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Tom Hiddleston Breaks Down History of “Pole-Dancing Loki”


During a segment on The Graham Norton Show, Tom Hiddleston (along with fellow guests Samuel L. Jackson, John Malkovich and Sarah Pascoe) discussed some of the more specific examples he’s been shown of Loki fans’ love for his character.

Apparently, people are getting tattoos of Jackson’s Nick Fury–and sending photos to him via Twitter of their ink–but then Norton decided to mention a particular scene in 2011’s Thor, where Hiddleston’s Loki plants his spear into the floor and spins around in order to kick Chris Hemsworth’s Thor. In case you need to refresh your memory, you can watch the scene in the video below:

Hiddleston said the scene “was interpreted by fans as a demonstration of my hidden talent at pole dancing”–at which point Norton decided to show the pole-dancing Loki fanart, making those of us in fandom cringe and look away. Blerg.

Okay, if you’re really curious about Hiddleston’s reaction to the fanart, you can watch the clip–there’s one in particular he’d never seen before, but the good news is he’s a really good sport about the whole thing:

It’s difficult not to watch an interview like that and not be reminded of that Sherlock incident from a couple years ago, wherein co-stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman were talked into reading slash fanfic on stage–and then, of course, there’s all the stories you hear about celebrities being presented with graphic fanart of themselves to sign at autograph tables (something usually intended as a joke).

Cringeworthy as those moments are, they’re also a reminder of the fact at a certain level fanworks are not really intended to be interpreted by celebrities who don’t understand it–because the celebs aren’t really who the fanworks are for. There are exceptions to the rule, of course–celebs who are more than supportive of fanfic and fanart, who get it–but segments like this one on Norton’s show and others make it feel like fanfic and fanart are a laughing matter.

In a piece for The New Statesman, fan culture writer Elizabeth Minkel has a great take on why continuing to ask celebrities for their take on select fanworks is part of what fuels the sad misconception that the only fanfiction out there is solely smut–or, in the case of the Norton clip, that the only fanart is the more explicit kind. Neither of those could be further from the truth, because fanworks encompass all genres and ratings. Unfortunately, this segment with Hiddleston is only going to maintain that illusion.

(via Comic Book Resources)

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