With his dark hair, flawless bone structure and twinkling eyes, it’s no wonder that Tom Hiddleston has a legion of fans around the world…and his acting ability doesn’t hurt, either! This dapper Brit has won a Golden Globe, an Empire Award, an MTV Movie Award, and more. Not bad for a career that doesn’t yet span twenty years (and that’s not including his work on the stage, either). Clearly, there’s much more to Mr. Hiddleston than just his dashing good looks and a heaping dose of charm. Don’t be surprised if this Cambridge-educated actor ends up holding an Oscar before too long.
On his way to super-stardom, Hiddleston has become known for a few major movies (especially within the Marvel Cinematic Universe), and he’s taken on an impressive number of literary adaptations along the way, too. From the works of the Bard himself to a few lesser-known works, here are Hiddleston’s literary roles over the years.
Marvel Comics: Loki
Let’s start with the obvious, shall we? Tom Hiddleston shot to global fame for his portrayal of Thor’s mischievous (and only slightly evil) brother Loki in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While some might not call a comic "literature," there are plenty who know a great story when they see one. And Hiddleston’s Loki has become a fan favorite in the MCU, and will be back on the big screen once more this year in Avengers: Infinity War.
The Life And Adventures Of Nicholas Nickleby
This made-for-TV movie adaption of the novel by Charles Dickens was Tom Hiddleston’s first real acting credit—even though his part in it was fairly small. Hiddleston played the generic Lord in the film, not even a character with an actual first name. He did look splendid in that top hat, though. And he’s not the only MCU cast member in this film, either. The lead, Mr. Nickelby himself, was played by James D’Arcy (Edwin Jarvis in Agent Carter).
The Hollow Crown
Some more classic lit with this one, a TV miniseries based on William Shakespeare’s Richard II, Henry IV, and Henry V. Hiddleston got a much more substantial part in this than in the Dickens adaptation! He was the young Henry V, aka Prince Hal. Anyone who has ever wanted to see Hiddleston in a crown should check this short series out!
The Night Manager
One of Hiddleston’s most recent roles (and the one that nabbed him his Golden Globe) was as Jonathan Pine in The Night Manager. A six-part miniseries, The Night Manager is based on the novel of the same name by John LeCarre, and as you would expect from the author, it’s a tense crime drama (about an arms dealing ring). Definitely not for the faint of heart, but Hiddleston shines in this one.
Midnight In Paris
For some lighter fare, check out Hiddleston as none other than F. Scott Fitzgerald in Midnight In Paris. This time-traveling rom com might not be based on any book, but it is filled with famous authors as our lovelorn and nostalgic screenwriter Gil (Owen Wilson) discovers that he can travel back in time each night in Paris. A sweet and whimsical watch, especially for fans of the roaring ’20s and the novels that came out of that era.
Another adaptation based on the novel of the same name, 2011’s War Horse sees Hiddleston starring alongside another British cutie, Benedict Cumberbatch. A World War I epic about a young man who enlists after his beloved horse is sold to the cavalry, War Horse was nominated for no less than six Oscars. It’s another heavy epic, but it’s absolutely worth the watch.
The award-winning High Rise is another dark choice for the perfect-cheekboned Hiddleston. Based on the dystopian novel by J. G. Ballard, High Rise still feels relevant today (which should say a little something about the nature of dystopia now versus that in the ‘70s, when the novel was published). Set in a luxury apartment building, the rich residents (led by Hiddleston as Laing) descend into violent chaos…
Finally, let’s not forget one of Hiddleston’s earliest roles, in a small screen drama based on a series of novellas: Cranford. Another period drama for the actor, Cranford is set in the 1840s, and based on the works of Elizabeth Gaskell, writing during that time. Filled with the kind of romance and gossipy intrigue that period drama fans love, this is a perfect choice for anyone who loved Downton Abbey… even if Hiddleston only pops up in the shorter second season.