Eye-catching: Emma Watson has been noticed by Hollywood executives
Certainly, Aronofsky listened intently to what she had to say, and perhaps he’ll toughen her up in a year or two in a movie about a ballet-loving female wrestler (OK, for you slow ones at the back, he made The Wrestler and Black Swan).
The 20-year-old was still chatting at 4.15am as organisers from the Weinstein studio and Momentum Films were desperate to go home.
The actress, who has played Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter films for half of her life — the last of which, The Deathly Hallows: Part 2, is released in July — has star quality in spades. She has a grace and style that’s rare.
Soon she will go before the cameras to film The Perks Of Being A Wallflower opposite Logan Lerman, while autumn will see the release of Simon Curtis’s film My Week With Marilyn, in which she has a small role opposite Michelle Williams and Eddie Redmayne.
Why Tom's taking the next few months at the gallop
Variety show: Tom Hiddleston will play an exciting range of characters in a year that will see him fill cinema screens
The Cambridge and Royal Academy Of Dramatic Art graduate has four major movies out this year, including Steven Spielberg’s version of War Horse, Terence Davies’s The Deep Blue Sea, Kenneth Branagh’s Thor and Woody Allen’s Midnight In Paris, which will open the Cannes Film Festival in May.
I’ve heard the odd whisper about War Horse having a special screening in Cannes, but at present that’s all they are — whispers.
‘Just to have one of the jobs would have been enough, but to have them all crammed into 12 months has been amazing,’ Hiddleston told me.
All the roles are totally different. In Deep Blue Sea, based on Terence Rattigan’s stage drama, he plays Freddie Page, a troubled former RAF World War II pilot who introduces the wife of a High Court judge (played by Rachel Weisz) to the kind of physical love she’s not been getting from her husband.
When I ask Tom if Hester (Rachel’s character) is just using him as a sex object, he laughs: ‘I think Freddie’s more than just good in bed. I hope that she sees more in him than that.
‘Freddie is somebody who’s really alive in every respect: in his sexuality, in his joy, in his anger,’ the actor told me.
‘So, I hope she goes for his vitality.’
But Freddie’s in denial about the psychological harm he suffered during the war.
‘He doesn’t want drama in his life, but there’s a lot of drama with Hester — she knows how to love, and he doesn’t. He’s not prepared to look at Hester’s pain because in Hester’s pain, he sees his own.’
Davies shot the film on locations around London several weeks ago, but some friends who have seen a rough assemblage of footage tell me it’s stunning, and the three leads (Tom, Rachel and Simon Russell Beale) are heartbreaking to watch.
Tom’s role in the superhero saga Thor, meanwhile, is about as far from Freddie as it’s possible to get. Loki starts off as a younger brother to Thor ‘and travels all the way to out-and-out villain’.
‘Rivalry and jealousy come to the surface and he goes through the motions of becoming like Iago,’ Tom explained.
He also spent three months on War Horse playing Captain Nicholls, the officer who first purchases Joey, the farm horse, and takes him as his mount to the fields of battle.
‘I’d say 90 per cent of my work in War Horse is on a horse,’ he mused. ‘It’s almost not like conventional acting at all, because you’re either walking or trotting or cantering or charging.’
He told me that one of his earliest memories as a young boy was watching Harrison Ford in Raiders Of The Lost Ark. ‘I thought, “I want to do that!” — ride horses, be a hero and have Steven Spielberg’s cameras pointing at me.’
He and fellow actors Benedict Cumberbatch and Patrick Kennedy spent six weeks riding before the cameras rolled. ‘I could ride a bit, but I had to get really good,’ he said.
Tom was born in London, although his dad’s from the west of Glasgow, so he’s looking forward to playing a Scot one day.
He mentioned that to Peter Mullan, the Scottish director-actor who’s a co-star in War Horse. ‘He went: “Oh my god, man! You should not have told me that. I’ll have to put you in my next movie.” ’
Another royally runaway success?David Seidler, who wrote The King’s Speech, is embarking on another cinematic adventure, this time about Lady Hester Stanhope, who was called the ‘Queen of the East’ in the mid-19th century. She was an eccentric explorer or, as Seidler told me, ‘a female Lawrence of Arabia’.
The film is being developed by Gareth Unwin, whose Bedlam Productions was one of The King’s Speech backers, and Richard Price, the impresario who funded initial development not only of The King’s Speech but the Mamma Mia! stage musical when producer Judy Craymer needed early funds.
His instinct is astute and he has made a tidy amount of Money Money Money in the process.
Rolling out the red carpetThe most expensive star Cameron Mackintosh has ever hired (we’re talking more than he paid Michael Crawford to play the Phantom) flew into London first-class from Melbourne yesterday.
Her name is Betty Blue Eyes and she’s the star (though Sarah Lancashire and Reece Shearsmith may have something to say about that) of Mackintosh’s new show. Clean-living Betty is a gorgeous pig, but she’s not being raised for bacon.
She’s an animatronic, created by the Creature Technology Company for the Anthony Drewe-George Stiles musical based on Alan Bennett’s film A Private Function.
It’s about a town’s desire to put on an illegal roast during the post-war nuptials of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip. The Prince will attend a special preview performance to raise funds for the Colonel’s Fund Grenadier Guards. Betty will be in the line-up.