Tom Hiddleston made his glorious debut as Loki in 2011's Thor, which celebrated its 10th anniversary exactly two weeks ago today. Since then, the 40-year-old actor's God of Mischief has gone on a remarkable journey in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as he grappled with the living in his heroic brother Thor's (Chris Hemsworth) shadow and evolved from villain to antihero. Now, it's time for Loki to step into the spotlight on Disney+'s Loki. Ahead of the six-episode drama's premiere, though, EW asked Hiddleston to take us through Loki's greatest hits.

Tom Hiddleston Thor Audition screen grab
Credit: NBC

The audition (2009)

It's well-known that Hiddleston actually auditioned for Thor's titular role. "I remember thinking I should probably do some exercise because Thor is a very athletic character. So I did that, got into his kind of regime and did my camera test, and put on the blonde wig, and swung the hammer," he says. "But I do remember on the piece of paper I signed, it said, 'The role of Thor/Loki.' I thought, 'Okay...' Long-story short: Chris Hemsworth is definitive in the role of Thor. I certainly think so, and the right decision was made on that day. I'm very glad it went the way it went." 

Credit: Zade Rosenthal/Marvel Studios

Thor (2011)

Directed by Kenneth Branagh, The first Thor contains the scene that truly set the stage for Hiddleston and Loki's post-Avengers breakout. After discovering he's actually descended from the Frost Giants, Loki confronts his (adopted) father, Odin (Anthony Hopkins), about the deception in a harrowing and transformative scene. "That's the creation, in a way, of Loki's status as a villain, is this intense feeling of marginalization and isolation, [and] that he does not belong, that Thor is not his brother," says Hiddleston. "I'll never forget doing that scene because I had such respect, and still do, for Sir Anthony Hopkins, and suddenly I was having to play tennis with him in a very emotional place." 

Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige adds: "There's just so much pain and angst in it. I think that is the moment that Tom really got his hooks into the audience." 

The Avengers Tom Hiddleston as Loki
Credit: Marvel Studios

The Avengers (2012)

Loki has many memorable moments in The Avengers, but Hulk interrupting the "puny" god's egomaniacal speech and pounding him to the ground is the funniest. "I had a piece of wire tied to my ankle and there was a mat on the floor, which was out of shot, and three of the strongest stunt guys holding the wire at the end behind the camera. The experience being yanked out of frame was one I will not forget in a hurry," says Hiddleston, explaining he was the only one in front of the  camera when they shot it because Mark Ruffalo didn't perform the role via motion-capture in that first Avengers film. "For about two years after that, I couldn't go through airports anywhere in the world without somebody kind of going, 'Hey, Mr. Loki, I love it when you get Hulk smashed.' It became a bit of a thing in a fun way," 

Thor: The Dark World Tom Hiddleston as Loki
Credit: Marvel Studios

Thor: The Dark World (2013)

Loki loves to use his powers to guard himself both physically and emotionally, as seen in Thor: The Dark World when Thor visits his imprisoned brother after the Dark Elves murdered their mother. At first, Loki is smug as always and everything seems in order, but Thor calls him out and the illusion dissipates, revealing that Loki is broken and grieving. "There's this love of their mother that unites these two brothers, adopted or not, and they form a kind of unpredictable and unstable alliance," says Hiddleston. "That scene was really key to anchoring that film in something honest and emotional." 

Credit: Marvel Studios

Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

Loki learns nothing hurts like apathy when his brother reveals he's completely given up on him in this pivotal elevator scene from Taika Waititi's eccentric and warm threequel. "I think it really affects Loki. He thinks, 'Oh maybe I got this wrong. Maybe I did have a place in that family. Maybe this guy is my brother.' But it was a really enjoyable scene because it was just a very quiet moment with Chris in a very calm space in a big, colorful, spectacular film" says Hiddleston.

Credit: Chuck Zlotnick/©Marvel Studios 2018

Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

After evading death many times, Loki finally met his end when Thanos (Josh Brolin) crushed his windpipe — but not before delivering a powerful speech in which he accepted all parts of himself, the Frost Giant and the Asgardian. "The redemption of Loki as a character was achieved in that moment of sacrifice and catharsis — that after all this time, after all this journey of feeling marginalized and fueled by jealous rage, he would risk his life to save his brother and call himself an Odinson. And I saw this perfect closure in a way," says Hiddleston. "I remember Josh Brolin could not have been sweeter. He was so generous. I walked into the room and he turned around and saw me come in, and just broke into this big wide smile, and opened up his arms, and enveloped me in a big hug and said, 'I'm sorry, man.'" 

Avengers: Endgame: Tom Hiddleston as Loki
Credit: Marvel Studios

Avengers: Endgame (2019)

But Infinity War wasn't the end for Loki. Hiddleston appeared as the Avengers-era version of his character for Endgame's time heist. "It was really enjoyable to go back to this version of this character that I played before all of the evolution with those actors who I got to know so well and we'd all been on this journey together," he says. Of course, that Loki ends up stealing the Tesseract and disappearing,  setting the stage for the Disney+ series. "Where does he go? When does he go? How does he get there?" 

Credit: Chuck Zlotnick/Marvel Studios

Loki (2021)

"If you've seen the trailer for Loki the show, you will know that Loki finds himself face-to-face with the TVA, the Time Variance Authority, who are an organization within Marvel Comics that govern the order of time," Hiddleston says. "I suppose Loki picking up the Tesseract in Endgame might have caused some concern. It is very exciting. The world of the TVA is a world of bureaucratic order, and of course Loki is the God of Mischief and Chaos. So you have the forces of order and chaos coming together, and that's where our story starts."

Thor: The Dark World Tom Hiddleston playing Captain America
Credit: Marvel Studios

Bonus moment: Thor: The Dark World (2013)

At one point in the Thor sequel, Loki shape-shifts into Captain America, with Chris Evans making a cameo, while he and his brother escape Asgard. However, there's a version of that scene in which Hiddleston actually puts on the star-spangled hero's costumes himself. "[That] was a very strange and surreal moment, nevertheless enjoyable. So I got to feel whatever the feeling of wearing that suit [is], which is definitely a moment," Hiddleston recalls. "Then, they played that footage to Chris, and he did his best impression of me doing an impression him, and he does it brilliantly." High-praise from the God of impressions

Loki premieres Wednesday, June 9 on Disney+.

Reporting by Jessica Derschowitz

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Loki (TV Series)
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