Rising British film star Tom Hiddleston has revealed that the Shakespeare character he'd most like to play is Benedick, from Much Ado About Nothing.
The RADA-trained actor is about to hit the big screen again as the villainous Loki in superhero movie Thor: The Dark World - cementing his position as one of Hollywood's hottest prospects - and his love for the Bard's works shone through when we interviewed him ahead of the film's release.
On Shakespeare's plays, he said "you know, they are all very, very special. The tragic heroes always have a particular demand on you as an actor, because Shakespeare's understanding of human weakness was so precise, and most of his tragic heroes suffer from very relatable failings, like proud, or doubt, or vanity or jealousy or those things...you know, hubris."
When pressed on the character he'd most like to play in the future, he stated "Benedick from Much Ado About Nothing, because it's a really funny play, and it's very warm and it's all about love. It's about these two old cynics, Benedick and Beatrice, who believe they're past the age of romance, "y'know, loves not for us...I'll die a bachelor" and by dint of many practical jokes played on them by their friends, they fall in love with each other."
He continued, "It's so sweet...it's just such a sweet play and has so much wisdom in it. I've never been to a production of Much Ado where audiences haven't come out beguiled and delighted - you see people's faces when they come out of the theatre and they're so happy, and so I'd love to be in a production of that."
His old Thor director Kenneth Branagh once played the part; perhaps when he gets round to it, he can take a few tips from the old master.