Benedict Cumberbatch and Tom Hiddleston have starred together in War Horse, but now they're both part of Marvel's cinematic universe as Doctor Strange approaches. Hiddleston recently took time off from reprising his role as Loki in Thor: Ragnarok to speak to Cumberbatch about life, the universe, and many things.
Interview Magazine had the brilliant idea of having Cumberbatch interview Hiddleston, two of today's hottest actors. And I don't mean in terms of attractiveness though many would say that as well. What started out as a one-way interview quickly turned into just a conversation between two friends.
If you ever wanted to know about the actors' personal film interests, you're in luck!
CUMBERBATCH: I was wondering if there was an era of film-if you had a time machine-that you could go back and be a part of? Whether it's musicals or neorealism in Italy post World War II or maybe a Spielberg film in the '80s?
HIDDLESTON: There are two great eras that I still revere. I'm bowled over in awe and admiration by the uninterrupted takes of the dancing of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers and Gene Kelly. There's no “We're going to fix it in post.” I was watching a clip from Swing Time  and … What's his name in Singin' in the Rain ? “Make 'Em Laugh”? Donald O'Connor! I watch those films in awe. That was a different kind of performance. And the second one is the '70s.
CUMBERBATCH: When the East Coast boys took over L.A. and the studio system? The Scorseses …?
HIDDLESTON: Yeah. The emotional immediacy and realism and seriousness of cinema then. Taxi Driver , Raging Bull , Apocalypse Now  …
CUMBERBATCH: I completely agree. They were highly relevant, tackling massive, important issues of their time politically. They managed to find the golden balance between entertainment and art.
HIDDLESTON: That's also when Stanley Kubrick was doing his best work. 2001 came out in 1968. Before the moon landing in '69, they felt they'd already been there because of what Kubrick had given them as an experience in the cinema. They actually invented materials with NASA, costuming and props, to have stuff that was ahead of its time. I mean, it's sci-fi driving the boat. And the films that we're making now are still informed by those films, by that extraordinary era. Although, we are guilty of golden-age thinking-an idea from Midnight in Paris.
Then they got onto the topic of fears to which Hiddleston first replied with a teasing, “Tell me yours and I'll tell you mine.” But things got deep.
CUMBERBATCH: Passing time. And that is purely from becoming a father, wanting to have a little bit more of it every day, having something outside of me that's more important than me to focus on. That was a rude awakening, the minute he was born. And every time I hold him, to look at something that new and look at this 40-year-old me in the mirror going, “Wow, I really want to be around to see your children.”
HIDDLESTON: Mine is similar. Mine is regret. I fear looking back and wishing I had done things I hadn't. It's interesting, I read this extraordinary article about a book, many years ago, by an Australian nurse who is a specialist in palliative care. It was her job to help people on their way out, to ease their pain. So she spent a lot of time with people in their last days and weeks. And she felt so moved by the accumulated experience, because she heard people say such similar things. Weirdly enough, at the top of the list was, “I wish I hadn't worked so hard.”
Hiddleston asked Cumberbatch how he was working to address that fear and he replied, “I'm making more time. And, maybe it's just getting older, but I don't want to miss things. We have the most extraordinary privilege of doing this job, but sometimes being away, on location, I feel like I'm away for much of my own life. I want to be better at staying connected.”
“The other five regrets from the book by the Australian nurse were: I wish I hadn't worked so hard; I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me; I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings; I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends; and I wish I had let myself be happier,” said Hiddleston. “It's an extraordinary list of getting in your own way, isn't it?”
The whole lengthy interview is worth a read if you're a fan of these two.