Tom Hiddleston: “I’ve always thought of acting as kind of a three-dimensional anthropology”

tom-hiddleston-lokiI’ve been a fan of comic books as long as I can remember (I pretty much learned how to read from Batman comics) and I can’t think of any actor — past or present — who could be any better as Thor’s brother/nemesis Loki as Tom Hiddleston.  He’s just so damn good in the role that I’m a little disappointed that he won’t be the big bad in Avengers 2.  However, I’m just as excited to see Hiddleston take on other roles… especially if they’re villainous. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Hiddleston explains what is about him as actor that connects so well with bad guys.

Hiddleston starts by pointing out, “I think villains, really great villains, are always the most complex.  Because in their heart, there is always some kind of deeply complicated psychology that you need to unpack and un-knit and understand.”

As it turns out, Hiddleston will be doing the voice for an even more famous villain, Captain James Hook, in the upcoming Disney animated Tinker Bell movie The Pirate Fairy.  The film will explore Hook’s origins, and Hiddleston explains that he sees Hook’s transformation from cabin boy to commander as an example of that deep psychological transformation, saying,  “I’ve always thought of acting as kind of a three-dimensional anthropology. It is the study of human nature in some regard. Like psychologists will give lectures and people will write books, but actors do the same sort of digging around when they’re allowed to and they present their findings in their characters, and each character is different, but it seems to me that ‘villains’ — and I put that word in inverted commas — they are just the most complex. They have the most complicated motivations. They have, quite often, quite broken personalities. The fun is digging around in why.”

Of course, Loki and Captain Hook aside, let’s not pretend Hiddleston has only played villains.  He points to his memorable role in Woody Allen‘s Midnight in Paris as an example, noting, “I’ve played a few heroes as well — well, not heroes, but like … good guys. I don’t think F. Scott Fitzgerald had any world-destroying ambitions.”  Then again, or did he? 

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