A heartfelt thank you letter from actor Tom Hiddleston to Avengers director Joss Whedon has been released online.
Hiddleston, who played villain Loki in the film, wrote the amazing letter after reading the film's script for the first time and thanking Whedon for "writing me my Hans Gruber".
The letter forms part of Joss Whedon: The Autobiography and was published online by Business Insider, with the blessing of Chicago Review Press.
Here is his letter in full...
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" ...
... 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. It's grand and epic and majestic and poetic and lyrical and wicked and rich and badass and might possibly be the most gloriously fun part I've ever stared down the barrel of playing. It is just so juicy.
I love how throughout you continue to put Loki on some kind of pedestal of regal magnificence and then consistently tear him down. He gets battered, punched, blasted, side-swiped, roared at, sent tumbling on his back, and every time he gets back up smiling, wickedly, never for a second losing his eloquence, style, wit, self-aggrandisement or grandeur, and you never send him up or deny him his real intelligence.... That he loves to make an entrance; that he has a taste for the grand gesture, the big speech, the spectacle. I might be biased, but I do feel as though you have written me the coolest part.
... But really I'm just sending you a transatlantic shout-out and fist-bump, things that traditionally British actors probably don't do. It's epic.
Whedon's reply was equally revealing, noting Hiddleston hadn't read the final draft yet, and that he was continuing to work on the film that would eventually become the third highest-grossing film of all time.
Tom, this is one of those emails you keep forever. Thanks so much. It's more articulate (and possibly longer) than the script. I couldn't be more pleased at your reaction, but I'll also tell you I'm still working on it ... Thank you again. I'm so glad you're pleased. Absurd fun to ensue.
Best, (including uncharacteristic fist bump), joss.
The Avengers will return next year in Age of Ultron with Whedon at the helm. Sadly Hiddleston won't be part of that film, but he should return for the planned Thor 3 sometime down the line.
Avengers: Age of Ultron will be released on 24 April 2015.