Sophia Di Martino on the Finale, Jonathan Majors, and Season 2

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[Editor’s note: The following contains spoilers through the Season 1 finale of Loki, “For All Time. Always.”]

Since her introduction at the end of Episode 2, Sophia Di Martino‘s depiction of Sylvie, the female variant of Loki introduced midway through her campaign of vengeance against the TVA, has been a defining aspect of Disney+’s Loki. And, as we learned in the season finale, the story of Loki isn’t over yet — though what’s in store is pretty nebulous, following Sylvie’s betrayal of Loki (Tom Hiddleston) after what was their first and what might be their last kiss.

In a one-on-one conversation with Di Martino via Zoom, Collider asked about working with Jonathan Majors in his MCU debut, what it was like having both fight scenes and more romantic scenes with Hiddleston, and of course what the conversations around Season 2 have been like.

Collider: To start off, when did you have a sense that there would be a second season of Loki?

DI MARTINO: I mean, there’d been rumors for a while, but I still haven’t heard officially if it’s happening, like officially, officially. I only know what I know through reading the news. And I know, because you guys know, because of the tag at the end of Episode 6.

I was going to say, that feels like a pretty official thing, but it doesn’t sound like anyone has shown up at your doorstep with paperwork.

DI MARTINO: No, nothing. Nothing like that.

Now, does that mean that when you watched it, were you given a full script of the sixth episode?

DI MARTINO: Yes. We got one episode at a time. So I wasn’t given Episode 6 until like midway through shooting Episode 5.

So in that situation, what was your initial reaction to reading, especially like the last, say, 10 pages or so.

DI MARTINO: Just like, holy crap. This is massive. How exciting. Woof. And then also, “who’s going to play He Who Remains, I need to know because it’s such an amazing part and such incredible speeches he has. I wanted to imagine who would play him, but I couldn’t have ever imagined the way Jonathan would have done it. So brilliant.

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Image via Disney+

In terms of working with Jonathon Majors, what was that experience like? Just because I feel like he brought such a different energy to the role than I think anyone would have ever expected.

DI MARTINO: Yeah. He just exploded onto that set with so much energy and nothing like we could ever have imagined. It was a lot of fun and he was brilliant. You know, people were saying this is going to be something really special, whispering behind the camera. He was so eccentric and fun and kind of terrifying. Very easy for Tom and I to just sit and listen to him for a few days. Very entertaining.

Yeah. In rewatching the episode, it’s still so striking to me the way that, after Sylvie stabs him, he makes barely any noise.

DI MARTINO: Because he knows that it’s a possibility, I think. So maybe he’s had a long time to sort of imagine every scenario. Yeah. It’s kind of creepy, isn’t it? The way he does that.

When you were breaking down the script for Episode 6, were you talking about Kang the Conqueror? Were you talking about the comic book backstory there?

DI MARTINO: I don’t remember talking about the comic book backstory of Episode 6. But you know, to be honest, it was all very quick. Especially with Episode 6, we got the script pretty late in the day. So there wasn’t that much mining to be done, to be honest. I’m not sure about Jonathan’s experience, but for me, it was sort of pretty late in the day, just in the case of learning my lines and trying to make sure I didn’t mess that up.

Of course — and it makes sense in terms of where your character is coming from.

DI MARTINO: Exactly. So I just need to know at that point, I just need to know what’s going on for Sylvie.

In that case, in your head, what was going on for Sylvie in those scenes?

DI MARTINO: Oh my goodness. So much. I mean, so much happens in like 30 seconds. Doesn’t it?

Definitely. But even before the final sequences, it’s very dialogue-heavy and there’s a lot of listening. In playing that, what was important for you?

DI MARTINO: To really listen and to really take on board what he was saying to us at that point, and then to choose not to believe him. For Sylvie, she’s just on a revenge mission from the minute she walks into that building, she knows that she wants to kill someone. When they’re in the elevator with him, she’s already taking swipes at him. She just wants to get him with her machete. And I think she’s just so laser-focused on that goal, that he could have said anything to her and her priority wouldn’t have changed.

So you don’t think there was ever a moment in that whole sequence where Sylvie was tempted, not tempted by the possibilities presented, but tempted to believe him?

DI MARTINO: I think there’s a moment that he really pushes Sylvie’s buttons when he’s talking about you have been on a long journey and it’s been really tough for you, hasn’t it? And you can’t trust anyone. You think you can trust him. And he starts playing mind games with them, playing them off against each other. And I think at that point, he plants a seed of doubt in her mind about Loki, but I think her mission to want to kill him doesn’t change. She’s absolutely married to that idea. And that feeling is so strong that she chooses it over Loki in the end.

loki-episode-6-social

From your perspective, where does that come from?

DI MARTINO: Just revenge. Like having her life taken away from her, her life ruined, spending her whole life on the run, this sort of anger. And if you want to think of it in these terms, her “glorious purpose.” I went there.

I don’t think you got to say those words during the show, so I’m glad you got this moment now.

DI MARTINO: Yeah. I’m saying it as much as I can now.

RELATED: ‘Loki’ Episode 6 Easter Eggs Explained: Everything You Might Have Missed

Later in the episode, this wasn’t the first time you had a fight sequence with Tom Hiddleston, but did it feel different from the episodes you shot earlier?

DI MARTINO: Yeah, it did. This scene was far more emotive. There was a lot more going on for both of them. It was the breakup scene. It was the fight that you have when you are leaving someone. And it’s so painful because you care about this person, but you just can’t be with them for whatever reason. And that’s how that felt.

Which is so interesting because of course what happens at the end of it is that there’s a kiss and it’s given the whole big Hollywood romantic music treatment.

DI MARTINO: Yeah. I mean, but that often happens when you’re splitting up with someone, doesn’t it? Just one last time, a sweet goodbye. It’s kind of like a goodbye kiss in a way.

Of course. But it was also, unless I’m missing something, the first kiss.

DI MARTINO: Yeah. It was. And it had been building up for a long, long time. I think it was ultimately a goodbye kiss and a clap away for Sylvie to physically turn him around so she could get hold of that TemPad and zap him back to the TVA.

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Image via Disney+

Yeah, of course. In terms of that, in general, I feel like there’s a temptation to just kind of look at the Loki and Sylvie relationship as a straightforward romance, which of course it is very much not. From your perspective, what was it about that you worked hard to lean into.

DI MARTINO: I think it’s about sort of self-love and acceptance as well as being a romance story. And for Sylvie, she’s sort of shedding everything she doesn’t need before she gets to He Who Remains so she can kill him. She gets rid of her cape, she gets rid of her horns. She ultimately gets rid of Loki. It’s just not serving her in that moment. And it’s so cold to think of it that way. But I think that’s what was happening. That and the fact that she wanted him to be safe. So, she’s kind of saving him by pushing him through that time door as well.

And if you’re going to think of it as like an exploration of self-acceptance and self-love, that’s also interesting because she showed sort-of, I don’t know, getting rid of a part of herself that isn’t serving her anymore at the same time as keeping it safe.

It’s really interesting to hear you talk about it that way, because it makes me think about how the one thing that came out, especially I think in Episode 5, is the idea that knowing Sylvie made Loki a better person in some fundamental ways. And I’m wondering about the opposite of that. What did knowing Loki mean for Sylvie?

DI MARTINO: I think it’s slightly different for Sylvie. I don’t know if he’s made her a better person. I don’t know if she’s allowed herself to change yet. Loki’s been quite brave and he’s changed. He’s a changed person by the end of that series. Sylvie is still hell-bent on her mission and she still chooses it over caring about someone else. So maybe she’s yet to make that change.

So in talking about the scene like it’s a breakup… Season 1 ends with the characters being very separated and of course, Season 2 is very much a nebulous thing at the moment, but people break up all the time and get back together. In your head, do you see there being still some sort of future for the characters as a couple?

DI MARTINO: It would definitely be fun to see them in the same room together again, wouldn’t it? I’m fascinated. Yeah. After that, I’m fascinated to see what Loki has to say to Sylvie after doing that to him. Who knows? Never say never. I’m really excited to see what they come up with because it could go in so many different directions, but surely they have to come face to face again at some point.

It’s like that awkward party after you’ve broken up with someone and you see them again. And that first conversation, whether it’s in public or not, it’s sorts of awful, but such a relief once it’s been done.

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Something that’s been kind of a topic of discussion when it comes to talking about romance on screen is a quality that a lot of leading men have — for lack of a better term, the ability to give their love interest a Look. I’ve consulted with others and we feel like Tom Hiddleston has the look or has the ability to deliver the look. And I’m curious what it’s like to be on the other side of it.

DI MARTINO: Tom’s a very charming man and he could definitely make people go weak at the knees by just giving them a look. My reaction to that is always to sort of make a joke and run away. So there was probably a lot of that on set, breaking the tension by being a goofball.

I just had to react as Sylvie. And Sylvie’s got these walls up. She doesn’t let anyone in and that includes Loki. So sure there’s a sort of, oh, this person is not as I thought they were. I’m warming to them. But Sylvie’s not an easy nut to crack.

Is it fun getting to play that kind of strength?

DI MARTINO: Yeah. It’s awesome because when her defenses do come down and she’s vulnerable, it’s really interesting. And you start to see all of the stuff that’s buried underneath and that’s what makes her a great character to play.

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Image via Disney+

So, how do you feel about there being a second season? Do you feel like if there hadn’t been a second season, you would have gotten the closure you wanted to from the story?

DI MARTINO: Probably not. I want to know what happens just like everyone else. I’m super excited and I just can’t wait to see which direction they’re going because it could be infinite directions.

Do you have a sense that there might’ve been different aspects to it, had COVID not been an issue?

DI MARTINO: I think COVID actually probably made it a lot better. We had a five months hiatus and Kate and the producers and writers worked a lot on episodes five and six during that time. And as far as I’ve heard, a lot changed for the better. They could rewatch what we’d already shot and just carry on working on the scripts and developing them. So I think it was great to have that time actually, as awful in most ways it was, that was the silver lining of it.

Very. Yeah. So looking forward, I imagine if there’s a second season, you’re on board if you get asked.

DI MARTINO: Hopefully. Hope so.

By the way, I was really excited to see the story about how your costume was designed to allow you to breastfeed during shooting. That seems like it was a really special detail.

DI MARTINO: Yeah, really, really. I’m just so grateful that that happened. It made my life so much easier and it was important to me that I carried on doing that. So it was just the little things and it’s just saved a lot of time. Practically, it was a godsend.

Of course. So looking forward, what’s next for you?

DI MARTINO: Lots of interviews. Lots of being able to talk about episode six finally, and then, who knows? An infinite possibility. So yeah, I’m excited to see what happens and to see people’s reactions to the series because people are still catching up. People are still watching and rewatching it and probably go on.

Yeah. I mean, I imagine that you’re going to be cosplayed at various conventions over the next several decades probably.

DI MARTINO: Do you think? That blows my mind.

I mean, cosplaying has a long legacy to it.

DI MARTINO: It’s so cool. The way that people are already making Sylvie horns and crafting them from scratch and spraying them. And there’s one woman that’s just sewn a whole suit together and it looks exactly like my costume. It’s so impressive, the love and attention people put into it.

Are you getting an action figure?

DI MARTINO: I don’t know. Hopefully. What would I do with it? Maybe I could use it as a cake topper. Who knows? But that would be a very cool thing to have, wouldn’t it?

Loki Season 1 is streaming now on Disney+.

KEEP READING: ‘Loki’ Season 2: Tom Hiddleston Says “Deep Discussions” Are Already Happening


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