‘The Avengers’: Why Chris Hemsworth Hit Tom Hiddleston for Real During Filming

Let’s face it: Most members of the audience of a Marvel movie with Loki in it have wanted to smack him at some point. Maybe even at more than one point. Now we found out that Chris Hemsworth actually did. 

Tom Hiddleston appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert this week to promote his Broadway debut in Betrayal. In the course of doing so, Hiddleston let some Marvel info slip. 

What went down between Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston? 

Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston
Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston | Albert L. Ortega/WireImage

Stephen Colbert opened the portal to Marvel when he asked Hemsworth to compare stage combat, like the kind in Betrayal, to combat in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Hiddleston was blunt. 

“Well, if you fight Chris Hemsworth, you’re going to lose,” Hiddleston said.

On Betrayal he would lose simply because it was in the script. More than that, though, fighting on film takes a lot more time and energy because the directors are always trying to shoot multiple angles. During the first Avengers, there was a scene where Thor had to strike Loki across the face while Hiddleston was wearing 30-pound horns. 

The way they were shooting the fight, the actors couldn’t get the hit to register. “I said to Chris, I think you should just hit me in the face,” Hiddleston said. Famous last words. 

“I went down like a stone,” Hiddleston said.

There’s one good reason Avengers wasn’t a stage show, though. At least Hemsworth didn’t have to repeat the hit night after night. 

Loki gets knocked around a lot in the MCU

Some people say that the energy you send out in the world is returned to you. Loki sent out an awful lot of negative energy, so negative energy walloped him repeatedly.

And that was probably never more true than when the Hulk got his hands on him. Loki unwisely tried to stand up to the Hulk in the first Avengers, only to have Hulk toss him around like a rag doll. It’s a good thing Loki is a god because otherwise, every bone in his body would have been smashed. 

Of course, Loki kind of got revenge in Thor: Ragnarok when Hulk and Thor met in a kind of gladiator match, which resulted in Hulk giving Thor the same treatment he dished out to Loki. This delighted Loki more than little. 

Loki eventually met his demise not at the hand of Chris Hemsworth but at the CGI hands of Josh Brolin in Avengers: Infinity War. He also appeared in Endgame during the time travel scene back to the events of the original Avengers, where we saw Loki vanishing with the tesseract. We’ll pick up his trail again in the Loki series on Disney+ in 2021. 

Tom Hiddleston got the part of Loki through Shakespeare

All this trouble started when Hiddleston got the part of Thor’s errant brother thanks to Kenneth Branagh, the renowned Shakespearean actor who directed the first Thor movie. 

Hiddleston explained to The Hollywood Reporter: “He saw me in a Shakespeare production in a theater in London, then asked me to perform with him in the television series Wallander for the BBC. We then did a Chekhov play in the West End, and then he cast me as Loki in the first Thor film. So actually we ended up spending about 12 months working together in different media.”

Hiddleston said of his character: “I knew he was a complex figure. Intelligent yet vulnerable. Angry and lost and broken and witty. I thought it was an amazing opportunity and it’s grown into this network of movies. I could never have expected it.” 

And here is the entirety of what he could say about the show: “All I can tell you is that it is called Loki. It is a new departure … but I can’t explain why.”