When the sneak-peek scene that followed Thor made it clear that Tom Hiddleston’s fascinating trickster Loki would indeed return as the central villain in The Avengers, no one was more delighted than me. Well, alright, I imagine Hiddleston himself may have been more than a little bit pleased with the news.

Joss Whedon’s The Avengers does not fail the character that Hiddleston had initially created. It builds on Thor, and as the actor says “magnifies the menace” that is inherently a part of him. We had the opportunity to speak with Hiddleston about the shifts in Loki’s character in The Avengers, where he imagines him going in Thor 2 and if there will ever be a possibility for redemption.

Loki is one of the more interesting antagonists that we have seen in recent years. Firstly, Hiddleston is a tremendous talent who brings a remarkable sense of realism to the larger-than-life role. He has the rare ability to disappear into his characters while still maintaining that connection to the truth of who he is.

Secondly, Thor presented a version of Loki that was strangely relatable. Though he was devious and dangerous he had a childlike quality that made him easy to sympathize with, even as you wished for him to fail in his endeavors. He seemed to be operating from a purely emotional place – an area of his psyche that is trapped in pain. The film paints both he and Thor as, in differing ways, stuck in a state of arrested development. Loki has no tools or recourse to deal with his anguish, and as a result, can do little more than lash out.

This issue, of course, is that these are very powerful beings throwing the tantrums of a two-year-old.

More than that, as a viewer you get the sense that Loki is operating purely in the moment; as much as he has a plan, you feel that he may change his mind and shift if someone were just to find the right words with him. That idea is communicated purely via the strength of Hiddleston’s performance.

Make sure to check our our video interviews with Chris Evans (Captain America) and Chris Hemsworth (Thor) and The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson).

Please don’t post any major plot spoilers in the comments of our Avengers interview posts. If you want to chat about the film itself head over to our Avengers spoilers discussion.

The Avengers opens in theaters in the U.S. on May 4th.

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