By Henry Hanks, CNN - After two movies playing Thor's villainous brother Loki - most recently in the record-breaking blockbuster "The Avengers" - Tom Hiddleston says the chances are "very high indeed" that the character will return in "Thor 2." (As for the just-announced "Avengers" sequel, that's still anyone's guess.)
The actor's fan base - the "Hiddlestoners" - has grown exponentially since "Thor" and "War Horse," and audiences raving about the film have seen that Hiddleston was up to the task of taking on multiple superheroes.
But out of all of them, he particularly enjoyed going toe-to-toe with Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow.
"I loved playing the scene where Loki is imprisoned in the 'cage' on the Helicarrier, and Black Widow pays him a visit," he told CNN. "Scarlett Johansson played some amazing tennis that day."
And, seeing that he's part of one of the biggest superhero movies of all time, it doesn't hurt that Hiddleston has a special place in his heart for the genre, having written an op-ed about it in the U.K.'s Guardian: "My intention was to celebrate [superhero movies], as opposed to defend them. I feel strongly about superhero films because they are a great source of joy for a great many people."
Hiddleston is also looking forward to this year's "The Amazing Spider-Man" and "The Dark Knight Rises." Rather than seeing them as box office competition, he said, "I hope they do fantastic business."
But back to supervillains: Hiddleston has now taken a place alongside Heath Ledger, Jack Nicholson, Michelle Pfeiffer, Willem daFoe and Alfred Molina as one of the best known big screen baddies.
"I think a good villain is a character that, no matter how dark and anarchic, an audience can somehow relate to," he said. "The motivations and psychology need to be accessible, no matter how imbalanced."
Hiddleston knew his job was done as a villain when (spoiler alert) Loki was thrown around like a rag doll by the Hulk, due to the "volume and intensity of the laughter" during that scene at the movie's first premiere.
Hiddleston also gives a lot of credit to director Joss Whedon for the success of the film.
"He's interested in the exact opposite of cliché," he said. "His natural instincts are to subvert and invert the convention; turn it on its head; surprise people. Because that's what life is like. Life is eternally full of plot twists and surprises. Movies should be like that, too."
As for those hardcore Hiddlestoners, many of them know him for (or are currently seeking out his work in) BBC costume dramas.
"I am very proud of my work for the BBC, but I never wanted to stay stuck in the past," he said. "Loki has set me free from a particular casting type. But the work is the same. Rigor, discipline, humility, punctuality [and] above all: truthfulness."