‘Loki’ Director Kate Herron Wants to Explore the ‘Different Shades’ of Tom Hiddleston’s Character

Loki may have expanded the Marvel Cinematic Universe in terms of lore, but one of its key achievements is delving into the psyche of its lead character in a way the franchise never has before. The Disney+ series reveals a more vulnerable side to Marvel’s God of Mischief (Tom Hiddleston), and it gives the character space to explore his insecurities and past trauma.

That aspect of the show was important to director Kate Herron, but so was walking a fine line between this “new” interpretation of Loki and the character fans already know. Fortunately, with Hiddleston’s help, she was able to strike a balance between the two.

Kate Herron details her approach to portraying Loki in a new light

'Loki' writer Michael Waldron and director Kate Herron stand side by side in front of a blue Disney D23 Expo wall
(L-R): Michael Waldron and Kate Herron | The Walt Disney Company/Image Group LA via Getty Images

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When it comes to capturing Loki‘s main character in a new light, director Herron wanted to ensure the show didn’t stray too far from Marvel’s previous interpretations of the character. While the show strives to dissect the many layers of the MCU’s trickster, it needs to consider where he’s been — especially since the variant viewers follow hasn’t gone through the same amount of character growth as the Loki that perished in Avengers: Endgame.

During an interview with Thrillist, Herron revealed that she spoke with Hiddleston early on, emphasizing her desire to do right by his former portrayal of Loki. 

“We had this amazing chat, obviously, when I first got the job, and I think for me, it was always coming from, I want to pay respect to what’s come before,” Herron explained. “I love the character, and I love the character across the comics. I also love his interpretation of the character. I wanted him to, I guess, know that it was in safe hands in that respect.” 

Of course, honoring Hiddleston’s previous work with the character didn’t prevent the show from treading into new territory. When it came to finding that balance, Hiddleston’s view of his character helped Herron see him in a broader way.  

“Something we were both synchronized on completely was that there has to be a reason to go back,” Herron said. “He always describes Loki’s personality as keys on a piano. And we’ve seen certain keys, but we haven’t seen all of them. And I think for us, the real thing was almost like leaping off this cliff together and being like, ‘OK, I’ve got your back and let’s see these different shades to this character that we can explore in the show that we haven’t got to do before.’”

Loki is ‘on a very different path’ than in previous Marvel movies

Tom Hiddleston in grey and gold armor with a green cape while standing in a desert as Loki in 'Loki' on Disney+
Tom Hiddleston in ‘Loki’ on Disney+ | Marvel Studios

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Part of Loki’s journey inward is meeting Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino), another version of himself who serves as a “mirror” to his character in many ways. Of course, she isn’t a carbon copy of the Loki fans know and love. Herron believes the differences between the two variants may shine a light on some of the more interesting aspects of Hiddleston’s character.

“She’s different, and they’ve had different lives,” Herron told Thrillist. “They’re not going to be the same. And I think that the fun thing is, where is the line of similarity and where do they become someone else, which also falls back into our Loki, right? Because he isn’t the Loki from the last 10 years of Marvel, he’s now on this very different path.”

Where that path will take him remains a mystery. However, the nature of the series offers seemingly endless possibilities. With new timelines and variants cropping up, there aren’t many constraints as to where the character’s story can go. 

According to Kevin Feige, Loki’s journey will ‘have more impact’ than the other Disney+ series

'Loki' stars Tom Hiddleston and Sophia Di Martin stand back to back on Lamentis-1
(L-R): Tom Hiddleston and Sophia Di Martino in Marvel Studios’ ‘Loki’ | Chuck Zlotnick/Marvel Studios

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With such a large scope of possibilities for Loki, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige revealed that the trickster’s journey will play a bigger role in the MCU’s future than the other Disney+ series to come out this year. Although WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier set specific heroes up for future story arcs, Loki’s adventure is likely to have a domino effect on multiple characters and storylines.

Speaking with Empire Magazine, Feige said, “[Loki is] tremendously important. It perhaps will have more impact on the MCU than any of the shows thus far. What everybody thought about WandaVision, and was sort of true, and The Falcon And The Winter Soldier, which was sort of true, is even more sort of true for Loki.”

Only time will tell how Loki emerges from his run-in with the Time Variance Authority, but Feige’s words suggest fans can expect big things from the show’s final episodes. With any luck, they won’t be the last time fans see the character grace their screens.