Read the Sweet E-Mail Tom Hiddleston Wrote Joss Whedon After Reading the ‘Avengers’ Script
Two years after its release, ‘The Avengers‘ has happily settled into its place in the pantheon of Great Summer Movies. It’s a cultural touchstone and one of the biggest pop culture events of all time. However, our excitement and reverence for the film came after its release. It turns out that Tom Hiddleston, AKA, the villainous Loki, knew that the project was something special before the cameras began rolling and he let writer/director Joss Whedon know his thoughts via email.
Business Insider published the full email exchange between Hiddleston and his director (which will also appear in the upcoming book, ‘Joss Whedon: The Biography’) and it gives us a fantastic insider’s glance at the mind of these two Marvel heavy-hitters. Hiddleston has never been shy about his love for the character of Loki, but it’s fascinating to see his enthusiasm outside of a press junket or the Comic-Con stage.
Here’s Hiddleston’s email, which contains references to both ‘Die Hard’ and ‘Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory’:
I am so excited I can hardly speak.
The first time I read it I grabbed at it like Charlie Bucket snatching for a golden ticket somewhere behind the chocolate in the wrapper of a Wonka Bar. I didn’t know where to start. Like a classic actor I jumped in looking for LOKI on every page, jumping back and forth, reading words in no particular order, utterances imprinting themselves like flash-cuts of newspaper headlines in my mind: “real menace”; “field of obeisance”; “discontented, nothing is enough”; “his smile is nothing but a glimpse of his skull”; “Puny god” …
… Thank you for writing me my Hans Gruber. But a Hans Gruber with super-magic powers. As played by James Mason … It’s high operatic villainy alongside detached throwaway tongue-in-cheek; plus the “real menace” and his closely guarded suitcase of pain. It’s grand and epic and majestic and poetic and lyrical and wicked and rich and badass and might possibly be the most gloriously fun part I’ve ever stared down the barrel of playing. It is just so juicy.
I love how throughout you continue to put Loki on some kind of pedestal of regal magnificence and then consistently tear him down. He gets battered, punched, blasted, side-swiped, roared at, sent tumbling on his back, and every time he gets back up smiling, wickedly, never for a second losing his eloquence, style, wit, self-aggrandisement or grandeur, and you never send him up or deny him his real intelligence…. That he loves to make an entrance; that he has a taste for the grand gesture, the big speech, the spectacle. I might be biased, but I do feel as though you have written me the coolest part.
… But really I’m just sending you a transatlantic shout-out and fist-bump, things that traditionally British actors probably don’t do. It’s epic.
Whedon’s response is short but sweet, showcasing his trademark wit and eloquence:
Tom, this is one of those emails you keep forever. Thanks so much. It’s more articulate (and possibly longer) than the script. I couldn’t be more pleased at your reaction, but I’ll also tell you I’m still working on it … Thank you again. I’m so glad you’re pleased. Absurd fun to ensue.
Best, (including uncharacteristic fist bump), joss.