Tom Hiddleston Talks Emmy Nomination, Responds to Taylor Swift Conspiracy Theories (Q&A)

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Tom Hiddleston

"It's not a publicity stunt," says the actor, who was nominated for an Emmy for his role in AMC's 'The Night Manager.'

Tom Hiddleston is having a good month.

Not only is the 35-year-old Brit newly dating pop sensation Taylor Swift but the actor also received his first Emmy nomination on Thursday morning. The nod, given for his role in AMC's limited series The Night Manager, puts him up against his good friends and fellow English actors Idris Elba (Luther) and Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock).

The Hollywood Reporter caught up with Hiddleston in the wee hours of the morning in Australia, where he is filming the next Thor movie, to talk about his first-ever Emmy nomination, how he plans to celebrate and whether or not his relationship with Swift is a publicity stunt. (Hint: It's not.)

Congrats!

Thanks! It's a good day, a lovely day.

How does it feel?

It feels fantastic. I'm in Australia filming Thor: Ragnarok, and it's very early in the morning on a Friday. Right now it is just coming up to 4:15 a.m.

It's impressive that you've stayed awake.

Well, it's not every day you get nominated for an Emmy.

How did you hear the news? 

I didn't have any expectations, and suddenly my phone started blowing up a couple hours ago. This is the most wonderful surprise, and honestly the most thrilling thing about it is that it feels like an extraordinary and heartwarming affirmation for the whole team who made The Night Manager. Making The Night Manager was the most fulfilling team effort, and I'm so proud of everybody.

Were you watching the nominations?

No, I was dozing off because of a long day as Loki. (Laughs.) I couldn't stay awake, so I was drifting away to sleep. Earlier, Chris Hemsworth had just hosted a screening of the new Ghostbusters film, so that was a couple of hours before the nominations were announced. I saw that with Chris and Mark Ruffalo and Taika Waititi, who is directing Thor: Ragnarok, then came home and brushed my teeth and went to bed — and then I was nominated for an Emmy. (Laughs.) So that was how it went.

And this is your first Emmy nomination.

It's very special because I so enjoyed playing Jonathan Pine. The Night Manager was one of the most challenging and fulfilling experiences I've had as an actor. He's such a complex character — a highly skilled, impeccably courteous, morally courageous, romantic character with a kind of broken heart. I loved playing him. The playing of him was complex in lots of ways in that over the course of the six episodes of the miniseries, the character is called by four different names with four different passports. So there was a journey through identity in a way. It was a tricky balancing act, and like all great professional pleasures, the pleasure of it came from the challenge of it. It was my only undertaking for the year of 2015, especially because Hugh Laurie and I were invited to be executive producers on it, so we were there for the development of it, the production, the whole thing. I'm just very proud of it, and it's very humbling and heartwarming to be recognized. You never know as an actor if your passion for a project as you make it is going to connect and translate into passion for the audience. It seems that in some respects it has, and that is the most satisfying and thrilling conclusion.

How do you plan on celebrating?

I'm going to go to sleep for a bit. (Laughs.)

That sounds like a good idea. But what about tomorrow?

Well, and then I have to go on set. I have to go and do some Loki things tomorrow. And then I don't know, actually. It's nice to see Chris Hemsworth and Mark Ruffalo, whom I haven't seen for a long time. We really haven't all been together since the first Avengers movie. I don't know, maybe we'll do something this weekend.

How do they celebrate Down Under?

I don't know. I guess I'm about to find out. (Laughs.) We'll see.

Who are you most excited to see at the Emmys in September?

Oh gosh, there are so many. There are so many nominees from the different categories. I'm very much looking forward to seeing my friends who are nominated in the same category, Benedict Cumberbatch and Idris Elba. They're both old friends of mine. I worked with Benedict a long time ago — six or seven years ago now, and he's been a friend ever since. And the same is true of Idris. So I'm looking forward to seeing them and James Corden too. There's lots of people I'm sure I'll bump into. It's funny how back in April I did a roundtable interview with Liev Schreiber and Bob Odenkirk — and they're both nominated, so I'll get to see them again. I love their shows and their work.

Do you know who you're going to take with you to the Emmys?

I don't. I didn't even know I could. It's 4 in the morning here! (Laughs.)

You're in the middle of a cultural frenzy right now because you're dating Taylor Swift. How would you respond to people who claim that you're involved in some sort of publicity stunt?

(Laughs.) Well, um. How best to put this? That notion is — look, the truth is that Taylor Swift and I are together, and we're very happy. Thanks for asking. That's the truth. It's not a publicity stunt. 

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