Making Mischief

It takes a certain level of confidence, talent and courage to play a villain who decides to take on the world's greatest league of superheroes.

Well, Tom Hiddleston is that guy.

The London-born actor may have racked up many accomplishments back home - theatre, radio, TV, film - but it was his portrayal as the ambitious god of mischief Loki in last year's Thor that catapulted the 31-year-old to international recognition.

Since Thor, Hiddleston has starred in Woody Allen's Midnight In Paris, followed by Steven Spielberg's War Horse.

But stepping into Loki's shoes again for The Avengers is what will finally make him a household name.

At the end of Thor, Loki disappeared into a wormhole and was thought to be dead.

But anyone who stayed on for the post-credit sequence knew Loki would return in The Avengers.

Kicked off his home planet Asgard, he's determined to seek revenge for his humiliation and reclaim his power, and decides that Earth will be his new playground and give him the opportunity to be ruler over the weak-willed humans.

But of course, the only thing standing in his way when it comes to world domination is The Avengers.

When did you know you were going to join The Avengers as the villain?

Towards the end of the production of Thor, (The Avengers director) Joss Whedon was coming into Marvel Studios a lot because he was writing The Avengers screenplay and he asked me to go out for tea.

We were sitting in a coffee shop in Santa Monica and he said, "So, here's the thing, Tom. There's a lot of talk about multiple villains in the film and I don't want any of that. I want Loki to be the bad guy."

After I picked my jaw off the floor, I did backflips in the tea room and then we just talked for hours about who Loki was, what his motivations were, and the kind of spiritual damage that was at the heart of the character as well as the delight he takes in being a mischievous trickster and an agent of chaos.

After working on director Kenneth Branagh's Thor, do you have the character pretty much down, or are you trying to find a newapproach?

You don't want to burn down the house you've already built.

It's easier to slip back into the character because a lot of the work of building the character has been done, but there are stillnew iterations of the character I haven't done yet.

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