Everyone knows that bad guys have all the fun in movies, and clearly Tom Hiddleston is having a blast carving his place in villain history with his role in both the Thor films and The Avengers. This past weekend at the D23 Expo celebrating all things Disney, Hiddleston added another villain to his impressive resume. He was revealed to be the latest in a long line of greats to portray the infamous villain Captain James Hook, in the upcoming Tinkerbell movie, The Pirate Fairy. The following day, he took the stage again, promoting the Thor sequel, in which he will play the fan favorite God of Mischief, Loki, for the third time.
When one looks at Hiddleston though, the impression that he gives off that he is easygoing and thoughtful. Hiddleston, in interviews, is quick to smile, share a joke and kind to fans.
For a man who appears to be the polar opposite of his well-known villain persona, why is he so drawn to playing bad guys?
Hiddleston took a moment to explain the allure of the dark side. “I think villains, really great villains, are always the most complex,” Hiddleston said. “Because in their heart, there is always some kind of deeply complicated psychology that you need to unpack and un-knit and understand.”
His latest character James, for example, begins the film as a young boy, which seems innocent enough. According to Hiddleston, “James is the cabin boy. And he’s kind and attentive and sweet and polite and educated and charming and they are best friends — until he reveals his true nature, which is that he becomes the captain of this rogue band: Captain James Hook.”
Exactly how and why James changes into the nefarious pirate captain has yet to be revealed, but Hiddleston shared that James is a young man with goals that need to be reached, and once he reaches them, he doesn’t feel the need to be friendly with anybody anymore and doesn’t care who he hurts in the process. Looks like the power went straight to little James’ head.
Hiddleston also gave a little insight into his approach to acting. “I’ve always thought of acting as kind of a three-dimensional anthropology. It is the study of human nature in some regard. Like psychologists will give lectures and people will write books, but actors do the same sort of digging around when they’re allowed to and they present their findings in their characters, and each character is different, but it seems to me that villains — and I put that word in inverted commas — they are just the most complex. They have the most complicated motivations. They have, quite often, quite broken personalities. The fun is digging around in why,” Hiddleston explained.
Just like he did with Loki, Hiddleston sure had a lot of fun in his new role as James/Hook, getting creative with his own voice talents and in a way, pays tribute to the original Disney animated Hook: Hans Conried.
Hiddleston explains, “There’s a real sort of theatricality and there’s an age in his voice — he’s like: ‘Where’s Peter Pan?’” he boomed, imitating the iconic voice. “So it’s almost these old English vowel sounds, and there’s a real gravel and a crack in his voice, which I tried to get once I was Hook.”
Hiddleston was sure to mention though that despite being known to the world as the baddie with the biggest chip on his shoulder Loki, he’s actually not all bad, something we here at PopWrapped noticed and credited the actor with being much more than just a bad guy.
“I’ve played a few heroes as well — well, not heroes, but like … good guys. I don’t think F. Scott Fitzgerald had any world-destroying ambitions,” teased the classically trained British actor of his Midnight in Paris role.
You can Hiddleston as Henry V next month when The Hollow Crown airs on PBS and in theaters in Thor: The Dark World premiering in November.