Tom Hiddleston on Being a “Circus Bear” and Why It Pleases Him That People Don’t Recognize Him for His Non-Marvel Work

tom-hiddleston-lokiOne might expert that after the massive success of Thor, The Avengers, and Thor: The Dark World, Tom Hiddleston would be enjoying rock-star success.  However, in an interview with the Los Angeles Times Hiddleston, who plays the scene-stealing villainous Loki in the three films, speaks about how he appreciates his rabid Marvel fanbase but also how he loves the fact that the recognition he receives for Loki allows him to disappear in other roles, ones that are closer to his heart.

Part of that is because out of costume Hiddleston doesn’t particularly look like the long-haired, wide-eyed Loki, which suits him well in his career as an actor and celebrity.  He points out, “I feel like I’m just at the beginning of my life as an actor.  I’ve become very well-known as someone I don’t look like.”

Yet it doesn’t mean that Hiddleston isn’t delighting in the exposure the role has gotten him — from appearing at Comic-Con in full Loki garb to address fans in-character, appearing in a parody of the “It’s Not Complicated” AT&T commercials as the vengeful god, or breaking into a dance routine during a promotional appearance in South Korea.  When asked why he’s game for so many odd requests, Hiddleston admits its better than answering questions.  He says, “I say ‘yes’ a lot.  It looks like I’ve been a circus bear, but it’s more fun to do that sort of thing than to endlessly recycle answers.”  Yet despite all that insanity, Hiddleston confesses that he is most comfortable doing Shakespeare, as he will be next in a production of Coriolanus.  He says, “Shakespeare is like home turf.  It keeps me sharp. It makes me happy above all else.”

While it might seem to be an odd fit for a classically-trained Shakespearean actor to relish the opportunities to be seen as “a circus bear,” he suggests that it’s similar to the multi-layered characters he tends to portray on screen and on stage.  He explains, “I think most people have very complicated, tumultuous inner lives. That’s what fascinates me — everyone has so many contradictory layers. We are not consistent and we’re always striving to be something and running away from something else, unless you’re totally Zen and everything’s sorted out and you’re Jeff Bridges.”

Though it’s Loki that gets most of the attention, Hiddleston admits that he is please that he isn’t as recognized for his other roles.  He reveals, “I feel as though ultimately it’s my work that people know.  The other day I was on an airplane and halfway through the flight, the air hostess said, ‘I’m trying to work out what movie you were in. I just worked it out. It’s Loki. What else have you been in?’ I said, ‘Well, I was in War Horse and Midnight in Paris.’ She was like, ‘I loved those movies. Who’d you play?’ What I love is that she remembered the characters, she didn’t particularly remember me. That means I’ve done my job.”

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