Hiddleswift saga AM I A LEADING MAN NOW? A MOVIE STAR? THAT’S FOR THE MOVIE GODS TO SAY”
Big ticket Roles: 1 essaying the role of country music legend the role of Hank williams in I Saw The Light 2 Opposite alison Pill in Midnight in Paris 3 Hiddleston ( left) is best known for his portrayal of the trickster god loki in the Marvel movie Thor
“I loved King Kong since I was a little boy,” he explained. “I was a devout fan of the ( 1933) Fay Wray version. It went beyond the idea that he was just a big monkey. I’ve always loved adventure movies when people explore an unknown land or new territory. In our civilised world, I think we’re all quite intrigued and curious to think about how we would get on if we were sent to a place untouched by man.”
Vogt- Roberts let Hiddleston get involved in the development of his character. “I wanted him to be someone who started off in this world- weary mood,” the actor said. “His experience on the island needed to give him a new humility in the face of wonder. He needed to experience the power of the natural world, which is what Kong represents.”
Hiddleston also wanted the story to reflect the realities of war. “One of my favourite scenes is with Brie,” he said. “She asks my character about how he started his career. I say, ‘ I became a tracker for the S. A. S. because my father was lost in World War II. I’ve dedicated my life to recovering lost soldiers.’ I loved the line where I say, ‘ No man comes home from war — not really.’
“That’s a big reason why I wanted to do this Kong,” Hiddleston said. “We start with these soldiers who have had an experience that’s unimaginable in Vietnam. There is already a weight and depth to them.”
On the set, Vogt- Roberts said, he got into an easy shooting routine with Hiddleston. “Tom and I would debate if we should move on or do another take,” the director recalled. “If I’d want one more, he might say, ‘ We got it.’ I’d say, ‘ It’s only for forever.’ If I said, ‘ We got it, so let’s move on,’ then he would say, ‘ It’s only for forever.’
“The truth is, Tom has that burning flame in him,” Vogt- Roberts said. “He cares about the history of this art form. It’s rare to find people like him.”
Filming took place in Vietnam, Hawaii and Australia, a long way from a s a f e - a n d - s e c u r e Ho l l y woo d soundstage. “One day, a brown snake came slithering by me, plus we looked up to see the webs of huge funnel spiders that I hear are quite dangerous,” Hiddleston said, shivering. “I was later told that where we were had the highest concentration of dangerous animals ( of almost any place) on earth.”
The film i nvolved considerable amounts of hiking and running in terror, which kept Hiddleston in the gym for much of his off- time. “I trained with two former British Royal Marines and a Navy Seal,” he said. “The physical demands were extraordinary, but that was fine. There is no break in the physical training for me between films now, since Thor was also on the horizon. I see it as a condition of my job to be in excellent physical health,” he said. “These roles require stamina.”
No, he didn’t have any scenes with a gigantic ape: Kong was played by a tennis ball on a stick, which later would be transformed into Kong through the magic of computergenerated imagery. “So much of the engagement on a film like this one is imagining where the character is, how big he is or how fast he is running,” Hiddleston said. “But I also loved the scenes where Kong wasn’t there. Give me some really good dialogue. That’s exciting to me.”
The future star grew up in Oxfordshire, England, loving movies and the theatre. His mother was a stage manager and his father a scientist. Hiddleston was educated at Eton College and later the University of Cambridge, before graduating from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in 2005.
He made his feature- film debut in Unrelated ( 2007), and then was cast as the trickster god Loki in Thor ( 2011), a role he reprised in The Avengers ( 2012) and Thor: The Dark World ( 2013). Between Marvel outings, he’s been seen in Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris ( 2011), The Deep Blue Sea ( 2011), Steven Spielberg’s War Horse ( 2011), I Saw the Light ( 2015) — in which he played country- music legend Hank Williams — and Crimson Peak. He ventured into television to star in the critically acclaimed miniseries The Night Manager ( 2016), based on John Le Carre’s novel. Next up is Thor: Ragnarok. The film pits Thor against the Hulk in a gladiator match contrived by the ruthless Hela ( Cate Blanchett).
Hiddleston said that working with New Zealand- born director Taika Waititi had brought freshness and new life to the franchise. “He’s a wonderful director, really spirited and light- hearted,” the actor said. “Taika is a wonderful, warm spirit who loves to make people laugh. You’ll definitely see some humour in the new film.”
There’s a certain humour to Loki, the god of mischief, but also more than a trace of evil. Is Loki a monster? “It’s not for me to say,” Hiddleston said, grinning. “Audiences can decide who they want to be their monsters. Who can tell another what or who is scary?”
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