I’m still reeling from the final episode of Loki: The Series. Yet, 24 hours before the series finale, I had the opportunity of being graced by the presence of Classic Loki – Richard E. Grant– himself. Needless to say, I was on edge; a toss between fangirling over his extensive portfolio, and pure jitters.
Barely five minutes into the interview and we were already swooning over Tom Hiddleston together, which meant I was going to be completely fine.
Richard reminds me of Alan Rickman a little bit, which justifies his role as General Pryde. Both characters present as quite aloof, and almost devout of emotion. This itself is a contrast to his jovial, animated role as Classic Loki, enforcing how diverse an actor he truly is.
Loki, in general, is a character you either love or hate. What do you love or hate about classic Loki?
I think, the fact that he is God of Mischief, God of Outcasts, means that he is a role model for anybody who doesn’t feel included or has been, you know, marginalised in a form of life. That is [pauses] you know, I know many people like that. I have felt like that in my own life, and that’s the universal appeal about this person.
He manages to escape death and to keep reinventing himself and getting up to mischief whilst also paying the penalty of that by being lonely and being an outcast. So that is a combination that is very winning. On the one hand, he feels like he’s indomitable, insupable; but at the same time he’s also vulnerable because he is alone.
If you had to create a Classic Loki, or your own version of a Loki, what would that character be like?
[pauses and takes a deep breath] Tom Hiddleston, Tom Hiddleston, Tom Hiddleston. [laughs] He is the best of the best.
What was it like acting alongside Tom Hiddleston as a producer and fellow actor?
He is incredibly well-prepared, unbelievably enthusiastic. He’s been in this role for over a decade. I’ve first seen him in the theatre, fifteen years ago when he was just graduated, and I thought he had such extraordinary charisma and talent in the theatre. It was no surprise that he would have a big screen career.
But I don’t think anybody -himself least of all- could have predicted that his success as Loki would have lasted so long and become such a career defining moment for him. The appetite for him as Loki seems completely undiminished after all this time, so I think, that he is Loki for the rest of his life.
No matter what else he does, he’s always Loki. He is a fantastic character to be identified with.
How does Classic Loki differ from your role as General Pryde?
[With a big grin on his face, he gasps] Ahh. Well, General Pryde in Star Wars, the final one of that franchise series has no sense of humour, never laughs, never smiles. And one of the great things about Loki, even as Asgard is eating him alive, he is laughing in the face of catastrophe. Whereas General Pryde is in a state of disbelief and utter panic, and is not, and will not, and can not survive.
We know that Lokis have this absolute magic quality that they can survive anything and reinvent as anything. I suppose that’s the difference.
Do you consider yourself a villain?
I think, that like my experience of anybody in life, there is good and bad in everybody, and I certainly can say that about myself. So is he bad? No, I don’t think he’s bad. Is he entirely good? No. And that’s what makes him interesting.
Complete the sentence. The Loki series is..
We have to address this of course. What is your take on Alligator Loki?
Alligator Loki? Oh I love Alligator Loki. (It) doesn’t actually speak, although Classic Loki can understand him like Doctor Dolittle. So he talks to animals, I love that.
But he’s just glinty eyed and is always around ready to pounce, so, the favt that he’s got those horns on his head. I loved that. It was hilarious. [laughs]
Finally, since you are part of the MCU now, who is your favourite character in the MCU?
[Without hesitation] Oh uh, Loki. [laughs]