“May I say, before I begin – these are in no particular order? Good. Let’s go…”
One. The scene between Loki and Odin in Thor where Loki finds out he is a Frost Giant. Playing that scene with Sir Anthony Hopkins was an amazing day. I’m really proud of it.
That scene is basically the anchor of the entire characterisation. It’s very, very important to me. I knew it was an important scene in the script and I knew how I wanted to play it. Yeah, that’s a big moment for me.
[When he says] “Tell me”. So it’s when Loki demands to be told who he is. “Because I’m the monster that parents tell their children about at night.”
Two. Walking down the steps of the Halls of Justice in Cleveland, which were doubling as a museum in Stuttgart in The Avengers, dressed in a black suit and carrying sort of the Fred Astaire cane version of Loki’s staff, and flipping it, literally like a cane, and smacking a security guard in the face.
It was so fun because there was something of a showman’s elegance about it. It was Loki’s emergence from the underground in The Avengers. It was all going to be set to this amazing piece of Schubert, as it was. Joss’s script described: Loki flips his staff.
And in the same beat, forehands a security guard across the face. And we did it in one take. I felt like I was seven years old when I was doing it.
The scene with Scarlett, number three. The scene between Black Widow and Loki in the cell on the Helicarrier halfway through The Avengers. That whole day was amazing. “Mewling quim.” Scarlett and I had an amazing time playing that scene.
I remember, we shot it on a Monday, and we spent all weekend running it at her house. It was really funny. Whenever I got to “mewling quim” – I’ve never told anyone this – I couldn’t say it because we would collapse into a fit of giggles.
And I wondered if I was going to be able to say it and look her in the face without laughing. It just so happens I did. It was alright on the night, but I love that moment.
Number four. There is the moment just before Loki is smashed by the Hulk, which is when he gets up off the floor and says, “I am a God, you dull creature, and I will not be bullied by an animal.”
But before he gets the word “animal” out, he is whipped out of frame, about to be smashed like a wet fish all over the floor of Stark Tower.
Before we shot it, there was a wire attached to my right foot with three stuntmen on the other end. I remember working with them to time it. I said, “If you pull on the B-U-L of ‘bullied’, then I’ll be out of frame before I can finish my line.” it was just a very funny shot. It was like slipping on a banana skin. It was old school farce. I love that moment.
The Car Chase
Number five. Better be good. Number five is the car chase at the beginning ofThe Avengers, which was cut down for good reason, but we shot it in these ancient mushroom tunnels in Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania, about two hours outside Pittsburgh.
For most of the course of the 21st century, these tunnels provided the world with about 60% of the mushrooms. Who knew that. There’s something like 150 miles of subterranean mushroom tunnels underneath the forest in Pennsylvania, and we shot the entire car chase over two or three days down there.
It feels like you’re driving into the Bat Cave, that’s what it feels like. They are very, very far underground and they are very, very dark and very, very long.
So it was myself and Cobie Smulders and Jeremy Renner and Stellan Skarsgård. Jeremy and Stellan and I are in this 4X4.
This just after the stealing of the Tesseract. In the film, it’s actually quite a short trip, but it was two days’ worth of shooting to get all that footage. It was amazing being on the back of this 4X4, driving 200/300 yards’ worth of mushroom tunnel, being chased by another 4X4 with all the cameras on it. It’s incredibly thrilling – I think because there’d been so much green screen, and that was all real. We were actually in a 4X4.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention something with Chris. It’s the moment where Thor and Loki are standing shoulder to shoulder, staring up at Laufey in Jotunheim in the first Thor film. It was the very first day of principal photography and the very first shot by either myself or Chris as these characters, looking up at Laufey, who’s the king of the Frost Giants. It was just the first moment these characters existed.
It’s weirdly unforgettable. He was wearing the red cape and holding the hammer. He said something like, “Know your place, brother.” It just felt like we’d started something.
So that particular shot has a very close place in my heart.
Indeed, Hiddleston rejoins the Marvel Cinematic Universe as soon as November’s "Thor: The Dark World," a project the actor describes as “a sequel to ‘Avengers’ as much as it is to ‘Thor.’” (You can see an exclusive trailer cutdown for “Thor: The Dark World below.)
"It’s a roller coaster, no question," Hiddleston told MTV News during our recent Fall Movie Preview interview. "It’s full of ups and downs and loop-de-loops and twists and turns. It will take you to places you haven’t seen before."
In the upcoming “Thor” sequel, the titular God of Thunder brings his hammer to bear upon Malekith the Accursed, leader of a forgotten foe known as the Dark Elves. “They have an ancient, ancient grudge against Asgard and against the reign of Odin, and they’re back,” Hiddleston described of the “massive and threatening” enemies facing Thor this time around.
But never count Loki out of the fight. Even as most eyes are turned toward Malekith, Hiddleston’s very own mischief-maker remains a thorn in his brother’s side.
"Loki has a very complicated relationship with Thor," Hiddleston said of his role in the film. "He is an agent of chaos without equal in the world he inhabits. He knows his true nature. He knows he doesn’t belong in the family of Asgard, and he’s locked away in the beginning of the film in the deepest, darkest recesses of the dungeon as public enemy number one."
It’s not long before foe becomes friend, however, as Thor and Loki are forced to forge an unlikely alliance against Malekith. “Lo and behold, Asgard needs his help,” the actor teased. “That’s going to be a very complicated allegiance.”
Beyond “The Dark World,” Loki’s place in the Marvel Universe is murky. Joss Whedon has confirmed that the villain isn’t part of his planned “Avengers” sequel, leaving many fans wondering where they’ll get their Loki fix after November. Hiddleston’s lips are sealed regarding the character’s future, except to say there’s still one score he hopes to settle.
"I do feel like there’s some unfinished business between Loki and the Hulk," he said. "I feel like he didn’t get a fair fight."
Whether Loki gets another chance at a “fair fight” remains to be seen. “Who knows,” he said. “You’ll have to see what happens in ‘The Dark World’ to find out where Loki finishes up.”
Tom Hiddleston’s Loki had some of the best scenes in The Avengers, from bringing an entire crowd in Germany to their knees to getting whipped around like Raggedy Andy by the Hulk. And fans of the mischief-making villain should savor those moments — because Loki won’t be back for the sequel, Avengers: Age of Ultron. “He’s not in it,” Hiddleston confirms to EW. “Here’s the thing: I don’t think there’s anything else Loki could contribute to The Avengers, narratively. Joss gave me so many wonderful things to do in that first film that we’d only be trying to repeat ourselves, and probably less well in the second one.”
The actor, who earned a spot in EW’s New Hollywood issue (on stands now) for bringing Loki to life with such devilish charm, says there are no hard feelings — he truly believes it’s better for the series to move on without him. “When I think of all the things I loved as a child, for example, Hans Gruber wasn’t in Die Hard 2. And in Indiana Jones, by the time he moved from the Lost Ark to the Temple of Doom, there was a whole new bad guy. I think keeping it fresh and new is good for The Avengers even though it’s a shame for me. And let’s face it, there’s seven or eight of them as it is, and Joss is thinking about adding two more, so the screen’s gonna be a busy place. But I had the time of my life on that film. It was the most fun ever.”
But the character isn’t gone for good: Loki fans can still get their fix on Nov. 8, when Hiddleston reprises the role in Thor: The Dark World. “Oh, I’ve got plenty to do in Thor , believe me. A lot of new stuff. It’s a new iteration of the character,” he says. ” It’s a new development. Another trick, another poker game for the god of mischief. And he plays it well.”
Whether he’s channeling bow-down-to-me villainy as Loki in The Avengers and Thor or bookish wit as F. Scott Fitzgerald in Midnight in Paris, Tom Hiddleston is one of the most exciting British actors to hop the pond in recent years. And we’re not the only ones who think so. “I met David O. Russell for dinner when he was in London for Silver Linings Playbook. I just wanted to tell him how much I loved the film. And he basically spent an hour telling me why he thinks Midnight in Paris is the greatest film that’s been made in the last 20 years, and he insisted on taking a picture because he was such a fan of Fitzgerald,” recalls Hiddleston, 31, who’s part of EW’s New Hollywood cover package, on stands now. “And I wanted to say, ‘David, can you please stop? I need to tell you how great your film is!’”
That kind of reaction isn’t unusual for Hiddleston anymore — and it’s not just industry insiders who are starstruck. ”I was going through the security machines at Heathrow, and the guard’s eyes went wide, and he said, ‘Oh my God, it’s Loki! Then the whole line turned around. It turned into Comic-Con,” he says. “But I always say, an actor cannot call himself an actor without an audience.”
Fans will get another chance to catch Hiddleston in his Loki cape in Thor: The Dark World (Nov. 8) before he heads to London’s West End to star in Shakespeare’s Coriolanus. (He’s also in Jim Jarmusch’s vampire filmOnly Lovers Left Alive next year.) And after that, Hiddleston says he’ll let his instincts guide his career choices — a bit of advice he got in an email from Thor director Kenneth Branagh when Hiddleston was pondering a tricky decision. “It said, ‘There are no wrong decisions. And you will make the right decision.’ It sounds rather Jedi-like. But what he was trying to say was, ‘Don’t live your life in the fear of making the wrong choice. Just go with your gut,’” Hiddleston says. “The people who excite me are the ones who go with their gut. I think of Day-Lewis, Gary Oldman, Bill Murray, Heath Ledger while he was still with us, Pacino, DeNiro, Branagh. They seem to be very quietly confident about their instinct. As actors they have chased the things that inspire them, which end up being even more wonderful than what we could’ve wished.”