Tom Hiddleston delivered an unimpressive speech when he won his Golden Globe for The Night Manager
A perfect Hollywood night for the Golden Globes awards. The moon was high, the champagne was flowing, the A-list was out in force, bedecked with jewels and silks and the mandatory diamond-hard varnish of shimmering ambition.
The beautiful, the damned and yes, the occasional ham were all gathered together in one room of brute power and high wattage gorgeousness to pay homage to themselves and each other.
Brad Pitt was applauded not for his work, but for surviving marriage to Angelina Jolie. Meryl Streep had a broken heart and a tart message for the President-elect. Emily Stone and Ryan Gosling had just won for the film musical La La Land, graciously thanking their colleagues and lovers and friends. Emily — bless her — even prettily suggested that ‘hope and creativity are two of the most important things in the world’.
By the treacly gush of Tinseltown standards, it was business as usual. Then Tom Hiddleston stepped up to collect his Best Actor award — and promptly drove the feel-good express into the buffers of gloom.
Accepting his Golden Globe for the role of Jonathan Pine in the hit television adaptation of The Night Manager, Hiddleston curdled the mellow mood by waffling on about his charity work and the efforts of others in South Sudan. Sounding like the first person who had ever done a good deed, he came across as a gauche gap-year kid trying to impress everyone with his virtuousness.
The moment should have been a triumph for Hiddleston, collecting his first major award in front of Hollywood’s finest and an American TV audience of more than 20 million.
Yet in a pattern of behaviour that has become all too familiar to his despairing fans, the 35-year-old actor managed to snatch humiliating defeat from the jaws of victory.
Winning his Golden Globe should have been a triumph for Hiddleston, collecting his first major award in front of Hollywood’s finest and an American TV audience of more than 20 million
Oh horrors, Hiddy! What are we going to do with you?
His acceptance speech started off well enough, even if he did look oddly weasely — even needy — in his Gucci evening suit and bow tie.
He mentioned all the right people and his expression was the accepted industry standard of molten humility tinged with slight shock. Then it all went wrong.
Of course, unlike Gosling and most of the loved-up Golden Globe recipients, Hiddleston has no special someone in his life to thank for their unstinting love and support.
His doomed summer of 2016 romance with pop star Taylor Swift famously imploded after three high-profile months, leaving him with a diminished public persona and a reputation that has never really recovered.
Today, there is a Taylor-shaped void at his side that is impossible to ignore.
His doomed summer of 2016 romance with pop star Taylor Swift famously imploded after three high-profile months, leaving him with a diminished public persona and a reputation that has never really recovered
So he ploughed straight into his work for Unicef in the South Sudan, mentioning aid workers, arms dealers, doctors and children. His unintended speech-brag about medics in the African war zone cheering themselves up by ‘binge watching’ him in The Night Manager hit a cacophony of wrong notes.
Perhaps he didn’t mean to, but Hiddleston seemed to be painting himself as some kind of noble white saviour in an extravagant display of virtue signalling — showing off how compassionate you are.
The cameras panned around the faces of some of the Hollywood stars — Vince Vaughn, Christian Slater, Naomie Harris — and their stony or confused expressions spoke volumes. If Vaughn had looked less than impressed by Streep’s anti-Trump sentiments, his reaction to Hiddleston’s cri de coeur was even more damning.
Human sympathy has its limits, especially in a room full of the self-important keen to get to the afterparty to schmooze Harvey Weinstein. What they don’t need is some Brit lecturing them on how brilliant he is at helping alleviate global poverty, especially after a wine-soaked dinner of filet mignon and tiramisu, with their waiting stretch limos now idling outside. If you don’t mind.
His unintended speech-brag about medics in the African war zone cheering themselves up by ‘binge watching’ him in The Night Manager hit a cacophony of wrong notes
The following day, Hiddleston realised he had made a terrible mistake and posted a gracious apology on his Facebook page, explaining that nerves had got the better of him. But where do we go from here?
Tom means well, he is clearly a nice guy, but he keeps getting it so cringe-makingly wrong. Early last year, after The Night Manager was first screened in the UK, he seemed unstoppable, the coming man. He was charming, stylish, talented — and everyone loved him. It was even whispered that he might be the next James Bond — a laughable concept now.
From hero to damn-near zero in the blink of an eye. Too many arty films and dubious-taste fashion shoots turned him into a laughing stock — and that’s not counting that awful business with flinty Miss Swift.
However, all is not lost. A few defeats in the battle for our affections do not mean that Tom has lost the war. Here is my blueprint to get him back on track in 2017.
THE FACES THAT SAID IT ALL...
A GOOD START
As Tom said in his Facebook apology: ‘I completely agree that my speech at the Golden Globes last night was inelegantly expressed.
‘In truth, I was very nervous, and my words just came out wrong. My only intention was to salute the incredible bravery and courage of the men and women who work so tirelessly for Unicef UK, Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres and World Food Programme, and the children of South Sudan, who continue to find hope and joy in the most difficult conditions. I apologise that my nerves got the better of me.’
Tom once told an interviewer: ‘I can’t turn off my intelligence' - maybe he should try?
NO MORE PIETY
Nobody likes sanctimony — especially at an awards ceremony. Piety and Angelina Jolie-esque shout-outs for global suffering are so over, darling. So he should quit it with the charity twaddle and try to endear himself.
This is what he should have said: ‘Thanks everybody for this amazing award. Listen. I just want to say sorry about the Taylor Swift thing.
‘I lost my mind there for a few months but everything is cool now.
‘Remember that T-shirt that had “I Heart T.S.”on the front? She said if I didn’t wear it she’d shoot her kitten. Goodnight everyone, and thanks again.’
DON’T MONKEY ABOUT
Tom once told an interviewer: ‘I can’t turn off my intelligence.’
Perhaps he should try — because nobody likes a smart Alec. Especially one who stars in a lucrative superhero film franchise in a comedy wig and silly leather raincoat. Children love Hiddleston as megalomaniac villain Loki in the Thor movies, a role that sits oddly with his more pious side.
His determination not to be a meaningless figure in a worthless world is admirable, but he must learn to wear the stigma of humanity more lightly.
Still, is wearing a gorilla suit to promote his new King Kong movie the right way forward? Without a blush, Tom donned the hairy costume to caper around on an American chat show. Perhaps it is time to stop monkeying around?
His grey booties, above, have been a favourite of Tom's for a while
DITCH NODDY’S SHOES
We’ve said it before, we will say it again. Please stop wearing the grey suede booties. From red carpet appearances to beach walks with Taylor, Tom was seldom seen without his beloved ankle-high lace-ups last year. There comes a time in every man’s life when he has to stop wearing the same kind of shoes as Noddy. Tom, this time is now.
SHAVE THAT BEARD
What is with his Ryan-alike hairy face furniture? Ryan Gosling looks like a god in his beard. Sadly, Tom just looks like a gosling. Or an egg with alopecia that got caught in the rain. Did he grow it to appear more macho? If so, it is not working.
Perhaps Hiddy has a new film role as a pervert? Whatever the case, the beard has to go.
NO DULL FILMS
He has got to stop making such terrible film choices. Last year’s High Rise was one of those trendy adaptations of an impenetrable J.G. Ballard novel that arty thesps love — but no one else does. It went straight to video — despite the fact Tom appeared naked in several scenes. Speaking of which . . .
NO MORE NUDES
Stop it! Just stop.
The Gucci spreads with the Afghan hounds and the furry slippers; the metrosexual man looking mean in his leather onesie, the lonely bachelor in his boxers posing on a rumpled bed. For the next 12 months at least, Tom Hiddleston must pledge to avoid the world of fashion.
No more nude films please. Mr Hiddleston caught the eye of everyone after flashing his backside in The Night Manager
FALL IN LOVE
Sooner rather than later, our hero has got to get himself a nice girlfriend. Or even someone wildly unsuitable, just to cheer him up and chase away the loneliness.
Tom may have moved on from Taylor Swift, but something has been left behind — a chunk of his dignity. Whether he was the pursued or the pursuing, the dumped or the dumpee, nothing will heal until he finds another woman.
GO ON STRICTLY
Upon one thing we are all agreed, Tom Hiddleston is a magical dancer. He has showed off his moves on the Alan Carr chat show, on YouTube and at Thor fan conferences. If he really wants to get back into everyone’s good books, old Twinkletoes Tom should enrol for Strictly Come Dancing without delay.
If it can redeem Ed Balls with the British public, think what it could do for him!
MORE HERO ACTION
His new film Kong: Skull Island opens in March. According to the trailer, it is a place in the South Pacific where myth and science meet. More importantly, Tom stars as a proper action hero, complete with tight blue T-shirt and gun holster. ‘You’re dropping bombs?’ he asks the bad guys.
This is more like it, the kind of do-gooding he is good at. More please!