Wednesday, December 26, 2018

2018: In Review


2018: A Year in Review

If I had a dollar for every time someone complained that Tom seemed different or distant or sad I'd have enough money to make Oprah feel poor but I like to think as 2018 as the year that Tom Hiddleston unapologetically embraced Being Tom Hiddleston. In 2018, Tom released two films, stepped up in his role as an ambassador for British talent, privately dedicated himself to charity work, and teased several upcoming projects. Let's look back at some of the top moments from the past 12 months and what we can look forward to in 2019! 

Honorable Mention: Early Man 


You'd be forgiven for forgetting about Early Man. I'm pretty sure that if I didn't run a Tom Hiddleston blog that I wouldn't even know that the film existed. The promotional tour (if we can even call it that) was sadly lacking all the HiddleMayne love we expected and here in the US Early Man had the unfortunate distinction of being released the same weekend as Black Panther... but it is such a fun film! Early Man is a stop-motion comedy from Aardman about a Stone Age tribe that challenges a team from the Bronze Age to a football/soccer match in order to save their home from industrialization. The main character, Dug, is just as adorkable as Eddie Redmayne appears to be in real life. Goona is just as badass as you'd expect any character played by Maisie Williams to be. Tom Hiddleston voices the villain Lord Nooth, but this villain is the polar opposite of any character Tom has played before. This is really his funniest role to date (Give Tom more comedy roles please!) Even Eddie Redmayne admits that Lord Nooth has all the best lines in the film. If you haven't seen it yet - please give Early Man a chance, especially if you have children. 




PS: There is also a really easy-to-play companion game called Early Man Run which is still available to download. Every time you lose Lord Nooth comes on screen to taunt you, sometimes in song form! 


Number Five: Ralph Lauren Tom 2.0


Gucci Out! With the exception of the Early Man premiere (Gucci) and Infinity War premiere in Los Angeles (Corneliani) Every. Single. New. Suit. that Tom Hiddleston wore in 2018 was from Ralph Lauren. Together they put on a masterclass in sartorial excellence.  Velvet? Check! Pastel colors? Check! Stripes? Check! Three-piece? Yes ma'am. TH x RL provided all you could ask for and more. 



Tom and Ralph Lauren previously had a working relationship in 2015-16 with RL dressing Tom for events and premieres. 



This relationship culminated with Tom being invited as a very special guest at Ralph Lauren's 50th Anniversary Show in 2018. 


Number Four: Hype Man Tom 


Is there an award for Best Supporting Co-star? If anyone needed a wingman in 2018 Tom Hiddleston was the guy to call. In July, Tom presented Benedict Cumberbatch with the Outstanding Achievement Award at the South Bank Sky Arts Awards. He can do anything; he has done almost everything. He's one of the best we have. He's a great actor and a good man, and I'm proud to call him my friend. Later that month Tom joined Rodney Crowell on stage to perform Move It On Over which one fan in attendance refer to as "the icing on the pleasure pie". Rodney was the executive music producer on I Saw the Light. 



In September, the cast and crew of Unrelated had a poignant reunion at the Stolen Summers Film Session to celebrate Joanna Hogg. Unrelated was Tom's first film role and Joanna's directorial debut. They went on to make two more movies together and in 2018 Tom also named Joanna as his Leading Lady. Three days later, Tom Hiddleston and Jeff Goldblum had a fanfiction worthy night at the GQ Man of the Year Awards where Tom presented him with the Icon Award. 


Number Three: Tom Hiddleston Gives Himself to Charity 


This is actually the opening line from Tom Hiddleston's 2013 profile in Flaunt Magazine but as you can see - nothing has changed. Tom is most widely known for his work with Unicef UK but in 2018 he showed support for a wide range of issues and organizations.

Throughout the year, Tom's charity work showed a major focus on children. During the Infinity War press tour he met with children supported by the Starlight Children's Foundation wish granting programme. All the Marvel stars auctioned off original drawings on Charity Buzz which raised $67,937 for Starlight. In May, Tom hosted a screening of Avengers: Infinity War for children at Westminster and Chelsea Hospital. Followed by a Q&A that was all about his beard - the kids know what's important! Tom visited the Great Ormond Street Hospital to highlight their Christmas Stocking Appeal. Tom also met with children from Place2Be which focuses on childhood mental health. 



Time's Up, which highlights the issues of sexual harassment and gender inequality, was one of the biggest issues of the year. In February, the UK launched their own version of Time's UP called the Justice and Equality Fund. The fund has raised more that £2.7 million! Tom Hiddleston quietly donated £10,000 to the fund as soon as it was announced. (I say quietly because Tom never released any sort of statement about it. He just did it. Because that's how he does) Then in July, Tom joined forces with Gemma Arterton, Gemma Chan, Felicity Jones, and more for Leading Lady Parts. This short film was a humorous look at the real discrimination and harassment many actors face. 



Some other organizations Tom supported in 2018: 


Number Two: The Tom Hiddleston Speaker Tour 


If Tom Hiddleston wanted to give up acting and just appear as a speaker at events for the rest of his life I would be cool with that because I could listen to Tom Hiddleston talk forever. He always has the most interesting things to say and I learn so much. As a part of Tom's role as BFI and BAFTA Ambassador he appeared at several events to promote upcoming British actors, writers, and creatives, as well as to give insight into the world of acting. 

In October, Tom took part in the Intelligence Squared Dickens vs Tolstoy debate. Tom, Julia Sawalha, Timothy West, Zawe Ashton, and Kit Kingsley performed selected works by Charles Dickens and Leo Tolstoy, and the audience ultimately decided which author was better. Tolstoy won but I think it was an unfair matchup since Tom Hiddleston performed most of the Tolstoy pieces. And he managed to do the one thing I didn't know was humanly possible - make Tolstoy funny! 


Later in October, Tom sat down with Josie Rourke for the JW3-Alan Howard Speaker Series. This goes right next to Jenelle Riley's podcast as my favorite Tom Hiddleston interview of all time. These type of conversational interviews are always so much better than magazines because they're focused on the art rather than clickbait. Together they discuss their inspirations, training, Shakespeare, the importance of diversity, and so much more. There's a stretch (15:15-24:39) where Tom and Josie talk about talk about actors getting into the mind space to bare their soul to an audience and how we all collectively share in the experience that is the most incredible thing. If you only ever watch one Tom interview in your life - pick this one! 


Tom also took part in the Dead Poets Live: The Broken Word event but we are still waiting for pictures and video released. 

Number One: HiddlesCon


Ultimately, 2018 was all about the fans. This year, Tom Hiddleston appeared at THREE separate Comic Con events (Seattle, Chicago, Tokyo). Tom really went above and beyond. For each of the events Tom did three full days and had a schedule busier than anyone else so he could meet as many fans as possible. Based on the number of tickets available I estimate that Tom personally met over 30,000 fans! And each one of those fans had a story about how generous and good smelling (see details on the FAQ page) he was. During the panels and stage presentations Tom made sure to thank all of his fans for their support: I love coming to these events because I actually get to meet everybody, and it's a face-to-face connection as opposed to a remote one. 




HiddlesCon also brought us the pajama wearing, piggy back ride giving, panel crashing, and bro-bonding partnership that is TH2 (That's supposed to say TH Squared but I don't know how to make that symbol). 



As well as the pairing we never knew we needed of Tom and Ezra Miller. 



What's in store for 2019: 


It's only the first day of the year but Tom Hiddleston already has a full schedule for 2019. HiddlesCon will continue with at ACE Arizona on January 12-13. Unlike the 2018 Con events, Tom is only doing two days this time around and surprisingly almost every item is still available to purchase.

Tom will star in Betrayal at the Harold Pinter Theatre from March 5- June 1. Rehearsals should start around the time Tom returns from Arizona. So far very little has been revealed about the upcoming production and Tom is the only confirmed cast member. 


Sometime later this year, Tom will start filming the Loki television series for Disney's new streaming service, Disney+. Since production won't begin until at least June the series will most likely debut in 2020. Tom teased the series at Tokyo Comic Con: I know what's coming, but I can't tell you. It's very exciting. 

Also, hopefully at some point in 2019 Josh Wilson and Wilson Productions will finally reveal their super secret Tom Hiddleston and Helen Mirren project. 

Some other items to look out for in 2019: 

  • The South Sudan Documentary: Tom has been working on this since 2015. He spoke publicly about the documentary in 2016 and showed some early footage in 2017. I've checked with the producers and was advised that there is still no official release date. Unfortunately, South Sudan is the most dangerous country in the world for humanitarian workers which makes it very difficult to get the necessary access.  
  • The Night Manager 2: Susanne Bier confirmed recently that the project is moving forward but she will not be directing again. 
  • Hard Boiled with Ben Wheatley: Ben is already confirmed to direct this and Tom is rumored to play the lead role. It could be awhile before we see this since Ben already has another film on his schedule first. 
  • Richard II: Tom Hiddleston, Damian Lewis, and James Ivory have been trying to make this film for YEARS. James Ivory spoke about being unable to find funding back in April. Hopefully with the success of Call Me By Your Name and other period dramas in 2018 this film will finally get the financial support it needs. 

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Just Jared Interview (2011)

December 21, 2011: 


Tom Hiddleston sat down for an exclusive interview and photoshoot with Just Jared in New York City to discuss his film, War Horse. 



Tom talks about filming and his preparation for War Horse: 
(On the play vs the film) It’s a very different beast, to coin a phrase, because the magic of the play is that the story’s heartbreaking. I mean, I defy you not to burst into tears just because of its kind of humanitarian compassion within it. But the magic of the stage show is the theatricality of it. The fact that two minutes in, some puppeteers walk on and you’re absolutely aware that they’re puppeteers and that they’re pretending to be a horse and five minutes later, you simply believe that there is a horse onstage. That’s real, pure theatrical magic.
The film is very different in that it has to be a literal representation of the breadth and shocking waste of the first World War and real horses, real men, real soldiers, real rain. The theater is a suggestive medium and the cinema is a literal medium, so that’s where the two differ.
(On learning the script) I never think about that. I just learn the lines as soon as I can and then the challenge really, for filming, is to show up and be there and respond to what’s around you. That’s where the gold dust is. It’s really strange, no amount of preparation will help you with the magic of spontaneity on the day [of filming]. You have to do all the homework to get yourself into the period, the costumes, the style, the voice, the hairdo or whatever it is, but once you’ve done all that work, you have to kind of let it go and just be there. If you’re always thinking about it, it just looks a bit over-thought. I’m sure your favorite moments in movies are things that just happen accidentally and the camera was there.
(Most memorable scene to film) It was probably my first day, which is a cavalry charge. This was the first and only time I’ll ever do it in my entire life. Captain Nichols, my character, leads a charge of 200 horses at 40 miles an hour across 400 meters of no-man’s-land into the German camp. We chase the German soldiers through their own camp and back into the woods behind them and then behind the first line of trees are rows upon rows of machine guns which the British army didn’t know where there, and it becomes a kind of coconut shy.
And you can’t fake this stuff. So Steven’s like, ‘You good to do this, Tom?’ And, no joke, I’m at the front of an army of 200 horses being ridden by 200 stunt men giving orders, and if any of us had fallen off, it would have been incredibly dangerous. And the cameras are both on two – what they call Russian arms. [They're] essentially metallic cranes, pointing back, raised from the roofs of very dynamic 4x4s. Pretty much everything was real except the bullets in the guns. So the German camp had 400 tents and fires and people cooking and extras running around. It just felt like I was there. The adrenaline of going that fast with 200 other horses going that fast behind you and the noise, apart from everything else, I’ll never forget the noise of a thousand horses’ hooves thundering across the earth. I got back to the base camp and Spielberg just literally stuck his head out from behind the tent where the monitors were and stuck his thumb up.

Tom's early interviews are always more personal and revealing. He probably speaks more about his family in this interview than in any other interview he's ever done. From putting on performances for their parents to doing impressions of TV commericial - pretending with his siblings and cousins was a great preparation for acting. 
(On his childhood) My father is from Glasgow, so I have a lot of Scot in me, which is quite useful sometimes. My mum is from East Anglia, which is sort of the bump on the far eastern coast of the UK and I have two sisters, who I love very much, one older, one younger. My childhood was pretty good. 
You pretended to be whoever you pretended to be together. My sisters and I all watched – depending on who won the competition for the remote control or for the VHS – E.T. together and Indiana Jones and Star Wars and Dirty Dancing and Uncle Buck and basically all those movies of the ’80s that any child of the ’80s grew up on!
John Candy, what a hero. So nowadays, it’s funny, they’re interested in my work, but it depends what the projects are, actually. My mum’s brother’s family are big horse people, so they’re particularly interested in War Horse, which is coming out. Some of my younger cousins love the superhero stuff, they love Thor and Loki and The Avengers and stuff, so it’s nice. When Thor came out, I did a family and friends screening and brought a bunch of toys and threw them out and my youngest cousin got Thor’s hammer and he loved it!
Well, my mum’s sister’s children are very close to us in age so us and my aunt’s children, my cousins, are very close. We all used to play together in the summer, and my sister, Sarah, and the eldest daughter of my aunt, Zoe, used to write these plays, which we would rehearse loosely for a week and then whenever we had to go home – ’cause they lived in the countryside. The day before we went home, we would put on the show for our parents. It always felt like such a huge deal, but it was literally five people and a dog in the audience in the back garden. There was one amazingly innovative one when I look back on it, and it didn’t come from me.
My other cousin Matthew and I used to build the sets and the swords. There was one called TV Travelers, which was about two kids watching TV and they get pulled in and it’s kind of like Dungeons and Dragons or The Purple Rose of Cairo. And suddenly, they were traveling around in the world of the TV, which we thought was hugely creative at the time. And we did a version of Cinderella. It was very innocent and really cool.
That’s just kids playing, I think. Whether it’s cowboys and Indians or Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader, you just play out whatever’s in your imagination. The weird thing about serious acting is I’ve always done impressions of people, all my life, and I did this thing called a balloon debate. The idea is there’s a hot air balloon traveling across the Atlantic and it’s going down and you have to give a speech as to why you should stay in the balloon. Six people are going to be chucked out and you want to stay. You can choose who you are so people would choose, like, Einstein or the man who invented the wheel, the president of the United States, Shakespeare, Mozart, whoever it happens to be, you could pick these fun people, and I chose to be some kind of TV commercial actor, which basically meant that I could, for half an hour, do impressions of all the popular TV commercials at the time. And the head of drama came up to me after that and said, ‘You know, you have something quite unique, do you fancy being in the school play?’ And that’s how I got into it, just messing around with TV commercials. Never told anybody that.

JJ also asks Tom about his fans. I believe that this is the first interview reference to the word Hiddleboner. Graham Norton famously used the term on his show in 2015

JJ: Do you know what Tumblr is?
TH: I do know what Tumblr is.

JJ: Have you heard about the massive fan following you have on there?
TH: I have, yeah.

JJ: Do you know what the fans call themselves?
TH: Somebody did tell me this. Um…

JJ: The Hiddlestoners.
TH: The Hiddlestoners. Yeah. It’s pretty cool. It’s quite creative.

JJ: Do you know what happens when they get excited to see you? They get a Hiddleboner.
TH: (laughs) I didn’t know that! They get a Hiddleboner. That doesn’t seem to be related to my name any more! Hiddleston, yeah, but the boner…Hiddlestoner, I can see that, because my name is there. Hiddleboner…I…yeah. Okay. Wow. I should be hugely flattered, shouldn’t I? I am enormously honored and flattered.


Some quick one-liners:

One word to describe filming The Avengers: Epic
Go-to impression: Owen Wilson 
Favorite Prop on set of The Avengers: Loki's Spear
Favorite Band or Album: Bon Iver
Favorite TV Show: Fawlty Towers 
Last film he saw: 360
Offbeat Hobby: Table tennis 




Fashion:

Tom Hiddleston is wearing an Armani blazer, Intimissimi vneck shirt, Armani Jeans leather pants, and his Ariat Roper boots. 

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Andy Gotts Charity Print Sale (2018)

December 14, 2018: 


Photographer Andy Gotts has launched his iCons campaign to raise money for the Elton John Aids Foundation. Portraits of Elton John, Judi Dench, Tom Hiddleston, Ringo Starr, Shirley Bassey, and Daniel Craig are available to purchase from RiseArt with at least 60% of the proceeds going the Elton John Aids Foundation. Each print is 41x31cm (approximately 16x12in) and will be sold for $135 plus shipping fees (yes they do ship internationally). There will be a limit of 750 prints sold. Additional charity prints are available of Kate Winslet, Michael Caine, and Annie Lennox Additionally there are prints of Kate Winslet, Michael Caine, Annie Lennox, and Tom Jones available for $1,115. These prints are larger (61x51cm) and limited to 12. 



Andy spoke about how this specific photograph came to life:  
I was in town to photograph him to be part of Greenpeace/Vivienne Westwood’s SAVE THE ARCTIC campaign. Tom and I got on like a house on fire and we spoke of my other projects I was shooting at the time. He loved the iCons project so I suggested we should shoot a portrait for that too. I knew he was also preparing for playing Hank Williams in I SAW THE LIGHT, so I wanted quite a thoughtful and provoking shot. We played with hands on the face and creative ways to frame the face. At one point he looked very peaceful and closed his eyes. ‘click’ I knew I had a great shot.


Andy Gotts has always been one of the most generous people in the business and frequently does photoshoots or sells prints in order to raise money for various charities close to his heart. In 2016, Andy sold 200 Tom Hiddleston prints to aid Unicef after seeing the devastation in Syria. In 2018, Andy sold additional Tom Hiddleston prints to benefit Greenpeace. (There are my personal prints that I ordered during these fundraising drives)



Andy even raffled off the shirt that Tom wore in the Save the Arctic photoshoot!



His prints doubly raised money for Unicef since we also used them as prizes in our Unicef UK fundraiser



Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Saint Joan Press Night (2016)

December 19, 2016: 


The cast of Saint Joan ended their Press Night with an after party at the Hospital Club in London. The full cast included Rory Keenan, director Josie Rourke, Gemma Arterton, Elliot Levey, and Hadley Fraser. 


You can watch the NT Live trailer and view some of the production photos below. 



Tom Hiddleston was also in attendance. It should have felt like deja vu to him since Saint Joan was performed at the Donmar Warehouse (Coriolanus was performed at the Donmar Warehouse), Saint Joan was directed by Josie Rourke (Coriolanus was directed by Josie Rourke), the Press Night After Party for Saint Joan was held at the Hospital Club (the Press Night After Party for Coriolanus was held at the Hospital Club), Hadley Fraser has a supporting role in Saint Joan (Hadley Fraser has a supporting role in Coriolanus), and both happened in December (nearly 3 years to the day). You can read about the Coriolanus event here


Gemma Arterton stars in the play as Joan of Arc. 


Tom Hiddleston and Gemma Arterton have been friends since their days at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA) where they both earned the BA in Acting Degree (H Level). I'm gonna assume that means an Honours degree. Tom was slightly ahead graduating in 2005, and Gemma followed in 2007


Tom and Gemma were originally scheduled to star in a biopic about photographer Robert Capa but Gemma dropped out and then eventually the film was scrapped altogether... They did eventually work together on the Time's Up inspired short film Leading Lady Parts





Fashion: 

Interesting tidbit. This was Tom Hiddleston's last suit appearance of 2016 and Berlinale was his first suit appearance of 2016. He wore the same Ralph Lauren suit both times. Full circle! 


Also, you can probably spot a bag in the background of Tom's pictures. It's impossible to tell for sure based on the images but it looks very similar to the Mulberry Brynmore messenger bag that Tom was first seen with in 2011 and had on prominent display at the Mulberry fashion show dinner in 2012




Credits: 

Monday, December 17, 2018

Coriolanus Press Night (2013)

December 17, 2013: 


The cast of Donmar Warehouse's Coriolanus hosted a press night after party at The Hospital Club in London. Coriolanus is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare and directed by Josie Rourke. Tom Hiddleston starred in the title role. 


Birgitte Hjort Sorensen (Virgilia), Tom,  Mark Gatiss (Menenius), Hadley Fraser (Aufidius), and Josie Rourke (Director). 



Coriolanus and his family:  Deborah Findlay (Coriolanus' mother Volumnia), Tom, Birgitte Hjort Sorensen (his wife Virgilia), and Joe Willis and Tom Harrison (who combine to play the role of Coriolanus' son Young Martius)


Tom and Hadley Fraser. In the play Hadley portrays Aufidius, the leader of the Volscian army and Rome and Coriolanus’s greatest enemy. 


You can watch the trailer for Coriolanus below. 
When an old adversary threatens Rome, the city falls once more on her hero and defender: Coriolanus. But famine threatens the city, the citizens' hunger swells to an appetite for change, and on returning from the field Coriolanus must confront the march of realpolitik and the voice of an angry people. 


A Press Night is when critics and press are invited to review a show. And the critics were not disappointed with Coriolanus. Some of the reviews: 
  • "[The play] elicits a central performance of blazing stellar power and intelligence from Tom Hiddleston... A strapping hawk-like figure, Hiddleston exudes the arrogance and dangerous charisma of one of nature's cruel head-prefects.  But he also hauntingly hints at the terrible isolation of this hero who has been emotionally stunted and turned into a killing machine by his ambitious domineering mother. This is in no way a sentimentalised portrayal. Hiddleston‘s magnificent performance compels you to feel what an awful fate it is to be Coriolanus. ” - The Independent
  • "[Tom Hiddleston] does an impressive job of suggesting the emotional inadequacy of this self-deluding, impulsive loner – as well as the strange complexity of his motives." - Evening Standard
  • "Tom Hiddleston's Coriolanus is a lean, mean killing machine with crippled emotions in this exciting and intense production." - The Telegraph
One of the key credits of the production was the intimacy of the staging. The Donmar Warehouse is a very small theatre with a maximum seating capacity of 250. 




Fashion: 

Tom Hiddleston wore a navy, checked suit from Armani. In a nice call back Tom also wore this same suit to the 2015 WhatsOnStage Awards where Coriolanus won the Best Play Revival, Best Supporting Actor in A Play (Mark Gatiss), and Best Lighting Design (Mark Henderson). 





Credits:

GettyImages
Donmar Warehouse
Tom-Hiddleston.com