A new excerpt from Joss Whedon: The Biography (out August 1) reveals that, after reading the first draft of the Avengers screenplay, Tom Hiddleston wrote Joss Whedon a heartfelt, effusive, funny, adorable email thanking Whedon for writing the part of Loki for him.
Wait, it’s Tom Hiddleston. Why are we even surprised? Read the entire letter—plus Whedon’s response—and get ready for the feels.
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.
We’re going to pretend that he signed his email—that he signs all emails—Hiddles. Then came Whedon’s equally heartfelt, if more succinct, response:
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.
Best, (including uncharacteristic fist bump), joss.
We imagine so many wonderful moments like this occurred during the Avengers shoot. Could someone compile them into a scrapbook? Because that would be amazing.
Photo: Zade Rosenthal/Marvel Studios