The highly anticipated Marvel Studios series Loki has arrived on Disney+, with Tom Hiddleston reprising his role as the mercurial God of Mischief—a role he played in six Marvel films.
In Avengers: Infinity War (2018)—spoiler alert!—Loki died while trying to save his brother Thor (played by Chris Hemsworth) and the people of Asgard. Luckily, the Marvel Cinematic Universe saw it fit to not only bring Loki back, but also give him his own mini-series.
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The live-action series takes place right after the events of Avengers: Endgame (2019), where Loki in 2012 makes a magical disappearance with the Tesseract. He then ends up in the hands of the Time Variance Authority (TVA)—a new MCU concept introduced in this series that exists outside of the timeline.
Loki now finds himself at a crossroads—cooperate with Agent Mobius (played by Owen Wilson) or cease to exist. Obviously, he chose the former. As the series progresses, we see Loki navigating—and manipulating—his way through his new normal while helping Agent Mobius solve a serious crime.
Ahead, Tom Hiddleston tells us more about reprising his role with Owen Wilson weighing in about how Hiddleston gave him “Loki lectures”.
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How did you feel when you received the phone call to reprise your role as Loki in this series?
Tom: I felt a combination of delight and surprise, which I think is an accurate way of describing it. I had to scratch my head because that scene in Avengers: Infinity War had felt so final and conclusive. But then in Avengers: Endgame, Loki picks up the Tesseract and disappears in a puff of smoke. And I thought: ‘Where did he go, and how did he get there?’. Then Kevin Faige (executive producer) and others assured me that that would be the starting point of the series with so many possibilities and created this new show.
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What was it like to be part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe?
Owen: It’s exciting to be a part of it—especially when seeing all the excitement about the trailer. At first, I didn’t get the sort of secrecy surrounding the series. But when I saw how revved up and passionate the fan base was, I understood Marvel’s commitment in trying to surprise people.Then I kind of got into it.
After years of acting in comedy films, why the superhero genre?
Owen: Well it didn’t take much convincing. It was really the conversation that Kate Herrron (director and executive producer) and I had over the phone where she really walked me through the whole idea for the show and the dynamic between Mobius and Loki. It was such an engaging phone call that I signed on right there and then.
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How did you both prepare for the show?
Owen: Before we started, Tom very generously—and patiently—talked me through the whole MCU mythology and that of Loki. We were calling them the ‘Loki lectures’. And he let me ask questions, which I think was really important and helpful to our dynamic once we started filming the scenes because some of our conversations would somehow work their way in.
Tom: It was such an interesting time trying to compress my time in the MCU and the six movies—and Mobius is actually an expert in Loki. He knows more about Loki than Loki does. And Owen asked such insightful and intelligent questions that made me rethink various aspects of the character. I also think our conversations found their way into the scenes, which is really nice.
Tell us a little bit about your characters.
Owen: It’s more of a chess match with Mobius and Loki, where Mobius is trying to stay on equal footing with the God of Mischief. Mobius relies on the awesome weight of the TVA behind him which is pretty formidable. And Loki is clearly playing catch up. There is some tension, some humour and the scenes were fun to do.
Tom: I hope that when the show unfolds, the specificity and precision about these different aspects of Loki might become clearer. There was once a question: ‘When does Loki wear the horns? Why does he wear them and is it a ceremonial thing? Or are they somehow an extension of some emotional intention when he’s particularly malevolent?’. All will become clear in time.
What do you hope the audience will take away from this extended story of Loki?
Tom: What I love about the series is that Loki is stripped of everything that’s familiar to him (status and power); Thor is not close by and Asgard seems some distance away. As for the Avengers, they’re out of sight for the time being. And if you take away all those things that Loki used to identify himself with over the last six movies, what remains of him? Who is he within or outside all of those things? And I think those questions became—for all of us—really fascinating to ask about the mercurial shapeshifter who never presents the same exterior twice. I hope the audience will get a kick out of that.