Have you embraced your Freebie? (Tom Hiddleston has)

While enjoying my morning routine of interwebs and procrastination – yes, I know I’m trying to cut down, but sometimes a gal has a moment of weakness and that moment is every morning ever.

Anyway, while browsing I came across this fun nugget of trivia that I’m sure everyone but me has probably already stumbled across. Apparently Kingofthebritishgentlemen Tom Hiddleston originally wanted to audition for the role of Thor in the Marvel Universe.

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Oh, darling

According to rumours, he actually got close to the final audition rounds before director/Shakespeare God Kenneth Branagh pulled him aside to gently break the news that they weren’t going to be offering him the part-

“Ken told me that every actor has something for free. Jack Nicholson has an irreverence for free, Anthony Hopkins has a majesty and gravitas for free. Idris Elba, who plays Heimdall in Thor – and, by the way, anyone who’s been complaining about a black actor being cast as a Norse god is just crazy; this is a fantasy world, for goodness sake – has a watchful gravitas for free. He explained that what I have for free is that I can’t turn off my intelligence. Therefore Loki would be much more up my street.”

How cool is that thought? That there’s some trait that’s so inherently you, that it’s just suffused into every role you’ll ever play- no need to work for it, it’s always just there. And the more I think of it, the more I can list actors and their ‘freebies’. Morgan Freeman has that playful God vibe, Helen Mirran (my queen) has that edge of ‘don’t mess with me bitch’- And Hugh Grant? Floppy fringe. I don’t think he can act without it

Acting world aside, I got to thinking of my own Freebie in the real world- the part of my personality that is just waiting to burst out. I would say that mine is enthusiasm. Push the right buttons and I will gush at a hundred words a minute about something I’m passionate about (you don’t want to be near me when you’re complaining about an unexpected bill, or how you don’t have any savings). The same will happen if anyone even breathes about a theatre piece I love, or some passing obsession that I currently have. It’s like my brain is wired to thrive on that endorphin kick I get from being ridiculously over-excited about anything.

I think I look like this…

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But I really look like this…

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For so long I’ve spent time apologising for my random outbursts, or trying to pretend that I am waaaay cooler than I actually am by moderating my responses (sound familiar?).

Recently I’ve started to wonder if maybe it isn’t just better to embrace that side of myself. And if I come off a little manic (and maybe a little ax-murdery, as has been mentioned in the past) then phooey- playing a serial killer is definitely on my to-do list anyway.

And if I know what makes me a little more ‘me’, then maybe that will help me pinpoint when I’m losing myself a little. If I can’t be bothered to muster a kitten scratch or a suggestion than an actor should roll their fifteen super funds into one account, then something is wrong in my life and I need to identify it. Because not having the time to scratch a kitten? Definitely not me.

So what would your freebie be? Is it something that you’re happy to indulge in, or something that only your nearest & dearest get to see? Maybe you have the dryest sense of humour, or you can’t help working to turn any room you walk into into a place of calm. Maybe you don’t even know what yours is yet (Hiddles clearly needed some help). Or am I raving (with enthusiasm) on a topic that isn’t really applicable in the real world?

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Have you embraced your Freebie? (Tom Hiddleston has)

8 thoughts on “Have you embraced your Freebie? (Tom Hiddleston has)

  1. I hear you on this! I go through phases of deep interest and passion. Most last 2-3 months. Some cycle back into my life; others are truly passing fancies. But I get OBSESSIVE, and (literally) jump up and down excited, during each phase. I live it and breathe it… until it tapers out and I grow restless waiting for my next ride.

    I’m not sure the world wants 40+ ladies jumping up and down with excitement, but I’m going to keep doing it anyway. I can usually keep the accompanying squeal pretty quiet.

    It’s one of the reasons I thought I might stick with blogging. The blog becomes my megaphone for my latest passion.

    Must also add: the really great actors can cover even their most obvious freebies, when they want to. I think the work gets much harder for most when they do… it isn’t just the audience that wants favorite stars in predictable roles. Playing to type gives one labor-saving shortcuts. It’s a bigger risk to cast this way, but the response can be so heightened by the frisson of tension between the known and the strange…

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    1. The world needs MORE jumping 40+ ladies! And people in general. I have to say, I’ve only seen one performer who managed to separate every skerrick of himself from his character- it was uncanny! He ended up having to bow in character, because the contrast when he came out at the end was just too great. It still absolutely blows my mind!

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  2. Ah, Hiddles. Such a darling! 😊
    My freebie would be my innocence. It’s the type of wide-eyed way of looking at the world that got me cast as Wendy in Peter Pan and understudied Cosette in Les Mis. But then our director decided she didn’t want my freebie anymore and cast me as Val in A Chorus Line…😳

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      1. Oh, it was back in 2004 (I’m old, lol.) But yes, it was an extreme challenge, WAY outside my comfort zone. But it was my last role (I was a senior in high school), and I’m grateful she cast me against type to challenge me.

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      2. It was great, honestly. The curtain dropping on the never ending kick line…the Chorus lives on! That year, we happened to have a group of talent good enough to manage a show with 17 leads!
        The school I went to was basically an arts school without officially being one. Our director had ways of getting what she wanted out of us. Many of my classmates have gone on to amazing things. One of my friends, who I understudied Peggy Sawyer in 42nd Street for, is Kara Lindsay (married name Massey). She’s currently on her second run as Glinda in Wicked on Broadway. She also originated the role of Katherine Plummer in Newsies. Such a talent. And one of our friends is also in Wicked and has played Fiyero a few times (opposite Kara!) I may not be in the business any longer, but seeing my friends have their literal dreams come true is mindblowing. 😊

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      3. That’s such a huge success for both of them! I think arts training is so valuable, even if you don’t decide to pursue it for the rest of your career. There are so many skills you can learn in a drama room that you just don’t get in science or maths!

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