It was during a set visit for the movie "Thor" that I met Tom Hiddleston for the first time.

He was in full costume as Loki at the time, and he was happy to be talking to reporters about his part in the film as Thor's brother and the instigator of much trouble.  As with any Marvel visit, we were being carefully supervised the entire time by the film's producers, who were working hard to make sure no real secrets were revealed to us.

There was a mishap earlier in the day with video playback that meant we accidentally saw the first 1/3 of the film played back in high speed as a collection of footage, animatics, and artwork, and so I think people were even more on edge than normal.  As we interviewed Hiddleston, Feige had to take a few steps away to take a phone call, and so we pressed our advantage as a group.

"Is it true you're going to also be the bad guy in 'The Avengers'?"

"Yes, one of them," he replied, smile still on his face, and Feige's head whipped around like he was Linda Blair in "The Exorcist."  He came hurrying over, pulled Hiddleston aside, and whispered something to him for a moment.  When Hiddleston rejoined us, his smile was a little more sheepish.  "Maybe I'm not," he continued, getting a good laugh out of all of us.

Now, Hiddleston's finally able to discuss his role in the film and his place in the larger Marvel universe, and he's a great conversation.  He takes this material seriously, and he's happy to dig deep into it when discussing both the text and the subtext.

One of the things I've enjoyed watching is the way ladies react to Hiddleston.  At the press day, there was much swooning in the halls outside his room, more than I witnessed for any of the superheroes.  Seriously, there was another room where you had Thor and Captain America together, and I didn't see any of the reactions I did for Hiddleston.

Ladies love the bad guys, and after "The Avengers" finally hits American theaters, my guess is that phenomenon will continue unabated.

"The Avengers" opens Friday in the US.