The success of The Avengers, which took more than $1.5 billion at the box office, was in no small part due to the popularity of Loki, an old-fashioned, operatic style villain.
The part was played to perfection by Tom Hiddleston, and it is easy to see why given the passion and excitement he had for the Nordic god.
A potential candidate for the Letters of Note collection, an email he sent to director Joss Whedon emerged this week in which he explains in great detail exactly what he loves about the character, which he claims might be the best he has ever been offered.
Here it is in full, along with Whedon's response, courtesy of Business Insider (via Chicago Review Press):
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 email reply:
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.