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Striplv Magazine - The Sexiest Magazine on the Planet, Issue 0217

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It’s not often you meet someone who earned a double-first in Classics at Cambridge. It’s even rarer when you meet a movie star with those credentials. But that’s the kind of gravitas that gives Tom Hiddleston an added edge whenever he takes on a role. Best known for his continuing role as the villainous Loki in Marvel Comics “Thor” and “Avengers” franchises, the British actor has also distinguished himself in films ranging from the recent sci-fi drama “High Rise” to last year’s horror flick “Crimson Peak” to Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris.” Things have taken an even better turn of late for Hiddleston, winning a Golden Globe for his part in “The Night Manager,” the fabulously successful BBC/AMC TV miniseries adaptation of the 1993 John Le Carré novel. Hiddleston gave arguably the most powerful, yet seductive performance of his career as newly recruited British spy Jonathan Pine. Critics not only raved about Hiddleston, who proved more than a match for Hugh Laurie’s villainous billionaire arms trafficker, but the series was such a phenomenon that there is feverish talk of a sequel. In the meantime, as a very different kind of character in “I SAW THE LIGHT,” a biopic about legendary American country & western singer Hank Williams. Much of the story is devoted to the hard-drinking Williams’ tumultuous love life, beginning with his first wife, Audrey, a mediocre aspiring singer played by Elizabeth Olsen. Hiddleston does his own singing and guitar playing in the film and audiences at the Toronto International Film Festival (where the film enjoyed its world premiere) often applauded after he finished performing a song in the guise of Williams. Despite his Apollonian good looks, Tom Hiddleston is playing his fair share of dark, bad-ass characters. Last year he earned acclaim for his performance as an Iraqi war veteran turned British undercover agent in the six-part BBC series “The Night Manager,” then he finished shooting the third “Thor” film where he returns as the menacing Loki, and now he’s about to be seen as a former Special Air Service soldier taking on a 50-foot gorilla in “KONG: SKULL ISLAND.” Hiddleston is “excited” to be starring in the $190 million Warner Bros. blockbuster that revives the “King Kong” legend, which is expected to deliver the biggest, meanest Kong of all time. Looking casually chic in a pale blue shirt and jeans, the tall, 6’2” British actor is impeccably polite and articulate in conversation. He smiles easily - rather like his “Night Manager” alter ego Jonathan Pine - and was impressed by the scale and scope of his “King Kong” adventure. “It’s an epic story, and I loved how Jordan was determined to shoot on real and very breathtaking locations, which give a sense of the power and beauty of nature,” Hiddleston says. “I was also drawn to my character’s heroic sensibility and how he embraces the life of the explorer and the sense of adventure that comes with his mission.” Directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts, “Kong: Skull Island” also co-stars Samuel L. Jackson, Brie Larson (who won the Oscar for “Room” last year), and John Goodman. The film is also expected to set the stage for a future Godzilla vs. King Kong extravaganza currently projected for release in 2020, which gives Hiddleston another film franchise to go along with his “Avengers” and “Thor” commitments. The 35-year-old Hiddleston is a product of Eton and Oxford and made headlines last year with his curious and brief relationship with Taylor Swift. Currently single, Hiddleston is anxious to find a good woman, recently declaring: “I like strong women. My mothers and sisters are very strong women, immensely independent, and very capable and that’s what I feel comfortable with. My mother places a huge importance on decency and kindness and always has—and the older I get, the more I realize how rare that is.” When asked whether he intends to follow “posh” actors Benedict Cumberbatch (one of his best friends) and Eddie Redmayne (also an Eton-Cambridge man) down the marriage path, Hiddleston demurs: “It’s great for both of them. They’re both my good friends. I’m happy for them. Marriage is not something in my life yet. I am not closed to it, though.”

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