Pretty much any piece of content Tom Hiddleston creates I will lap up like it's warm milk and I am a starving kitten. Tom Hiddleston plays a bad boy English gentleman in Crimson Peaks? Sign me up. Tom Hiddleston waxes philosophic about love and dating? I'll be the first in line (after elbowing several girls out of the way). The man can do no wrong. Ever. So, of course I'm excited about Hiddleston's latest role in the BBC mini-series, The Night Manager , in which he plays Jonathan Pine, a former British soldier turned hotel night manager turned intelligence operative for the M16. In the series, Pine is sent to become best buddies with Richard Roper (Hugh Laurie), a British gazillionaire expatriate who is selling weapons to anyone who will pay him well enough for them. But, oddly enough, despite the thought of Hiddleston rocking all black and rappelling his way down a building, I was even more excited about a Radio Times piece Hiddleston wrote about spying as publicity for the mini-series than I was about the series itself.
The piece reads a lot like a college essay. In it, Hiddleston covers a host of issues, such as social media's ability to take down world leaders like in the case of Hosni Mubarak, the Cold War and its similarities to modern-day terrorism, and the truth that British intelligence (spies, guys) are always at work, and that sometimes the intel they gather we will never know. But, though this piece is well-written and talks about important issues, I'm going to ignore all that because spies.
I present to you Tom Hiddleston's Guide To Being A Spy. That may not have been his original intent for the article, but maybe it truly was.. I'll have to ask him next time I see him.
Step 1: "A Spy Must Possess An Almost Unnatural Ability To Dissimulate, To Hide In Plain Sight..."
Become a master of disguise. Maybe even get yourself some shades. You won't look as dreamy as Hiddles does when he wears sunglasses, but that's literally impossible. And you're supposed to be fitting in anyway, so don't worry about it.
Step 2: "Self-Invention"
Create whatever your want out of yourself. You want to pretend to be a god from Asgard? Then you do that. It won't really help you fit into the background as Hiddleston suggested earlier, and will most definitely blow your cover, but at least you'll go out with a bang.
Step 3: "Suppress That [Your] Self (Almost To Self-Denial)"
The best way to practice for this one is to play dress up a lot. And then go out to bars and rock your character's new outfits. Practice makes perfect, I say.
Step 4: "Accepting And Embracing The Mutability Of Identity And The Malleability Of Public Personae"
I am he is you are he is you are me and we are all together. I think that's what he's saying here, but he used a lot of big words, so I can't be certain.
Step 5: "––Be Identified By Their Vulnerability, Their Loneliness And Doubt––"
Even spies are allowed to have bad days. You are not alone simply due to the fact you are alone, just like all the other little spies out there.
Step 6: "––Continue To Work In Service Of A Cause, In Spite Of Immense Risks To... Health And Security––"
It might be tough, and it might be dangerous, but a spy knows the risks and keeps on going. They laugh in the face of danger, like a young Simba.
Step 7: "Inner Conviction And Self-Definition Behind The Exterior Performances Of His Many Persona"
Sure, you have to put on a front, but, deep down, you must always know if you're Team Jacob or Team Edward.
Step 8: "Live, Under Cover, Within The Jaws Of The Beast"
If you're going to be a spy, then you have to hang out with the bad guys. If the bad guys are Loki from The Avengers series, things won't be so bad.
If you don't think you have what it takes to be a spy, that's OK. Just watch this miniseries so you can get your spy-jollies out that way. And you get to watch Tom Hiddleston for an extended period of time, so that's always a plus. Clearly the man knows what he's talking about.
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