admin / March 26th, 2016

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Finding that broken feeling took a while, but when it came, just before midnight on the Louisiana set of “I Saw the Light,” Tom Hiddleston’s voice crawled into Hank Williams’ words as the blues played out slow and mournful to the hushed tune of a single guitar.

Hiddleston’s rendition of “Your Cheatin’ Heart” comes toward the end of writer-director Marc Abraham’s biopic, which opens Friday. A troubled man and a music legend, Williams, who died at 29 in 1953 after recording 30 Top 10 country music hits, left an indelible mark on American culture. Hiddleston, a British actor best known for his villain Loki in Marvel movies, said he felt the sting of torment and the weight of legacy in each song.

“It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done,” said Hiddleston, who had to reinvent his inner musical rhythms and raise the pitch of his baritone to embody Williams’ tenor. “The moment I signed on I understood my duty to him and his family. You’ve got no choice but to throw your whole soul at it.”

Hiddleston traveled to Nashville and was coached by Rodney Crowell, a Grammy-winning country musician who introduced the actor not only to Williams’ music but to the work of bluesmen such as Jimmy Reed and Howlin’ Wolf. The two worked on blues chord progressions and how to get Hiddleston, whose British training had made him metronomically precise, to give the music air by hanging back slightly off the beat.

“Rodney used to say, ‘We’re shaking the Englishman out of you,'” said Hiddleston, who recalled their collaboration the other day as a white patio curtain lifted in the breeze and the faint sound of traffic drifted in from the Hollywood Hills. “I couldn’t have made it without Rodney. I needed a guide through the woods.”

Williams’ up-tempo songs, like “Hey, Good Lookin’,” and “Honky Tonkin’,” vibrated with coy fun and desire. But it was sparse and poetic ballads that earned Williams, who suffered back pain and was addicted to alcohol and drugs, the nickname “Hillbilly Shakespeare.” His voice could sound as if it had been through a storm; a bit of hurt pressing against the dawn with Alabama-inflected syllables that could curl a note back into a phrase or vanish.

In the years before his death, Williams, a former shipyard worker, seemed a man recounting defeats and laying bare his demons in a potent and beguiling mix of masculinity, stoicism and vulnerability. That raw plaintiveness transcended country music and inspired singers and songwriters including Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Tony Bennett, Norah Jones and Bruce Springsteen, who once said he wanted to crack Williams’ musical code to understand its “beautiful simplicity and its darkness and depth.”

In the film, Hiddleston as Williams, well into a night of boozing, explains to a writer the mood he evokes in songs such as “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry”: “Everybody has a little darkness in ’em,” he says. “Now, they may not like it. Don’t wanna know about it. But it’s there. … I’m talking about things like anger, misery, sorrow, shame, and they hear it. I show it to ’em. And they don’t have to take it home.”

Much of Williams’ singularity and heartbreak resonated in his voice, which could shift from somber to what Crowell called a “post-vaudeville yodel” that tested singers who tried to emulate him.

“Credit has to go to Tom’s work ethic. He’s a dedicated artist,” Crowell said of the 35-year-old Hiddleston. “Hank Williams was a yodeler and a blues singer, which is basically from the knees down and the neck up. Tom had to get hold of the mechanics of projecting his voice as a yodeler does. He had to break out of the trained Shakespeare actor chest voice and into the yodel. It’s a very difficult thing to master.”

The yodel warbled through “Lovesick Blues,” a song Crowell said was “a job for anybody.” Hiddleston did 62 takes of it in one day, which the actor said “felt like swimming in the ocean through seaweed and finally I was in clear water.” But the melancholy in “Your Cheatin’ Heart” was tough to personify. Hiddleston lived with the song for months but the magic didn’t arrive until late on a cold Friday night in Shreveport, La., after a long week of shooting.

“My voice sounded good and technically it was pleasing, but Rodney said he couldn’t hear the pain in it,” Hiddleston said. “He kept re-stating that it needed to be more painful, more aching, more mournful, more yearning.”

While the crew was setting up the shot, Hiddleston walked into a backyard. “The challenge of it was very solitary,” he said, “and I just went back inside and did it.”

Hiddleston did two takes with Crowell playing guitar off camera. The scene captured a man’s pain over a love lost and was an eerie glimpse at a life in spiral. After the last note was struck, Hiddleston, slipping into a Southern accent, remembered Crowell saying: “That’s it right there. You ain’t going to do no more. I’m going back to my hotel.”

“Tom put his butt on the line,” said Crowell, adding that he wanted to do the song live on the set to distill its intimacy. When Williams recorded it in 1952 he was months away from death. “It was one of the most beautiful performances Williams ever did. We had to capture the poignancy of that moment.”

Williams was rough, brash and unadorned. His early death, like those of other musicians including Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse, left behind astonishing work and endless conjecture at what might have come with age. Williams wore his flaws in public, showing up drunk at performances and forcing the Grand Ole Opry, the pinnacle he aspired to for years, to drop him. He died of heart failure in the back seat of his Cadillac on his way to a New Year’s Day concert in Canton, Ohio.

“Hank was one of those people who lived without a safety net,” Hiddleston said. “They make compelling artists because they stand at the edge of a cliff and look down and are unafraid of the fall. That’s why they’re so captivating. But I do have that safety catch. The difference between me and him is I will step back.”

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admin / March 26th, 2016

The Night Manager is John Le Carré the way John Le Carré was meant to be done—with a bunch of sexy people.

Nothing says “John Le Carré adaptation” like Tom Hiddleston sprinting shirtless down a beach while a sultry voiceover whispers, Everyone is attracted to you. The Night Manager is a six-part adaptation of the John Le Carré novel by the same name, starting on April 19 and ending too soon for thirsty Hiddleston fans.

The Night Manager is full of fun spy stuff; sexy strangers (Elizabeth Debicki), sexy corrupt businessmen (Hugh Laurie), and sexy locales (Cairo, Matterhorn, assorted beaches). A colleague observed that some of the subtlety of the original novel has been lost in translation, but a few truly tense scenes make up for that. Plus, this is Hiddleston’s most Bond-y role yet.

Above all, The Night Manager is a fun show in a drought of fun shows. Watch it, then get to work on your own Hiddle-six-pack.

Via GQ



admin / October 8th, 2015

Tom Hiddleston is featured on the latest issue of Shortlist with a great article and new photoshoot!


Handsome, talented and a master of animals; is there no chink in Tom Hiddleston’s armour? Andrew Dickens has a good, hard look

Tom Hiddleston is about to leave the riverside flat where we’ve just photographed him with a cat on his shoulder. He picks up the guitar that’s been lying on the living room floor all day. I hadn’t realised it was his, so, considering he appears as Hank Williams in the forthcoming biopic I Saw The Light, I ask a prize-winning dumb question: do you play?

I mean to say, “Do you play in the film?” The polite way of asking, “Were you dubbed over by a more proficient country and western musician?” Hiddleston understands this and asks if we’d like to hear something: his own daft question. He whips out his Gibson (no euphemism) and delivers, to these ears, an emphatic Hank (again, no euphemism). It’s one way of answering a question, though – thankfully for the purposes of this interview, the rest of his responses are delivered more traditionally. Well, sort of, but we’ll come to that later.

This impromptu performance also proves that Hiddleston doesn’t do things by halves. He played the guitar before making I Saw The Light, but he wasn’t an alcoholic, womanising country legend. Work was required. The kind of work you’d pay to do.

“I’ve felt a huge responsibility to not screw it up,” the 34-year-old says. “I perhaps didn’t fully appreciate how iconic he is in the US until I arrived in Nashville. I went there six weeks before we were due to start shooting,” he says.

“I stayed with a musician called Rodney Crowell for five weeks and we sang and played every day, and he was amazing. Being in Nashville, being in the whole atmosphere of country blues music, the history – he loosened me up.

“There was one long night in the studio; we had to record some of the tracks ahead of time. Everyone was in a really good place and we didn’t want to stop and come back the next day, so Rodney got out a bottle of whiskey and said, ‘Here ya go, boys!’ and we kept singing and playing all night. That’s when I realised how privileged I am to do this job.”

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admin / October 6th, 2015

Tom Hiddleston has been named the first official ambassador for the BFI.

His new role will see him championing the British film industry at home and abroad, helping to build the next generation of homegrown talent.

Alongside his work in Hollywood blockbusters like Thor, The Avengers and War House, Hiddleston has also made time to champion British filmmakers, starring in films including Archipelago, The Deep Blue Sea and the upcoming High Rise, which is premiering at the BFI London Film Festival.

“Film is an art form – one of the most powerful, accessible, democratic and transformative in our society,” said Hiddleston. “It allows us to see the world around us, and the lives of others. It plays a vital role in establishing our national identity and gives us confidence as a nation. The BFI looks after the most significant collection of film and television in the world. It should be treasured and protected, in the same way we treasure and protect all our great cultural collections, from art and music, to libraries and museums. The BFI’s mission is to ensure that our film culture is kept alive, and to inspire the next generation of film talent. It’s the reason the BFI exists and why I am committed to being a BFI Ambassador.”

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admin / September 29th, 2015

Why does Tom Hiddleston keep saying “if” when discussing his possible return as Loki in the Marvel Cinematic Universe? He has done it a few times in recent interviews, most recently with MTV, who probed the actor about his approach to the villain in Marvel films past and present.

And again, Hiddleston kept it vague, mysterious and surprisingly non-committal. “If it ever happened again…” he begins a sentence in the interview with MTV News, before explaining how he’d try and change his interpretation of the wicked Asgardian. But Hiddleston sounds perplexed about how much Loki Marvel fans want in their Phase 3 movies, stating to the news outlet:

I never quite know whether people want to see him again or whether people want to move on… I can’t really take the temperature on it.

Guess what, Tom? People love Loki. They love him more than they love certain Avengers. (Yep, I’m looking at you, Hawkeye.) So far, Tom Hiddleston has helped turn Loki into the MCU’s most memorable villain, even though – admittedly – the competition hasn’t been that tough. Josh Brolin’s Thanos could change that. Please God, we hope that Brolin’s Thanos does change that. Because after years of teasing, and with a planned two-part battle coming up against him, Thanos has a lot on which he needs to deliver.

Back to Loki, and the confusion around Tom Hiddleston’s unwillingness to say, on the record, that he will return to the villainous role he made famous in two Thor movies and the first Avengers film. As far as we know, Loki is crucial to the plot of the next Thor sequel, Thor: Ragnarok. It is by Loki’s hand that Ragnarok, an apocalypse brought down on Asgard, begins. It’s possible that Marvel has different plans for its cinematic universe, and maybe they’ll have a different reason for the start of the cataclysmic war that we are expecting in Thor: Ragnarok. But when we left Loki at the end of The: The Dark World, he had tricked his brother (Chris Hemsworth) and had assumed the throne of Asgard. That’s a strange place to just leave a pivotal character like Loki, so I’d be willing to bet the farm that he will be back… and so will Hiddleston.

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admin / September 12th, 2015

Thor and Avenger fans couldn’t get enough of Tom Hiddleston at the I Saw the Light party Friday night at the Addison Residences on Wellington Street in Toronto.

Hiddleston was also surrounded by Sony Pictures Classics co-presidents Tom Bernard and Michael Barker, who nabbed the rights to the Hank Williams Jr. biopic, co-star Elizabeth Olsen, director Marc Abraham and producers BrettRatner of RatPac Entertainment and Aaron L. Gilbert of Bron Studios at the Lacoste/Ciroc-presented bash featuring the latter’s vodka cocktails.

“I understand the huge responsibility to Hank Williams Jr. and his family, and threw myself at the role with all my heart and soul,” Hiddleston told The Hollywood Reporter about swapping his Shakespearean lilt for his best Southern twang to play the Alabama-born country legend. One fan called out to Hiddleston, who had to learn to croon for I Saw the Light, to ask his favorite Hank Williams Jr. ditty.

“Cold, Cold Heart,” he answered, later reciting lyrics from that catchy tune. Hiddleston also turned aside criticism from Williams’s grandson, Shelton Hank Williams III, over his singing style during an earlier concert performance by pointing to a letter received last week from singer-songwriter Holly Williams, the granddaughter of Hank Williams Jr.

“She loved [the movie]. I was touched by what she wrote,” Hiddleston said.

Director Abraham, who focused on Williams’ marital woes and addictions to portray a troubled artist who died when only 29 years-old, was filled with emotion during the post-premiere party. “It’s incredibly accurate,” Abraham said of his biopic, before explaining why Williams Jr.’s life was likely to connect with today’s movie audiences after the November release.

“His suffering. All of us feel some pain. And now you hear someone sing so well about what hurts in our lives,” he explained.

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admin / November 3rd, 2014

When last we saw Tom Hiddleston‘s Loki in ‘Thor: The Dark World,’ he was disguised as Odin and sitting on Asgard’s throne. It seemed fairly certain that we’d see our favorite god of mischief again. And now Marvel’s Kevin Feige has confirmed that Loki isn’t just appearing in ‘Thor: Ragnarok,’ but that he’ll play a pretty big role in both parts of ‘Avengers: Infinity War.‘ Let the mischief begin!

Digital Spy has the report with a confirmation from Feige, who says that Loki will feature prominently in the newest phase of films announced by Marvel, namely that he’ll star in both ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ (which was a given) and ‘Avengers: Infinity War.’
As you’ll recall, in ‘Thor: The Dark World,’ Loki carried a scepter with one of the Infinity stones, and when he lost it, The Other warned him that Thanos would make him pay for his failure. In ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron,’ that scepter is now in the hands of HYDRA’s Baron Von Strucker, and The Other was killed by Ronan in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy.’ As for Thanos — well, things aren’t going so well, since he still doesn’t have a single Infinity Stone.

Regarding ‘Thor: Ragnarok,’ which takes its name from the comics, Loki plays a big part in that story by releasing several villains from prison on Asgard and causing total havoc. Since last we saw him he was disguised as Odin and sent Thor off to Earth to be with Jane Foster, Loki is in a pretty sweet position, free to make plenty of mischief in his brother’s absence.
‘Thor: Ragnarok’ hits theaters on July 28, 2017, while ‘Avengers: Infinity War – Part 1′ hits on May 4, 2018, and ‘Avengers: Infinity War – Part 2′ will hit a year later on May 3, 2019.

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admin / September 21st, 2014

Tom Hiddleston has become a staple for Marvel with his portrayal of Loki that has made every other villain after him look so boring and mundane. The actor brings an intensity that is unmatched to the role and was feared in three movies within the universe, but could he be heading to his time as the God of Mischief?

Hiddleston recently nabbed the lead in the King Kong prequel Skull Island, which could turn into a universe of its own with Godzilla also doing well and the two movies possibly leading to a merger. With Hiddleston now leading his own franchise, it may mean the end for him as Loki for Marvel.

The rumored plot for Thor 3 is to follow the Ragnarok storyline, which includes the destruction of Asgard. As of now, Loki is posing as Odin on the throne in Asgard but that could change when Thor returns home after the events of Avengers 2.

In the comics, Loki falls during Ragnarok, an event he helped begin, and this could be the exit Hiddleston gets to putting the character to rest for awhile. While he “died,” during Thor 2, this could be the first major permanent death that Marvel does and would allow the villain to rest while its actor goes to do his own show.

If he doesn’t want to completely give up the role though, the death would allow for another fake-out that Marvel has done multiple times by now and maybe he could return in a shorter role in either another Thor movie or a cameo in a Guardians of the Galaxy sequel.

Thor 3 is rumored for a 2017 release date.

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Thor must confront the gods to the gods when Asgard is threatened with Ragnarok.


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