Loki's reveal of Loki variants played by different actors was one of the most surprising of Season 1, made all the better when iconic actor Richard E. Grant played one of them. Grant captivated audiences with his unique representation of Classic Loki, and while he absolutely crushed the role with his awesome performance, that didn't mean he didn't have some reservations about the part.
Richard E. Grant spoke to CinemaBlend's Nick Venable about all things Loki, including the advice Tom Hiddleston gave him as he prepared to play the iconic Marvel villain. When Grant had reservations about how his character would look physically, Hiddleston was there to give his co-star confidence.
Tom Hiddleston said to me, when he saw me my costume for the first time and I was complaining to him about the fact that I didn't have any muscles. All the drawings, costume design, and the Jack Kirby illustrations in the '60s comics all had muscles. I thought I was stepping into a muscle suit. And he said 'No, don't worry about that. It's Loki's magic.' So he did say to me, he said, 'I think that playing Classic Loki, it'll make an impact that you will be surprised by.' And I thought that he was just blowing smoke, basically, on the first day to make me feel confident. But I have been absolutely floored by the responses that just came out a week ago. Absolutely astonished. So I'm very grateful. I suppose it could have gone the other way. So good news is good news to me.
Richard E. Grant is happy with the response his Loki has gotten, so he's grateful for Tom Hiddleston's reassurance. Classic Loki didn't need to be super buff because he looked super strong with his powers of conjuring, and that's all the audience cared about in the end.
With all that being said, Richard E. Grant would've certainly loved to still have muscles in the suit. Grant lamented that despite the praise, he still felt uncomfortable in the suit:
If I'd had the muscles... I would have been really comfortable. I long for them. I felt the absence of my muscles all the time. I felt like I had about as much muscular presence as Kermit the Frog, who he's been compared to.
Few people probably want to be compared to a Muppet, so I can understand Richard E. Grant's perspective there. Still, I don't think his Classic Loki look is quite that bad, even if he doesn't look quite as physically imposing in his suit compared to Tom Hiddleston's.
Tom Hiddleston was correct that Loki is not about physicality, of course, and Richard E. Grant knew that. The actor talked about how the character represents outcasts across all forms and represents them in a unique way.
Well, I knew from the script, it's when he described himself rather than as the God of Mischief, which is so emblematic of Tom Hiddleston, he says that he is the God of Outcasts. I thought that is the key to this character's loneliness and that feeling of anybody who's disenfranchised, either ethnically, sexually, or in whatever way, that desire and need to be included, and to be seen, is so strong in us that I thought that was the key to his character. So his making the ultimate sacrifice at the end to Asgard all fitted with that thinking. It seemed to have a sort of complete arc in itself, even though it was only one episode. So I thought that was very smartly written. Besides it being fun to play... I think that's what's great about Classic Loki. He's saying that there's somebody who is out there for all of you who feel disenfranchised or not seen, and I think that's a great thing to play.
It's not explicitly clear whether or not Richard E. Grant's Classic Loki will return for Season 2, though there is reason to be optimistic. After all, it's in a Loki's nature to survive, and his Loki was able to escape a sure death from Thanos. There are certainly several people who would love to see him return, so let's just hope the decision-makers at Marvel notice and make it so.