Scottish Daily Mail

Oh Tom, what DO you think you’re wearing?


- by Sarah Vine

AS EVERY woman will testify, there is one thing Mr Right never, ever wears: leather. That particular­ly goes for leather trousers, a leather coat, leather knee-high boots or — heaven forbid — a leather policeman’s hat. No matter the size of the bouquet of roses or carat of diamond Mr Right may bestow upon us, if he wears any of this, the romance will be declared well and truly over.

So when pictures of a reedy chap trussed up in all of these offending items — looking like one of the Village People’s sleazier cousins — appeared in a magazine yesterday, you could almost hear female hearts breaking around the country. For there, clad in an array of kinky outfits, ladies, was no other than Tom Hiddleston, once the man described as every thinking woman’s fantasy.

The vaguely disturbing spread of pictures appeared in Interview magazine — a trendy American publicatio­n which features conversati­ons between super-cool celebritie­s — alongside a suitably gushing interview with Hiddleston by Sherlock Holmes star Benedict Cumberbatc­h.

Hiddleston could not have looked more different to Jonathan Pine, the suave, but very convential­ly attired young spy he played in the hit BBC series, The Night Manager.

In a distinctly luvvie-ish interview, the star, once the subject of Middle Britain’s deepest fantasies, talked to his fellow thesp.

There is much fawning over Hiddleston’s stellar career in the interview and some ‘self-deprecatin­g’ jokes about how humble he is.

But somewhat strangely, considerin­g the acres of column inches it attracted, there is no mention of his painfully contrived three-month relationsh­ip with American pop star Taylor Swift or the acres of leather in the photoshoot.

Lifting the lid on his ‘boring’ life away from the set, he revealed that once the cameras had stopped rolling for The Night Manager he ‘flew home and went to my sister’s engagement party. I was surrounded by family.

‘And they were so reassuring. And then I just live such a boring life. I potter about, read books I’ve meant to read but haven’t had time . . . go for coffee, and read the paper and hang out with my mom and dad.’

What on earth can ‘Mom and Dad’ think of these pictures?

After all, is a leather flasher mac really what you wear to potter about the Home Counties — or how about a tight boiler suit complete with waistcinch­ing belt?

Surely this fresh sartorial car crash is the candle-snuffer to the tiny spark of a crush any of us had for the suave Old Etonian.

Oh Hiddy, why oh why have you done this? You’ve put us through the pain of watching you cavort with Taylor Swift, a relationsh­ip that seemed as staged as it was unsuitable for an actor of your calibre.

In The Night Manager, you seemed so much more than your convention­al, square-jawed Hollywood hunk. Your manners and bearing screamed oldfashion­ed gentleman — no doubt honed by your stint at Eton and your double first in classics from Cambridge. And, Tom, you wore a threepiece suit like you were born to it.

That Tom Hiddleston — that simmering cauldron of emotion, that loin-girding demi-god, the one we all fell madly in love with — was cooler than Bond, sexier than Poldark and cleverer (well, almost) than Stephen Hawking.

Now, something very odd seems to have happened to you, the man we all fell in love with. Either that, or your performanc­e in The Night Manager was a fluke, a one-off flash of genius that belied your true nature.

In these photos you look like a rather low-rent fashion victim. Indeed, if I may say so Tom, you look like a monumental fool. Either that, or you’ve taken some very bad advice from your stylist. Because, really, why in the name of all that is holy would you allow yourself to be trussed up like a sado-masochisti­c strip-o-gram?

Perhaps I’m being a little harsh. Perhaps you’re doing it for a dare. Maybe for a charity calendar for rubber fetishists? That is the only acceptable explanatio­n. Otherwise there can be no rationale for allowing yourself to be squeezed into this assemblage of bizarre get-ups.

Admittedly, though, you do have form for the whole full-length leather thing. Your character in the Avengers series, the evil Loki, has a definite penchant for black leather and flamboyant head-dresses. But there’s a difference between cartoon villain and total clown.

None of this is made any less embarrassi­ng by the expression of concentrat­ed seriousnes­s on your face, Tom. But most of all, the question you need to answer is, why?

Why, when the world is clamouring for your services, would you stoop to doing a photoshoot that looks like it would be most at home in a seedy telephone kiosk?

What could there possibly be to gain from it? At what point do you put down the latest star-studded script to drop through your postbox and say to yourself: ‘Actually, I think I’ll say no to Spielberg for now and do a weird photoshoot instead.’

With hindsight, there were always some worrying signs about your judgment. That cringe-worthy I ‘heart’ Taylor Swift T-shirt for starters. A clear sign of a man who appears impervious to making a twit of himself.

The charitable view would be that you’re so unaware of your appeal that you either don’t care or notice how you look. But you’re an actor, so that just cannot be.

You’re a good actor too, which is what makes these pictures all the more disconcert­ing.

He’s dressed like a sado-masochisti­c male strip-o-gram There’s a difference between cartoon villain and clown

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