Exclusively for our page, Tom Hiddleston Army Romania, Mrs. Allie Esiri answered a few questions about this
exciting new project.
1. What where the ideas that made "the Love book" come into being? What were the thoughts and hopes behind this project?
I co-created the iF Poems
app, which has 270 of the most famous poems that I thought people may want to know. Tom Hiddleston came in to read poems on that. He was brilliant.
2. "From William Shakespeare to J.K. Rowling, Alfred Lord Tennyson to Zelda Fitzgerald [...]" how did you pick each poem ? What were the criteria of selecting a certing author and poem?
On this app, I wanted poems all around the theme of love. I thought too that online, if you search 'a love poem', you just get too many! I thought a curated anthology is a more manageable amount. Someone doing the editing for you may be helpful for people.
3. Did you choose the poems for each actor to recite or did they have the chance to participate at selecting one of their choice?
I did choose poems for the actors. Helena B-C is incredibly talented at being funny, so I gave her many of the funny poems to read. Plus, of course, as Bellatrix in Harry Potter, I thought it would be perfect for her to read the J.K. Rowling extracts. Helen McCrory is an outstanding classical actress and so I gave her many of the tricky sonnets! Gina Bellman was very involved with her choices and she requested some that she wanted to read. I insisted that she read the Virginia Woolf letter, using Woolf'a accent. In her big TV show, Leverage, she always did different accents and she is so good at them, I begged her to try this. She did it perfectly. We had a lot of fun in the studio. Likewise Damian Lewis does an American accent utterly perfectly in 'Homeland' so I asked him to do the Whitman poems in an American accent.
Tom suggested a few that he
particularly wanted to read and he also suggested a few poems he wanted to be included. There is more audio of all of the actors coming at a later date. Some of his choices will be released then.
He is not only a talented actor, but he is extremely intelligent and understands the poems completely. He brings so much intelligence and talent to each one.
4. How was it to work with Tom Hiddleston and Helena Bonham Carter ?
They recorded together on iF Poems, which was really good fun. Have you heard 'Us Two?' - it is one of my favourite things in the world!
5. Why was Tom Hiddleston between the chosen actors for this project?
Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton suggested Tom Hiddleston to me. Also, I have another friend who had visited the set of 'A Deep Blue Sea' and noticed that he was talking about poetry with Rachel Weisz, so she had also said to me, 'What about Tom Hiddleston?' They were all incredibly helpful and I am very grateful!
6. Will there be a Love Book part 2 or something similar?
There is a book, due on Valentine's Day and more audio, as I said, to come soon. There is also lots more to be added to the website www.iLiterature.net and the Facebook and Twitter accounts.
7. Which one out of all the poems is your personal favorite and why?
I adore so many - it is a bit like being asked, who is my favourite child?! One of my favourites is 'Life Story' by Tennessee Williams. And 'May I feel, said he' by E.E. Cummings is brilliantly passionate and funny at the same time.
Don't forget to participate to our project: Tom Hiddleston's Poems of the World and submit your own poem of choice.