Friday, March 29, 2019

I Saw the Light Promo in DC (2016)

March 29-30, 2016: 

Tom Hiddleston undertook a grassroots promotional campaign for I Saw the Light which included a multi-city screening tour. One of those cities just happened to be Washington DC - and if you didn't already know, I'm from the DC area! After more than a decade in showbiz it was nice of Tom to finally come to my city. 

March 29, 2016: 

Tom's first stop was the E Street Cinema for a Q&A along with director Marc Abraham. Marc is somewhat of a local star since he's from the DMV (DC, Maryland, Virginia) area and graduated from the University of Virginia. It is a very small cinema with only 100 seats. The men weren't inside the theater while the movie was playing thankfully. I went to an earlier screening of I Saw the Light and was sat directly in front of Marc. When the opening scene of Tom singing Cold, Cold Heart started my whole face just dropped and I turned around to see Marc grinning at me. I had to spend the rest of the movie trying to control my face! 

As you can see we went all out with the decorations. 

Later they signed that standee. I have no idea what they did with it afterwards because it's not on display at the Cinema. 

The Q&A was about 20 minutes. I have several videos on my Youtube channel. Here are Tom talks about playing the trumpet in the school band, learning the guitar to impress ladies, and the one piece he can play on the violin. 

"As a child I played the trumpet until I was about 12. Which I really enjoyed, I was in the brass band at school. We got to play the Indiana Jones theme tune in a school concert. It was a high point. And I noodled around on the piano. My mom and my sisters were very musical, and had more discipline than I did. And then I picked up a guitar, like everybody else, when I was about 14 just to impress girls. It didn't really work..." 


Here's another short clip where Tom talks about "obligation to be precise" and finally finding Hank Williams' true accent in Luke the Drifter. 

Tom closed out the screening with a little song! I don't remember exactly how the singing started. The moderator mentioned that must be tired because he was in NYC on the Colbert Show the previous night and then suddenly he was singing. (This is not my video) You can tell how smell the venue was because for most of the song Tom isn't even singing into the microphone but his voice is still echoing. 

Post screening they visited the Lincoln Memorial with publicist Lauren Jones. I can totally imagine Tom standing there reciting The Gettysburg Address. 


For the screening Tom Hiddleston wore his Ralph Lauren Barracuda jacket, J Brand Tyler jeans, Burberry Merino Crew Neck sweater, Aquatalia Ace boots, and Mykita Kaya glasses. 


Thursday, March 28, 2019

BAFTA NY x Tribeca Shortlist (2016)

March 28, 2016: 

Tom Hiddleston sat down for a candid interview with Joe Neumaier as a part of BAFTA NY's "In Conversation" series. The series allows actors to provide an inside look at what it takes to become and remain a top-notch artist. 

They covered a wide range of topics including Tom's approach to acting, the inspiration behind some of his iconic roles, and his personal motivations. You can watch the full hour-long interview below and I've highlighted some of the best moments. 

(:50) Does this one go for the jugular or should I let this one wash over me - which approach do you like? I think if I'd let anything wash over me my life would be much easier. I can't explain it. I tend to go for the jugular every time... I don't know how to do it any other way. I'm aware that it can be a strength but it can also be a weakness because the focus is obsessive. And so when I go for something I go for it at the expense of everything else. I love what I do, simply. I feel so lucky that I'm allowed to it and that I get to do it for a living. Cinema and theater have had such a profound effect on me in my life. So every time a new script or a new role comes along I'm motivated by the thought that I won't forgive myself if I don't give it everything. 

(6:40) Tom starts telling the story of how everything came together for him during the production of Othello. Kenneth Branagh was a guest at one of the dress rehearsals, then invited him to take part in the radio broadcast of Cyrano de Bergerac. They then went on to work together in Wallander and Ivanov before Kenneth ultimately cast Tom as Loki. 

(12:35) What is the key to Loki? Ken and I kind of used Shakespearean villains as a touchstone. It read like quite a Shakespearean script and the journey of Thor actually was very similar to the journey of Prince Hal in the Henry IV and Henry V trilogy - which obviously he knew very well having playing Hal and Henry V many times... Similarly, we tried to think about the immaculate and terrifying talent for improvisation that a character like Iago has. Someone who can think on his feet and manipulate every situation to his advantage. We talked about Cassius in Julius Caesar, who is characterized as having a lean and hungry look. We talked about the brothers in King Lear - Edmund and Edgar, Edgar being the favorite son of Gloucester and Edmund being the bastard son who is driven by some sort of terrible lack of self-esteem to take his father and his brother down. Those seemed to be interesting aspects to steal from Shakespeare really. And then I just had to remind myself I was playing the God of Mischief. Which is a hell of a thing to be God of... so I knew I had to have as much fun as possible. The Devil plays all the best tunes. And weirdly, from those beginning he just emerged. He emerged in costume fittings. He emerged in as I dyed by hair black. 

(17:12) What was your approach to Henry V? It was a fascinating time. The hardest thing about that challenge was doing Henry or Hal's journey in reverse. Because of the schedule of Simon Russell Beale, who played Falstaff, we had to shoot Henry V first and then shoot Henry IV... I played the character in reverse order. So by the end - the very last scenes I shot in the fifteen week engagement were when Prince Hal is at his youngest and most immature and playful in the tavern with Falstaff. I'd already done the Crispin's Day Speech. I'd already done the Once More Unto the Breach Dear Friends... with a part as complex as that - not to have experienced the beginning before I got to the middle or the end was fascinating. 

(22:00) Would you like to do more comedy? I'd love to do more comedy. I really would, yes! It's something I've been asking to do for awhile. I keep telling everybody. When I'm working I've got a couple of agents who scour through scripts and new materials to send to me. They always will send me the darkest, really dark stuff. I'm like "Guys, c'mon. A romantic comedy, That's what I was up for.". I love doing comedy. There's a little bit of surrealist comedy in High-Rise and there are funny bits in I Saw the Light. But that's where it started for me as a child. If I was ever an exhibitionist, it was in the aim of making people laugh. It was pratfalls and falling off chairs. There's nothing like getting a laugh. So yes, more comedy please! 

(23:15) Tom tells the story of seeing Paul Scofield in John Gabriel Borkman. I was aware I was in the presence of greatness. That was one of those life changing moments where I felt the power of dramatic story telling to unite a group of strangers. 

(28:25) What appeals to you about Hank Williams? He was a huge star and changed the face of American music. And part of the excitement of it was the foreign territory. As I spoke with director, Marc Abraham, he was most interested in taking the icon off the pedestal - in getting behind the myth to play the man... The thing I found fascinating about Hank is the tension between his external charisma and his internal vulnerability. He was clearly electrifying on stage. He was like Elvis before Elvis. But he was a tortured soul. He was an addict. He was an alcoholic. He was on prescription drugs. He was afflicted with Spina bifida... With all my characters I try to get underneath the skin or behind the carapace because I think as human beings we construct an identity we present to the world. And we all put our best food forward because that's who we are. But so often behind that is a much more turbulent, much more chaotic vulnerability which we hide. We hide it with charm and with status, and with a sense of style and with detachment. But we're all so vulnerable. And I think if acting has any power, it's to show that vulnerability and that's what connects people. 

(39:29) Tom talks about his talent for accents and imitations. It's something I've always done. I remember I had a double tape deck recorder when I was about nine and I used to do my own radio show. For an audience of one - The Tom Hiddleston Show. I would do all the voices. I would do the news and the weather. I was so fascinated. I loved doing voices. I've always done impressions. It comes from love. Tom also does a prolonged impersonation of Anthony Hopkins. 

(54:32) What role did you have the least amount of prep time for? F. Scott Fitzgerald in Midnight in Paris. I was cast very shortly before I was due to shoot. Woody Allen, in his unique imitable way, didn't want me to read the whole script. He only sent the whole script to Owen Wilson. Every other actor in that film received little piecemeal stuff. I got these pages and the characters' names in the scenes were Scott and Zelda, and Ernest, and Gil. And I thought "Is that a coincidence or is that Fitzgerald?". It wasn't made explicit. I wasn't quite sure if I was being asked the play the F. Scott Fitzgerald and I couldn't get Woody on the phone. So I just sort of winged it... 

(56:30) Is listening a key to acting for you? I do think the best acting I've ever done has been in response to another actor. It's been about the rally that we played together across the net. That's when acting is the most exciting. When we all do our very solitary homework and our research, and finally you get on set and you play... The best acting is reacting and listening, and that's the hardest thing to do.  


The event was co-hosted by streaming service Tribeca Shortlist. Tom personally curated a list of movies and had several mini interviews. You can watch a full playlist here. His personal film recommendations were: Much Ado About Nothing, The English Patient, Trainspotting, and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. 


If anyone was thinking that this Dior Homme suit looked familiar, it's because Tom wore it during his Esquire UK photoshoot. 

He also had people seeing green with these Simply Sartorial socks from London Sock Company ($18). A pair of Christian Louboutin Greggo Flatts completed the look ($895). 



Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Centrum Commercial (2019)

March 27, 2019: 

🎵Hey good lookin', what you got cookin'🎵 Tom Hiddleston posted a commercial for Centrum on his Weibo page for Chinese audiences. In doing so, he has joined the long list of celebrities with overseas endorsement deals. This is only the third time that he has participated in any type of marketing campaign after previously working with Jaguar and Gucci

The premise is simple, but very effective. Who wouldn't want to wake up to flirty Tom Hiddleston making them breakfast? Just an FYI tho Tom, if you're going to make me breakfast - there better be some bacon on that plate! 

How could anyone deny this face?  

Centrum offers a family of multivitamins (micronutrients) specifically tailored to meet everyone's individual needs. There are different products available for men, women, children, and those over age 55. They even offer gummies for people like me who have never mastered pill swallowing. Tom joins veteran actor, Martin Sheen, who serves as the spokesperson for Centrum Silver. 

They definitely know their target audience because in the video Tom specifically reaches for the women's multivitamin pack. 

Don't forget to also take your origin Vitamin K supplement from MintMintDoodles

Tom has always had a massive following in China and throughout Asia. I know many people in the US and UK have found the ad to be strange to say the least but we have to remember that this was specifically created for Chinese audiences where the culture is very different. So, we have to look at it through their lens instead of our own. Journalist Viola Zhou did a great job of explaining why the advertisement works it's intended target group: 

  • It was posted on social media and created to be viewed on online or on a mobile device. China has more than 829 million internet users. 
  • Chinese women prefer a gentler, more romantic leading man. So the image of him cooking is very appealing. (For the record, I think all women would like to find a man who would help out around the house)
  • The salad for breakfast appeals to health conscious millennials and white collar workers - people who would most likely buy Centrum in the first place. 
  • A pin-worthy heart shaped egg. Because no one can eat a meal these days without sharing a picture of it first.
  • Tom's nickname is China is "Dou Sen" which translates to Shivering Forest. Centrum included this name in the campaign slogan, "Shiver for rainbow-like healing power." 
  • He speaks Mandarin. Because Tom Hiddleston.  


Tom's performance in Betrayal specifically ties into the commercial. He mentions that he "probably be a bit busy for the next few weeks" (doing the show obviously) and then is seen putting on the same Alexander McQueen suit that he wears during the play. 

Monday, March 25, 2019

Empire Awards (2012)

March 25, 2019:

Tom Hiddleston attended the Empire Awards, sponsored by Jameson Irish Whiskey, at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London. Tom said that his favorite thing about this award show is that it's "voted on by people that love film". He also talks about his favorite film, Heat

Tom Hiddleston beat out Asa Butterfield, Craig Roberts, Jeremy Irvine, John Boyega, and Sam Claflin to win the Best Newcomer Award. Tom joked that he felt like the "grandpa" of the group and that they should be thankful that it took less time for them to find their "mojo". The other nominees were a combined fifty-one years younger. 

"My congratulations and apologies to my fellow nominees. You're all exceptional actors in your own right. I do feel, at thirty-one years old, like the grandpa of the group but I suppose you should console yourself with the fact that it's taken you a lot less time to find your mojo than it did me..."

These two dorks. 

Yes, I do think we need to see this from every angle thanks. 

Tom added to his acceptance speech during the winner's interview:

"I'm truly, truly thrilled. It was strange, I didn't know what I was gonna say when I got up to the podium there. I can always think of every reason I'm not going to win and I'm now thinking of all the things I wish I'd said. But I'm just so proud. Before I was an actor I was a cinephile. I was someone who as a child and as a teenager who just loved films. I loved watching them. Every Friday I was in the front row for the new release or whatever it was. And I feel like this award is voted for by those people. And to be accepted or invited to the cinematic firmament by them is huge. I can't even begin to really describe the sense of privilege."

Michael Fassbender won Empire Hero, an award Tom Hiddleston received in 2017 and is still the current holder of since it was not given out in 2018. 

Holy Smokes Batman! The winners portrait taken by Sarah Dunn features Gary Oldman, Mark Strong, Ron Howard, Chris Hemsworth, James McAvoy, Tom Hiddleston, Olivia Wilde, Dolph Lundgren, Ben Wheatley, Douglas Booth, Matthew Morrison, Olivia Colman, Chris O'Dowd, Michael Fassbender, Danny Devito, Tim Burton, Bonnie Wright, Evanna Lynch, Matthew Lewis, and Daniel Brühl. 

Tom's individual winner's portrait, also taken by Sarah Dunn. 


We're just going to ignore the fact that Tom is orange. This Emporio Armani outfit still ranks in my top 5 favorite looks Tom Hiddleston has ever worn. He's only done the dark dress shirt twice on the red carpet which is a shame because it works!