The Happy Sad Confused podcast by MTV correspondent, Josh Horowitz has been one of my favorite podcasts for well over a year now. It’s a great way for me to learn more about some of my favorite filmmakers and actors, from the work their currently promoting, to their previous films, experiences in the industry and other random ramblings. Plus, Josh with his adorkable and geeky nature never fails to ask the best questions.
So, this week, Josh managed to interview the stars of ‘I Saw the Light’, a Hank Williams biopic, Elizabeth Olsen and Tom Hiddleston. And for anyone who knows Josh Horowitz, Tom Hiddleston has been a name that’s been brought up time and time again on both his podcast and his interviews, so it’s great to finally see this happen.
The first 16 minutes of the podcast consist of Josh catching up with Olsen and her experiences of working on this film, her next project, Wind River with Jeremy Renner, and the upcoming Marvel film, Captain America: Civil War.
When asked about her experiences of working on I Saw the Light:
“We [Hiddleston & Olsen] engage the crew. Everyone is there for a reason and everyone needs to be there, and everyone should be treated equally. So, with that, comes a very collaborative safe environment that the crew can be apart of as well, where you feel safe to play, to be uncomfortable, to be vulnerable, to make mistakes, to fuck up, to experiment. And then Tom and I are just both, our whole thing is just being present, and it’s not about us, it’s about the other person. A lot of people I’m sure work like that, but for some reason, we figured that out when we did this audition together forever ago, we could see that.. like we’ll say something and we’re both trying to figure out, ‘Now what are you really thinking?’, so there’s that fun game that you get to do, which is so satisfying, and that’s when you get lost in the scene, and not think about whatever you have to do next, ’cause you just know that both people are in it. So, that’s really fun.”
Alternatively, if you’re listening to the podcast specifically for Tom Hiddleston, you can jump forward to the 17-minute mark. The podcast covers a series of topics from Skull Island, to music, to the possibility of being the next James Bond, to films that he geeks out when growing up, to Thor 3, to High Rise, and finally to his thoughts on fellow Brits, Benedict Cumberbatch and Eddie Redmayne’s recent success.
The conversation starts off with Hiddleston talking about his recent completion on Skull Island (King Kong’s origins) in three different continents/countries – from Hawaii, to Australia, and finishing off in Vietnam. When asked about taking on the role of Hank Williams, Hiddleston said:
“It scares me a lot, so it has to be worth doing. I think because I’ve never wanted to play one type of role, and I know it seems strange to think of it now but, when I first got cast as Loki, it seemed very far away from me, it wasn’t immediately people’s idea of who I was as an actor. If you broke down the character of Loki, and send it to a casting director at the time, most people wouldn’t have said, ‘Oh, you know who should do that, it’s Tom Hiddleston.’ And part of what I’ve enjoyed so much about my very short career is always try to think outside the box and be quite deliberate about that, and say, ‘I know you don’t think that I can do this, but let me just show you,’ and I enjoy that, because for me the experience of acting is about emotional and intellectual expansion. It feels like traveling to foreign territory, you come back with a broader idea of what binds people together, and actually different people feel very similar things, and I enjoy that as a huge personal gain. But it’s also fascinating to bridge the gap between yourself and somebody else who is very far away, and find the common ground. And with Hank, it’s interesting because there’s so much about Hank Williams is not like me. I was born in London 1981, and the perception of me is almost overwhelmingly British, and Hank is an icon, and part of the fabric of America. But, he is a performer, and he is someone who understood the genuine connection between his performance and his audience, and he had a huge joy that he communicated through his music, and I feel the same way about acting. And I always believe that there’s a very real, ancient connection between people who are performers and their audience, and so I relate to that.”
Another notable moment that stood out for me during the podcast is when Josh asked about whether Hiddleston has any plans/itch to return to the stage after Coriolanus at the Donmar Warehouse:
“The thing I miss about it is the momentum of a performance every night. When you’re working in film or television, you have the luxury of precision in every moment, that you can refine each moment over and over again, and then you leave it forever. And in the theatre, you don’t have that precision, ’cause you have to move on to the next moment because it’s all sequential. But as an actor, you have a perspective on the whole that you never get as an actor in film because you leave that to the editor, and you leave that to post-production, and that’s the thing I miss is that sometimes, if you get your ducks in a row and you’re in gear, the entire performance can elevate because every moment has a domino effect and suddenly you have a performance which is unrepeatable and the audience were with you and they were in a good mood and it was a Tuesday night and you have no idea why it’s the best performance you’ve ever done, but it worked, and the tragedy of Wednesday morning when you realised you have to do it again, and you don’t know how.”
From the podcast, you can definitely tell Hiddleston is not only an actor and a fan of the art of filmmaking, but he is also a student of philosophy of sorts. It’s amazing to hear him talk about his experiences in the industry, his choices of projects, his love of 80’s films, and the connection with audiences through this art form. If you’re interested, here’s the link to the podcast which you can listen to online or download it for later.