- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Tumblr
[This story contains spoilers for Loki episode three.]
Loki star Sophia Di Martino has been waiting for a year and a half to talk about her biggest role to date as the Loki variant, Sylvie, who’s forced to work with Tom Hiddleston’s Loki to escape the apocalypse on the planet Lamentis. As an enchantress and magician of sorts, it’s fitting that Di Martino’s casting would also include a bit of magic in its own right. Typically, when two characters are interconnected like Sylvie and Loki, a chemistry read between the actors is all but guaranteed, but since Di Martino was pregnant in London and Hiddleston was on Broadway, neither could travel. However, Di Martino had another ace up her sleeve: Loki director Kate Herron, who worked with the English actor in a 2017 short called Smear.
“I think Kate [Herron] was pretty keen on me doing it once I’d done a tape. I’d worked with her before, so she knew that I wasn’t some weirdo or strange lady,” Di Martino tells The Hollywood Reporter. “I literally just did one audition tape for this. I didn’t really have an in-person audition; we didn’t do any screen tests. And from what she told me, she said that everyone agreed that I’d be the best person for the job. So it was quite a risk that they took, really. You never get a job of this size off a tape, usually. My agent couldn’t believe it.”
While the character names were changed to “Bob” and “Sarah,” Di Martino’s self-tape was an early version of what would become the train conversation that confirmed long-running speculation about Loki being bisexual. Even though Di Martino and Hiddleston knew how important this scene was for LGBTQ+ representation, they didn’t try to force the moment.
“We knew it was an important scene and that representation was super important,” Di Martino shares. “And Kate was really hot on getting it into the show because people have been waiting such a long time for that. So we knew it was important, but we didn’t really overthink it. We sort of just approached it like we would any other scene and just enjoyed the chat. But I don’t think I realized how much engagement that scene would have and how excited and pleased people would be with it. It’s just wonderful to see how happy people are after watching that.”
In a recent conversation with THR, Di Martino also discusses Sylvie’s TVA reveal, the considerable amount of rehearsal for the episode’s long take and Sylvie’s lost crown.
You worked with Loki director Kate Herron on a short called Smear several years ago. Thus, did she champion you for the role of Sylvie during the audition process?
I think Kate was pretty keen on me doing it once I’d done a tape. I’d worked with her before, so she knew that I wasn’t some weirdo or strange lady. I literally just did one audition tape for this. I didn’t really have an in-person audition; we didn’t do any screen tests. I couldn’t travel at the time because I was pregnant, and Tom was in New York on Broadway. So it was a very quick process, but I think she was pretty keen on me doing it after I read for the part. And from what she told me, she said that everyone agreed that I’d be the best person for the job. So that was nice, wasn’t it? (Laughs.) So it was super quick. I got very lucky and I’m so grateful.
Since Sylvie and Loki have such an important relationship on the show, you would think that you and Tom would have to read together somehow, someway, so it must’ve been quite the self-tape.
(Laughs.) I’m sure they would’ve wanted me to if it was possible, but I physically couldn’t fly and Tom couldn’t get to London because he was in New York. So it was quite a risk that they took, really. And it never happens. You never get a job of this size off a tape, usually. My agent couldn’t believe it. They must’ve just been so sure. (Laughs.)
Did you audition with fake sides?
Well, the names were fake, but the scene itself would come to be the train scene, where we sat down and had a chat on the train. But I think the characters were called Bob and Sarah, though; they were very different character names. (Laughs.) It was also a very short edit of that scene, but it did turn into that, eventually.
Given the significance of their conversation regarding sexual orientation, did you and Tom spend a lot of time discussing the train bar scene before trying several different approaches?
No, we knew it was an important scene and that representation was super important. And Kate was really hot on getting it into the show because people have been waiting such a long time for that. So we knew it was important, but we didn’t really overthink it. We sort of just approached it like we would any other scene and just enjoyed the chat. We enjoyed that it was a bit more of a talky scene as they call it in the business. (Laughs.) So we just enjoyed getting onto a deeper level with the characters, but I don’t think I realized how much engagement that scene would have and how excited and pleased people would be with it. It’s just wonderful to see how happy people are after watching that.
Sylvie also revealed that the TVA people are variants themselves and weren’t actually created by the fabled Time-Keepers.
Again, we didn’t overthink it too much. I don’t really overthink many things when I’m working. (Laughs.) My approach is to follow my instincts, feel the moment, be in the moment and not overdo it because sometimes it can feel forced or unnatural. The best thing to do with important scenes like that is to feel your way through it, say your words and then get off stage. (Laughs.) Otherwise, you can overegg it sometimes, and that’s not necessarily a good thing.
As far as prep, did you catch up on all of Loki’s appearances in the Marvel universe? After all, you are playing a version of Loki in a way.
Yeah, I did my homework, and I watched all of his stuff over the past 10 years. It was great to watch — and rewatch — since I’d seen some of it before. So it was super helpful. And talking to Tom about his experience of playing the character and how he feels about Loki and what he enjoys playing, that was really helpful in building Sylvie.
The long take at the end of episode three is pretty impressive. How much rehearsal went into that?
So much rehearsal. It was a few nights of night shoots, so we would rehearse, rehearse, rehearse and then shoot. We didn’t do that many takes of each stitch, but lots of rehearsal went into it. There were lots of different factors at play: explosions, special effects people, stunt people and lots of people who are just exceptional at their jobs. I really enjoyed doing that, actually, and it was probably one of my favorite scenes to shoot. I love a challenge, and I think it turned out really well. It’s got great energy.
So whether it was the beginning or the end, the two of you had practical explosions to react to as you were running around each set?
Yeah, there were explosions that they probably made bigger in VFX afterwards. But, yeah, there was smoke and debris for us to react to and run away from.
As far as the rest of the season, what cryptic adjectives can you offer about Sylvie’s arc?
Oh my goodness, that’s such a difficult question, especially since I’m really bad at grammar. So it’s gonna be weird, exciting, powerful, dangerous and challenging. Did I do OK? (Laughs.)
So Sylvie used her horns during the bar fight…
Yeah, she uses them to knock somebody out on the train.
But she never went back to retrieve her prized crown.
Yeah, she’s got more important things to do. (Laughs.)
“When she sings, she sings come home.” Was that song stuck in your head for quite a while?
Yeah, it was, actually. Tom did a very good job of learning all of that in a completely new language, basically overnight. I don’t know how he did that. But, yes, it was stuck in all of our heads for quite a while. Very annoying.
Has it been torturous to not be able to talk about things until this week?
Yes, it’s been hell! It’s been awful. I’ve been waiting for a year and a half to talk about this. But it’s so exciting, and I’m so proud of what we made. So I’m just so relieved and excited to finally share it and engage with people and watch people enjoy what we did.
Loki is now streaming every Wednesday on Disney+.
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day