ONE of the most unrepentant of all film baddies is played by one of the nicest guys in the business.
During his recent promotional trip to Australia, British actor Tom Hiddleston charmed everyone he met.
The 32-year-old rose to international stardom thanks to his acclaimed portrayal of Loki in 2011's Thor and the subsequent box office smash Avengers.
As the Marvel "universe" continues to expand on the big screen, Hiddleston's Loki can be seen in Thor: The Dark World next week and Avengers 2 in 2015.
His recent trip Down Under was Hiddleston's first chance to talk about the Thor sequel with fans and media.
"Marvel and Disney are so militant about keeping everything under wraps for so long, I'm just happy to share my excitement," he said.
"I feel very lucky to be part of the Marvel universe. The people in charge of narrative continuity are very brilliant at what they do. The great thing is the Marvel universe is so fun with deep, rich, colourful characters of every shade and tone. As long as people keep enjoying it I'm happy to keep playing Loki."
The second Thor film follows on from the epic New York showdown in Avengers. Loki has been imprisoned in Asgard, but the threat of a reawakened ancient race forces Thor to enlist the help of his resentful, unpredictable brother.
"I think there's been a lot of soul searching that goes on when you're confined in a small space on your own for eternity," Hiddleston said.
So is Loki remorseful?
"He's still a force of nature, but if that force can be somehow coerced to have virtuous ends then that's all for the better," he said.
"I do still think there is goodness in him. I don't know if it's entirely selfless or benevolent, but Loki certainly can be a force for good."
The Dark World sees Natalie Portman's character Jane Foster transported to Asgard, where she comes face-to-face with Loki for the first time.
Hiddleston said he enjoyed working with Portman, who can be seen punching him in the face in the film's trailer.
"It was one of the real pleasures of doing this particular film," he said.
"Jane Foster is a really strong woman and I don't think she's particularly fazed by Asgard. What I love about the way Natalie plays her is she's very curious and very self-willed. She finds Asgard absolutely awe-inspiring and incredible, but Loki did some terrible things to human beings and Jane is giving him what for."
Thor: The Dark World opens on Thursday.