There is no doubt that you know who Tom Hiddeston is. He has been in a number of box office hits, including Marvel’s The Avengers, Thor, and most recently, The Night Manager. His name is constantly mentioned whenever talk turns to who will be the next actor to play James Bond. And, of course, he is also Taylor Swift’s new boyfriend. In short, the 35-year-old British star has been everywhere lately.
So, you know a few things about him, but there is probably a good bit you don’t know about the debonair Brit who is also known for incredibly muscular body. It is time to change that. From what made the former rugby player take an interest in acting to which member of the British Royal Family he attended school with, here are 20 things you didn’t know about Tom Hiddleston.
Despite never struggling with addiction, he is a fan of the Serenity Prayer.
While filming the 2013 vampire movie Only Lovers Left Alive with Tilda Swinton, Tom first heard the Serenity Prayer when Tilda recited it. In a later interview he said, “I’d never heard it before until she said it. She’s a very wise woman.” Now, it is not uncommon for him to recite it himself when he is running late or made a mistake.
He went to boarding school with Prince William and Eddie Redmayne.
When Tom was 13-years old, his parents sent him to the elusive Eton College, a well-known boarding school in Windsor. Prince William just happened to be a classmate, as did Eddie Redmayne, who had already started acting professionally. Tom has said that Prince William was treated as any other contemporary would be. While on the subject of Eton College, he has admitted that the way the public perceives Eton, as well as the students who attend the school, irritates him. When asked about the school, he responded, “The reason it’s a good school is that it encourages people to find the thing they love and to go for it. They champion the talent of the individual and that’s what’s special about it.”
To help him deal with the pain from his parent’s divorce, as well as express his feelings about the event, he decided to take up acting.
At the same time Tom was sent to Eton, his parents were going through a divorce, which he found “really distressing.” Attending an all-boys boarding school, he found it hard to express his feelings. In an interview with The Sun newspaper he said, “There is a level of bravado you have to keep up otherwise you’ll get picked on. I was really quite upset and probably sad, vulnerable and angry. Acting presented a way of expelling those feelings in a safe place.
English is just one of many languages he speaks, several fluently.
In addition to his native language, Tom has no problem speaking Greek, Spanish, French, and Italian . While he considers himself to be fluent in those FIVE languages, he also knows some Russian, Korean, Mandarin Chinese, and German. It is not unusual for Tom to showcase his talent for languages in interview. Of course, it’s easy to see why. That’s pretty impressive.
Tom used to play rugby at Cambridge.
After playing rugby at Eton, Tom went on to study at the University of Cambridge, the 2nd oldest English-speaking university. While there, he played rugby for the university’s college, Pembroke. Unfortunately, it clashed with his ability to act in the university’s stage productions. In the end, he had to choose one over the other and opted to drop rugby and focus on acting.
He was 10 when he had his first kiss.
In a 2014 interview with Elle UK, let it slip that he was just 10 years old when he shared his first kiss with a girl in his class that he had a huge crush. He said, “First kiss at 10! Yes, 10 years old, tongues and everything. It was thrilling.” He went on to explain that wasn’t a spur of the moment kiss. Instead, there was “a lot of note swapping, and eventually it all went down in a cricket pavilion on an autumn night.”
He can recite Shakespeare’s Hamlet on demand.
For quite a few of us, Shakespeare was something we had to struggle through during high school/ college before completely deleting it from our memory. For Tom, this isn’t the case. He actually enjoyed Shakespeare and starred in quite a few plays including Coriolanus and Othello. He also acted in Hamlet and can still recite his lines today without any problem.
He was discovered because he gave up rugby.
It was his starring role as Mitch in A Streetcar Named Desire that convinced Tom to give up rugby. He simply didn’t have time to do both, so he opted to take the role, which proved to be a life changing decision. When the play debuted on the Cambridge stage in 2000, a prominent agent, Hamilton Hodell, was seated in the audience. He approached Tom after the performance was over. Today, Hamilton’s company still represents Tom.
He used dancing as a way to meet girls.
Tom has mentioned in several interviews that he started dancing because it was a great way to catch the attention of girls when he was younger. Today, it still works. In fact, he was caught dancing with Taylor Swift at the 2016 MET Ball Gala before her breakup with Calvin Harris. Not long after, Tom and Taylor’s romance went public. To get a quick look at Tom’s dance skills, check out this video.
He met BFF Benedict Cumberbatch while horseback riding.
The two first met in 2010 while filming Steven Spielberg’s War Horse. Both were playing military characters and since neither knew how to ride a horse, they had to take lessons before they started filming. According to Tom, they were able to bond over how hard it was. In an interview with The Cut, he said, “We both fell off the horses a lot in training. It was very humbling. You get to know someone very quickly when you’re both learning something like that together.” Today, the two are still the best of friends.
He is a master at celebrity impressions.
As impressive as Tom’s language speaking and dancing skills are, it may be his skilled celebrity impressions that prove impressions are his most amazing talent. Despite his British accent, he has no problem flawlessly impersonating anyone from Robert De Niro and Samuel L. Jackson to Al Pacino, Owen Wilson, Chris Evans, Alan Rickman, and Chris Hemsworth. He has even been known to show his off ability to mimic Joey the Horse, the horse he worked with on War Horse. You can check out some of his impressions by watching this short video.
There is one thing that truly scares him.
Despite the fact there were only 6 deaths caused by shark attacks in the world during 2015, Tom is absolutely terrified of sharks. In several interviews, he has described them as “nature’s ultimate killing machine.” Interestingly enough, he has admitted that this does not prevent him from swimming in the sea. However, when he realizes he is the person furthest from shore, he starts hearing the Jaws theme song and heads back toward land.
Tom is a self-described feminist.
He’s been seen out in public wearing a shirt that proudly proclaims “This what a feminist looks like.” He was also a big supporter of the #HeForShe campaign and he has commented numerous times on his appreciation for strong women, such as Jane Foster, Emma Watson, and Natalie Portman. In addition, this was his answer when asked about the feminist movement in an interview, “I believe in the strength and intelligence and sensitivity of women. My mother, my sisters [they] are strong. My mum is a strong woman and I love her for it.”
Although he isn’t a parent, he has already decided on a parenting philosophy.
During an interview with Bustle.com, the conversation somehow turned to children. It seems that he definitely wants kids in the future and has already given a lot of thought to what kind of parent he will be. He was quick to point out that he feels boredom is crucial for children so they will use their imagination. Apparently, he feels that with boredom, “They get a self-generated creative impulse to do something, to play a game, to paint a picture, to climb a tree, play hide-and-seek, read a book, or just stare out the window. That time you never get back. You never get the staring-out-of-the-window time back that you get granted as a child, if you’re lucky. Not every child gets that. I’m so grateful to have had a childhood that dragged out over time.”
While getting ready for Thor, he learned capoeira.
Tom has said that there was a lot involved in preparing for the Marvel movie. In addition to running 5 miles a day on the beach, he did a lot of capoeira. Capoeira is a form of Brazilian martial arts that combines dance, fighting, movement, and rhythm.
While on the subject of Thor, his auditioned for the lead.
In an interview with Chelsea Handler, Tom mentioned that he originally auditioned for Thor. He even went so far as gaining 20 pounds of muscle before his audition to improve his chances of getting the role. However, when the casting director and producer saw him, they immediately thought of Loki and asked him to play that role instead.
Tom is a huge believer in doing what he can to make a role as realistic as possible.
Tom is definitely committed to the art of acting. This is why he wanted a really realistic response during his fight scenes with Chris Hemsworth in Marvel’s The Avengers. It just so happens that the director wasn’t particularly impressed with their fight scene, so Tom told Chris just to go ahead and really hit him.
Muppets Most Wanted was the most fun Tom ever had on set.
On several occasions, Tom has stated that no other movie was more fun to film than Muppets Most Wanted in 2011. Tom, who played the role of “The Great Escapo,” had said that he has always been a big fan of The Muppets, which may be why he had so much fun filming it. In fact, he has mentioned on numerous occasions that he “laughed and laughed until I cried.”
His portrayal of Hank Williams Jr. left one very important person upset.
There is no denying that it seems a little strange to cast a British star as the country icon. However, numerous critics have called his performance “exceptional” and praised his ability to shine in an otherwise “dull and listless film.” Unfortunately, there is one person who has taken every opportunity to complain about the casting and the performance as a whole. Hank Williams III, Hank’s grandson, was less than pleased when he learned Hank would be played by a “European type.” In fact, he chose not to see the movie at all stating, “I’ve seen a two-minute clip and that’s enough for me.”
His new romance cost him a job with Armani.
Earlier this year, it was mentioned that Armani, a high-end Italian fashion brand, was very interested in having Tom star in their 2016 winter underwear collection. Fast forward to his relatively new relationship with Taylor Swift. Apparently, Armani executives were put off by Tom’s “embarrassing” romance with the music star and have decided to go in a different direction. (FYI…Taylor Swift’s ex-boyfriend, Calvin Harris, starred in last year’s Armani campaign.)