Before he was cast as Loki, that villainously charming trickster god from the MCU, Tom Hiddleston actually auditioned as Thor, that blond-haired, blue-eyed, musclebound, hammer-wielding god from the MCU. Surprised? So was Hiddleston, who shared some interesting details about the audition and casting process on an episode of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. And Jimmy Fallon surprised Hiddleston in return by airing the audition footage on TV, making Hiddleston watch it for the very first time.
“I auditioned for the first Thor film ten years ago in 2009,” began Hiddleston, waxing nostalgic about his journey through the MCU — culminating soon in the Disney+ Loki solo series he’ll star in. “I just thought I was auditioning for a movie. An interesting part in an interesting movie.” At the time, the MCU was only one movie deep — 2008’s Iron Man — and Hiddleston thought he’d “go along for the ride” with no expectations. However, Marvel had some interesting expectations for their Norse title role. One: no established stars, as they didn’t want any preexisting audience relationships. Two: “If you’re over six foot and you’ve got blond hair, you can come and have a pop at it.” Thus: Hiddleston actually auditioned for Thor, and never once auditioned for Loki. He earned the Loki part on the strength of his Thor audition — which Fallon proceeded to air on TV in front of Hiddleston.
Hiddleston, it would seem, had never seen the actual footage of him wearing a blond wig (or is that his real hair, because zamn) and holding that hammer. Because after the clip (which you must watch for yourself), Hiddleston seemed quite bashful next to the effusive Fallon. Fallon asserted that Hiddleston did a great job, but Hiddleston simply said, “You really are too kind. I think we can all agree that they cast the right actor.” But then — in my favorite part of this interview — Hiddleston showed off how good an actor he is. He’s in the middle of a Broadway run of Betrayal, an intense play of infidelity and, well, betrayal. Fallon asked if he had to cry on command for each show — Hiddleston affirmed that he did. And then, with nothing but a The Mandalorian‘s Baby Yoda-centered prompt from Fallon, Hiddleston gave one of the most realistic, grounded, incredible crying performances on television I’ve ever dang seen! And honestly? I get it! Baby Yoda makes me very emotional, too!
Check out the full interview, featuring the Thor tape, the crying-about-Baby-Yoda-on-command, and just a whole lot of Tom Hiddleston being the most charming person alive. Be sure to check out the latest casting news for the Disney+ Loki series. Also, check out our deep dive into the first Thor film. And finally, watch Hiddleston and his Betrayal co-star and Marvel alum Charlie Cox swap costumes for Halloween.