Joss Whedon is no longer associated with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but he’s considered one of the key figures behind the success of the franchise. He kick-started the Avengers series by directing The Avengers (2012) and served as a consultant on every phase 2 film of the MCU leading up to Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), which he also directed.
Whedon was also involved with writing and shaping up the trajectory of many characters, including the god of mischief Loki. Tom Hiddleston, who played the role, was so impressed with the director’s approach concerning Loki that he compared his on-screen avatar with the iconic Hans Gruber.
How Tom Hiddleston Thanked Joss Whedon for His Incredible Role in The Avengers
Portrayed by Alan Rickman, Hans Gruber was a terrorist planning to kill several hostages in the 1988 hit Die Hard. The character is often praised for his quick thinking and for knowing his way around almost everything. The description might sound a bit familiar to the fans of the MCU, who are always in awe of Loki’s intelligence and ability to manipulate anyone.
When Tom Hiddleston – who first made an appearance as Loki in Thor (2011) – read the script of The Avengers, wherein his character launches an attack on S.H.I.E.L.D. facility, he thought of Die Hard’s Hans and took time to send a heartfelt message to Joss Whedon for scripting such an arc. A part of the email published by Whedon read (via Digital Spy):
“I am so excited I can hardly speak. The first time I read it I grabbed at it like Charlie Bucket snatching for a golden ticket somewhere behind the chocolate in the wrapper of a Wonka Bar. I didn’t know where to start. Like a classic actor I jumped in looking for LOKI on every page, jumping back and forth, reading words in no particular order, utterances imprinting themselves like flash-cuts of newspaper headlines in my mind – ‘real menace,’ ‘field of obeisance,’ ‘discontented, nothing is enough,’ ‘his smile is nothing but a glimpse of his skull,’ ‘Puny god.'”
The English actor added: “Thank you for writing me my Hans Gruber. But a Hans Gruber with super-magic powers. As played by James Mason. It’s high operatic villainy alongside detached throwaway tongue-in-cheek; plus the ‘real menace’ and his closely guarded suitcase of pain.”
Hiddleston further waxed lyrical on the character by claiming that it might possibly be the most gloriously fun part he has ever got his hands on. He finished his note by sending Whedon a transatlantic shout-out and fist-bump.
Why Tom Hiddleston Cried After Meeting Steven Spielberg
Interestingly, Loki isn’t the only role that made Hiddleston emotional. In 2011, he starred in Steven Spielberg’s war drama War Horse as Captain James Nicholls, a British Army cavalry officer, who acquires Albert Narracott’s horse Joey at the beginning of the war.
The opportunity to play a part in the legendary filmmaker’s movie was a big career opportunity for Hiddleston, who was so emotional after landing the role that he almost cried.
Spielberg certainly saw something special in the actor during their meeting, as he offered him the film on the spot. “I nearly whooped, wept, laughed and cried,” he revealed in an interview with The Independent.
The 42-year-old grabbed the opportunity with both hands and delivered a brilliant performance. He hasn’t looked back since and has most recently left viewers in awe with his work in Loki Season 2.