It’s been a pretty quiet summer for Tom Hiddleston. He popped up at Comic-Con, but—press obligations aside—he’s been flying under the radar this summer, unlike last summer, when he frolicked in the waves with Taylor Swift, and we were all so innocent and young. But, now, there is some Tom Hiddleston news: He will star as Hamlet, in a stage production directed by Kenneth Branagh, to benefit the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. When he found out he would play Hamlet, do you think Tom Hiddleston cried?
But seriously, Shakespeare is T-Hidds’ bag. He was very good in The Hollow Crown as Prince Hal/Henry V, and he starred in a well-received production of Coriolanus a few years back. Shakespeare is Hiddleston’s best and most natural mode—it’s probably why Branagh cast him as Loki in the original Thor movie. So this is will undoubtedly be good for Hiddleston, artistically, to remind people that wave-frolicking aside, he is a Serious Ac-Tor. But it will also be good publicity, because it’s a short, exclusive run, and the ticket lottery will be Hamilton levels of competitive, which leads to all kinds of flattering headlines about how in-demand and beloved Hiddleston is. Plus, if he gets good reviews, that will segue directly into the revitalized Thor promotion, which will give him a double-whammy of good press this fall.
Speaking of Thor. In years past, the promotional tours have leaned heavily on Hiddleston and his up-for-anything persona, and his bromance with Chris Hemsworth has been popular editorial fodder. But did you feel it, the shift at Comic-Con? Hiddles isn’t dancing anymore, and here comes a director with a big personality and a brilliant sense of humor, who doesn’t have to dance get attention. And if there was any bromance on display among the Thor people, it was Chris Hemsworth and Taika Waititi, who got on SO WELL during filming. Hiddleston still got a huge roar of approval from the crowd in Hall H—people love Loki—but it feels like the center of attention this time around won’t be Tom Hiddleston. Maybe that suits his new, non-dancing persona, but I can’t help wondering how that dynamic shift ends up playing out in the press.