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By his own reckoning, playing iconic country singer Hank Williams in Sony Pictures Classics new biopic, I Saw the Light, was a stretch, but once Tom Hiddleston accepted the part in the Marc Abraham-directed film, the Cambridge-educated Brit immersed himself in the life of the Hillbilly Poet, who died at 29 in 1953, and prepared like he had for no other film.
The actor, best known for his role as Loki in Thor, moved to Nashville to live with singer/songwriter Rodney Crowell for five weeks to prepare vocally for the part and then spent three months in Shreveport, La., shooting the film, which opened in limited release on March 25 and wide April 1.
Earlier this week, Hiddleston, 35, talked with Billboard about “going mad” over doing 56 takes of “Lovesick Blues,” the tyranny of the Internet and those pesky James Bond rumors. In addition to I Saw The Light, Hiddleston stars in The Night Manager, a miniseries based on the John le Carre novel, which begins airing on AMC on April 19.
Hollywood Reporter: What was your audition for I Saw The Light like?
Tom Hiddleston: Marc was always adamant that he wanted to cast an actor who could sing, not a singer who could act. He kept talking about the contradiction between [Williams’] charisma and his vulnerability. And then, not secondary to that, I had to get up there and sing those songs. I was more nervous about it than he was. He was very confident that I could pull it off. He’d seen that I had an ear for dialect and accents, so he wasn’t worried about that. Continue reading