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Surprising Vietnamese fans, Tom Hiddleston shows up at ‘Kong: Skull Island’ press conference

Monday, February 22, 2016, 16:03 GMT+7

The British actor landed in Hanoi early Sunday to join his crew in ‘Kong: Skull Island’ at the movie’s press conference despite prior news about his absence from the scenes to be filmed in Vietnam.

He reportedly boarded the plane to Hanoi shortly after the closing of the 66th Berlin International Film Festival in Germany.

Joining him at the media briefing in the Vietnamese capital were director Jordan Vogt-Roberts, Hollywood stars Samuel L. Jackson and Brie Larson, and U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Ted Osius.

The BAFTA-nominated actor is best known for his role as the super villain Loki in Marvel’s The Avengers franchise.

BAFTA, or the British Academy Awards, is presented annually by the British Academy of Films and Television Arts to honor outstanding figures in the British film and television industry of the year.

Hiddleston greeted Vietnamese fans and media with a smile and sent his greetings in Vietnamese.

“The crew of ‘Kong: Skull Island’ has already picked their desired sets for the film in Vietnam,” Ambassador Ted Osius said at the conference. “They will surely be amazed by not only the scenery but also the friendly and hospitable people of this country.”

“I believe this event will highlight Vietnam’s immense potential as a tourist destination,” the diplomat added.

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U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Ted Osius (2nd R) poses for picture with the crew of ‘Kong: Skull Island’ at the film’s press conference in Hanoi, February 21, 2016. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Vuong Duy Bien, Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, gave his remarks, “Cooperation in culture, actualized by the coming of such a widely acclaimed film crew to Vietnam, is the most concrete evidence of the cordial relations between Vietnam and the U.S.”

“I would like to deliver my thanks to the crew for having chosen Vietnam as the set for a part of your movie,” the deputy minister continued. “I do believe and hope the scenes shot in Vietnam will contribute to the film’s overall success and will help promote Vietnam’s image on a global scale as well as attracting future U.S. filmmakers to our country.”

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Tom Hiddleston waves at reporters as he enters the press conference for ‘Kong: Skull Island’ in Hanoi on February 21, 2016. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Director Jordan Vogt-Roberts also opened up about his reasons for filming ‘Kong: Skull Island’ in Vietnam, saying he had been “trying to find new settings for the movie.”

“For example, when people think about ‘Jurassic Park,’ they would think of Hawaii. What viewers want to see when they go to the cinema are new and original landscapes and scenery, so we had to travel the world to offer them new experiences,” the director said.

“We came to Vietnam during the process and were immediately stunned by the surreal beauty of your country, from the mountains to the vistas of everywhere we set foot on. We believe movie fans in the U.S. would wonder in awe as to where this beautiful place is.”

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Tom Hiddleston (L) and director Jordan Vogt-Roberts at the press conference for ‘Kong: Skull Island’ in Hanoi, February 21, 2016. Photo: Tuoi Tre

The director disclosed that he had wanted to visit Vietnam in his college years, but the plan fell through as he was involved in a film project then.

“I had even applied for a visa!” he recalled. “So coming to Vietnam for this film is a chance for me to fulfill that pending dream.”

The American director assured Vietnamese fans that the scenes filmed in the Southeast Asian country would be included in the movie’s trailer, “though we haven’t known exactly how.”

“We do know, however, that our singular feelings here will be conveyed in the movie, that’s one thing for sure, and images of Vietnam will definitely appear a lot in our marketing campaign,” he promised.

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From left: Brie Larson, Tom Hiddleston, and Samuel L. Jackson at the press conference for ‘Kong: Skull Island’ in Hanoi, February 21, 2016. Photo: Facebook

When asked about his character in ‘Kong: Skull Island, Hiddleston showed his excitement for the role, “I have always wanted to challenge myself in different roles. I will try my best to play out this one. Unlike my previous roles, the character I play in Kong is a protagonist. I became an actor because I loved trying out new personalities and experience new genres. There’s something very unique about my character in this movie, so I will try to do him justice.”

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Brie Larson at the press conference for Kong: Skull Island in Hanoi, February 21, 2016. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Golden Globe and BAFTA winning actress Brie Larson avoided giving details about her character, but she revealed that it will portray a positive image of women.

“I don’t think about replacing anyone,” Larson said when asked about her possible replacement of Jennifer Lawrence as ‘the muse of indie films.’ “For now I will just focus on playing the roles that fit me.”

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Samuel L. Jackson (R) is seen taking a selfie with Brie Larson at the press conference for ‘Kong: Skull Island’ in Hanoi, February 21, 2016. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Director Jordan Vogt-Roberts said the filming of ‘Kong: Skull Island’ would not damage the beauty of local landscapes, adding he did not want to “negatively affect the film’s settings. We will try our best not to hurt the environment.”

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Director Jordan Vogt-Roberts (C) is pictured taking a selfie with his ‘Kong: Skull Island’ crew at the press conference in Hanoi, February 21, 2016. Photo: Tuoi Tre

To prepare for the filming of the movie in Vietnam, a logistics team has been living for a whole year in Quang Binh, a province in north-central Vietnam where most of the scenes will be shot.

In the movie, a group of adventurers set foot on an uncharted island in the Pacific Ocean – one so breathtaking that people consider it unreal. Little did they know they just walked into the territory of the legendary King Kong.

The blockbuster is expected to hit cinemas in March 2017.

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Tom Hiddleston (L) and director Jordan Vogt-Roberts enjoying each other’s company at the press conference for Kong: Skull Island in Hanoi, February 21, 2016. Photo: Tuoi Tre

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An overview of the press conference for 'Kong: Skull Island' in Hanoi, February 21, 2016. Photo: Tuoi Tre

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