Marvel star Tom Hiddleston says the "vulnerabilities" of his character Loki draws people towards the God of Mischief, who is finally stepping out of his brother Thor's shadow in the eponymous standalone Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) series.
Loki, Marvel Studios' third series at Disney Plus, centres on Hiddleston's witty master of magic, who lands at Time Variance Authority (TVA) following the events of 2019's feature film Avengers: Endgame. While the movies have mainly touched upon Loki's mischievous side, the series aims to give an insight into what hides beneath the wickedness of the fan-favourite villain.
"I think over time I'm made aware of the different things he represents. Some people enjoy his playfulness, his spontaneity and that inherent sense of mischief he has. Some people enjoy his quality as an antagonist. There are some people who are drawn to his vulnerabilities, under all these layers of charm and charisma. There is something really relatable about his vulnerability," Hiddleston said during a virtual global press conference ahead of the show's premiere on Wednesday.
The British star, who has played the character in six MCU movies -- Thor (2011), The Avengers (2012), Thor: The Dark World (2013), Thor: Ragnarok (2017), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), and Endgame -- said he owes his success to all the writers who have contributed in creating the admirable antagonist.
"I owe it to the writers, everyone who has ever written this character. Starting from Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Don Payne, who wrote the first four movies, way to Michael (series writer Waldron) and his amazing team." Loki's range as a character, makes his job even more exciting, said Hiddleston, adding that working on the series was a joyful experience as he got to team up with people who could resonate with his passion for the story.
The series is directed by Sex Education fame Kate Herron and executive produced by Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige. It also marks the MCU debut of Hiddleston's Midnight In Paris co-star Owen Wilson as well as The Morning Show star Gugu Mabtha-Raw. The 40-year-old actor said Loki is a "character of huge range" and playing the role always feels like a new experience.
"I just love playing Loki. I feel so fortunate that I'm still here and there are just new aspects to the character every time that I learn about," he said. "Particularly this time around I'm surrounded by these amazing people. All my conversations with Kevin, Kate, and Michael and interactions with Owen and Gugu. We just had a really good time," he added.
Hiddleston, who also serves as a executive producer on the series, said he was offered the project some time between Infinity War and Endgame. The actor said he was surprised and delighted with the idea of a stand-alone show on Loki. "I was so excited by the idea of series and also had to scratch my head a bit because that scene in Infinity War (when Thanos kills Loki) felt so final and conclusive. It looked like end of Loki's story."
It was after Endgame when they were finally able to figure out the future of Loki in MCU, added Feige. "We didn't know about the Loki series when we shot Infinity War, but I think we did know it when we shot Endgame," he said.
Over the years, the Thor franchise, which as yet comprises three movies led by Chris Hemsworth -- has build a huge fan base courtesy its funny take on the characters of Thor and Loki. Feige said the humour in the franchise was never forced and came organically as the actors started to build upon the characters.
"I think Thor and Loki had a certain amount of humour in the comics over the decades. But the answer comes down to the performers and the remarkable talent of Mr. Hemsworth and Mr. Hiddleston and the range to be hilarious. "It was not a plan to make it funnier now, they have always been funny and we took the fun from behind the scenes and put it on camera," he said.
Loki will stream in India on Disney+ Hotstar Premium.