Loki Poster

Who were Loki’s bad influences?

Tom Hiddleston’s deliciously wicked performance as the cosmic evildoer in Thor, The Avengers, and the upcoming Thor: The Dark World (out Nov. 8) has made the character just as popular as the heroes he repeatedly antagonizes. Many fans have been begging Marvel Studios for a Loki stand-alone film.

“I’m standing on the shoulder of giants,” Hiddleston tells EW. Here are his top three favorite villains, who inspired his own creation.

“I’m standing on the shoulders of the villains I loved as a child and take my hat off to,” he went on. “Jack Nicholson as The Joker in Tim Burton’s Batman, and I bow even lower for Alan Rickman in Die Hard and James Mason in North by Northwest. I mean, Alan Rickman, particularly in that film, was having such a good time and was so likeable.”

Hiddleston says these heavies appealed to him because, well, they weren’t so heavy. Each was a break from the stereotypical brooding, miserable villain.

“I guess it’s in my make up as a fan, as someone who loved movies as a child,” the actor says. “I loved villains who enjoyed themselves.”

That, he says, is key to making Loki enjoyable to audiences — this bad guy loves being bad.

“Thor has always been the God of Thunder and Loki has been the God of Mischief,” Hiddleston says. “I remember I looked up mischief in the dictionary and the first entry is ‘an inclination to playfulness, a desire to tease.’ And then actually further down the line, like entry No. 5 is ‘destruction and damage.’ So you have this one word mischief which encompasses all these things and that’s the role I’m playing. It’s my job to turn up on set and have a great time and I hope that’s something that’s appealing: you know, Loki’s having a good time and so am I.”

For more on Hiddleston and the art of villainy, check out next week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly, on stands Nov. 2.

Meanwhile, here’s a sample of the trio whose dastardly DNA went into the creation of Loki. See any resemblance?

“Never rub another man’s rhubarb!”

“Don’t kill me! PleasePleasePlease!

“Your very next role. You’ll be quite convincing, I assure you.”

Thor: The Dark World trailer

Thor: The Dark World
  • Movie
  • 112 minutes