Tom Hiddleston Was 'Inspired' by Alan Rickman's 'Playfulness' in “Die Hard” When Playing Loki

The actor discussed how he prepared to play the Norse god of mischief for the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Marvel Studios Tom Hiddleston as Loki.
Marvel Studios Tom Hiddleston as Loki.

It’s been almost 13 years since Tom Hiddleston first appeared onscreen as Loki in the 2011 film Thor. As the actor recalls, preparing to play Marvel’s god of mischief meant looking at unlikely movie characters for inspiration.

Warning: spoilers for Loki Season 2 ahead.

During PaleyFest 2024's Loki cast panel on Saturday, Hiddleston, 43, opened up about how he prepared to play the iconic role, which included studying Alan Rickman’s memorable turn portraying Hans Gruber in the 1988 movie Die Hard. He also examined James Mason's master spy Phillip Vandamm in the 1959 classic thriller North by Northwest.

“Those are all characters that are about control and revenge,” Hiddleston said, adding, “I might just love those performances as a child. … I just was so drawn to those performances as they seemed to be having such a wonderful time playing these antagonists, I suppose. And that was part of the charm. They were so charismatic, even though they weren't at the center of those films.”

<p>Marvel Studios</p> Tom Hiddleston in 'Loki.'

Marvel Studios

Tom Hiddleston in 'Loki.'

While Loki wasn’t a central character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Thor or Avengers films, the focus shifted over to the cunning trickster when his spin-off show Loki debuted on Disney+ in June 2021. The antihero’s sprawling journey across space and time over two seasons, as convincingly portrayed by Hiddleston, helped popularize — even endear — Loki for many viewers.

In season 2, which costarred Ke Huy QuanOwen WilsonGugu Mbatha-Raw and Sophia Di Martino, Loki became a living temporal loom to preserve the different timelines. His decision marks the end of a stunning transformation for Loki, from selfish and self-absorbed to someone willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to save the universe.

“That was the very basis of the season I set out to write, and seeing that all culminate in that and Tom, just bringing every last bit of emotion to it, it just made everything [worthwhile],” executive producer and writer Eric Martin told PEOPLE at the event.

courtesy of Marvel Studios Tom Hiddleston in 'Loki.'
courtesy of Marvel Studios Tom Hiddleston in 'Loki.'

Despite the finale’s epic final scene, fans continue to hold out hope that the show could continue in some form. Executive producer and director Aaron Moorhead told PEOPLE that’s a “question for Tom" and whether he would be game to continue playing the character.

“We love where we ended it,” Moorhead added. “We were told to close the book, and we haven't heard anything different since.”

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Seasons 1 and 2 of Loki are available to stream on Disney+.

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