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Tom Hiddleston - About mullets and filming - Kansascity.com Interview
mercredi 9 mai 2012, par Webmaster
Attention, style-watchers. Keep an eye on men’s hair trends this summer. And if a certain ’80s-era coif makes its way back into fashion, you’ll know who to blame.
"What, the greasy mullet ?" the British actor Tom Hiddleston says with a laugh. "I suppose it COULD come back. Thanks to our little movie."
That "little movie" is "Marvel’s The Avengers." And Hiddleston - as Loki, the otherworldly villain it takes Captain America, Iron Man, The Hulk, Thor and many others to bring to heel - sports one of the greatest mullets ever seen on a Brit.
"Well, when I was a kid, there was this BBC radio DJ called Pat Sharp who had the greatest mullet I’d ever seen," offers Hiddleston.
Well, maybe not THE greatest. It hit Hiddleston, veteran of "War Horse," "The Deep Blue Sea" and Woody Allen’s "Midnight in Paris" (he played F. Scott Fitzgerald) that writer-director Joss Whedon had another icon the British Isles in mind in crafting his take on Loki.
"In Loki’s entrance scene, where I pop into S.H.I.E.L.D.’s lab and face Sam Jackson and Stellan Skarsgard, I was lit from underneath, kneeling on one-knee on this grill," Hiddleston says. "Being a huge U-2 fan, I remembered that same shot from their rock documentary, ’Rattle and Hum.’ I think the performance of ’With or Without You’ that they used in the film was from Sun Valley Stadium in Arizona (and) inspired that scene. I got so chilled I had to tell Joss, ’You DO realize that in this scene, I look EXACTLY like (U-2 singer) Bono in that film. Leather trousers, long black hair, lit from below. All that’s missing is the microphone, and (guitarist) the Edge, rocking out on the guitar to my right."
A 31-year-old alumnus of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, Hiddleston made his bones as an actor the way so many of his countrymen do - with Shakespeare. He finished his second turn as Loki (he was first in "Thor") and promptly went home to tackle "Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2," and "Henry V," playing Prince Hal, the future Henry V, warrior king and one of Shakespeare’s greatest characters, followed from callow boyhood to conqueror of the French at Agincourt.
"They seem, on the surface, like chalk and cheese," Hiddleston says of the characters. "But Loki is about as close to Shakespeare as Marvel gets. He’s a prince, wrestling with kingship and responsibility, arguing with his father. And even though the production values are different and the films will look completely different, emotionally and spiritually, Henry and Loki are excavating the same territory."
And Whedon, a great lover of a witty line (he did TV’s "Buffy the Vampire Slayer") and lover of Shakespeare (he just shot a version of "Much Ado About Nothing" over 12 days in his house), made sure his Shakespearean actor had plenty of chewy lines to play.
"I am burdened with a glorious purpose," Loki purrs, in a fit of self-love. He grandly orders humans to kneel before him, and flings putdowns that are positively Shakespearean - or at least British.
And Hiddleston, using the late, great, James Mason ("North by Northwest") as his villain acting guide, made the most of it.
"You have to find the most mischievous part of you, and risk bringing it out for all to see - and risk being laughed at by the crew. And they do laugh. And did. I do that ’Kneel before me’ line and they’re cracking up. Hard to get a good take of that one."
Like his heroes, Terrence Stamp and Gene Hackman (villains in the Christopher Reeves "Superman" movies), Hiddleston found a way to revel in his villainy.
"It’s fun to be free of moral compass, playing someone who has arrogated himself to an unconscionably superior level. You know what they say, ’The Devil plays all the best tunes.’"
Hiddleston - "a magnificently theatrical presence" in "The Avengers" according to New York Magazine’s David Edelstein - and his movie are winning mostly rave reviews, promising a big launch to the summer cinema season. But the actor sees it all a part of his learning curve. He has his doubts whether he’ll ever be the equal of his heroes, Mason and Peter O’Toole, "who in ’Lawrence of Arabia’ and ’The Lion in Winter’ seemed to reach that unacted quality, as if he’d stoked a bonfire under himself and the camera just happened to be there."
But he’s learning.
"The extraordinary distinction between film acting and stage acting is that the camera is interested in behavior, as opposed to performance," Hiddleston says. "If you can find a way to behave like another person, as opposed to performing a character, you’re getting close to something that might be worth watching. Ken Branagh (his "Thor" director and a pretty good "Henry V" in his own right) had this shorthand he used with me. ’Less doing, more BEING.’ That’s what I hope to learn."
2012, McClatchy-Tribune News Service.
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