“Loki” definitely isn’t the first superhero role Gugu Mbatha-Raw has been offered.
Mbatha-Raw plays Ravonna Renslayer in the Disney+ series, which also stars the actress’ drama school buddy Tom Hiddleston as the lead Loki.
She tells Porter of walking away from superhero roles in the past: “There have been a few I’ve auditioned for and not got. And one or two that I got and turned down. Sometimes [the role] was so secretive, I was like, I’m not signing up to something where I don’t know what it is. Sometimes, I wasn’t sure the character was going to have enough layers.
“Sometimes, the tone of the piece just wasn’t my taste: how the violence is depicted, how the women are represented. Those things are important to me.”
Gugu Mbatha-Raw adds of following her gut: “Sometimes I’ve made choices when I think that my agent might be like, ‘Oh!’ But you’ve got to. For me, there is no price on freedom or on your spirit.
“I don’t want to be doing something for years that is going to break me on a spiritual level that I don’t believe in. Sometimes you have to take a leap of faith and follow your gut. And if your gut is saying, I feel trapped, you have to listen – otherwise you live with the consequences. That’s when people get cynical.”
She goes on to tell the publication why “Loki” appealed to her, sharing, “For a start, it was exciting that Kate Herron was directing all six episodes. Also, having been to drama school with Tom Hiddleston, there was a lovely circle of life about working on something together at this point.”
Mbatha-Raw, who was in the year ahead of Hiddleston at London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, adds of the actor, “He was blond. Sort of angelic. He seemed very… centred is probably the best word.”
She continues of returning to the “Loki” shoot after lockdown, “It was emotional; the light at the end of the tunnel. There was a joy and relief to be back in this imaginary world.”