Tom Hiddleston debut as Loki was years in the making

Tom Hiddleston is opening up about the “life-changing” friendship that helped him land the role of Loki in 2011’s Thor.

The 38-year-old actor spoke to The Hollywood Reporter and revealed it was Kenneth Branagh, the film’s director, who cast him for the role.

“It had a life-changing effect on me. It happened quite organically, almost by accident,” Hiddleston said of his friendship with the acclaimed actor and director, 58.

“He saw me in a Shakespeare production in a theater in London, he then asked me to perform with him in the television series Wallander for the BBC,” Hiddleston explained. “We then did a Chekhov play in the West End, and then he cast me as Loki in the first Thor film.”

He added, “So actually we ended up spending about 12 months working together in different media.”

Tom Hiddleston
Tom Hiddleston as Loki
| Credit: Marvel Studios

Hiddleston credits the close-knit acting industry for helping him star in the film alongside acting heavyweights Anthony Hopkins, Stellan Skarsgård and Natalie Portman, as well as Chris Hemsworth.

“At the end of that experience I had learned so much from him,” Hiddleston said of Branagh. “But then I realized that he used to look up to Derek Jacobi and Anthony Hopkins. And when I was playing Loki for the first time and Anthony Hopkins was playing my father, [Hopkins] told me he used to look up to Richard Burton.”

Kenneth Branagh (L) and Tom Hiddleston
Kenneth Branagh and Tom Hiddleston
| Credit: Dave Benett/Getty

He added, “So I realized that the creative industries are in a constant feedback loop of re-inspiration and imagination.”

Hiddleston is now preparing for his own TV show for Disney+, Loki, although he couldn’t say much about what the series would entail.

“I knew [Loki] was a complex figure. Intelligent yet vulnerable. Angry and lost and broken and witty,” Hiddleston said of his character.

He added, “All I can tell you is that it is called Loki. It is a new departure, but I can’t explain why.”