It's been seven years and 12 (really, 12?) films since the Marvel Cinematic Universe introduced Tom Hiddleston as Loki in the original Thor. As Hiddleston gears up for yet another appearance as the God of Mischief in the upcoming Thor: Ragnarok, he's a little surprised he's still here.
Image: Marvel Studios
"It is a source of constant surprise to me that I'm still here," Hiddleston told Times of India. "I never expected that when I started playing him. I feel a huge responsibility to deliver the character people know, even though it's been four years since I last played him, and also to try to take him in new directions."
He has a good reason for his surprise, even beyond the longevity of the MCU that seemed pretty unlikely when his first appearance hit screens in the halcyon days of 2011. Marvel's film tend to churn through villains pretty quickly. Most foes with a major role in any given Marvel film are (spoilers?) dead. Correct me if I'm wrong, the only villain with as much longevity as Loki is Thanos, and that's because he's been the mastermind behind the scenes up until this point.
Of course, we can also blame Hiddleston's magnetic performance. He manages to bring a dashing chaos to Loki, like James Bond doing a Joker impression. He's a slippery one, too, changing a bit every time you see him. Makes sense, being the God of Mischief and all.
That aspect of the character mystifies Hiddleston, too, by the by, though he's content to roll with it.
"I've spent six or seven years of my life trying to get to the bottom of what exactly it is that he wants," Hiddleston said. "When he seems to get close to what he wants — power, acceptance, belonging — he changes direction. I think that is the thing that keeps him interesting in a way. He's cunning and transformative and changeable, and will do everything he can to survive. He's the trickster. He's the God of mischief."
Then again, that may just be slippery writing. Anything to keep Marvel's most interesting villain around, I suppose.