He’s as English as they come; With High-Rise having just hit UK cinemas, we shine a light on it’s lead actor and take a look at what makes him the charming, versatile actor that he is today.
Hiddleston, best known for his role as Loki in Marvel Universe, has been receiving praise for years and is quickly becoming one of the best English actors on the circuit. With schooling at Eton and double first class in classics from Cambridge, it’s hard to imagine that he’d be anything other than charming.
Charm isn’t everything though. The 35-year-old actor is well known for a sense of meticulousness, in an interview with the Guardian he admitted to preparing for the interview by reading the writers novel, a sense of due diligence that is reflected in his acting. As Elizabeth Day wrote:
“To prepare for his break-out film role as Loki in the 2011 Marvel Studios film Thor, he trained in the Brazilian martial art of capoeira. When he took on Coriolanus in a critically acclaimed production at the Donmar in 2014, he would listen to Holst’s The Planets to get himself in the right mood and run up and down the theatre’s fire escape before going onstage.”
It’s easy to presume that his work ethic was shaped by his childhood in Oxford and London, but in the same interview Hiddleston spoke about all the great actors who went to other schools and studied elsewhere. Noting the huge pool of talent from Harrow, including names such as Idris Elba, Daniel Craig and Michael Fassbender. Class and schools don’t make the actor, noting that he finds the current debate about the number of middle-class actors in the profession divisive. “It’s socially divisive in a way it shouldn’t be, because I think wherever you are from you should be able to follow your passion. Wherever you went to school, if you have something authentic to contribute, you should be allowed to. There is an acknowledged problem of access and inequality of opportunity – I don’t know how to remedy that. But yeah, I’m on everyone’s side; I’m on the side of the actors. I’m not there to divide the world into pieces.”
However, beyond his career he has become somewhat of a style icon. One could say he’s ‘mono-chromatically fabulous’, with outfits that often emphasise muted blues, blacks and greys. He fuses classically British styles with dulled pallets that soften the tones of the outfits and the sleek, almost effeminate nature of his suits make him stand out more as a male icon. On screen and off screen, we see Hiddleston brandishing suits and long overcoats which draw out his slim physique. His appearance is just another example of the way that he doesn’t do things by halves.
Hiddleston is sure to continue this trend in, High-Rise. Ben Wheatley’s latest feature film has opened to great critic response and the tight, dystopian tower-block film craftily analyses the class system in the guise of the brutalist architecture. As Anton Bitel said in Little White Lies: “High-Rise stands on its own as a macabre mythologisation of the libertine excesses to be found in both the human heart and the free market – of any era. Watching it is like seeing a multi-storied classic richly unravelling before, during and after its proper time.” And Hiddleston is a centre piece of the macabre mythologisation.