Us movie loving folk here at Film ’89 are generally pretty comfortable with praising Marvel Studios for the majority of their output but we do accept the one gripe many fans have the villains in MCU films aren’t always as well crafted or memorable as they could be. Such a gripe could not however be levelled at the God of Mischief himself, Loki.
The actor responsible for bringing him to the screen, Tom Hiddleston is due to make his triumphant return in the upcoming Thor: Ragnorok. This time however, instead of his usual turn as the film’s antagonist, Loki now finds himself teaming up with his brother Thor as part of a “Cosmic Avengers” of sorts, to take on Cate Blanchett’s Hela, Goddess of Death.
Collider recently spoke to Hiddleston about his character’s change of allegiance and what’s been happening with Loki since we saw him sat on the throne, posing as his father Odin and in turn becoming the ruler of Asgard. The actor was rather reluctant to give away too much;
“You’ll have to wait and see. That question is answered in this film, so I’m loathe to tell you because I think it’s surprising and fun. But yeah, you’re right. He finished Thor: The Dark World on the throne and it’s taken awhile for anyone to catch on. He’s a mercurial spirit, and the minute you try to define him, he changes shape. Events in Ragnarok do try and inspire him to change forever… The Goddess of Death shows up, and the stakes are high for everybody, so Loki, perhaps more than ever, is challenged to define himself in the face of that threat.”
The sibling rivalry between Thor and Loki has played a major part in the character’s personal motivations, but now they them find themselves having to work together, but how does Loki regard his brother? Hiddleston has an interesting take on his character’s regard for the God of Thunder;
“I’ve said this about Loki before, but the opposite of love isn’t hate but indifference. The idea that Thor might be indifferent to Loki is troubling for him, because the defining feature of his character is ‘I don’t belong in the family; my brother doesn’t love me; I hate my brother.’ And the idea that his brother’s like, ‘Yeah, whatever’ is an interesting development. But what I loved about Ragnarok when I first read it, the two of them are placed in such an extraordinary situation where everything is unfamiliar, that their familiarity as family members becomes important.”
The trailers we’ve seen thus far show a much lighter, comedic element to the characters, in particular Thor, and Hiddleston was quick to acknowledge his approval of the tone of this third outing;
“It’s fantastic. Chris is hilarious, and I’ve always known him as a hilarious man, even making the first film. I love that his comedy chops are being flexed and it’s great for the film. We have the luxury of having established so much. Everybody knows Asgard; everybody knows the rules, so now we can play with archetypes and tropes and expectations in a really fun way. It’s very funny — when we go down to Earth, Thor is dressed in a T-shirt and jeans and Loki is dressed in a beautiful black, single-breasted suit because he’s stylish. But there’s a moment where they bump into two girls on the street and they’re big Avengers fans and they want to take a selfie and Loki thinks this is all extremely childish and so uninteresting and dull. He’s, like, ‘Oh great, I have to deal with my brother’s fans now. His superiority is funny there.”
So whilst Loki appears to be adapting more to his brothers presence, how will he cope with having to work alongside The Hulk? The last time the two came face to face in The Avengers, it’s fair to say that the “Puny God” was left somewhat bruised and battered. Hiddleston put his unique spin on his character’s take on that last encounter;
“The way I see it is, in The Avengers, Hulk and Loki never really had a conversation. It was more of a ‘physical meeting’, an extended ‘group hug’ shall we say. So it’s fun when the two of them [meet up again]. You’ll see. I don’t wanna spoil it.”
With the new emerging threat in Hela, it seems that Loki will find himself having to change his ways more as a result of a situational need more than him suddenly deciding for himself and Hiddleston was quick to acknowledge that her arrival in Asgard will send ripples throughout the Kingdom;
“He and every other character underestimates her power, and they underestimate the secret she has which blindsides them all: the idea that she has been lying in wait all this time for the stage to be set for her return. She is all-powerful, and so everything about her is surprising to Loki and to Thor as well.”
The actor who originally tested for the role of Thor himself prior to Hemsworth eventually beating him to it, has found critical and fan based acclaim as Loki and spoke of why the character is so important to him and what it was like to return to the role after several years;
“Loki’s a character that has always tested the limits of his power and has always tested the boundaries placed upon him. He doesn’t just stick his finger in the electrical plug socket. He burns the house down and, [now] he has to deal with the consequences of, like, ‘Oh shit – I started something here.’ I can’t reveal what makes him rethink his perspective, but there is a big event that does it. I wasn’t sure how I was gonna feel until I arrived. There was a new costume design as there always is… And when [I] put on the [costume] and the wig and did a camera test, I just opened my mouth and the voice was there. Somehow he’s been part of my subconscious for so long. It’s interesting… Loki is a little different. Sometimes Taika and I will be looking at playback, and I’m just so much older than I was, not in a depressing way, but it’s interesting how just things read differently. I feel a huge responsibility for it. I feel a huge sense that this is a character people care about, and I feel like it means a lot to me to, to deliver the character people know and love, but also to try my best to… I’m not just putting yesterday’s dinner in the microwave and reheating it; I’m evolving the character, developing him, and inventing new things for people to appreciate, or love to hate, or laugh at. I’m usually the butt of the joke. Let’s face it.”
Thor: Rangorok hits theatres October 27th in the UK and November 3rd in the US.