Tom Hiddleston is an unlikely pin-up.
His visage is pale as porcelain. Laugh lines cloak his too-young 32-year-old eyes. His ears are oddly unbalanced organic forms triangulating into a smooth chin on the quirkier side of slender.
His lips are too thin and his screen hair as the villain Loki in Thor: The Dark World - that back- combed, forehead-exposing cascade of Brylcreemed dark waves - has maximum badass effect on film.
Luckily for him, not all of the hair is real.
"This one was an extension… I had a lot of help," the British actor says, speaking in an one-on-one interview in London. "The only time it was my own hair was in the first Thor film, when it was grown out and dyed."
So how did this young antagonist turn the tables on the blond-haired, blue-eyed hunk of an Australian leading man Chris Hemsworth in not one but three movies, including Thor (2011) and The Avengers (2012)?
As the latest instalment of Norse mythologyinspired adventure The Dark World opens this week, Hiddleston smiles benignly at having scored the best quips and scene-stealing moments as the not-your-usual-baddie.
"There's a vulnerability to Loki's deviousness, he's a cocktail of different things," Hiddleston explains.
"We go through two hours of hair and make-up. After I come out of the other side, the mask of Loki - the black hair, the costume - changes my features so severely I think my own playfulness is distorted.
"If I'm just playing mischievous, I look more wicked because of the shape I'm in. But also, he is the god of mischief. If you look up the dictionary, it says: an inclination to be playful, to tease. Or it says: destruction or damage, and it sums him up in lots of ways."