Ah, Tom Hiddleston. Not since Benedict Cumberbatch has a British actor with a name that sounds like a Hogwarts House had such a massive year.
Best known as Loki, Thor’s Norse nemesis (you know, with the greasy Van Helsing hair), Hiddleston, 35, also turned heads through the years in bit parts as a kindly soldier in War Horse and the dandy F. Scott Fitzgerald in Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris.
But in 2016, he went from smarmy villain to bona fide badass. In the addictive AMC miniseries The Night Manager, he played the title soldier-turned-spy tapped to crack an evil arms dealer’s inner circle. The performance proved why Hiddleston is in the running to succeed Daniel Craig as the next 007 (earmuffs, Idris Elba)—and won him throngs of new “Hiddlestoners,” the name for his army of “stans.” Revealing his bare buttocks in a memorable sex scene helped, unleashing the #hiddlesbum.
What was I saying? Sorry, I got distracted.
Throw in an eerily good starring turn as country legend Hank Williams in the biopic I Saw the Light (he ran grueling 7-milers through the Tennessee hills to get lean for the role) and a whirlwind romance with a certain pop star with the initials T.S. and we’re all getting a little Hiddlestoned.
“In an industry that’s feast or famine,” he’s said, “I’ve got no complaints.”