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Tom Hiddleston turns 33: The many talents of the Thor star

By and Simon Reynolds
Tom Hiddleston is a talented, talented man. This won't come as a shock to many – the British actor is currently winning raves for his Coriolanus in the West End, has made himself indispensable to the Marvel Universe despite originally being conceived as a one-shot villain, and is gearing up to star in Guillermo del Toro and Ben Wheatley's next projects.

But Hiddleston's talents go far beyond the normal bounds of the stage and screen. Forget a triple threat – he's closer to an octuple threat.

As everybody's favourite trickster god turns 33, Digital Spy takes a look back at just a few of his key skills.


Singing
One thing you're going to learn from this list is that Hiddleston knows how to work a crowd. While promoting upcoming animated adventure The Pirate Fairy at Disney's D23 Expo, Hiddleston took a moment to serenade the rapt audience with a rendition of Jungle Book classic 'The Bare Necessities', and made it look – as he does most things – effortless.


Dancing
How good are your moves? Probably not in the same league as a certain Mr Hiddleston, who on many occasions has displayed the kind of snake-hip smoothness that puts dad dancers everywhere to shame. Once the music kicks in and Tom hits the dance floor, the crowd goes wild!


Juggling
So you're in Berlin. You're casually cruising along in the passenger seat, promoting your new movie Thor: The Dark World. You're drinking a beer, as you do. Attempting a three-ball juggle in this situation would be sheer madness.

But Hiddleston does it. Effortlessly. While carrying on a conversation with his impressed interviewer/driver. It'd be sickening if he weren't so dapper and humble about it all.

Hiddlesbomb

Photobombing
If Jennifer Lawrence is queen of the photobomb, then the king has got to be Hiddleston. Helena Bonham Carter, Kat Dennings and Cobie Smulders have all found themselves victims of a stealthy Hiddlebomb.


Educating the Cookie Monster
Those who can, teach. But teaching the Cookie Monster about delayed gratification is a whole different, more challenging ball game, and Hiddleston pulled it off with his signature patience and politeness. Even the Cookie Monster was charmed. You can see it in the way he says, "OM NOM NOM".


Turning into a velociraptor
Andy Serkis has made a career out of bringing characters to life through performance capture, but if the makers of the upcoming Jurassic World ever need a template for a velociraptor then they need look no further than Tom. To misquote Bob Peck's great one-liner from Steven Spielberg's original Jurassic Park: "clever boy".


Cosplay
Picture the scene: Comic-Con 2013, Hall H, Saturday mid-afternoon. The level of geeky excitement had reached fever pitch, following the announcement of Batman vs. Superman and the all-star X-Men: Days of Future Past panel. Things were winding down.

And then, Loki himself showed up to enslave the amassed crowd, and Marvel Studios won the entire day. Score one more for Hiddleston and his effortless method acting.

Tom Hiddleston climbs the Great Wall of China

Climbing the Great Wall of China
Taking time out from his publicity tour for Thor: The Dark World, Tom ascended the Great Wall of China and took this epic selfie. Perhaps Hiddlestoners can campaign to get Tom installed as the eighth wonder of the world.


Impressions
Benedict Cumberbatch has got stiff competition for the title of Best Impressionist – Hiddleston even has his own Alan Rickman to rival Cumberbatch's much-praised version. A Coogan v. Brydon impression-off is surely inevitable at some stage.

The above video is a particular joy, since it features Hiddleston impersonating actors impersonating him, as Loki. Specifically, he riffs on co-star Chris Hemsworth, Avengers co-star Samuel L Jackson, and – our personal favourite – Owen Wilson.


Dealing with sassy kids
Ah, that age old debate of who's better, Thor or Loki. Tom is more than happy to fight his character's corner, and he'll even dress up for the occasion. And he will not go easy on you just because you're tiny and adorable.


Bromancing his co-stars
The fine art of bromance is not to be trifled with. But wouldn't you know it, it's just one more area in which Hiddleston excels, sparking up utterly captivating bromances with co-stars including the aforementioned Cumberbatch and Thor himself, Chris Hemsworth. In the interview above, they're discussing the "deep, hidden love" between Thor and Loki, but the deep, non-hidden love between Hiddlesworth is on equally clear display.


Being James Bond
Tom's silky vocal tones expertly cut through Ian Fleming's flinty prose for a recent audiobook of Octopussy and The Living Daylights. Daniel Craig might be doing a cracking job as James Bond right now, but surely Tom's dashing good looks and twinkling charm make him an ideal candidate for the next 007?


Crying on cue
We're not saying that emotional manipulation is a good thing, of course. But it seems as though Hiddleston may have learned a thing or two from Loki, who's employed the old crocodile tears card with great success on more than one occasion.

Asked on the Thor: The Dark World red carpet whether this might be his final Marvel press tour, Hiddleston neatly dodged the potentially spoilerific question by becoming temporarily overwhelmed with emotion.


Being an all-round great guy
Schoolchildren attending a New York charity screening for Thor: The Dark World last year got a special surprise when Tom jetted in from London to attend the event. What a thoroughly nice fella!

Happy birthday, Tom Hiddleston!

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