I think… that we’re going to be seeing more of Tom Hiddleston in the next few weeks? I know for sure that his vampire film with Tilda Swinton is going to be shown at the Toronto Film Festival, and now I’m wondering if Tilda and Tom aren’t also going to show the film in Venice too. And Venice has already started! Will we have new Tommy photos this week?! It will be exciting if it happens. Anyway, Tom has a new interview with The Independent about Only Lovers Left Alive (the vampire movie), and it’s Classic Hiddles. Which is to say, verbose, twee and puppyish.
Tom Hiddleston had to play down his “irritating optimism” to get into his latest role of a “melancholy” vampire. The Thor star plays Adam, alongside Tilda Swinton’s Eve, in Only Lovers Left Alive, and playing the reclusive musician was a “big stretch” for him, he said.
Speaking about his character at an event at the British Film Institute on London’s South Bank looking ahead to the Toronto and Venice film festivals, he said: “He is romantic, and melancholy, and poetic, and sensitive, deeply creative, and nostalgic for a pre-digital age where creativity was more of an endeavour…and he’s a vampire.”
Hiddleston described working with Swinton as “amazing”, adding: “She’s an extraordinary, extraordinary artist. It really felt like a dance in a strange way because Adam and Eve became alive as much as we invested in them.”
A tale about the relationship between the two vampires, the London-born actor said Swinton’s character in the film complemented Adam.
“In a way her breadth can hold Adam’s complexity, and it’s really a love story between these two fine and delicate creatures of the night,” he said.
Hiddleston said he could see similarities between himself and Adam, but added that he is a much more optimistic and happy person.
“There’s a lot of me in Adam for sure, but Adam is also darker than I am,” he said.
Adding: “John Hurt is in the film and Adam is described by his character as a ‘suicidally romantic scoundrel’.
“I have probably an irritating optimism sometimes in myself and I had to turn the volume on that down.”
Taking on the role did not intimidate him and he said he enjoyed challenging himself.
“It was wonderful, because acting is the privilege of living in the shoes of someone else for a time, and Adam was a big stretch for me,” he said.
Hiddleston, who starred in Midnight in Paris, had to lose weight for the part, but said he does not believe a performance should be judged on how much an actor has changed their appearance.
“I had to change my physicality to some degree. I’m very skeptical of this current vogue of performances being judged according to how much weight you put on or lose, because I don’t think it’s what it’s about, truly. I just had to do more exercise and eat a bit less,” he said.
The actor is taking on Shakespeare in December when he will play Coriolanus at the Donmar Warehouse – and he has started learning his lines already.
“It’s a monumental learn. It’s one of the longest parts. I’ve started already so Coriolanus is occupying every last brain cell that I have. It’s wonderful though,” he said.
“I have probably an irritating optimism sometimes in myself and I had to turn the volume on that down” = acting. And does he get points for being self-aware enough to describe his “irritating optimism”? Or is that sort of Tom’s version of a humble-brag? I don’t know. It depends on whether or not you think it’s easy to be optimistic these days, or whether cynicism is the default, the blank slate emotion of small-minded people.
Anyway, I would prefer to listen to Tom talk about Tilda. I want to hear more about that! I want to hear his Tilda stories. Oh, and I agree with him about judging performances by how much weight is gained or lost. It’s become the default of too many actors! I wish Tom would name names, though. Like, “I’m very skeptical of this current vogue of performances being judged according to how much weight you put on or lose, cough, Natalie Portman.”
Photos courtesy of WENN.