During Hiddleston’s second term at Cambridge, he was seen in a production of A Streetcar Named Desire by talent agent Lorraine Hamilton, of Hamilton Hodell. While still doing student plays, he began doing British television, landing parts in Stephen Whittaker’s adaptation of Nicholas Nickleby for ITV, the BBC/HBO co-production Conspiracy, and as Randolph Churchill, the son of Winston Churchill, inthe BBC/HBO drama The Gathering Storm. On graduating from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, Hiddleston won his first film role, playing Oakley in Joanna Hogg’s first feature, Unrelated. He also appeared in the leading role of Edward in Joanna Hogg’s second feature, Archipelago, and had leading roles in Declan Donnellan’s company Cheek by Jowl’s productions The Changeling, and Cymbeline. His Donmar Warehouse credits include Cassio in Michael Grandage’s production of Shakespeare’s Othello alongside Chiwetel Ejiofor and Ewan McGregor to critical acclaim and later Lvov in their West End revival of Chekhov’s Ivanov. His TV credits include Magnus Martinsson in the BBC detective drama Wallander, Bill Hazledine in Suburban Shootout, John Plumptre in the BBC costume drama TV film Miss Austen Regrets and William Buxton in the BBC drama series Return to Cranford.
Tom is best known for his portrayal of Loki in the 2011 Marvel Studios film, Thor. He was invited to audition by Kenneth Branagh, the film’s director, after having previously worked with Branagh on Ivanov and Wallander. “Ken has had a life-changing effect. He was able to say to the executives, ‘Trust me on this, you can cast Tom and he will deliver’. It was massive and it’s completely changed the course of what is available to me to do. Ken gave me my break.” In the beginning, he originally auditioned for the part of Thor. “I initially auditioned to play Thor. That was what I was being considered for, because I’m tall and blonde and classically trained, and that seemed to be the mold for what Thor was, he was to be a classical character. And it was in my auditions. I owe this entirely to Marvel and their open-mindedness, they saw something that they thought was interesting. They saw some temperament that they liked.” The casting director gave Hiddleston six weeks to bulk up, so he went on a strict diet and gained twenty pounds of muscle. In the end, Branagh decided he was more suitable as the antagonist and cast him as Loki. To prepare for his role as Loki, Hiddleston trained in the Brazilian martial art of capoeira.
In 2011, he portrayed novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald in writer-director Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris, the noble Captain Nicholls in War Horse, a film based on the 1982 novel by Michael Morpurgo, directed by Steven Spielberg, and Freddie Page, a RAF pilot in the British drama The Deep Blue Sea, alongside Rachel Weisz. He reprised his role as the supervillain Loki in the 2012 movie The Avengers. While filming a scene with Chris Hemsworth, who plays Thor, the film’s director, Joss Whedon told the fighting duo that the scene didn’t look real enough, so Hiddleston told Hemsworth to really hit him for the fight scene. “I said to Chris, ‘Dude, just hit me. Just hit me because I’m protected here and it’s fine.’ He’s like, ‘Are you sure?’ I was like, ‘Yeah, it will look great. Just go for it.'” Hiddleston will reprise his Loki role again in Thor: The Dark World (2013), which started filming in July 2012. In 2012 he appeared in the BBC Two series The Hollow Crown, portraying Prince Hal in the TV-movie adaptations of Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Parts I & II and Henry V in Henry V.
Hiddleston will star in the film adaptation of Elliott Chaze’s 1953 crime novel Black Wings Has My Angel, as escaped con Tim Sunblade. Costarring with Anna Paquin and Elijah Wood, filming was originally supposed to start in September 2012 but in an October 2012 interview, Hiddleston divulged that filming would be put on hold due to the recent births of Paquin’s twins and her wanting to take time to be a mother. Hiddleston said, “It was a sort of fun noir thing, but it’s way, way off in the future. It’s just Thor 2 at the moment.”
In 2013, Hiddleston will play vampire, Adam, in Jim Jarmusch’s film Only Lovers Left Alive with Tilda Swinton as Eve and Mia Wasikowska. Hiddleston narrated the audio book The Red Necklace by Sally Gardner, poetry for iF Poems on iTunes, for the British Museum on the Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead, and was the voiceover for BBC’s documentary on the Galapagos Island.
Read more about Tom’s film projects on their individual pages:
- Black Wings Has My Angel
- Only Lovers Left Alive
- Thor: The Dark World
- London Project
- The Hollow Crown
- Out of Time
- The Avengers
- War Horse
- Friend Request Pending
- The Deep Blue Sea
- Midnight in Paris
- Miss Austen Regrets
- The Gathering Storm
- The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby