Director Kate Herron explores why villains are often the most interesting characters.
It’s not every day you get to make a TV show about your favourite character, but that’s exactly what Kate Herron got to do when she was chosen to direct Marvel’s new Disney+ series Loki. Best known for her work on British comedy-drama Sex Education, Kate talks to Woman about landing her dream job and her passion for storytelling.
How did it feel to join the Marvel Universe?
It was incredible. Basically, I really, really wanted this job and I put together this big 60-page document with ideas and design, music, story… everything you can think of. I knew I was up against some really experienced directors for the job, but I figured I would be the most passionate going in there – it worked, and it has completely changed my life!
What do you enjoy most about directing? And, did you always want to be a director?
Honestly, I think I just love storytelling. I’ve always written stories, I used to write Lord of the Rings fanfiction, actually, which was a bit of a route to directing. I love how you are there from beginning to end. I used to always write short stories when I was growing up, but I didn’t realise that I could make films, have a voice and be a storyteller. That was something I discovered when I got into movies, so that’s why I love directing.
Can you tell us a bit about Loki and what drew you to the project?
I’ve always loved villains and I think when they are done right, they are the most complex, interesting characters. You don’t necessarily have to agree with their actions, but you have to understand them. For me, I feel Loki is a masterclass in that. Obviously in the last decade we’ve seen him go from villain to anti-hero, but I think even at his most villainous he’s someone you can’t help but root for. So, I wanted to be a part of the next step of his story.
Who is your biggest inspiration?
I’m part of a group back in England called Cinesisters, it’s a female directing collective. We meet monthly and talk about our experiences on set. Beyond that, it’s a platform of established, cool female directors in England so people can find a database of our work. All the women in that group are really badass, they are all doing really interesting work, and I think they inspire me and spur me on to keep going. I’m very grateful for them.
If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
I’m an introvert, so probably invisibility, right? That could be quite handy, because I’m quite shy, so it would be nice to have that in the back pocket.
Finally, who is your favourite Marvel character and why?
Loki, 100%! Honestly, because – and it’s something we explore in our show – is anyone truly bad or truly good, and do your past actions define you? I think we’ve seen him struggle with a lot of demons in those very questions. He’s just someone I find very interesting and complex, and I think Tom Hiddleston’s performance over the last decade has just really captured a lot of people. There is a really beautiful quote from [the comic book] Loki: The God Who Fell to Earth by Daniel Kibblesmith: “I am Loki, God of Outcasts, they see themselves in me and I in them”. I think that really captures what I love about Loki and I think what connects a lot of people to him as well.
Loki is streaming now on Disney+