Find out how much Loki has changed since we last saw him battling his brother in Thor. Plus find out what Joss Whedon's notes were for the God of Mischief's performance, and why Hiddleston thinks Whedon loves this villain most of all.
We sat down with Tom Hiddleston in a roundtable interview at New York Comic Con to talk all things Avengers, and grabbed the best bits from the video interview right here for you. We made sure to ask him what mysterious weapon he was wielding in the new Avengers trailer.
This is the second time you're playing the same character, but with very different directors. What is the difference between working with Kenneth Branagh versus Joss Whedon?
Tom Hiddleston: The thing about the two of them, is they actually share more than you might first imagine, weirdly. Joss is a huge Shakespeare buff and and Ken is a closet fanboy. True story. But also they both have a sort of pan literacy about story telling and mythology and literature and comics. And they understand classic tropes of storytelling, narrative arcs… They're also both just immensely passionate people, really good at leading, really good at inspiring actors, all of that stuff. I guess everyone has a different artistic fingerprint, and of course whatever that fingerprint is [it] changes as you grow older. Ken has a very classical warmth about him. I think Thor is both warm and classical in tone. Joss is really interested in comedy as well, within a scifi context. You have this huge canvas where 8 superheroes are teaming up to save the world, and he's brave enough to make it funny.
How did that change your performance? How did Loki change?
He changes as in, he's definitively more menacing. A lot more. Loki in Thor is a lost prince, and there's a degree of vulnerability and confusion about his identity. In The Avengers he knows exactly who he is, he's fully self possessed and he's here with a particular mission.
Why does Loki need to take out his vengeance on Earth?
Like all delusional autocrats, he doesn't see it as vengeance. He sees it as a good thing. Essentially he's come down to Earth to subjugate it, to rule the human race as their King. His primary argument is, this planet is rife and populated by people who are constantly fighting each other. If they're all united together in their reverence of one King, there will be no war. I'm not sure he's right about that, but that's his reasoning… I think there's still a jealousy that Thor gets to have a kingdom. Thor gets Asgard, so he's going to come and make his own kingdom.
Do you get to do some of the Joss Whedon comedy or all you all hellfire and brimstone?
A lot of hellfire and brimstone. Joss had two notes for me — one was "more feral," and the other was "enjoy yourself." And I think there's this kind of relish that Loki takes in being who he is that I hope the audience will enjoy as well.
You had some awesome physicality at the end of Thor as well, are we going to see more of that?
Do you have some cronies?
There's a lot of working alone, and then there's a little bit of support as well.
How do you handle taking on 8 superheroes with one bad guy?
It's all in a day's work, man. There's something about Loki that's been expanded. He's an enormously powerful being, he's the God of Mischief. And between the end of Thor and the beginning of Avengers, he's evolved. It's as if he's been on a three years worth of military training. He knows a few extra things, tricks up his sleeve. It's really fun. It was hugely physically demanding, for me. There's a kind of lethal and yet sinewy strength that he has. That sometimes is about magic and a supernatural power that he has, and other times a raw physicality. Which is just me and my body.
Did you and Chris discuss what sort of interaction you were going to have?
We sat down with Joss individually and then we sort of talked about it together. But Joss had such good ideas, we were sort of just following his lead, because it's not a sequel to the Thor film, it's a sequel to the Iron Man film and the Captain America film as well. His idea was just so smart. I took it as a huge compliment that Joss thought that what I did in Thor was OK enough to warrant putting me in the next one.
Joss has a soft spot for Loki — I think he kind of likes him as a character. And thought that he could take both Thor and Loki further down that path, and make the sibling rivalry a really interesting element of the clash of egos in Avengers.
What was that wonderful toy you were playing with in the trailer?
It's a kind of evolution that he played with at the end of Thor. But that's Odin's spear, so at the end of Thor that's Odin's spear and then this is his own makeshift staff of destruction.
Will Odin be in the film?
Odin won't be in this film.
Speaking about the trailer there were lots of explosions, and it a lot of shots of New York. Does Loki come to destroy New York? What's the scope of this film, is it global, is it just one city?
No, it's not just one city. But inevitably Manhattan becomes a focused point partly because that's where Tony Stark lives. There's one shot in the trailer you can see the Quinjet flying towards Manhattan and in the middle of it is Stark Tower. In the fictitious world of the comics Tony Star has a huge… um… interestingly shaped tower, opposite the Chrysler building, which is his base of operations, that's where Stark Industries operates out of. Stark Tower becomes a focal point for lots of reasons.