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.