One of the biggest and best surprises at Disney’s 2013 D23 Expo was the appearance of Tom Hiddleston, who will star with “Mad Men’s” Christina Hendricks in the now confirmed animated flick, “The Pirate Fairy.” And one of the coolest moments on stage Friday (Aug. 10) was when Hiddleston broke into his own rendition of “The Jungle Book’s” “Bare Necessities.”
When Zap2it spoke to Hiddleston backstage, we politely requested an encore and — as seen in the video above — the “Thor: The Dark World” star blushingly obliged. But before breaking into an all-out Baloo impression, and giving us a few bars of the signature tune, the charming Brit explained how the impromptu performance came about in the first place.
“It was something I did when I was auditioning for drama school,” Hiddleston explains. “You have to do a Shakesperean monologue and a contemporary piece of modern dramatic writing, and you have to sing a song acapella. And most people will sing something from ‘Les Mis’ or ‘West Side Story’ or ‘Guys and Dolls.’ Or maybe Andrew Lloyd Webber or something. I chose to sing ‘Bare Necessities.’ Immediately, the audience at D23 demanded a live performance, so I sang a chorus.
“My favorite bit of that song is … when they’re like — his belly is so huge, that … they’re drifting downstream and Mowgli is resting on top of it. And Baloo says something like [in his best bassy Baloo voice] ‘So just try to relax, in my backyard. If you act like that bee acts, man … you’re working’ too hard. So don’t spend you’re time lookin’ around … for somethin’ you want, that can’t be found.’
And then he breaks into what is pretty much the most endearing verse of “Bare Necessities” ever performed, before saying, “That’s all you get. I feel embarrassed now.” But don’t worry, Hiddlestoners: There’s a lot more where that came from, as your favorite British import will sing some more as part of his Captain Hook role in “The Pirate Fairy.”
“For the first time I get to sing in the film, and a Disney film no less,” Hiddleston says. “It was really fun to do that because it’s something that I haven’t done much of. And it’s a fun, swashbuckling, kind of upbeat, optimistic pirate song.” Wow, that’s a lot of adjectives. During the “Art and Imagination: Animation at The Walt Disney Studios” presentation, fans got to see a storyboard clip of the song, “A Frigate That Flies.”
Though Friday was about Disney’s upcoming animated offerings, we couldn’t resist asking Hiddleston if there will be room for Loki to return to “The Avengers” franchise down the line, as it’s been confirmed his villainous character won’t return to the first sequel, “The Avengers: Age of Ultron.”
Hiddleston was characteristically gracious in his response. “Gosh, I don’t know. You know, it’s not up to me,” he says. “It all depends on so many other factors — where the other characters go. I’ve had a wonderful time playing Loki, and if that’s the end, it’s the end. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is going to be so big, with so many new characters — I mean, it already is enormous, but — I’ve had a great, great run. So, I guess we’ll see.”
“The Pirate Fairy” is not due in theaters until Spring 2014, but never fear: Hiddleston returns to the D23 arena Saturday to help promote “Thor 2.” Will his appearance in Anaheim rival that mesmerizing Loki performance at Comic-Con’s Marvel Studios panel? We’ll know in just a few short hours …