Sad­dle up with Spiel­berg.

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - FRONT PAGE -

FRESH from his break­through role as Loki in the 2011 Mar­vel film Thor, Hol­ly­wood up- and- comer Tom Hid­dle­ston found him­self in a sur­real state of af­fairs.

As a star in Steven Spiel­berg’s hotly an­tic­i­pated epic War Horse, the 30- year- old ac­tor found him­self work­ing with a di­rec­tor that he says was ‘‘ one of the most pro­found in­flu­ences on my child­hood imag­i­na­tion’’.

Hid­dle­ston plays Cap­tain Ni­cholls in the emo­tional tale which is set dur­ing World War I and fol­lows the jour­ney of a mirac­u­lous horse named Joey and its jour­ney to be re­united with its orig­i­nal owner Al­bert Nar­ra­cott.

Hid­dle­ston says af­ter see­ing the the­atre pro­duc­tion of War Horse, it was the com­bi­na­tion of the power of the story and the beauty of the char­ac­ter that drew him to the role.

‘‘ I had seen the stage show in Lon­don and it’s ab­so­lutely heart­break­ing and I’d al­ways felt a very pro­found at­tach­ment to the story of the First World War,’’ Hid­dle­ston says. ‘‘ I’d come off the back of play­ing Loki in Thor , who is quite a dam­aged crea­ture and I read this and thought ‘ here is a man that is so de­cent and so kind de­spite his sta­tus as an agent of sep­a­ra­tion’.’’

His char­ac­ter, Cap­tain Ni­cholls has the heart­break­ing task of tak­ing Joey, young Al­bert’s beloved horse, to war af­ter he is sold to the cavalry.

‘‘ He did it with such kind­ness that I thought that would be a lovely thing to ex­plore,’’ Hid­dle­ston says.

How­ever, he says his most trea­sured mem­ory of the ex­pe­ri­ence was shoot­ing with Hol­ly­wood great Spiel­berg, an event he’ll never for­get.

‘‘ I kept hav­ing to pinch my­self to be hon­est,’’ he says.

‘‘ I just felt that it was an enor­mous priv­i­lege and also a very spe­cial, very pri­vate val­i­da­tion that I picked the right job.’’

Hav­ing grown up watch­ing Spiel­berg’s clas­sics such as E. T.,

Jaws, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Juras­sic Park, Hid­dle­ston says it took him some time to get over his ini­tial ‘‘ fan- boy- like en­thu­si­asm’’ but that he never stopped ad­mir­ing Spiel­berg’s abil­i­ties on set.

‘‘ He’s just an ex­ces­sively gen­er­ous, kind, hum­ble and funny man,’’ he says.

‘‘ The thing that is most im­pres­sive is how ef­fi­cient, quick and de­ci­sive Steven is as a di­rec­tor, that he had an in­cred­i­bly nim­ble and wild imag­i­na­tion and so that there is a mix­ture of prepa­ra­tion and spon­ta­neous cre­ativ­ity.’’

Hid­dle­ston says he was pleas­antly sur­prised to see that, although Spiel­berg had a clear vi­sion for each scene and im­mac­u­lately sto­ry­boarded stunts, he also had a height­ened sense of what was hap­pen­ing on set each day. Editor Stu­art Gil­lies TV Editor Debbie Schipp Con­trib­u­tors Leigh Paatsch, Craig Miller, Re­becca Fitzgib­bon, Jar­rad Be­van, Jen­nifer Dud­ley- Nicholson TV Writ­ers Debbie Schipp, Tim Martain, Dar­ren Dev­lyn, Anooska Tucker- Evans, James Wigney Pro­duc­tion News cen­tral Queens­land De­signer Khan Ti­hema

Tas­ma­nia Ad­ver­tis­ing Kylie Leard [ p] 03 6230 0645 [ f] 03 6230 0766 [ e] leardk@dbl.newsltd.com.au Cover Brett Lee Pub­lished by News Magazines. Pro­pri­etor and pub­lisher Davies Broth­ers Pty Ltd ( ACN 009 475 754) of 91- 93 Mac­quarie St, Ho­bart, 7000 for in­ser­tion in the Sun­day Tas­ma­nian. Pro­grams sub­ject to late changes by the TV sta­tions.

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