Beloved British person Tom Hiddleston has spent the last few years stealing movies from superheroes while playing trickster god/Tumblr boyfriend Loki. Although the character debuted in 2011’s Thor, he only really went Full Big Bad in 2012’s The Avengers, where he led a merry assault on the heroes of Earth and got to say the phrase “mewling quim.”
Hiddleston clearly sensed that the Avengers script was something special, writing Joss Whedon an effusive email after he read the screenplay for the first time. Business Insider published a copy of that email (excerpted from a biography of Whedon that hits stores on Friday) and Hiddleston’s joy jumps off the page.
Some quick hits:
-The first time I read [the script] I grabbed at it like Charlie Bucket snatching for a golden ticket somewhere behind the chocolate in the wrapper of a Wonka Bar.
-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 might be biased, but I do feel as though you have written me the coolest part.
Pause to imagine Tom Hiddleston playing James Mason playing Hans Gruber starring in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, holding a Wonka Bar in one hand and a suitcase of pain in the other hand. You can read the full email—and Whedon’s response!—at Business Insider.