Tom Hiddleston on rethinking Loki so other actors could play him on Loki

[Ed. note: The following contains minor spoilers for Loki episode 2, “The Variant.”]

For the brand-new Marvel Cinematic Universe series Loki, Tom Hiddleston needed to do something exceptionally uncommon for a star: rewind his signature character by about a years. Loki utilizes time-travel shenanigans to pull the Asgardian god out of the action of 2012’s The Avengers and into a brand-new experience, which indicates the program’s variation of the character never ever experienced all the injuries and extensive character modifications he went through throughout the last 9 years of Marvel films.

And Hiddleston has actually taken pleasure in the hell out of it.

“It’s really interesting, having to unstitch the evolution of the character from Thor: The Dark World, Thor: Ragnarok, and Avengers: Infinity War,” he informs Polygon. “It was like time travel in itself, in some strange way. Such an unusual privilege as an actor, I thought, to go back into a character you played 10 years ago, and pick up where we left off. But at the same time, it’s fascinating, because I have a very real memory of doing things this Loki hasn’t done. It’s been a strange process of going. ‘But I know this!’ It was cool. It was unusual, in a really cool way.”

He’s likewise happy he’s remained in shape enough to use his old Loki attire: “And to go back and put that costume on again — I’m very relieved that it still fits,” he states. “I guess it could have gone the other way.”

Thanks To Marvel Studios

For Hiddleston, the series has actually represented a chance to reassess his efficiency as Loki, in part since the method the program is focused around his character indicates there are more psychological needs on him than typical.

“In this series, I felt like I did a few things as Loki that I have never done before,” Hiddleston states. “And I really, really enjoyed doing them. I think growth is a human need. We become aware of repetition, we think, ‘Oh, I don’t want to do that anymore, because it’s not useful anymore.’ And so you’re trying to evolve, if you’re lucky. And so being able to evolve Loki in some way, and make different choices and do new things was exciting. I don’t want to spoil too much, but there’s a lot coming around the corner.”

Part of that development originated from a series in episode 2 of the program, “The Variant,” where Loki deals with a series of civilians had by an alternate-timeline Loki — suggesting Hiddleston needed to share the screen with a number of stars all attempting to imitate his motions and facial expressions, trying to mirror his previous Loki efficiencies. That experience, he states, was especially surreal, he states, since he didn’t practice with the stars or work on their Loki efficiencies ahead of time.

“There was no formal sit-down with them,” he states. “But I found it enormously enjoyable to see characteristics which I’ve identified in Loki, and have been able to play for a long time — his playfulness, his mischief, his charm, but also the slight edge of ‘Can you trust him?’ and his uniquely charismatic powers of persuasion — to see those live in different actors was a real thrill for me, because it’s not quite the same. But it is the same. But it’s different!”

Playing opposite other Lokis offered him a possibility to see how other individuals translate his efficiency. “It was quite fun to see how theatrical he is,” Hiddleston states. “When you’re in Loki’s presence, it’s quite hard to be unaware of that. His energy tends to fill the room. I really, really enjoyed that.”

Among Loki’s the majority of obvious qualities in Loki, both when Hiddleston plays him and when other individuals take him on, is his significantly twitchy smile, which he utilizes to attempt to conceal aggravation and exasperation, and encounter as genial even to his opponents. Hiddleston states that smile is a vital part of who Loki remains in any timeline or analysis.

“In trying to create a kind of integrated psychological reality for the character, I always thought, ‘Loki: god of mischief. Mischief: inclination to playfulness,’” Hiddleston states. “That’s something inside him, however it’s likewise a mask. He’s likewise a shapeshifter. Therefore the smile is a type of defense, as much as any match of armor, or as much as any outside habits.

“I think it varies — sometimes the smile is sincere, and he’s having the time of his life. And at other times, he’s almost breathing through some internal frustration, and trying to find a way to smooth it over.”

Up until now, the series appears to be specifically asking who Loki is — whether he’s capable of ending up being a hero rather of a bad guy, whether he has an ethical compass of his own. And it’s uncertain whether the series will have time to reach a conclusion. “They’re big questions,” Hiddleston states. “In getting away from who we have been, can we become something or someone else? I think those questions take a long time to unravel for anyone, but I loved making an attempt.”

| Image: Marvel Studios

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Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.