Interviewer: Is Loki a bad guy or is he just misunderstood? How do you build on that?
Tom: I think you can look at it both ways. I mean, I think that there is a deeply unhealthy anarchist element in his psyche - um, which is definitely damnable in the court of law I would say but definitely misunderstood. I tried very hard in preparation to think about rooting the chaos and the mischief in a very truthful, psychological trope and I think it comes from the fact that he’s the younger brother, he is not the favourite son, he won’t be the president - he’ll always be the vice-president. He has less responsibility, he’ll never inherit the throne and I think it becomes a competition between two brothers for their father’s love and acceptance - and because Thor is a chip off the old log in terms of - he’s much more like Odin…I think that Thor is easier to love for Odin than Loki - Loki is inclined to his powers of intellect; he’s inclined to the dark arts, magic and sorcery. I think that Odin really doesn’t understand any of that and then through the course of the film you come to understand the truth of Loki’s parenthood….The villainry comes from betrayal, rejection, and loneliness. He doesn’t belong anywhere, he doesn’t belong in this family, he was never a part of this family. It’s the pain of someone who is hurt, has no one whose really giving him any validation as an entity. So there’s both those two things; there’s someone who loves to start a fire and listen to the screams and someone whose also trying to find acceptance in his own heart.
This seems like an accurate character assessment.