Tom Hiddleston: People are fascinated by extremity
Tom Hiddleston says films like High-Rise appeal because humans are "fascinated by extremity".
Hiddleston plays the part of Dr Robert Laing, who moves into a luxury high-rise tower block with full amenities where the super-rich are at the top and the merely wealthy at the bottom.
He is drawn into the chaos as the residents, cut off from society by their self-containment, turn against each other in tribal class warfare.
Speaking at the red carpet premiere in London's Leicester Square as part of the BFI London Film Festival, he said: "I think we are fascinated by extremity.
"Whether we choose to tell stories about the end of the world or aliens or zombies or something, some event that pushes us into a physically extreme place: Who are we in those moments? Who are we when there's some terrible, cataclysmic event?"
The film is based on the 1975 JG Ballard novel of the same name.
Hiddleston, 34, continued: "I think Ballard tapped into that, and that's really what High-Rise is - it's a microcosm of British civilisation, trapped in a tower block, and things start to go terribly wrong."
The film stars Luke Evans as incendiary tower block resident Richard Wilder, Elizabeth Moss as his wife Helen Wilder, and Sienna Miller as Charlotte Melville - aide to the tower's architect, Anthony Royal, who is played by Jeremy Irons.
On working with Hiddleston, Moss, 33, said: "To be honest I had no idea that he was a big famous movie star, because he was such a working actor, and he was so serious about the work, and I don't watch any of the Marvel movies or superhero movies.
"So I sort of didn't even realise about the 'Tom Hiddleston' thing. I just knew him as a very good, very hardworking actor."
Miller, 33, said: "I think a lot of the commentary that the film is making is really fascinating and there are little questions we have to ask ourselves."
Director Ben Wheatley said films focusing on societal collapse appealed because "it's not a million miles away from what our lives could be".
He explained: "It comes from our recent experiences with the banking crisis. There was a moment when all the banks collapsed, and none of our credit cards would have worked, and High-Rise would have looked like quite small beans in comparison."
Wheatley added: "Hiddleston fans can expect a large dose of Tom, dancing naked occasionally, and generally being brilliant."