Tom Hiddleston has opinions—opinions about Pimm’s. ‘It has to be made with ginger ale. Controversial, but I think accurate,’ the War Horse and Avengers Assemble star told us in Evian’s suite on the first day of the championships. And furthermore: ‘Cucumber is essential. Slices of cucumber, fresh strawberries, lemon, mint... But if you’ve made fruit salad for breakfast, with bananas and kiwis, maybe don’t throw them in the Pimm’s.’
A lifelong tennis fan, Hiddleston watches Wimbledon championships ‘religiously’ every summer, even waking up early to catch important matches when he was on location in New Mexico for Avengers during last year’s tournament.
‘It made me really homesick. I was in the New Mexico desert, playing superheroes, and suddenly, I was longing for Wimbledon,’ he said. ‘The architecture of my life is that Wimbledon always used to be the herald of the summer, because it was the end of exams and the beginning of the school holidays, and therefore the beginning of fun.’
Safely ensconced in prime Centre Court seats for 2012, Hiddleston said he was thrilled to have caught Novak Djokovic’s ‘astonishing’ match. ‘The level of his efficiency and skill just blows me away,’ he said. ‘Djokovic and Federer and Nadal are all sensational to watch because they just play with a combination of delicacy and power that’s absolutely riveting.’
His tips for Wimbledon neophytes include paying a visit to the bathroom before taking your seat (‘It’s a practical one.’) and never shouting, ‘Come on Roger!’ when Federer has the advantage.
The success of War Horse and Avengers has led to opportunities that seem set to keep Hiddleston in work but out of the UK for some time—films on the horizon include Thor 2 and Jim Jarmusch’s new Only Lovers Left Alive, filming imminently in Detroit. How does it feel to return to the home of a great British summertime ritual, on the heels of such a phenomenal year?
‘It’s so relaxing,’ he said. ‘It feels, in that really reassuring way, that some things will always be the same.’