Tom Hiddleston has no doubt received his fair share of fan letters over the years but he had a fanboy moment of his own when he first read Joss Whedon’s script for The Avengers, sending his initial thoughts to the writer and director in an epic splurge of excitement.
Appearing in full in Joss Whedon: The Biography, the email from Hiddleston – who plays anti-hero Loki in the superhero franchise – begins with the words: “I am so excited I can hardly speak.”
He proceeds to gush about his upcoming role (which was met with acclaim from fans and critics) and thanks Whedon for “writing me my Hans Gruber”. Whedon’s response – also published in the book – is short but just as sweet. Have a read below…
“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.”
And Whedon’s reponse:
“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.