Over the course of the last year, many of Tom Hiddleston’s ‘extra-curricular’ activities have detracted from his acting career. From his unfortunate wardrobe choices during the whole ‘Hiddleswift’ debacle, to the recent reveal of his “incredible” Bolognese recipe, the British actor’s life behind-the-scenes has unfolded almost excitedly as it has on screen.
But, with the release of Kong: Skull Island next week, which will see Hiddleston take on the main role of Captain James Conrad, a former member of the Rhodesian Special Air Service, we take a look back at the 36-year old’s best turns on screen.
Loki, Marvel Cinematic Universe
Let’s start with the clichés, but there’s a reason that Loki is Hiddleston’s most famous role – and not only because he’s filmed scenes for six films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe so far – and counting.
Hiddleston brought true Shakespearean weight to a role that could have easily become a gaudy caricature. With his menace and wit, Hiddleston managed to make greasy hair, a big horned helmet and evil look good.
F. Scott Fitzgerald, Midnight in Paris
It may have been six years ago now, and most actors would probably jump at the chance to star in a Woody Allen film – even if it was just a bit part, but Hiddleston’s all-too-brief turn as celebrated author F. Scott Fitzgerald in Midnight in Paris is a wonderful show of the actor’s range.
His hair may leave something to be desired, but Hiddleston slips into the role of the flashy, 1920s socialiate with aplomb, adding yet another welcome dash of whimsy to an already fantastic film.
Dr Robert Laing, High-Rise
It’s a tough watch if you’re not invested in the film, but Ben Wheatley’s 2015 dystopian thriller High Rise was destined to sink or swim based on the portrayals of its characters – both good and bad. And this is what makes Hiddleston’s protagonist, Dr Robert Laing, so fascinating to watch – as he is neither.
Laing walks the blurred line between morality and depravity, seducing women, but also attempting to take down Jeremy Irons’ corrupt establishment. It’s an intense watch – but one in which brooding Hiddleston shines.
Jonathan Pine, The Night Manager
It was last year’s most talked-about show – and indeed the role which pushed Hiddleston head-first into the running to be the next Bond – but The Night Manager wasn’t the actor’s strongest turn.
What it was, however, was a brilliant example of how deftly Hiddleston can work in an ensemble cast alongside other actors. Ostensibly the protagonist, he knew exactly when to dial things down, and let Hugh Laurie, Olivia Colman or Tom Hollander shine through – passing the true test of an actor.
Sir Thomas Sharpe, Crimson Peak
On the surface – pasty white and with long dark hair – Hiddleston’s Sir Thomas Sharpe looks like he owes much to Loki. However, dig a little deeper, watch a little longer, and you will find a tale of murder, incest and bribery that is darker than even the most intense Marvel comic books.
Pulpy it may be, but Guillermo del Toro’s film is imbued with the Englishness that only Hiddleston – and perhaps Benedict Cumberbatch – can bring to a role. Adding horror to the roster of genres in which he can comfortably work, this is Hiddleston at his darkest – and possibly most impressive.