Loki and Thor (header size)

There’s really no arguing that Loki is the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s best villain. As played by Tom Hiddleston, he’s so slyly charismatic that he often threatens to steal the show from right out under the real hero, Chris Hemsworth‘s Thor. But when casting for the first Thor was going on, Hiddleston wasn’t initially set on playing the bad guy. In fact, he originally tried out for the part of Thor.

The bonus features released with the Thor: The Dark World Blu-ray include Hiddleston’s original audition tape for the role, in which he goes bare-chested, rocks long blond locks, and swings around the iconic hammer. See Hiddleston in action as Thor after the jump.

Update: If gifs aren’t enough, there’s now some brief video of Hiddleston’s audition, which we’ve added below.

Hiddleston and Hemsworth are ubiquitous figures on the red carpet and the big screen these days, but at the time the film was being cast, both were unknowns in the U.S. Hiddleston had done some TV work in the U.K. — including Wallander, which starred future Thor director Kenneth Branagh — and a handful of films, but it wasn’t until Thor that his career really took off.

The video clip isn’t available online, but we have a couple of GIFs that should give you an idea of how Hiddleston’s Thor might’ve looked.

Tom Hiddleston Thor audition (1)

Tom Hiddleston Thor Audition (2)
[via Screen Crush]

Update: Here’s the video.

It’s not that Hiddleston looks bad as Thor, really. He’s a leaner, less jock-ish version of the character (and this is after Hiddleston put on twenty pounds of muscle for the audition), but he has the appropriate intensity and those lovable puppy-dog eyes. Had Marvel chosen him over Hemsworth, I’m sure we would’ve come to love the choice.

But two Thor movies, one Avengers, and one wildly kick-ass Marvel Comic-Con panel later, Hiddleston-as-Thor just seems wrong somehow. Even wronger than the video we got of Loki in Avenger mode yesterday. Let’s just be glad that, once Marvel deemed Hemsworth the better pick, they had the wisdom to hold on to Hiddleston anyway.

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