Becoming Tom Hiddleston

Becoming Tom Hiddleston

With the impending release of Avengers: Endgame, there is a pervasive bittersweet feeling amongst all Marvel fans.

While it will be last time they will see some of their favourite superheroes on screen, it will be the beginning of some really interesting storylines. Marvel already has movies till 2022 in the pipeline, so we can be rest assured that many more surprises are in store for us.

Now they say that it is much better to be happy that it happened rather than being sad that it has ended. One of the best things that have happened because of Marvel movies is that we have become acquainted with Tom Hiddleston. Hiddleston plays the role of Loki, the half-brother of Thor, played by Chris Hemsworth, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

According to Norse mythology, Loki is the God of mischief and the son of Odin and the half-brother of Thor. And Hiddleston plays the part with aplomb. So much so, that he has become critic and audience favorite as his character.

Surprisingly, Hiddleston did not audition to play Loki. Legend has it that he had first auditioned to play Thor but did not get that part. The producers were so taken in by his persona and charisma that he was offered the role of Loki instead. This casting masterstroke has catapulted him to international fame and has helped him land some really memorable roles.

Even though Loki met his untimely demise in Avengers: Infinity War at the hand of Thanos (spoiler alert!) it seems that Marvel and Disney (the studio that owns Marvel) are not yet to let go of Hiddleston and Loki just yet.

Last year, a TV show spinoff starring Hiddleston as Loki for the character was announced. And as the Hollywood Reporter has reported that Rick and Morty writer Michael Waldron will now helm the series and executive produce it as well.

If rumors are to be believed, the show will air on Disney+ (Disney’s foray into online streaming) and on television as well, on some Disney owned platform or an affiliate network.

The 38-year-old British actor became famous overnight after the release of the first Thor movie where he starred as Loki, but that was not his first performance.

He began his acting career on stage, like most versatile performers, in 2001 and appeared in mostly student plays. He then transitioned to television and did shows like 2001’s Nicholas Nickleby, HBO/BBC co-production Conspiracy in the same year and he then went on to portray the role of Stephen Churchill, son of former UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill in another HBO/BBC production.

Once he graduated college, he was cast in his first feature film: 2006’s Unrelated. Though the film did not perform well critically or commercially at the box office, people began to pay attention to Hiddleston.

Not willing to leave the stage behind, he again came back to do theatre and did two notable plays one of which was Cymbeline (2007). For his performance in the play he won the Laurence Olivier award for Best Newcomer in a Play.    

While continuing to work on stage, he played a central role in Kenneth Branagh’s Ivanov in 2008. Branagh, who directed the first Thor film, then asked Hiddleston to audition for the title role but cast him as Loki instead and the rest as we know, is history.

When talking of Branagh giving him a break, he said: “Ken has had a life-changing effect. He was able to say to the executives, ‘Trust me on this, you can cast Tom and he will deliver’. It was massive and it’s completely changed the course of what is available to me to do. Ken gave me my break.”  

His next notable performance came in Woody Allen’s 2011 classic Midnight in Paris, where he played famed author F. Scott Fitzgerald. Though the movie has a cult-like following now in some circles, nothing was ever said about Hiddleston’s performance.

Even though he worked in some critically acclaimed movies after that, like 2012’s The Deep Blue Sea opposite Rachel Weisz and Steven Spielberg’s War Horse, he did not get as much acclaim as he did for playing Loki.

He also returned to television to do adaptations of Shakespeare play Henry V for BBC which was later made into a television movie as well.

Though he continued to do multiple feature films after that, his second breakthrough came as the character of Jonathan Pine in the BBC mini-series The Night Manager that released in 2016. He starred opposite Hugh Laurie and Olivia Colman in the series.

After the release of his last onscreen appearance as Loki in Avengers: Infinity war, he is touted to return to theatre in Harold Pinter’s production of Betrayal and reprise his role as Jonathan Pine in another mini-series that will be an extension to his role in The Night Manager.

Hiddleston, who enjoys playing the piano, violin and the lute has amassed his own loyal fan following who lovingly call themselves the ‘Hiddlestoners’. With him set to reprise his role of Loki in the spinoff series, our hope is that they legend of Tom Hiddleston only continues to grow.