Tom Hiddleston is currently on location in Queensland Australia, revisiting his personal niche in the Marvel Comic Universe as Loki for the upcoming Thor movie Thor: Ragnarok. This installment will be Hiddleston's fourth outing as the Asgardian villain/antihero, described by the actor's friend and newly initiated Marvel superhero Benedict Cumberbatch as a “shape-shifting god of mischief”.
So why is Cumberbatch discussing Loki? Because the Sherlock star has just stepped into the role of journalist to interview Hiddleston for October's issue of Interview Magazine, giving a glimpse into a friendship that will thrill several fandoms.
Hiddleston and Cumberbatch starred together in 2011's WW1 drama War Horse, although during their interview, Hiddleston charmingly reveals he was a Cumberbatch fan long before they met, having seen the actor in a west end production of Hedda Gabler in 2005. It is clear from the interview's warm and comfortable tone that the two actors have maintained a genuine friendship since their last joint feature and share a mutual respect for each other's talent and accomplishments. Hiddleston will also be on the October cover of Interview in addition to being featured.
At the start of the interview, Cumberbatch seems to be enjoying the role of interviewer, playfully nodding to the uniqueness of this situation and their shared cultural stereotypes:
BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH: “Like all interviewers, I should first of all thank you, Tom, for taking this time.”
TOM HIDDLESTON: “[laughs] Thank you, Benedict. We should just thank each other for our time. For the rest of our lives.”
CUMBERBATCH: “And then, in typical British fashion, we should just apologize for everything as well.”
HIDDLESTON: “I'm sorry for disturbing you.”
CUMBERBATCH: “I'm more sorry than you.”
Once this familiar rapport is established, the topic is inevitably drawn to the actors' now shared experiences as part of the Marvel universe, as the world is about to be introduced to Cumberbatch's latest role as Doctor Strange in the superhero's first big screen outing. Cumberbatch asks Hiddleston what it is like to reprise Loki, be reunited with Chris Hemsworth (Thor) and work with the new director for this installment of the Thor franchise, Taika Waititi:
“The best thing about it, honestly, is working with Chris again. I first met him in Kenneth Branagh's house in England in 2009. We were mere children, in the very beginning of our acting journeys. We made an instant connection, and it's been extraordinary to share the ride with him—this mad journey with Marvel. Anthony Hopkins has been on set this week. And Taika Waititi is magnificent. He has found a way of honoring everything that came before but doing his own thing. And he's so funny. His films—and if you haven't, you must seek them out: What We Do in the Shadows, Hunt for the Wilderpeople—they have this combination of light-hearted, good humor and emotion. They're very moving. Everyone's really happy. Of course, we're just at the beginning.”
Later in the conversation, Hiddleston has the opportunity to ask Cumberbatch how he feels about joining the juggernaut that is the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the notoriety that comes with this:
“I felt it was all about the part rather than everything else. I've been to Comic-Con, and it's a very nice way to give back to the fans that drive these things. It was quite scary. I felt like Pink Floyd. It's just like, "Hello, hi," after the fans are all screaming. That side of it is just phenomenal, and it makes me giggle, and I don't know whether I'll get used to that. I can't wait to see how it expands the universe. I'm also part of your crew! It's an amazing cast of actors. And it's the most fun hard work you'll ever do, I think, as an actor. They really know how to treat you right. And the material is challenging, witty, and a lot of fun to do. Doctor Strange is a complex, funny, but exciting character.”
Like the proper English gent he has become known as, Cumberbatch refuses to probe into the recent, highly-publicized drama of Hiddleston's love life, instead focusing on the actor's past and current projects, using these points as an opportunity to discuss the actor's prolific charity work with UNICEF and upcoming documentary about the civil war in South Sudan. As the interview continues, it evolves into a conversation between two highly intelligent and accomplished friends that are talking about their lifestyles, inspirations, and even their deepest fears.
Whether a Marvel fan or follower of Hiddleston and Cumberbatch's many other notable roles, this interview should have value for most. Hiddleston's level of fame at this point does not need to be further propelled by the addition of Cumberbatch here, but it certainly enhances the intimate quality of this interview. The multifaceted Cumberbatch effortlessly pulls this off with ease and charisma. Perhaps he could be persuaded reprise this tongue in cheek role with more of his famous friends in the future.
This Interview will be featured in the October edition of Interview Magazine. Doctor Strange is schedueled for release on November 4th 2016 and Thor: Ragnarok will premiere November 3rd 2017.