'Thor: Ragnarok' Interview: Tom Hiddleston Just Wants To Wear Pajamas On Set

Director Taika Waititi has already shown us that Thor: Ragnarok won't be your average Thor movie. Not only has the comedy been ramped up, but the filmmaker wanted to strip down the Thor franchise, essentially acting as if this were the first film in the series. But even so, it wouldn't be a Thor movie without a certain mischievous character.

Tom Hiddleston plays Loki, the god of mischief and step-brother to the god of thunder, and at the end of Thor: The Dark World, the villain of The Avengers got everything he was hoping for. So what happens next? Tom Hiddleston revealed as much as he could about where Loki is heading next in Thor: Ragnarok in our interview with the actor on set last fall. During our chat, he talked about working with Cate Blanchett, being a rock star movie villain, and much more.

Below, read our full Thor Ragnarok Tom Hiddleston interview.

Note: This interview has been edited for length and clarity.At the end of Thor: The Dark World, Loki got everything he wanted. How has it gone with him in the years since he became the secret king of Asgard?Tom Hiddleston: You'll have to wait and see. *laughter* That question is answered in this film. I'm so loath to tell you what it is, because I think it's surprising and fun. But yeah, you're right. He finished Dark World on the throne and, it's taken a while for anyone to come home.Are we finding that Loki has changed?TH: Yes, but that's in his nature. I think he's a mercurial spirit, and the minute you try to define him, he changes shape. He is the shape shifter in the pantheon, although events in Ragnarok try and inspire to change him forever, I think. But they change for everyone. The goddess of death shows up, and the stakes are high for everybody, so Loki, perhaps more than ever, is challenged to define himself in the face of that threat.*Before this interview, we had been watching a climactic scene with Thor, Hulk, Valkyrie and Loki confronting Hela on a bridge in Asgard. Cate Blanchett has been wearing a motion-capture suit for most of the filming process in this particular sequence*You are the most popular Marvel villain. Did you give Cate Blanchett any pointers?TH: Cate Blanchett needs no pointers from me. *laughter* This scene is huge fun to play, because it's the first scene we've played together, so it was really enjoyable.  I'm wondering how I can get my costume digitally created so I can wear pajamas, too. She was saying, "How come you're wearing your cape, and I'm not wearing mine?" I think she's going to blow people away, put simply. She is a naturally, incredibly powerful actor, and she's brought all that power and wit to this part. It's gonna be cool.Chris Hemsworth says he feels like Thor doesn't have to change Loki anymore. So how does Loki view Thor this time around?TH: I can't remember who said it – I've said this about Loki before – but the opposite of love is not hate but indifference.  So the idea that Thor might be indifferent to Loki is troubling for him, because that's a defining feature of who his character is. I don't belong in the family; my brother doesn't love me; I hate my brother. The idea that his brother's like, "Yeah, whatever," it's an interesting development.

But the two of them, that's what I kind of loved about Ragnarok when I first read it. The two of them are placed in such an extraordinary situation where everything is unfamiliar; that their familiarity, literally as family members, becomes important.

How was it having the tone change in the franchise with this movie?TH: I think it's fantastic. I think Chris is hilarious, and I've always known him as a hilarious man, even making the first film, when we first met. So I love that his comedy chops are being flexed and, I think it's great for the tone; it's great for the film.

We have the luxury of having established so much. Everybody knows Asgard; everybody knows the rules, sowe can play with archetypes and tropes and expectations in a really fun way, I think. But the god of mischief has always had fun so...

How are Loki and the Hulk relating to each other?  Last we saw them they were on the best terms, but you guys are side by side here.TH: Right. The way I see it is in The Avengers, Hulk and Loki never really had a conversation. *laughter* It was more of a physical meeting, anextended group hug, shall we say. *laughter* So it's fun when the two of them re-meet. You'll see. I don't wanna spoil it.We've heard that Loki has a realization that he can't do everything himself. How much fun is it to play that other side of this character?TH: I think Loki's a character who has always tested the limits of his power and has always tested the boundaries placed upon him. He doesn't just stick his finger in the electrical plug socket, he burns the house down. *laughter* I think he has to deal with the consequences of, "Oh shit, I started something here." I can't reveal what makes him rethink his perspective, but there is a big event that does that.Thor RagnarokWe saw the set photos of you and Chris Hemsworth in Brisbane doubling in New York along with Anthony Hopkings, doing a sort of Fisher King thing. Can you talk about what appears to be Loki's decision not to kill his father?TH: Loki's feelings towards his family members are complex, to say the least. I always thought that, even in the first film before he finds out that he's not really related to all these people, that he would've been an incredibly useful vicepresident, as it were. It's just that at the moment of Thor's ascension he finds out he doesn't belong there at all. So I never conceived of Loki's emotional connections to Odin or Thor as malevolent. He just wants to have a go on the throne, which he does. It's such a good joke, all that New York stuff, that I don't wanna spoil it.We've heard you have the most costume changes out of anyone in this movie. Can you tell us why Loki demands so many different costumes?TH: Nothing to do with me. *laughter* It's something to do with what happens at the end of the first act, if the film is divisible into three. Thor and Loki find themselves in a new environment, and the first thing Loki decides he needs to do is get some new threads..  Um...Is there like a Pretty Woman montage of him trying on different outfits?TH: In my head there is. *laughter* In my head, Jeff Goldblum takes Loki out to Rodeo Drive and says, "Pick the finest fabric you can find. Let's fashion you a suit. Runtime of two hours. People need to pee and have pizza.What does Loki think of Hela and what she represents? He's a god as well, but she's the bad news god. What does he think of Hela?TH: I think he and every other character completely underestimates her power. They underestimate the secret she has, which blindsides them all, the idea that she has been lying in wait all this time for the stage to be set for her return. She is invincible. She is all powerful. Everything about her is surprising to Loki and to Thor, as well.You said today was the first time that you and Cate actually got to share...TH: We actually shared another scene, but this is the first, two-hander we've had.Can you talk about the dynamic between you two?TH: Yeah, that's kinda what this scene is about. It's about them recognizing each other. Recognizing that we prefer anarchy to order. Recognizing that chaos is more fun, if a little exhausting. Recognizing the aesthetic value of green capes. *laughter* The inimitable elegance of a headdress. If you're gonna be bad, you might as well be bad with style. But they are defined by a red line between them.Thor Ragnarok - Tom Hiddleston as LokiDirector Taika Waititi likes a lot of improv. How's that been for you?TH: I love it. Taika is extraordinary in his invention. You guys have been on these big movie sets before. There's so many machine parts, and his quickness and the speed of his invention is really inspiring. With the sort of the weight of this production, he's able to keep the atmosphere light; to keep it feeling free and playful. Sometimes in the improvisation, you know what the scene's about, and you just find moments that you could never conceive if they were written down. They have to happen in that moment, and I think they will be fantastic in the film. He can't include them all, obviously, but you know, you have a go.Loki failed Thanos. Is that something that becomes a factor in this movie?TH: I don't think he would see it that way. They're called The Avengers for a reason. It's interesting, in the time since I have played the part, the value and importance of the Infinity Stones has grown within the Marvel universe in a way I didn't know when I first made that film. It's been really interesting. While I've been off doing other things, whether it's Crimson Peak or The Night Manager, I would go see the other movies and say, "They keep talking about Loki's scepter." Cool! It makes me feel included. It's been really interesting to see the development of, "Oh, I see, so there's all these Infinity Stones and da-da-da-da." I don't think Loki was ever in on that plan.Have you had any conversations with Anthony & Joe Russo to know how it's all gonna play out?TH: I have. *laughter*You actually haven't been Loki in several years. How was it coming back to this defining role in your career after such a long absence? Because on one of my first set visits on the first Thor, no offense, but no one knew who the hell you were. You were this charming British guy, but now you're Loki.TH: I wasn't sure how I was gonna feel until I arrived. There was a new costume design, as there always is. I met Mayes [C. Rubio], who's amazing, the costume designer, and we put it on. They put the wig on and did a camera test. *laughter* And I just opened my mouth, and then the voice was there. Somehow he's been part of my subconscious for so long. It's interesting that he is a little different. Sometimes Taika and I will be looking at playback, and I'm just so much older than I was. *laughter* Not in a depressing way, I hope, but it's interesting how things read differently, you know? I don't think I'll be able to tell, perhaps, until I see it.Do you pay much attention to the fan reaction to Loki in the movies? Because obviously you did that thing where you essentially ruled Comic-Con...TH: That may be the most fun I've ever had as the character, truthfully.You're a rock star.TH: His grandstanding, theatrical, exuberant arrogance has often been in a space like this, surrounded by blue screen. To play it live for seven thousand people, all of whom started chanting Loki's name, without me asking, by the way... *laughter* I don't what that says about us, but it was so much fun. Of course I've been aware, I've been delighted, amazed, flattered and humbled by the reaction. It's something I never expected.Thor Ragnarok - Thor and LokiDoes it make it intimidating at all to come back?TH: I feel a huge responsibility for it. I feel a huge sense that this a character people care about. It means a lot to me to deliver the character people know and love, but also to try my best to make sure I'm not just putting yesterday's dinner in the microwave and reheating it; that I'm evolving the character, developing him and inventing new things for people to appreciate, or love to hate, or laugh at. I'm usually the butt of the joke. Let's face it.Is it a different kind of responsibility from when you played someone like Hank Williams versus this where it's a fictional character but a global phenomenon?TH: Yeah, good question. I suppose the difference is that I feel, at least pride of co-authorship of the movie version of Loki as something that came out of me. And playing Hank was areal sense of being true to the man, and his life, and his legacy, and the impact he made on music.

But at the same time, I have to find the truth of that character inside myself, be it Hank or Loki. Neither of them are mine. They're not me, but they are me. It's a roundabout complex answer but maybe there's more freedom with Loki because he's fictional. It's a different kind of responsibility when you're dealing with a real character who has a family, and grandchildren. There's some extra responsibility there.

We were told that after spending time with Tony Stark on Earth that Thor has learned about sarcasm and irony, and he's gotten funnier. Does it piss Loki off that Thor is no longer the meathead brother anymore?TH: This is very funny.  I can talk about this because it's already gone online. When we go down to Earth, of course Thor is dressed in a T-shirt and jeans. Loki is dressed in a beautiful black, single breasted suit, because he's stylish. There's a moment where they bump into two girls on the street, and they are big Avengers fans, and they wanna take a selfie. *laughter* Loki thinks this is all extremely childish and uninteresting and dull. He's like, "Oh, great, I have to deal with my brother's fans now." Which I think his superiority is funny there.Does anybody recognize him as the one who almost destroyed their family?TH: Yeah, yeah. I'm trying to remember if there was a – I don't know, perhaps it was because he wasn't wearing the horns.


That's all from our set visit interview with Tom Hiddleston. Be sure to check out our full interviews with director Taika Waititi right here and another one with star Chris Hemsworth over here. Plus, if you want to know even more about Thor: Ragnarok, read our full set visit report.