Would you like to enroll in the Army? Of course,not the type of Army in which you have to wake up at 6 AM and the drill sergeant is watching your every move, but an Army of fans who share the same passion and are bound together by their devotion for a talented,charismatic,charming English actor,a true gentleman and for his movies: Tom Hiddleston.
Exactly one year and one month ago (The Romanian Tom Hiddleston Fan-club has celebrated one year of existence), an idea of Ioana Raluca Popescu, a big Hiddleston fan, has turned into the very first Romanian Hiddleston-dedicated Fan-club. Shortly after, Miriam Mircea joined her and the two went on to gather an Army of almost 2000 supporters, to this day.
His success in the superhero movies has brought him to our attention as a genuine villain-Loki of Asgard,the adoptive brother of Thor, the God of Thunder and a lot of people have said that no one,but absolutely nobody else could have embodied Loki better than Tom Hiddleston has. We admired him in Thor (2011) and he had his moments of glory in The Avengers,where he insulted The Black Widow (performed by Scarlett Johansson), calling her „a mewling quim”, but also got his share of beating when the giant Hulk smashed him to the floor. Most recently, he had a surprise appearance at the San Diego Comic Con, creating madness all over the planet once more. Tom Hiddleston does not portay only Loki, the God of Mischef. The British actor has a remarcable movie experience, gained in his 32 years of life (he is born on the 9th of February 1981,in London). He has starred in theater plays, TV productions, independent movies,he is extremely talented and versatile and is adored by fans all over the world.
Read all about the creation of the Romanian Tom Hiddleston Fan-base project ,as accounted by Miriam and Ioana, the two administrators of the Hiddleston’s Army Romania Fan-page, who invite you to join their Army and promise us a surprise in the days to come.
1.When, how and why?
To be perfectly honest, I can say Destiny played a role in it all. Back in 2012, I was home in Germany (where I live from 2011) and I picked up a rumour on Facebook about Tom Hiddleston visiting Cologne to shoot for the movie Only Lovers Left Alive. Cologne is 7 hours away by train from the city in which I live ,but this didn’t stop me already deciding to travel and try to meet him personally. At the end of July 2012,I was searching for a Romanian Tom Hiddleston Fan-page or group , where I could boast my meeting him and what do you know, I found the Facebook page Hiddleston’s Army Romania ,cute and bubbly,run by a very nice and kind administrator, Ioana.We started talking, one thing led to another and I told her I was about to go to Cologne to try and meet Mr.Hiddleston himself. Then,all of a sudden,without having met her prior to this, I asked her if she wanted to come to Germany,stay at my place and join me to Cologne. The plan was unachievable, but funnily enough, I felt that I could talk to her openly and about everything, as if I’d known her for years. I then went on to tell her I would ask Tom for an autograph for her too and with all these in mind, I travelled to the other side of Germany ,making a trip that would change my life, bringing a lot of positivity to it,when I needed it most.
Alone in Cologne, I got to know a wonderful group of mostly-German girls,very friendly,all die-hard Tom Hiddleston fans. Meeting him was almost surreal, he was extremely nice to us,knowing too well that we had waited 6 hours to see him,he took photos with each one of us,talked to us a little bit,all in all,he charmed us for good. Proof of this magic moment stands my set of photos which can be consulted on our Fan-page called Hiddleston’s Army Romania (https://www.facebook.com/#!/media/set/?set=a.124065351073026.38021.100530316759863&type=3) . I also asked for his autograph for „my sister, Ioana,who unfortunately could not make it to Germany” and hearing about Romania,Tom was pleasantly surprised to learn that he was known even there too. Back home,I couldn’t wait to show the autograph to Ioana,who was very happy and subsequently offered me the position of the other Hiddleston’s Army Romania administrator,the beautiful,sassy page,Romania’s first dedicated to Mr.Hiddleston.
Needless to say, I accepted her offer straight away and from August 2012, I am living this amazing experience,in the middle of our family,as I like to call it,who is constantly growing, day by day.
Our page and project have always been international,not just exclusively Romanian, altough I have to say, every time we see a new Romanian member, our hearts are filled with joy, because we firstly want to make a name for ourselves in our native Romania and then world-wide.
As Ioana mentioned, we are juggling with foreign languages as well, beside our main-Romanian. We both have a native-level of English and French, Ioana also speaks Italian and I am a Greek and German speaker as well, skills which allow us to interact widely with our international members. Our page has something special about it, the fact that all the time or in 90% of the cases, we personally reply to each and every comment, idea, daring project, fan-art of our fans, whom we support fully.
Tom Hiddleston is a unique, complete artist, very well brought-up, intelligent, well-behaved, a true British gentleman, not to mention charming and handsome. It was just a matter of time till I would become one of his avid fans, especially after having met him.
2. First time I ever noticed Tom Hiddleston was…
I actually noticed his blond-reddish curls when he was starring in Wallander, next to the great Sir Kenneth Branagh. I quickly became interested in this show thanks to a well-written script and such a magnific performance of its cast. Tom Hiddleston didn’t particulary stay in my memory, slowly fadding away, until 2011, when I was practically dragged to see „Thor”. I can say, hand on heart,watching that movie meant for me watching only the raven-haired actor who portrayed Loki, the God of Mischief. I never for a second made a connection to the blond curly actor from Wallander till some weeks later,when I was reading some „Thor” reviews and I managed to find out the name of the actor who was almost too sexy for his Loki role. Ever since I became totally spell-bound by Tom Hiddleston,started searching for his TV appearances, interviews, photos. For the first time in my life I was joining the League of Fan-girls.
3. Past, present and future projects
We call our page, joking,’’the little page that could”, one of our Mottos being „Go hard or go home”. Till now we have never backed away from any idea, no matter how daring or crazy it seemed at first. We learned to believe in ourselves and in what we could achieve,as long as we would put our minds at work. Ioana and myself complete eachother profesionally and as friends very well. She writes movie reviews sublimely and deliciously, knows how to extract the essential out of everything and has a developed critical sense. I am bringing to the mix my desire to become a PR based on my prior Marketing Specialist experience and on the feeling that I can have a good career in the PR industry, interacting with people with love and honesty, as Tom Hiddleston taught me to. He inspired also my wrist tattoo of the „Only Lovers Left Alive” phrase.
So far, we managed without any support, to nail successful collaborations with projects from the United Stated, UK, Hungary, Romania.We received as a gift a set of two black and white prints from Tom Hiddleston’s photoshoot for Flaunt Magazine, from his photographer himself, Mr.Jason Hetherington. We also participated to the very first edition of the East European Comic Con, held last March in Bucharest, Romania, where we had the pleasant surprise of people coming especially to meet and greet us and learn more about us. I personally invited a UNICEF Romania representative to the event, who honoured us with her presence .We collaborated for one of our competitions with an UK – based Magazine, 1883 Magazine, who were our generous sponsors, offering us a free copy of their 4thIssue, dedicated to Tom Hiddleston,issue which was our Romanian winner’s cherished prize. We also create and maintain a lot of other smaller collaborations with various international and national projects, building ourselves slowly but surely a name and a reputation in the Romanian and not only movies,media and self-based projects. We started from absolute scratch and we are moving forward with some very daring plans, first of their kind in Romania, which we hope to successfully conclude. Of course, you will be updated about everything, as things unfold.
Our biggest goal is to offer something different and special to Tom’s Romanian and international fans, through our work,which is why I ask of your kind support, keep your fingers crossed for us!
We also invite you to visit our website, www.tomhiddlestonromania.jimdo.com ,and to read all our original articles and interviews. Personally I take a lot of pride in the interview of a very famous Mangaka and Cosplayer from Germany, called Fahr Sindram,published on the internet page of an all female all geek Magazine, called Paper Droids (http://www.paperdroids.com/2013/06/10/fahr-sindram-meeting-loki/ ).
You all are more than welcome to contact us at any time on Facebook, Twitter, our website or on our e-mail address give us some feed-back, share with us ideas and plans,thoughts and comments, positive or negative. We will be more than happy to read and reply to all.
I thank everyone who believed and believes in us,who support and work with us. Thank you to all who read these words of mine, to my parents, to my partner and to Ioana. Especially to Ioana, from all my heart.
„Sky’s the limit.Your sky,your limit”. (Tom Hiddleston)
1.When,how and why?
Slightly joking, I always come back to the day of July 4th, 2012, when I can say that the Hiddleston Romanian Fan-page project started existing as an idea. I „blame” for this, only in the good way, the Tom-pages from Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand. Out of curiosity, I searched on Facebook for a Romanian page dedicated to actors and TV-shows. I found such fan-pages for True Blood, The Vampire Diaries and Supernatural. I already knew they existed but I hadn’t joined yet „the party”. Of course, a Romanian page dedicated to Tom Hiddleston was yet to be created, so, on the 6th of July 2012, at around 20h (Romanian time), this audacious project „was born”. It was a day before the Hollow Crown series were airing and with this occasion, I started getting an insight from the world of fandoms. During those days, I discovered fans from Romania scattered all over the world, together with fans from Italy, Greece, Canada, France, Germany, the UK. So I decided to make of my project more than just a simple Fan-page,with news and photos, and make it known as much as possible. I also got ambitioned inspired by those Facebook pages, which now are among our Partner-Pages, I learned a lot from their administrators and I started practicing my newly-found knowledge on my own Facebook page,which in August would receive its newest family-member.
Both Miriam and myself understood quite soon what was going to work and what not for our page, how to attract and get to know our fans, to interact and involve them in our projects,how to offer them more than a set of photos and videos of Tom. The Tom Hiddleston fandom is generally based on a firm set of rules: honesty, respect, compassion, solidarity. It may sound a bit pathethic, but from last year, my general vision and understanding of things has dramatically changed. I used to be an incurable Bucharest-born cinic, and I am slowly becoming someone able to see the light and kindness of people around her. Of course, Tom Hiddleston influenced me too in this way, by reading numerous articles and interviews of him, back in April and May 2012 and I was amazed that people like him still exist.
„Sky’s the limit.Your sky, your limit.” These words of his opened a journey of knowledge for me, taking me back to what I really enjoy doing, regaining my courage and self-confidence. I realized I can achieve what I set my mind to and having my parents by my side, I also had and have Miriam, my friend and partner on our two Fan-pages: Hiddleston’s Army Romania and Marvel Cinematic Universe Romania.
2. First time I ever noticed Tom Hiddleston was…
I was and am a huge Kenneth Branagh fan. I literally devoured in the 90s all his movies which were broadcast on TV. I loved the way he was able to play in William Shakespeare’s creations. There I was just a kid who was reading everything she could get her hands on and sometimes, I am not ashamed to admit it, even after having seen its TV adaptation, Branagh opened my taste for British literature. Hamlet, Henry the 5th, Othello, Much Ado about Nothing, all his performances on stage and on screen were and are electrifying.
About 10 years ago, I saw a tremendously shocking movie about The Final Solution adopted in the Second World War. From the movie’s first minutes I noticed a young, blond, slender man with big, blue eyes, who for some reason stayed in my head. That young man was Tom Hiddleston and I saw him again after years and years in Wallander staring alongside Kenneth Branagh. Then, I started following his career. In 2011 came his break-through moment,”Thor”. I was always a big Marvel Comics and movies fan and I call myself a fully-bread Geek-girl. After seeing „Thor” I was very surprised by how Branagh managed to put a Shakespeare twist into such a classic Norse myth, bringing family drama in the movie , which became so much more than just a Comics adaptation on screen,also thanks to Tom Hiddleston’s acting,an incredibly successful combination of vulnerability and arrogance. Loki,the “bad guy” managed to reach, as Kevin Feige said, the level of Magneto portrayed by Sir Ian McKellen. Through War Horse, The Deep Blue Sea and Midnight in Paris I discovered the chameleonic ability of Tom Hiddleston’s acting. I also admired his work in movies which are not very known to most,s uch as Unrelated and Archipelago, both directed by Joanna Hogg, who was making the most out of any trace of minimalism in her movies.
The Hollow Crown series only made me admire more Tom Hiddleston. Any actor, British or not, would like to play Hal/King Henry V and most have already tried a version of their own, including Tom’s mentor, Sir Kenneth Branagh. The very famous Saint Crispin Day speech has been studied and shown in many productions, to be found even in X-Men: The Last Stand. It is the type of monologue which makes or breaks a young actor and performer. In the evenings of July 2012,I was reciting along Tom Hiddleston and all the rest of his fans those lines, as I was watching the BBC-live streaming, “we few, we happy, we band of brothers”.
3. Past,present and future projects
There were numerous times in which the Hiddleston-fans have proved that they were more than just a fandom. The Hiddlestoners, in which we are also members representing Romania ,have supported Tom’s humanitarian projects with Unicef UK and IF Foundation and we have always encouraged gifted young people, such as Cosplay-ers, graphic artists, painters, wonderful people that we try to promote and bring into the spotlight through our pages. We take a lot of pride in our fans and projects. At the East European Comic Con we understood how much we evolved since 2012 and I will always be grateful to those people that came to meet Miriam and me, to talk to us, to hear about our news and ideas. I would like to thank them again for participating to our projects and for supporting us.
It is not easy managing these pages. Currently we use 6 international circulation languages when interacting with our fans who come from all over the world. I thank all those who put their faith into a small but ambitious page.
Since August 2012,when Miriam joined forces with mine, we both started going on a crazy yet sublime path at the same time. Ambitioning one another, we both wanted to make so much more than just a simple Fan-page and to prove that if you really want something, you can make it happen. We are so proud with what we have accomplished so far. We have under our belt published reviews for all of Tom’s movies, partnerships and competitions with prizes, among which the famous Issue no.4 of the 1883 Magazine (more details here). We are working hard on a series of surprises for this fall’s launch of “Thor: The Dark World” and for Tom’s return to the theater stage in winter ,starring in Coriolanus, and also for Jim Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive.
Hiddleston’s Army Romania is not our only “baby”, from December 2012, we created and manage the Marvel Cinematic Universe Romania page. Both our projects have Facebook and Twitter pages, as well as sites on Tumblr and wordpress platforms. It is clear that the MCU Romania project was born from our passion for Marvel books and comics. I am a Thor, Captain America, Iron Man fan, but I was also drawn to their negative characters, so well sketched and played. I adored Sir Ian McKellen as Magneto, Hugo Weaving as Red Skull, Jeff Bridges as Obadiah Stane. The very first negative character I liked a lot is actually a tie between Jack Nicholson’s Nathan R. Jessup and Tom Berenger’s Pluton. In my opinion, playing the bad guy demands much more versatility from an actor, gives you a chance to go into the darkness and then rise up again, rise and fall, as Oliver Stone would put it. Back to our Marvel Romania page, we were happy to discover other dedicated fans like we are and therefore we work on that page in the same manner as for our Tom Hiddleston one. A good day’s work means 2 or 3 press articles about Tom, 5 or 6 when it comes to Marvel,2-3 photosets and the fun begins when we have to deal with movie festivals or movie premieres. Then we are working 24/7 and as fast as we can. Keeping our fans up to date with what is happening in real time has gained us a type of recognition and appreciation not only from them but also from UK and US sites, offering us exclusivity for some news. Even if we are fans’ pages for the fans, we never publish simple rumors and gossip about Tom. We will not suffer and be heart-broken if he is in a relationship, we never encourage fans attacking one another on our pages, we have created a Set of Rules that we respect and so far so good.
I also run a site dedicated to all things movies and movie reviews and other geek-related stuff, http://ioanaralucapopescu.ro/ and another Facebook page-together with Miriam and Adela-dedicated to Robert Downey Junior. There is not a second free to get bored, as both Miriam and I have also a normal day-job to deal with. We both absolutely love what we do and we are very proud for opening the way of promoting more and more Tom Hiddleston in Romania.
We are very set to prove that fans are an important element in collaborations with movie distributors, with publicists and actors and mostly that our fans are sane and educated people with common sense and rational.
I conclude with a Tom Hiddleston quote:” Sometimes you have to go a long way round the houses to come home. I haven’t had to fight quite so many gods and monsters as Odysseus. But it’s been one hell of a journey, so far. “