You mentioned on Fallon the other night that it’s “all come full circle.” You’ve gone through an incredible character arc that’s spanned across 14 years of your life. When you joined in 2009, did you ever anticipate Loki being a centerpiece in the MCU?
Tom Hiddleston: No, this journey has been the most surprising, rewarding, fulfilling, and beyond all my expectations and dreams. Truly. I knew when I was cast in 2009, on the page, Loki was already a really complex, deep, and multifaceted character. And I was really looking forward to exploring all that complexity within this story about family and belonging and responsibility.
But I had no idea it would be this roller coaster with these hidden twists and turns. It’s been one of the most extraordinary things that’s happened in my whole life, without question.
And when I think about it, it gives me a pause because I think it’s unusual. I feel very grateful and very fortunate.
When it comes to MCU GOATs, there are marquee names like Iron Man or Spider-Man, and now Loki has entered the conversation as many people’s favorite character. How does it feel to go from one of the most hated villains to one of the most beloved heroes in the MCU?
TH: Wow, well, I feel moved. I think it’s a testament, really. I always think Loki has become what the audience sees in him. And I think my performances have been in dialogue with the audiences’ interpretations.
In the first Thor movie, there was a very poignant arc of the younger brother, the second son in the royal family. And [Loki] feels marginalized, outcast, lonely, and betrayed—like he doesn’t belong. He finds out he was adopted, and that sets him on a journey of heartbreak. Then his heart hardens and he becomes consumed with vengefulness and anger. And that grief is mutated into grievance. And that’s how he becomes a villain, I suppose.
But I think he’s become an emblem of things that the audience sees in him. He can represent those who feel marginalized or outside of things, different or complex. For a god, he is remarkably human.
Loki has interacted with a bunch of characters over the MCU timeline. If you were to make your return to the MCU, which character are you personally most excited to reunite with?
TH: Every time I’m in a partnership with somebody new and the chemistry is new, it’s kind of like dancing with someone or playing tennis with them. And what happens in the rally across the net is this quality of something different. And it’s really hard because I’ve enjoyed all of it.
I’ve enjoyed every dance or every tennis game. Working with Chris [Hemsworth] is one thing. Working with Sofia [Di Martino] is another. Working with Ke [Huy Quan] was extraordinary. And of course Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo, Tessa Thompson, Jeff Goldblum—whoever it is— there’s always something new there.
So I don’t know. There’s obviously a great weight and meaning to those big relationships with Thor and with Sylvie and with Mobius. But who knows? We’ll see. Time will tell.