Tom Hiddleston admits that he had no idea how successful the record-breaking 'Avengers' would be on screen, despite having one of the starring roles as Loki, Thor's mischievous adopted brother.
"You never count your chickens," he reveals. "When you're inside it, you're just thinking, 'I hope I haven't screwed this up.' You don't want to be the weakest link in the chain."
So will there be a Thor 3 after such success for both 'Avengers' and 'Thor' already - surely, so? He shifts in his seat. "These kind of films, not to get too heavy about it, all depend on the financial success of the one before, so we'll have to see."
Despite this, Hiddleston feels in very good hands with the director of 'Thor 2', currently in production - despite not having his good friend Sir Kenneth Branagh at the helm.
Tom Hiddleston plays Loki, Thor's adopted brother, in the hit Marvel franchise. Picture credit: Marvel image. Graphic by Dee Nicholson.
"Ken established the tone, so we’ve taken the baton and kept running. Alan Taylor is fantastic, one of the men responsible for 'Game of Thrones' which is so of that world, a very grounded, gritty, earthy world where warriors and swords and monsters and magic all meet, so his experience of that has given him a fantastic take on the whole world of Thor.
"I went to a summer screening of a Marvel short film. Ken came and so did Alan, it was very clear how much mutual respect between them and I thought, ‘ok, it’s going to be fine.’"
Although Branagh has long been celebrated as an intellectual with his hand firmly in the classics pie, Hiddleston wasn’t surprised that he got his mitts on the Marvel hero...
"He was refashioning those archetypes in space. We talked about King Lear and that kind of dynastic drama, about succession, with somebody at the top of the tree, and somebody else due to succeed the throne, there's always a wrestling if it’s father and son… it's all very dynastic."
Condensing old ideas into new forms is a cause close to Hiddleston’s heart right now, as the British actor is one of the judges of a short film competition, part of the Jameson Empire Awards, held annually in London. The competition is called ‘Done in 60 Seconds’, asking amateur filmmakers from 16 markets worldwide to re-make their favourite film in 60 seconds.
Tom Hiddleston and Owen Wilson in Woody Allen's 'Midnight In Paris' - 'one big homage' Hiddleston describes it
This might sound like a bit of a gimmick, but Hiddleston is convinced that it’s actually in keeping with the world of cinema as we experience it on the big screen...
"I do think that homage and pastiche is part of the history of cinema. Somebody like Tarantino pays homage in every film he makes. He's always referencing all those amazing martial arts films he watched when he worked in a video store - pulp fiction at its best. And Woody Allen's 'Midnight in Paris' (where Hiddleston played F Scott Fitzgerald), was one big glorious celebration."
What about the 60-second limitation?
"I’ve been involved in projects where, if you have less time and money, then it forces your hand to tell the story in a more economical way, and it sharpens your instinct. You say, ‘what do really need? Cut the chaff.”
And what film would Hiddleston want to whittle down to a crisp 60 seconds if he were given the chance?
"Michael Mann’s 'Heat'," he says without hesitation.
"It's my favourite film, and it would really challenge me. There is no chaff in that film, it’s so lean, so rich and complicated, so much detail about LA, the police department, high class thieves, how you would reduce all that is kind of interesting."
The closing date for entries in the Done In 60 Seconds competition is 20 January 2013. Anybody interested in entering the Jameson Empire Awards short film category can click here for more information.
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