There's a reason why Loki is one of the most popular Marvel characters, and much of that has to do with Tom Hiddleston, the actor who plays him. Not only is he insanely talented, but he's charming and friendly, and it's pretty impossible to find anything bad to say about him. So it's no surprise he wrote Joss Whedon this really great letter after reading a draft of the script for The Avengers. In it, the British actor gushes over the screenplay for the film, comparing Loki’s part to Die Hard’s Hans Gruber, and referencing both Willy Wonka and James Mason.
The letter (sent via e-mail) is featured in the prerelease excerpts of Amy Pascale’s upcoming Joss Whedon: The Biography – which will be in stores on August 1. Check out the full missive below. If you didn’t already love Tom Hiddleston, you almost assuredly will after reading this.
I am so excited I can hardly speak.
The first time I read it I grabbed at it like Charlie Bucket snatching for a golden ticket somewhere behind the chocolate in the wrapper of a Wonka Bar. I didn't know where to start. Like a classic actor I jumped in looking for LOKI on every page, jumping back and forth, reading words in no particular order, utterances imprinting themselves like flash-cuts of newspaper headlines in my mind: "real menace"; "field of obeisance"; "discontented, nothing is enough"; "his smile is nothing but a glimpse of his skull"; "Puny god" ...
... Thank you for writing me my Hans Gruber. But a Hans Gruber with super-magic powers. As played by James Mason ... It's high operatic villainy alongside detached throwaway tongue-in-cheek; plus the "real menace" and his closely guarded suitcase of pain. It's grand and epic and majestic and poetic and lyrical and wicked and rich and badass and might possibly be the most gloriously fun part I've ever stared down the barrel of playing. It is just so juicy.
I love how throughout you continue to put Loki on some kind of pedestal of regal magnificence and then consistently tear him down. He gets battered, punched, blasted, side-swiped, roared at, sent tumbling on his back, and every time he gets back up smiling, wickedly, never for a second losing his eloquence, style, wit, self-aggrandisement or grandeur, and you never send him up or deny him his real intelligence.... That he loves to make an entrance; that he has a taste for the grand gesture, the big speech, the spectacle. I might be biased, but I do feel as though you have written me the coolest part.
... But really I'm just sending you a transatlantic shout-out and fist-bump, things that traditionally British actors probably don't do. It's epic.”
And Whedon's reply?
"Tom, this is one of those emails you keep forever. Thanks so much. It's more articulate (and possibly longer) than the script. I couldn't be more pleased at your reaction, but I'll also tell you I'm still working on it ... Thank you again. I'm so glad you're pleased. Absurd fun to ensue.
Best, (including uncharacteristic fist bump), joss."
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