The fact that Tom Hiddleston totally stole the spotlight in the biggest blockbuster franchise in cinematic history from its stars says quite a lot about his ability to woo audiences... even when he's playing the bad guy. He's become one of the most bankable actors in Hollywood due to his versatility and ever-growing fan base. He can brood as Loki in the Marvel universe, and steal your heart as a lover and a gentleman in every period piece imaginable. The man has charm for days, and dance moves that would make your mum blush. In short, Tom Hiddleston is taking over the world, and no one is complaining about it.
He's one of the biggest movie stars in the world right now, but there was a time when he wasn't ruling the red carpet in perfectly-fitted suits, and chumming around town with Benedict Cumberbatch. Hiddleston put in his time with smaller roles in television, theatre, and film before hitting the big time. He was the BBC's go-to actor for its TV movies for quite some time, and, though those roles weren't quite Loki, they were still quite stunning.
Here are some of the roles you may have forgotten, or never knew that Tom Hiddleston played, because even most loyal of fans need a reminder of his smaller career gems.
The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby
In this 2001 TV movie, Hiddleston played a cheeky Lord who knew how to wear a top hat.
The Gathering Storm
It appears in Hiddleston's early career that he had a knack for playing young men who were up to no good. Here, he plays Edward Churchill in the TV movie about Winston and Clementine Churchill's marriage.
Oakley, the curly-haired free spirit whose family takes in a close friend on a vacation to Tuscany when her relationship goes sour. He displays some real knowledge here with the line, "if the sex isn't good, it's for sh*t."
Don't worry, Hiddlestoners, the over-acting is on purpose. Suburban Shootout is a satirical black comedy about gangs of housewives. Hiddleston plays Bill, a naive loverboy who gets trapped in the crossfire.
Miss Austen Regrets
What happens when Jane Austen tries to find her niece a husband? Well Tom Hiddleston happens, naturally.
A Waste of Shame: The Mystery of Shakespeare and His Sonnets
It doesn't get more British than Tom Hiddleston in a BBC made-for-TV movie about Shakespeare's sonnets.
Hiddleston co-stars alongside Kenneth Branagh in this BBC crime series as Detective Magnus Martinsson. Sweden is much more dangerous than we all imagined, apparently.
Hiddleston's leading man qualities really shine in this drama about a family falling apart while visiting the Isles of Scilly. Though it was a small film, it made a big impression with British film critics.
Midnight in Paris
Hiddleston puts on one hell of an American accent as the famous author of The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald.
So, sure, while most of us swoon over Hiddleston because of his great job portraying Loki in The Avengers, that's far from the only reason to feel weak in the knees when you see him. Recalling the wide variety of roles he has had, and acting prowess he has displayed, over the course of his career is more than enough reason to fall in love with Hiddleston all over again. I know I have.