How Tom Hiddleston Became The Unlikely Face Of Marvel

The 'Thor: The Dark World' actor was as surprised as anyone by his fervent following.

For a brand that boasts the likes of Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson and fanboy god Joss Whedon on their roster, Marvel Studios has ended up with an unlikely, yet wildly popular brand representative: Tom Hiddleston.

The 32-year-old was virtually unknown in the United States before 2011's "Thor," where he played Loki, a villain that had never before graced the big screen. But after two years, one box-office megahit and an unforgettable in-character appearance at Comic-Con later, Hiddleston's role in the Marvel Universe is as essential as the heroes he continually battles.

Hiddleston's Hall H performance may hold the key to his popularity among the throngs of Marvel fans. A consummate performer, Hiddleston doesn't half-ass his attempts to entertain, whether it's impersonating Owen Wilson as Loki or dancing at a "Thor: The Dark World" publicity event in South Korea.

(Oh, and then there's that little gem "Loki'd.")

When we spoke with Hiddleston about his role in the Marvel cinematic universe, he seemed genuinely surprised about the level of recognition he's received for playing the god of mischief. "It was a complete surprise, far and above my expectations," he said.

Hiddleston explained that his dedication to a role like Loki stems from a simple view on his job as an actor: to connect with people.

"It's just an honor to be honest because as an actor, when you build a character — and I've built many characters over the years — you hope they're going to connect. That's all you want," he said. "You want them to connect with an audience, that they're going to find them interesting, engaging, funny, moving, ridiculous. You're trying to inspire curiosity about something. The idea that I can represent the film is just a great honor."

You can next see Hiddleston as Loki in "Thor: The Dark World," which opens November 8, but that will be the last we see of Thor's adopted brother for a while. Thankfully, Hiddleston has already lined up a role in Guillermo del Toro's Victorian horror film "Crimson Peak," co-starring Jessica Chastain, Charlie Hunnam and Mia Wasikowska.