Then, there was the altered ending, and then MCU went off in quite a different direction. The trajectory was complete at the beginning of Infinity War, when Loki was killed by Thanos. It was emotional. Josh Brolin was really sweet. He was like, ‘I’m sorry man...’ When I shot it, I thought that was absolutely the last time I would play him, and now here we still are.


How do you feel about the Marvel multiverse, and how almost anything seems possible now?

It’s exciting. Ever since the multiverse was introduced, I’ve been like, ‘Oh wow, there are three Spider-Mans in there. There are two Lokis.’ The multiverse now feels real. It exists for the audience now as it did for us when we were making these stories.

Did you compare notes with Ke Huy Quan (who plays Ouroboros, a master technician who lives beneath the TVA HQ) on multiverse worlds, given his experience in the Academy-award-winning sci-fi film, Everything Everywhere All At Once?

(Laughs) I just love that film. It was the most extraordinarily inventive, intelligent and brilliant movie. I think all stories about infinite possibilities are interesting. It’s the idea that at any point, in our lives, we could make a different choice that would create a different reality. In a way, it is a good thing to think about. It makes you think about your choices, life and your agency.

Finally, how does it make you feel to be going into your second decade as the God of Mischief?

Amazing. I’m both surprised and delighted to still be playing Loki. I love being him. He is a character that continues to have so many surprises, both for me and the audience.    

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