AN ACTOR OF MANY TALENTS
included Kenneth Branagh, Joss Whedon and Spielberg. Coming up: Guillermo del Toro on Crimson Peak (in which Hiddleston replaced his pal and War Horse co-star Benedict Cumberbatch) and Ben Wheatley on High Rise. It’s all happening. If he continues to choose well then he may end up going head-to-head with Cumberbatch as the UK’s brightest of bright young things.
It was Branagh on Thor in 2011 who, says Hiddleston, encouraged him “to go to some pretty extreme places from time to time emotionally”.
Spielberg did it, too, in that apocalyptic cavalry charge in War Horse.
The Avengers franchise is something else entirely but Hiddleston lends it equal weight. Deep down he treats it all like Shakespeare.
“It’s always nice to know that the man behind the eye, behind the lens, behind the camera is someone who knows what it’s like to go to those extreme places in performance,” he says of Branagh though he could be talking about any of his directors.
“You can get any number of different sorts of acting notes from Ken.
“In one instance he came up to me and said ‘Tom, this is the moment where the thin steel rod that’s holding your brain together snaps’.
“He then walked away and promptly span on his heels, came back and said ‘I’m aware by the way that that’s a rather challenging thing to ask you to do. So we can have a couple of goes.’”
As long as he keeps his sense of humour he’ll do just fine as our next great star.