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September 16, 2015:
Tom Hiddleston was photographed by Martien Mulder for Mr. Porter's The Most Stylish Men of TIFF 2015. Below is a profile and interview Dan Rookwood.
The prolific and versatile Mr. Tom Hiddleston, 34, was at TIFF to promote his lead roles in two very different movies. High-Rise is an entirely British affair based on the book by Mr JG Ballard that details how a 40-storey London apartment block collapses into dystopian savagery. His other film I Saw the Light sees Mr Hiddleston portraying singer-songwriter Mr Hank Williams.
Mr. Porter: You've had a busy weekend.
Tom Hiddleston: Yes, very. High-class problems, I guess. It feels pretty good to spend just one weekend presenting almost an entire year of work to the world. And they couldn't be more contrasting pieces.
MP: High-Rise is an orgy of booze and sex set in a 1970s concrete apartment block.
TH: That's about right. Just like everyday life.
MP: And you have some nude scenes.
TH: I play a character who, at the beginning, is prone to nude sunbathing. So, yes, there is a degree of nakedness, which may or may not be regrettable.
MP: Whereas in the Hank Williams biopic you are a rhinestone cowboy.
TH: I doff my 10-gallon hat to the wardrobe department.
MP: Did you ever doubt whether you, as an Englishman, could play the king of hillbillies?
TH: There were moments of doubt, but all the best things I've done have had moments of doubt. It's about commitment in the end. I went to live with this multi-Grammy-winning artist in Nashville called Rodney Crowell for five weeks who was my tutor in the way of the blues. I'd get up in the morning and run nine miles as I had to lose weight as Hank was so thin, then Rodney and I would sing for seven hours a day.
MP: How have the WIlliams family reacted to you in the role?
TH: I've heard from Holly Williams, who is Hank's granddaughter. She wrote me the most unbelievable letter: one of those letters you keep forever. She said: "It's not been an easy family because he left some things behind, but you treated everybody with respect and without judgment." Which was just such a huge relief for us.
MP: What's the best advice you've ever received?
TH: I had a teacher at drama school at RADA [Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts] who told me: "Never look over your shoulder and never look back." Which is so true and applicable in so many situations. You can't compare yourself to other people, and looking back isn't helpful.
MP: What are the rules you live by?
TH: Be kind. Be on time. Take the work seriously - don't take yourself too seriously.
(You can read more about the I Saw the Light costumes here)
Tom Hiddleston wore a Brunello Cucinelli shearling-lined bomber jacket and a Private White V.C. granddad- collar brushed-cotton shirt. This photoshoot was styled by Dan May, Contributing Style Director of Mr. Porter.