The gods of villainy have been smiling down on the raven-haired son of Asgard lately, and by Odin’s beard are we glad.
Thanks to Tom Hiddleston’s brilliant portrayal of charismatic Norse trickster Loki, it’s standing-room only on his super-villain bandwagon, making his third appearance in Disney’s Marvel release, Thor: The Dark World, quite possibly the most highly anticipated – and best one – yet.
“When I was a kid, when I’d watch the bad guys, the ones I loved were the ones who you sort of wanted to win,” Hiddleston says. “And there is that [with Loki]. What I hope you’ll see is that he’s still vulnerable and that all of his inclination to provoke chaos and start fires and create conflict and enjoy all of that stuff – his delight in disorder – is a mask of control.”
“Behind the mask is someone incredibly wounded and lost and conflicted. The duplicity of those things, the dichotomy of the two, the outer and the inner – that’s gold for an actor,” he adds.
And gold for everyone else watching, too. Just so you know.
I had the incredibly amazing opportunity to sit down with Hiddleston the night Thor: The Dark World celebrated its red carpet premiere in Hollywood to chat more about what it’s like to live the life of a villain, and in doing so, theorized that Loki is really (maybe even secretly) a Disney prince.
10 reasons why my theory makes complete sense, and yes, I absolutely blurred the line between the man and the mythical figure he plays – with help from Hiddleston of course:
Let the Lokification begin! 1 of 17
With both "Tom Hiddleston" and "Tom Hiddleston as Loki" headlining everything across the internets for the weeks now, it's pretty safe to say the God of Mischief is a guy we all reeeally love to hate. And by hate, I mean kiss. Of course.
He’s vaguely British 2 of 17
All the good princes are.
In related news, Hiddleston went to school with Prince William at Eton and speaks speaks multiple languages. Obviously a pre-requisite to princehood.
He is burdened with glorious purpose. And speaks in poems 3 of 17
"I love playing all kinds of roles, " Hiddleston says. "I always feel like human nature is like a piano and there are 88 keys; and there are some white keys and some black keys, and each character is a different chord on the piano. I hope that in the course of my life I will have played all 88 keys in lots of different ways."
"So I'll have played heroes, and villains, and princes and kings and warriors and beggars and thieves and lovers and fathers and wizards and all of those things," he adds.
Anyone else agree that he could read a grocery list and we'd all be chins-on-our-knees enthralled?
His villanous wardrobe is subtly Disneyfied 4 of 17
Jafar-like robes and a staff, plus a horned Maleficenty helmet? I dare you to deny the similarities.
He always lands on his feet 5 of 17
"He's basically been written out of history, condemned to be forgotten, unseen and unheard and haunted by his demons for eternity," Hiddleston says. "He's keeping himself sharp by reading a lot and keeping his mind exercised. He's not great at the long game, but he's very good at improvising, so he'll always manipulate every situation to his own advantage."
He’s wicked gorgeous 6 of 17
There's something about the elegance of Hiddleston himself and the sleekness he brings to Loki that collectively commands a certain amount of respect and immediate swooning.
Case in point: This video of Loki taking over Comic Con.
Second case in point: During our conversation, we immediately became besties. I haven't told him yet, but still.
He wants to do the right thing 7 of 17
"There's a kind of spiritual vulnerability, which is really acute. And I think he hits rock bottom in this film. He's more alone, he's more lonely, more sad, angrier... I think he's almost freer," Hiddleston says. "He's more mischevious, he's more fun, and he's more provocative."
Thor makes no bones about there [being] no olive branch. It's like, 'I need you, and if you betray me I will kill you,'" Hiddleston adds. "It gives Loki something to work with in a way."
He’s a firecracker. 8 of 17
"Loki is the second son, the younger brother who finds out that the narrative of his life is a lie," Hiddleston says. "He was adopted, he was betrayed, he was left on a frozen rock to die, and that breaks his heart.
He was also a very intelligent, fantastic strategist who was a master of magic and he's sort of the wild card," he adds. "If there were a pack of fireworks, Loki is the firework on the end. You're not quite sure what it's going to do. If you light the fuse the firework will go up and around and spin around you and explode in a ball of multicolored fire. And that is spiritually who Loki is. And so playing on that unpredictability and his playfulness has been really fun."
He gets the importance of family. 9 of 17
Womb to tomb. Birth to earth. Blood is always thicker than water, no matter how difficult it is to look past previous wrongs.
The good thing about Loki is he is genuinely dancing on this high wire tightrope between good and evil, between redemption and damnation, so you never know what he's gonna do next," Hiddleston says. "There are a couple of scenes where I feel like the two brothers - you just really get a sense of the particular chemistry of these two guys."
"My friendship with Chris [Hemsworth] is something that infused that relationship, because he and I, we met in 2009, we were both in our late 20s, we'd been kicking around the business for the same amount of time, and we became very firm and fast friends," he adds. "And we've had this amazing adventure together. I think our friendship really infuses the Thor/Loki relationship in this film and that's probably my greatest pride."
He’s gallant. 10 of 17
He's not above rescuing a damsel in distress, and has been quoted as saying, "You should treat your love like a princess. Give her love songs, something with real meaning. Maybe I'm old-fashioned, but to respect the woman you love should be a priority."
He’s basically just the right amount of wrong 11 of 17
"Loki's just a minor chord with a couple of black notes in there," Hiddleston says. "His mischief is the thing that I love playing so much. His playfulness, his sense of fun... and the challenge of course, is to make him real and vulnerable and complex."
He has street cred 12 of 17
He’s a bit of a pirate 13 of 17
Hiddleston is playing Captain Hook in the upcoming film, The Pirate Fairy, so obviously, the Disneyfication has already begun. And he sings for the role too. Because of course he does.
"It's basically a prequel to the Peter Pan Universe," Hiddleston says. "Tinkerbell's involved and one of the fairies called Zarina, voiced by Christina Hendricks, goes and makes friends with the pirates and at first they're really fun and there's this young cabin boy called James, and he later reveals himself to be Captain James Hook."
Apparently, that's where the fun ends...
He’s great with kids 14 of 17
Depending on your definition of "great" of course. This particular illustration is my current fave.
What? He's only doing what us mere mortals wish we could.
He’s good with a sword 15 of 17
A fact to use as you wish.
He basically does whatever he wants 16 of 17
Pretty sure we're all ok with how that's working out.
He’s Master of the Obvious 17 of 17
Loki is an Asgardian Prince within the Marvel universe. Disney owns Marvel, which by default, makes Loki a Disney prince. Boom. I'd drop a mic here if I could. Pretend.
Obviously, the next logical move is to give Loki his own movie. The box office take on Thor: The Dark World for opening weekend alone smacks of glorious Lokification. So get on that, Marvel-ous Disney filmmakers.
Hiddleston even has a premise all ready to go:
"I'd love to see him team up with the Enchantress who is as untrustworthy and as skilled in the powers of magic as he is," he says. "They would have quite an interesting dance that they do of recognizing that they're basically the same, but that that's why they shouldn't be together."
"I'd love to see him with Dr. Doom, who was one of Spiderman's big villains," he adds. "And there's a villain called Surtur, and he's the fire demon who is a pretty crazy cat. I think that would be an interesting alliance. But I feel like if Loki ever teams up he's just using people, you know."
But to those speculating that there is such a thing - a spin-off - in the works, there's nothing official. Not yet anyway.
"People have asked me about it and the idea that anyone, whether it's one man and his dog wants to see Loki in a solo movie is such a huge compliment," Hiddleston says. "I hear it's more than one man and his dog, but we'll have to see. I honestly don't know what the future of Loki is at this point, but it has been a roller coaster and more than I have ever expected."
"There's no point in me having expectations anymore because whatever happens is going surpass them, so I'll just ride it out I think. Just buckle up and ride it out," he adds.
I call shotgun. Just saying.
Photo credits: Walt Disney Pictures, Marvel, Comedy Central (screengrab), Tom Hiddleston Twitter
Travelhound Pilar wouldn’t mind being at Walt Disney World eating the ears off a Mickey ice cream bar right about now. But, since she can’t be at her “second home” year round, she curates happy thoughts on Disney Social Media Magic, a virtual springboard where breaking news and other Disneyfied thingamabobs are shared. For more mouse-minded geekery, join Pilar on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and personal site, One Mom Media.