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Tom Hiddleston, closing out a busy (and highly publicized) summer, sat down with The Hollywood Reporter’s Scott Feinberg on Friday to talk about his Emmy nomination, those tabloid rumors and his heroic role years in the making.
Nominated for his role as Jonathan Pine on AMC’s six-part limited series The Night Manager, the actor called the show “a huge labor of love for everybody,” and said that the “most thrilling feedback” is when fans approach him having just binge-watched the show in a matter of days.
Hiddleston said that he read the screenplay for The Night Manager’s first episode and was instantly interested in the project, calling his character a “figure of mystery” with a “superficial calm” and “physical grace in a combat situation, but also masking this incredible turbulent interior.”
“It was just a brilliant introduction to a great character and a contemporary world and, I think, an important subject,” said Hiddleston, who added that his costar, Hugh Laurie, was one of the key figures in getting the series made, trying to get people interested for years in John Le Carre’s novel.
“I couldn’t have done it without him,” he said. “His passion was something we all latched on to because he just loved the book so much.”
Emmy-nominated Hiddleston is also the subject of Oscar buzz for his portrayal of Hank Williams in I Saw the Light and is a fan favorite in the Avengers franchise, but said his move from film to TV with The Night Manager, which was shot like a film over 75 days in four countries, was a natural one.
“I think the way people consume entertainment or dramatic art now is that they, I think people don’t mind whether it’s a movie or a piece of television, they just want it to be good.”
“So the thrill for me of doing this is I truly believe The Night Manager is better at six hours than it would have been in two,” he added. “You get to know the characters, you can extend the drama between them, and a compression of the time in a two-hour format I think would have impoverished the material.”
Hiddleston later responded to a fan question about his high-profile summer filled with rumors of his new relationship and his recent addition to Instagram: “We all live in a world where every phone has a camera and there’s nothing new, really, about the spotlight on me, I think that’s what happens when you’re a public figure.”
“I’ve learned that there are many sides to a story, and that sometimes there are a lot of stories out there which are false and the hardest thing is to try to not let those falsehoods affect your own life, that’s what I would say.”
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