Tom Hiddleston Publishes a Passionate Defense of Superhero Movies
In only two years he's become one of my favorite actors, for his versatility, his talent, his humbleness, and for being a down to earth person on top of an incredible actor. He is Tom Hiddleston, better known as Loki from the Marvel Studios world, or Captain Nicholls in War Horse, or F. Scott Fitzgerald in Midnight in Paris. He kicks some serious ass in The Avengers, taking on that entire team of heroes as their primary foe. But are superhero movies boring? Are they to be made fun of? Not at all! In fact, Hiddleston himself went so far as to write an editorial for The Guardian (via THR) eloquently defending superhero movies.
I almost always love when an actor or filmmaker writes their own editorial about a topic they're passionate about, it truly shows how dedicated they are, and gives us a glimpse at their honest, personal side, which is rare in Hollywood. This article by Hiddleston is just an extra cherry on top of all the love I have for him already. He reveals: "I grew up watching Superman. As a child, when I first learned to dive into a swimming pool, I wasn't diving, I was flying, like Superman. I used to dream of rescuing a girl I had a crush on (my Lois Lane) from a playground bully (General Zod). Reeve, to my mind, was the first real superhero."
He recalls a story about how Christopher Reeve was first mocked for taking the Superman role. But we've come so far since then, that we should look back on that with shame. It's a fantastic read, one of the best statements supporting these spectacular superhero movies that I've come to love, and I strongly encourage everyone read his piece. Here's one of my favorite excerpts from it about how these characters mirror us:
"The Hulk is the perfect metaphor for our fear of anger; its destructive consequences, its consuming fire. There's not a soul on this earth who hasn't wanted to 'Hulk smash' something in their lives. And when the heat of rage cools, all that we are left with is shame and regret. Bruce Banner, the Hulk's humble alter ego, is as appalled by his anger as we are. That other superhero Bruce – Wayne – is the superhero-Hamlet: a brooding soul, misunderstood, alone, for ever condemned to avenge the unjust murder of his parents. Captain America is a poster boy for martial heroism in military combat: the natural leader, the war hero. Spider-Man is the eternal adolescent – Peter Parker's arachnid counterpart is an embodiment of his best-kept secret – his independent thought and power."
He's getting to the idea behind why we love comic books and superheroes to begin with, on or off screen. But he also nails another aspect of these comic book blockbusters that I, in particular, love: "Superhero movies also represent the pinnacle of cinema as 'motion picture'," he explains. "These scenes are the result of a creative engine set in motion when the Lumières shot L'Arrivée d'un Train en Gare de la Ciotat in 1895. The trains just move a lot faster these days. And not just trains; trucks, bikes, bat-mobiles and men in flying, shining iron suits. The spectacle is part of the fun – part of the art, part of our shared joy." Indeed. Thanks for writing one of the best statements I've read in support of superhero movies, Mr. Hiddleston. I'm not only a bigger fan, but a staunch supporter, and can't wait to see Avengers (again) to watch Loki take on all of 'em.