Just prior to the red carpet event at the Tribeca Film Festival we had the opportunity to interview Cobie Smulders (Sgt. Maria Hill from S.H.I.E.L.D.) and Tom Hiddleston (Loki). Check out my interview with Cobie Smulders. At the point of this interview we had not had a chance to see the movie yet, though we were literally a few hours away from doing so. But all the previews I saw regarding The Avengers had Loki looking greasy, slimy, and not very attractive. If you’ve had a chance to see the movie Thor you would have know this already. Obviously as a villian, he probably isn’t supposed to look very good. But even after checking out several “normal” pictures of Tom Hiddleston as himself on the internet did not overly impress me.
Needless to say, I was stunned the moment he walked into the room and I know I was not the only one with this initial reaction. With piercing blue eyes, lightly tousled hair, a charismatic grin, and a compelling British accent I was completely dumbfounded. Clearly the pictures I saw did not do him justice. He immediately started to shake everyone’s hand and ask for our names. I found this gesture to be very polite and charming. Talk about a way to effectively grasp your audience. By making direct eye contact with each of us and shaking our hands he had our complete attention. Of course when it was my turn to introduce myself I must have mumbled my name (so much for all my competitive speech experience!), because he asked me my name again. I responded with “Alicia” to which he said, “you mean like Alicia Keys? (I nodded my head) Would you like to sing for us?” I smiled and laughed, but I also adamantly shook my head no. Ahhhh….it was our little moment:)
Below you will find a synopsis of our interview. I found his answers to be intelligent and meaningful. He obviously takes his profession quite seriously and naturally adds his dramatic flare. I was not at all surprised when he mentions he studied Shakespeare. His voice and very presence has a strong lasting impression and I envision more great movie roles in his future. And you can bet I will be enthusiastically waiting to see them!
Do you prefer being a bad guy or a good guy?
I love playing both, to be honest. The challenges involved in both. I wiggle my way out of the answer but, I
am interested in flawed heroes and heroic villains. There’s a Stanislavski question in — in his Russian acting training. Ask about his character is “who am I?” I don’t believe in moral absolutes. And a director I worked with in London said, actually, a more interesting way of framing that is — if you divide it into two questions — “Who do I want to be?” and “Who am I afraid I am?”And when you’re playing the good guy, it’s the first question: “Who do I want to be?”and virtuous and kind and decent and funny and — and generous and warm. I want to be good. And if I’m a bad guy, it’s, like, “Who am I afraid I am?” When you play the bad guy you do get to sort of cut loose. I mean, it’s not every day I get to fly around a — a satellite facility in NASA like it’s my own personal service.
I absolutely loved you and I felt bad for you, because of all the bad things that had happened. In “Thor” I personally felt really bad for you. Are we going to feel that bad for you in this movie?
…..the ante because there’s seven superheroes that make up the Avengers, and, in order for the film to work, the film is
the most redemptive, feel-good, kind of fist-pumping story. Loki does some pretty nasty things. And on one level, it was like, I knew I had to up the and, in order for the audience to be pumping their fists for Iron Man, and Hulk, and Thor, and Captain America, they need to overcome a really big obstacle. That big obstacle is me. [LAUGHS].
I hope I have retained a sense of his kind of emotional damage. Where you see a glimmer of his vulnerability, but it
comes yielded to the dark side, you know?
How much research did you do for the role?
More than a little bit, I would say. I trained as a theatre actor in London, so I don’t mean to sound pretentious, but Shakespeare is always a really easy paradigm for me, because he wrote such amazing characters. He’s more like Iago now and less like Edmond in “King Lear.” So I studied Iago basically brings down an entire culture. Someone – asks him, “Why did you do this?” H responds with, “What you know, you know. And you don’t ever find out really why at the end, and he is just…an arsehole.
What were your reactions when you read the script?
It came in paper form- hand delivered. It was very top secret. Joss Whedon told me I was going to be the
only villain, but I really couldn’t believe that part, and the quality of his writing. It’s the most precise, dramatic, violent, and hilarious screenplay that I’ve ever read. I was like, “You’ve done it.” “Joss, you have done it. we’ve done it.” It felt like a sequel to all of them, but also a standalone film that had no relation to any of them because of its unique brand of epicness and charm. He really nailed it.
MY QUESTION! Did you find the technical aspects of the film to be tedious at times?
You mean the greenscreen? The thing about greenscreen, and I would say that, and I trained as a theater actor in London, it’s just like being on stage. With Chekhov, you’re not really in 19th century Russia. You’re in a theatre in London. And when you’re on a soundstage in Albuquerque and this greenscreen, you’re supposed to imagine that you’re at the top of a skyscraper in New York, and you’re not really, your imagination has a greater intensity. You need to work a bit harder. So I find it can be quite releasing in a way. Especially if you’re working with an actor. The magic is in the chemistry. You just have to imagine that. It’s like a muscle, your imagination. However sometimes there is no substitute for the real thing. You have to find a way of cultivating an emotional response to this imaginary explosion that’s going to be put in post-production.
Follow The Avengers at the Tribeca Film Festival by following the hashtag #TheAvengersEvent
Marvel’s The Avengers is in theaters May 4th! Tomorrow!!
My trip to the Tribeca Film Festival in NYC was courtesy of Disney, all opinions expressed are my own.