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‘Loki’ Stars Tom Hiddleston, Owen Wilson, and Sophia Di Martino Discuss Season 2

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Seeing Tom Hiddleston at the Ankler x Backstage Loki Season 2 screening was amazing, but the next day was even cooler! Hiddleston appeared onstage at Deadline Contenders Television 2024 accompanied by Loki series costars Owen Wilson and Sophia Di Martino for a short panel. 

[Editor’s note: quotes have been edited slightly for clarity.]

Hiddleston, Di Martino, and Wilson on their characters in Loki

There would be no Loki series without the excellent Owen Wilson and Sophia Di Martino playing Loki’s compatriots. I was thrilled to hear about their experiences on the series at this event.

Tom Hiddleston kicked off the panel by explaining why he keeps coming back. “The reason I have absolutely loved playing Loki, and it has been 15 years, it’s been the most magnificent and emotional roller coaster full of twists and turns. He has so much range and so much complexity, and it never feels like the same thing. But I know that the reason I’m sitting here in front of you today is that the audience has such curiosity and passion for and connection to him. And I owe that to them.”

The moderator kicked things over to Sophia Di Martino by remarking how Sylvie has become a fan favorite and how she’s evolved from a universe-destroying variant in season 1 to a McDonald’s employee trying to have a normal life in season 2. 

Di Martino expanded on what I love about Sylvie: “Sylvie’s in a completely different space in series two. Series one, she’s super angry. She just wants revenge. She wants to kill the man at the end of time, and in the second series, she has to deal with her choice. I think she’s trying to find some stillness and some peace within herself and trying to assimilate into a normal human life, which is difficult because she’s an outcast. She’s a weirdo. She’s not normal. She has a goal, but she doesn’t quite manage it. It all gets ripped away from her in the end. It’s quite a tragedy for Sylvie, I think. That new life is put under threat, and she has to fight for it again.”

Tom Hiddleston, Owen Wilson, and Sophia Di Martino at Deadline Contenders Television 2024
‘Loki’ actors Tom Hiddleston, Owen Wilson, and Sophia Di Martino at Deadline Contenders Television 2024 (Photo by Uday Kataria)

The moderator then asked the audience if they’d watched season 2, and we could get into spoilers, but there seemed to be some fans who hadn’t watched it and didn’t want to know anything! Many other fans in the audience were irritated by that reaction, and I do wish more spoilers could’ve been discussed since the season finale aired five months ago. Regardless, Owen Wilson opened up about how Loki and Mobius’s relationship has evolved since the first season.

“Well, I was excited to come back. I didn’t think of it so much as they widen the range [of the character]. I guess we don’t want to talk about spoilers, but I think with the dynamic between us, certainly in the first season, in the way I [am] kind of probing and know everything about [Loki’s] life, it’s a little bit flipped in season 2 where Mobius has lost some of his certainty, and was questioning a lot of things, and what you were just saying about looking for some – I like the way you put that, some stillness and peace. I think Mobius is trying to figure out what he might have been doing on the timeline before.”

The moderator also mentioned Tom Hiddleston’s on-set Loki quizzes, to which Wilson said, “I just dreaded coming in and getting hit with a pop quiz.”

Tom Hiddleston on his character’s evolution in the MCU

Next, the moderator obviously had to ask Tom Hiddleston about his journey playing Loki, since this seems like an end for the character: “I’m gonna make an assumption that things have wrapped up. What’s it like for you now, at the end of that long run with this character? I remember being at [San Diego] Comic Con several years ago when you came out and that was like the Beatles in Hollywood. It was serious, right?”

Hiddleston replied, “That was an amazing, unrepeatable and unforgettable experience and… you know, playing Loki has changed the course of my whole life. No question. I feel, if pride were permissible, I just feel so proud of where we’ve ended up in Season 2. It was very creatively fulfilling to bring something full circle. From the very first film, the first of all the movies, I saw him as a broken soul with a shattered heart who felt like he didn’t belong. He didn’t belong in his family. He was an orphan. He was adopted, he was on the margins, an outcast. And that’s what binds him to Sylvie, they both are. And all that grief hardens into grievance. And the grievance is what drives him to become a villain in The Avengers, and then an uneasy ally in the later Thor movies. And this chance that he’s given by Mobius, this second chance, a second chance to rediscover that glorious purpose that he feels he has always been burdened with.”

Loki and Sylvie in Loki season 2
Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) in ‘Loki’ Season 2 (Marvel Studios/Disney+)

The moderator did point out, “That’s interesting because the final episode in season 2 is called ‘Glorious Purpose’.” Hiddleston said, “Right? I think it’s because, finally, he discovers that his purpose is to look after his friends and to give his life for people he loves, which perhaps was always his purpose, but it comes in a shape he would never recognize and would never have anticipated. I think it gave him [a] kind of catharsis. He wasn’t ready for it. But I suppose to go from that high-status position to this humility, and to have discovered that humility through a process of awakening and growth and love and friendship, that feels very redeeming and honorific of Loki as a character.”

The stars on production design in the Loki series

The next question took us back to Sophia Di Martino: “One of the things about Loki when the first season came in and certainly in Season 2 is the look of Loki is so amazing and distinctive. When we watch you guys in those environments, I wonder, how does that foster or illuminate you as a performer to be in those environments? We saw some clips from the final episode up here, and they’re visually stunning.”

Di Martino responded, “Our show is quite different to a lot of these big Marvel shows in the sense that we don’t have that much green screen. It’s all real, the sets are real. And we have ceilings on them, which is also quite rare. They don’t just stop like the huge builds that are – they feel like real worlds. So the sets definitely help you to feel like you’re in that place. And the TVA especially feels super claustrophobic, because of all of the corridors – it’s all real, you’re really there.”

Owen Wilson chimed in and said, “It was sometimes exciting when we were going to move on to a new scene in a new location. Like, what’s the set going to look like? I’m just thinking of my favorite sets and I love where we’re introduced to Ke [Huy Quan]. I thought that set, Ouroboros, was one of the best.”

That prompted the moderator to ask about everyone’s favorite set. Di Martino said, “The World’s Fair. There’s an actual giraffe. Like real animals, and so many [set assistants] working their asses off and looking amazing, and the costumes, and it’s just incredible. And you’re on a Ferris wheel that moves.”

Tom Hiddleston, Owen Wilson, and Sophia Di Martino at Deadline Contenders Television 2024
‘Loki’ actors Tom Hiddleston, Owen Wilson, and Sophia Di Martino at Deadline Contenders Television 2024 (Photo by Uday Kataria)

Owen didn’t like that her favorite set was different from his, because he had to ask, “Was your second one the one where we meet Ke?”

Tom Hiddleston had another favorite. “Mine was the core control room, where we must have spent a month. It was amazing. If you’ve seen it, there’s many iterations. Loki runs that loop over and over and over again to see if he can get it right and get it perfect. Kasra Farahani, our production designer and the director of episode three of Season 2, just immaculate work. It was almost on three stories. It was like the captain’s cabin of an ocean liner. But it was also an observation chamber. There were real staircases down below for getting into the radiation suit. And then I don’t know, maybe from here to the end of the theater, a length of a gangway, where you’re looking up at this extraordinary generator that runs the order of reality for you.”

When asked if the lack of green screen helps him as an actor, Hiddleston said, “It’s incredibly exciting. I think what it does to all of us, is it coordinates our imaginations. Suddenly all our imaginations are in sync because we’re experiencing the same thing at the same time in the same place. You get so much from the precision of the art direction. It feels like you’re in a real place. There was a moment when a wave of radiation was coming towards us from outside the observation window, and the shutters were down, and the art department and the special effects man were able to make the shutters rattle in the most terrifying way. It was like being in an aeroplane and you think something awful is gonna happen. And the sound of the rattling, do you remember? You felt it. I just pay tribute to everybody behind the scenes who made that because it helps us be precise in the application of our imagination.”

Tom Hiddleston on Loki’s future in the MCU

Naturally, the last question was if we’re going to see more of Tom Hiddleston as Loki. 

“I don’t know. It’s above my pay grade. With season 2, we started to understand there was an enthusiasm and a desire to do another season very early on while they were making season 1. What was very satisfying was to then develop the story as a narrative in two volumes, that we’re going to have 12 episodes to tell this story. In the first episode of the first season, we were gonna break Loki down, break his psyche open, create existential crisis and anxiety and doubt, give him a huge problem, and then take 12 episodes to find resolution. And across that time you meet Sylvie, and have this relationship with Mobius where after being analyzed they sort of become an unlikely friendship. And all of these characters would go on a journey together because the stakes would get so high. So I feel like it’s been two volumes and anything beyond that, I really I wish I could tell you, but I have no idea.”

I don’t know about you, but I definitely need a continuation of the Loki series. After not loving this variant in season 1, I adored his journey in season 2 – particularly in that incredible finale. I hope we see all three actors return, if not in another season, in a future MCU movie!

The Loki series seasons 1 and 2 are now streaming on Disney+. Do you want Loki or any of the other characters to return to the MCU? Let us know on social media @mycosmiccircus or in The Cosmic Circus Discord. 

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Uday Kataria

Hi! I'm a huge Marvel, DC, and LEGO fan. I run my own YouTube channel (GoldenNinja3000) and write/host podcasts for The Cosmic Circus. I also created and produced the LEGO Ninjago short film "Golden Hour".

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