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Evidenced as much by his passionate defense of superhero movies as his actual performances, Tom Hiddleston clearly looks at comic book adaptations as work equal to any serious drama. But after creating the formidable villain Loki in Kenneth Branagh’s Thor, he now must hold his own among a cast of supervillain challengers in Joss Whedon’s The Avengers. Speaking to THR, Hiddleston explains that the groundwork he laid in Branagh’s film only helped him find new directions to take the character as he entered the Whedon universe.
“I was so lucky because what I did in Thor was I built the character from the ground up – the foundations of his spirit, really,” Hiddleston tells THR. “He was someone who was born with an expectation that he would one day be a king, born with an entitlement — but also through the course of Thor he’s someone who learns at the same time as the audience that his whole life has been a lie.”
Hiddleston says it was tough to balance the character’s grandiose nature with more recognizable personality quirks that audiences could identify with, even if they didn’t sympathize with him. “It’s always a tightrope,” he acknowledges “You just have to make sure that everything is true, and there’s a certain discipline and rigor to that truthfulness – that you’re always making it detailed. That’s the thrill – you’re tracking characters in terms of their choices.”
In The Avengers, Loki arrives on Earth with a plan to rule over it using the help of an extraterrestrial army. Merging the fantastical with the human, Hiddleston said that the work he did in Thor laid the groundwork for his work in The Avengers, and eventually, Thor 2.
“Loki in Thor is the most incredible springboard into a sort of excavation of the darker aspects of human nature,” Hiddleston explains. “So that was thrilling, coming back knowing that I’d built the boat and now I could set sail into choppier waters.”
Watch the video above for more details about Hiddleston’s efforts in the upcoming superhero movie. The Avengers opens nationwide Friday, May 4, 2012.
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