Were you expecting someone else?
Kim and I didn’t spend a full minute choosing our first annual Head Over Feels Entertainer of the Year. Talk about a no-brainer. Tom Hiddleston is the definition of “the whole package,” and what a year he had. From blockbuster sequels to Shakespeare on stage and screen to busting a tasty move or two, Hiddles has kept us on our toes in 2013.
He may be fangirl catnip, but his appeal crosses genre and gender – I dare you to find someone who DOESN’T like this man. Beyond his effortless talent and presence lies the heart of a true gentleman. Hiddles is endlessly charming (and charmed) with his fans, and he approaches every one of his roles, whether it be a Henry V or a Loki, with the same excitement and work ethic. And did I mention that the man can DANCE?
Without further ado, we give you a year’s worth of Tom Hiddleston’s greatest hits. Hold onto your heart. It’s going to be a bumpy post.
He Traveled with Unicef to Guinea, West Africa
Tom kicked off the year with Unicef, taking a trip to Guinea to see its programs in action. Now an official UK Ambassador of the organization, he reflected on the experience in his final field blog. I recommend reading all of them, if you can.
“I am no saviour. I’m absolutely the last person on the planet who can practically help. I don’t know how to make the different types of therapeutic feeding milk. I’m no chemist. I’m no doctor. I’m no engineer. I can’t manufacture polio vaccines or organise their transportation to the health centres in Saramoussayah or Bissikirima. I can’t build schools, or design drainage systems. I can’t provide the women and children of Mandiana with water….All I can do now is help make people aware of what is happening, of what they are doing. That is all that I can do. For now.”
He Ruled in Hollow Crown: Henry V
In March of this year, PBS aired the Hollow Crown, a filmed series of Shakespeare’s historical plays. Tom starred as Henry V and proved to the US that every single British actor we co-opt for one of our comic book franchises has the chops to climb onto a horse and go conquer France.
He Took San Diego Comic Con and He Took It in Style
We firmly established by in July that Tom Hiddleston single-handedly WON Comic Con.
Actors are very protective of their reputations and extremely wary of typecasting, lest you assume that anyone in Tom’s position would have gleefully Loki-ed up and delivered that speech to Hall H. It’s simply not true.
And then he moseyed over to Nerd HQ and enchanted everyone who gathered for his “Conversations with a Cause.” My personal favorite moment was when he easily slipped into a flawless impression of host Zachary Levi and recalled the threatening text that his Thor: The Dark World co-star sent to him to get him there.
“Hiddleston…I have an inkling that you are coming on a top secret mission to Comic Con. If you do not swing by Nerd HQ, I will PERSONALLY punch you in the dick
But the rest of that hour was downright inspiring. It could have gone on for three more and I wouldn’t have been bored. He talked about the above and beyond research (from classic Marvel to Norse legends) that he did to play Loki; how it was Tilda Swinton who first introduced him to “Gangnam Style;” and explained his life philosophy to a room full of rapt fans.
“Listen, I’m from London. France is two hours on the train, for heaven’s sake. So the quote is, ‘On a deux vies, le seconde commence quand on realise qu’il y on a seulement une.’ Which for those of you who understand that is, “we all have two lives. The second begins when you realize you only have one.” And so, I’m not wasting any time. And the thing is, with negativity, for my money, they are just, they are like clouds that pass across the sun. And they will pass, they’re just feelings. It’s important not to dwell on them. To just move past it. Maybe it’s my nature. There is so much about life that’s amazing. And when you key into that, I don’t know it’s just a strange thing. I get excited about stuff, I can’t explain it. And I try not to get bogged down in disappointment.”
See?? It’s okay to get excited about stuff! Hiddles says so. He’d fit in so well here at Head Over Feels.
He Was a Total Gentlemen to Our Girl Emma Watson
When he presented Ms. Hermione Granger with the GQ 2013 Woman of the Year award, Tom was his typical gracious self. And it was a fandom collision of epic proportions. Can these two do a movie together already?
He Showed His Inner Dis-Nerd at D23
Tom appeared at D23 to promote The Pirate Fairy, an animated Disney film where he voices another smooth-ass Brit: Captain Hook. Then he broke out into a little “Bare Necessities,” which is completely unrelated to anything, just because he’s a treasure.
He Launched a Steady Charm Onslaught during the Thor: The Dark World Press Tour
Listen. You don’t have to be on the Marvel payroll to know that press junkets are dry, endless time sucks that are generally the un-fun part of being a ginormous movie star. Of course, Tom treats every interview like its his first and ever interviewer like she’s from the most important outlet he’s ever been in. Every day of that tour brought us a few more Hiddleston gems, and usually double when paired with fictional (or not…) brother Chris Hemsworth.
And Had a Sleepover on MTV After-Hours
Should Josh Horowitz ever want to retire from this gig, Kim and I gladly volunteer as tributes.
And Everywhere He Went, He Werked It Out
Dancing machine, this man.
Don’t you want to take him with you to your ex’s wedding and just tear up the dance floor?
Dance like we’re all watching, Tom.
Zachary Levi challenged Tom to a dance-off at the Thor: The Dark World Hollywood premiere, but it was all of us who were the true winners.
Seriously, Tom could dance this planet into world peace. Can we get some funding for this?
He Visited Sesame Street And Taught Cookie Monster a Valuable Lesson
Having Hiddleston and his oh-so-casually unbuttoned collar explain the concept of DELAYED GRATIFICATON to a Jim Henson monster resulted in one, giant, collectively raised eyebrow from his fandom. This is a FAMILY SHOW for heaven’s sake. Thank you, Sesame Workshop. We know you knew exactly what you were doing.
Then He Surprised a Bunch of Kids at a Thor Screening in Manhattan
When I read the reports of this surprise visit, I just threw up my hands and claimed defeat. This man flew in from London JUST to appear at a Halloween screening for the Children’s Aid Society, gave the kids a little “burdened with glorious purpose,” and told reporters that it’s “nothing” for him to turn up and do this for underserved kids, because there are “armies of people behind the scenes who do the real work.” Swoon.
He Brooded in the Only Lovers Left Alive Trailer
Hiddleston and QUEEN TILDA star as emo-goth vampire lovers in a Jim Jarmusch movie that needs to get off the festival circuit and into my theater RIGHT NOW.
And Spoofed America’s Favorite Commercial
Some genius at Comedy Central is to thank for this brilliant use of Tom. Even people who hate commercials begrudgingly enjoy the AT&T spots where new SNL cast member Beck Bennett stoically interacts with a bunch of kids. Put forever inadequate Loki in that same situation and you’ve got 30 seconds of gold.
Also, how many times do you think Tom apologized to that little girl for shoving her? (“See? Who needs a hammer? I pushed you over with my bare hands.”)
The Loki Show, aka Thor: The Dark World
Marvel knows where their bread is buttered. So the Thor sequel brought serious focus back to Loki, the villain we love to love.
We got all of Loki’s greatest hits: his jealous rage, his inferiority complex, the familial loyalty that’s buried itself deep under his anger and fear, a few rare moments of bravery and selflessness…all with a heavy dose of Asgaardian sass.
Thor is too sincere and artless to be a very interesting hero, and Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster is as boring as her name. So where would this franchise be without Loki’s theatrics and double-crosses? The memorable moments are all his and it’s Tom’s performance that sells every side of the adopted god. Take his glee as Loki taunts Thor with some harmlessly sarcastic shape-changing. Or his saucy acceptance of Jane’s retaliatory slap. Or, in the moment that stuck with me long after I left the theater, his grief and fury when the artifice of his cell disappears and we see how Loki has actually been living since his mother’s death.
We’ve been told that we won’t see Loki in The Avengers 2, but that’s okay. It’s only a matter of time until he gets his own movie.
And Now He’s Thrilling London Audiences Every Night in Coriolanus
Tom is currently earning rave reviews as the title character in the Donmar Warehouse’s production of Coriolanus. It sold out almost immediately and draws legions of fans to the rush line every day. (Which, when rehearsal photos like the one below were released, was no surprise.) With immense amounts of luck, I’ll be able to see it when I’m there in a few weeks, and I’ll be sure to report back to you on his effortless perfection and any overly zealous fans I may encounter.
Thanks for everything that you do, Hiddles. We can’t wait to see what you’ve got up your sleeve for 2014.