Tom Hiddleston is one of the most reliable, engaging young actors working today. With roles that range from stage-bound Shakespeare to superhero blockbusters, he’s adaptable, dependable — and typifies the traditional British gent.
Of course, we’ve not been able to feature every one of his stand-out roles. We’ve omitted his fleeting turn as F. Scott Fitzgerald in 2011’s dazzling Midnight in Paris. We’ve left out a barnstorming, shirt-ripping riff on Indiana Jones in 2017’s Kong: Skull Island. We didn’t even have room for any of his regal roles in The Hollow Crown BBC dramas. See what did made the cut below…
When did Hiddleston play him? When didn’t Hiddleston play Marvel’s God of Mischief? Ever since he broke onto the international acting scene, the British actor has been returning to the role. Current count: six films and one television show.
Why does the part stand out? Because it made the actor’s name. After debuting his long-haired Loki in Kenneth Branagh’s 2011 Thor, Hiddleston has become a fan-favourite character in a cinematic universe of fan-favourites.
Any awards? Loki’s first outing garnered Hiddleston a nomination for the BAFTA Rising Star Award, and an Empire Award win, for Best Male Newcomer. Since, there have been MTV Movie Awards, and Saturn Award nominations.
Dr Robert Laing
When did Hiddleston play him? In High-Rise — Ben Wheatley’s 2015 adaptation of J. G. Ballard’s dystopian novel. Hiddleston’s Laing is our protagonist, who moves into a luxurious tower block that soon explodes into chaos.
Why does the part stand out? Because the film begins at the story’s end, when we see how desperate and manic Laing finally becomes. The magic in Hiddleston’s performance is that he plays his character’s descent into delirium subtly — without it ever feeling jarring or sudden.
Any awards? Nothing won specifically by Hiddleston on this one, but he did bag a BAFTA nomination for Best Actor (losing to a fellow British Tom; Hardy, for an equally unsettling dual role as the Kray Twins in Legend).
When did Hiddleston play him? At the time touted as Hiddleston’s unofficial audition for Bond, Jonathan Pine was the protagonist of The Night Manager — a lavish, BBC-funded adaptation of John le Carré’s sweeping 1993 novel.
Why does the part stand out? Because Hiddleston, somehow, manages to give quite a cold character an engaging, beating heart. It’s an emotional sleight-of-hand the entire cast masters, but none quite so confidently as our golden-haired protagonist.
Any awards? All of the awards. Hiddleston scooped a Best Actor gong at the Golden Globes for his performance, and was nominated for the same award at the Critics’ Choice Television Awards, Primetime Emmy Awards and Satellite Awards.
Sir Thomas Sharpe
When did Hiddleston play him? In Guillermo del Toro 2015’s gothic romance, Crimson Peak. Sir Thomas Sharp, a wealthy English baronet, plays the mysterious new husband of Mia Wasikowska’s heiress, Edith Cushing.
Why does the part stand out? With shades of Loki-like pallidness, Hiddleston’s Sharpe impresses because the performance seems to lack stability. Of course, this is simply perceived inconsistency; a creative choice and a testament to Tom’s terrific skills.
Any awards? Not as many for this one — but that’s not to say it wasn’t deserving of them. Runner-up at the Fangoria Chainsaw Awards may not an Oscar be, but the glowing critical reviews were likely accolades enough for Hiddleston.
When did Hiddleston play him? On stage, at the Donmar Warehouse in December 2013. The performance — critically acclaimed — was released on the big screen by National Theatre Live the following year.
Why does the part stand out? Because Hiddleston is as fast, witty and biting as the part demands. And it is a demanding part. Thankfully, as one contemporary theatre reviewer put it, Hiddleston delivered, giving “an energetic, intelligent interpretation of the role”.
Any awards? The Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Actor — no mean feat. His Shakespearean efforts were also recognised by The Society of London Theatre, who nominated the actor for a Laurence Olivier Award.
Want more great actors? From de Niro to Day Lewis, here are the best of all time…
Become a Gentleman’s Journal member. Find out more here.