[photograph by Charlie Gray, Shortlist Media Inc]
The only thing better than a photo of Tom Hiddleston staring into your soul while sporting an elegant suit, is a photo of him doing this while holding a cat. Hiddleston, a British actor with a Cambridge and RADA pedigree, glides from the Shakespearean stage into the Marvel comic book universe with ease -- exuding equal parts charm and menace. Thoughtful in interviews, impeccably polite, Hiddleston has amassed a legendary and loyal fan base who apparently like the cut of his jib.
Here are some titles that would be requisite on any Tom Hiddleston Book Club list:
The Night Manager by John Le Carré. Hiddleston's role as the enigmatic Mr. Pine in the six-part television adaptation of John Le Carré's spy thriller is generally acknowledged to be his screen test for the next James Bond.
The Deep Blue Sea by Terence Rattigan. Rattigan's 1952 stage play about post-war repression and isolation was the basis for Terence Davies' achingly beautiful film adaptation. Watch this on DVD and prepare to weep.
War Horse by Michael Morpurgo. In Steven Spielberg's film adaptation, Hiddleston plays a doomed World War I soldier along with fellow erudite Brit, Benedict Cumberbatch. Cumberbatch also has an immense fan following - when the two appeared together in this film, it almost broke the Internet.
High-Rise by J. G. Ballard. In the upcoming film adaptation of this science-fiction classic, Hiddleston joins the residents of a luxury high-rise building who gradually withdraw from the outside world and descend into violence and debauchery.
Only Lovers Left Alive. Directed by Jim Jarmusch. Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton are weary vampires who cling to music, books and art in a changing world. Bibliophiles will relate to the tactile attachment to books and reading.
The Hollow Crown. Shakespeare's histories. Hiddleston is Prince Hal, the party-time bro who becomes defender of the realm.
Midnight in Paris. Directed by Woody Allen. Spot Hiddleston as F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Hank Williams: The Biography by Colin Escott. This book was the basis for Marc Abraham's recently released I Saw the Light, a biopic about the country music legend with Hiddleston in the title role.
Recommended Reading: The Gospel of Loki by Joanne M. Harris. An entertaining retelling of the Norse legend.
Related Links: The Benedict Cumberbatch Book Club