Loki (Tom Hiddleston) as seen in 'Thor: The Dark World.'(Photo: Marvel)
Tom Hiddleston earned his spot in the hearts of die-hard fans and on the pop culture stage with his role as Loki, Marvel's trickster god.
The MTV Movie Award-winning best villain role has been very good to Hiddleston: He has played the part in 2011’s Thor, 2012’s The Avengers and 2013’s Thor: The Dark World. But the actor knows this must end one day.
“I cannot play Loki forever, it’s not possible,” says Hiddleston, who turned 36 last month. “Loki is immortal and I’m deeply mortal.”
Eventually, there's going to have to be a Loki conclusion or a Loki replacement.
“Regeneration, at some point, will be required, I’m not quite sure when,” he says.
Hiddleston has done his part to expand his impressive curriculum vitae, starring in AMC’s The Night Manager, which earned 12 Emmy nods, including an outstanding lead actor nomination for Hiddleston (a Season 2 hasn't been announced). His rising profile ensured that Hiddleston was the first brought on board to lead an all-star ensemble (including his Marvel co-stars Samuel L. Jackson and Brie Larson) in Kong: Skull Island (in theaters Friday).
Tom Hiddleston stars as a mercenary pursuing a monstrous ape in 'Kong: Skull Island.' (Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures)
Hiddleston was able to craft his James Conrad character with director Jordan Vogt-Roberts, changing Conrad from an American military man to a mysterious former British special forces soldier-turned-mercenary. Vogt-Roberts was impressed with both the jungle skills and dashing appeal of his adventure star.
“Tom anchors the movie and does it in a way that's both throwback adventure hero and also a modern leading man,” says Vogt-Roberts. “That’s a huge feat.”
The adventure hero swashbuckling meant that Hiddleston was up at 4 a.m. daily to work with a former Navy SEAL trainer before hitting the set at 7.
“I lost sleep, blood, sweat and tears,” says Hiddleston. “My trainer had me lifting, pushing, squatting, pulling and all manner of things. And then I would get on set and run around more.”
The training helped effectively pull off the Kong action as Hiddleston's Conrad is hired to track down the movie monster on a mysterious island. It also ensured Hiddleston fit perfectly into the snug T-shirt that Conrad sports.
Still, Hiddleston never considered seeking the true action-star reward for all his training: the gratuitous shirtless shot. It's just not his thing. “No one needs to see that," the actor says. "No, never."
Hiddleston also enhanced his weapon skills (Loki’s specialty is throwing knives) by incorporating samurai sword training for Kong. He practiced with rubber tubes to perfect his standout sword screen moment, involving a Japanese weapon left on the island. Hiddleston doubts the new weapon will carry over to Thor: Ragnarok in November: “I'll probably stick to throwing knives and Loki’s mercurial wit."
But he did enjoy going back to Loki for another turn in the role his fans love, while it lasts.
"I haven’t played the part in a film properly since The Dark World, which we made in 2012. So it was a long time ago," Hiddleston says. "It’s still a source of constant surprise that he’s so appreciated. And it's fun to get back in the saddle again."
Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Thor (Chris Hemsworth) are both brothers and enemies in 'Thor.' (Photo: Zade Rosenthal, Marvel Studios)