Tom Hiddleston Has a Message for Fans of The Essex Serpent Book

In an E! News exclusive interview, Tom Hiddleston addressed whether Apple TV+'s The Essex Serpent is faithful to the novel by Sarah Perry. See what he had to say here!

By Jillian Fabiano May 13, 2022 12:00 PMTags
Watch: Tom Hiddleston Calls The Essex Serpent Book a "Gift" for the Series

Essex Serpent book fans: Tom Hiddleston says you're going to like what you see.

The 41-year-old actor stars alongside Claire Danes in Apple TV+'s new series The Essex Serpent, based on the 2016 British novel of the same name by Sarah Perry. In an E! News exclusive interview, Tom shared his hopes for fans of the novel. 

"I really hope that fans of the book find things to interest them and to engage them in the series" he said. "I think we were very faithful."

And while some may view starring in a series with a large fan base stressful, Tom said "it doesn't feel like pressure," in fact, he views the "existence of the book" as a "gift."

"Sarah Perry, the writer, has created so much interior life for every character," Tom shared, "So it's something that you can fold into the performance and interpret."

The book may have been a gift to you, Tom, but your presence in the show is a present for us.

Tom Hiddleston: Movie Star
Apple TV+

While the series remains true to the story—which follows a London widow named Cora Seaborne (Danes) who moves to Essex to investigate reports of a mythical serpent—Tom admitted his portrayal "has to be an interpretation."

"When [Sarah's writing] it's her imagination and, in a way, she is inhabiting every character," Tom explained, "and then when it hands over to us, we create a kind of collected and shared imagination."

Tom Hiddleston and Claire Danes Reckon With a Mythical Sea Dragon in Essex Serpent Trailer

And Claire agrees that the series is on par with the book.

"I don't think it is very different," the actress said.  "So much of the book is about the environment that they're in and nature as the sublime and I think [director Clio Barnard] captured that really brilliantly and beautifully."

She continued, "It's just another opportunity to get lost in that world that we worked very hard to spin."

The Essex Serpent is now available to stream on Apple TV+

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