When "Avengers: Endgame" debuted in April 2019, Tom Hiddleston rushed to a local theater to catch the epic conclusion to the superhero saga — just like millions of other Marvel fans across the globe. According to the June 2021 issue of emmy magazine, which hits newsstands on June 4, he threw on a hoodie and ducked into a midnight showing on opening night in London.
Catching each installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in theaters became a bit of a tradition for the English actor after his on-screen alter ego was killed off for the second time — he was murdered by Thanos in 2018's "Avengers: Infinity War" after faking his own death in 2011's "Thor."
"I became an ordinary cinema-goer who would see the films on opening weekend," Tom tells emmy in Wonderwall.com's exclusive first-look at the June 2021 issue, adding that "with films like 'Doctor Strange' and 'Black Panther,' it felt like the Marvel Cinematic Universe had become more ambitious and profound, with deeper and richer characters."
The two-time Emmy nominee — who's brought Loki to the big screen six times so far — was fully prepared to bid adieu to playing the god of mischief after shooting his part in "Infinity War" in early 2017.
"The producers were on the set my last day, and we had some very sincere goodbyes," he recalls. "There were hugs and a 'Come see us anytime' and 'Thank you for your hard work.' I thanked them for the opportunity and certainly thought, 'Oh, this is it.'"
Fortunately for Loki stans, it wasn't.
Tom — who celebrated a milestone birthday earlier this year — is set to return to the role on the Disney+ series "Loki," which debuts on June 9.
"I'm 40, and I was 28 when I was cast as Loki. When I say it like that, it blows my mind. I don't think any actor could have imagined playing a character as long as this," he tells emmy.
"Loki" will see the titular antihero answering for his crimes against the universe — specifically, as the actor puts it, his "crimes against the timeline." The six-episode limited series — which he describes as a "really positive series with a huge amount of action and spectacle" — picks up after Loki nabs the Space Stone in a scene from 2019's "Avengers: Endgame" that's set in 2012. By using the Space Stone to evade imprisonment when the Avengers go back in time to stop Thanos, Loki inadvertently creates a new timeline, which lands him in the custody of the Time Variance Authority.
"The TVA represents order to the chaos," Tom tells emmy. "Loki confronting this institution is a thrilling jumping-off point because he must take in an environment that he doesn't understand and can't control."
Adds the actor, "One of the themes of the show is about identity and raising a question whether Loki can run from who he is and is capable of change. It's only once we accept who we are that we can evolve and grow."
If Marvel decides to move forward with a second season of "Loki," Tom is, of course, fully on board: "I'm here for the ride," he says.
He then waxes poetic on why he relishes the role: "What I love about Loki is that he's playful and charming and witty and dangerous and mercurial. He's also fragmented and broken and solitary and isolated," he says. "As one character says in the show, no one good is ever truly good and no one bad is truly bad. That's a fascinating anchor."
According to emmy, the role is so important to Tom that before anyone shot a single frame of "Loki," he gave a formal presentation to the crew's department heads to ensure everyone was on the same page regarding the character's background and motivations.
It's incredible to think now — a decade after Tom first brought Loki to life in "Thor" — that he first auditioned to play the other brother after connecting with director Kenneth Branagh in London. After the Oscar-nominated actor-director suggested Tom could be perfect for the part of the god of thunder, he submitted a self-taped audition and participated in a now-iconic screen test.
He never even auditioned for the role of Loki.
"Most of the world knows that the right guy was cast as Thor," Tom jokes to emmy.
And clearly the right guy was cast as Loki, as well!
Read more about Tom's next chapter as Loki when the June 2021 issue of emmy magazine debuts on June 4, and catch "Loki" on Disney+ on June 9.