Tom Hiddleston prepared for his Broadway debut in Harold Pinter’s Betrayal by challenging his castmate Charlie Cox to squash matches.
The Thor star plays Robert in a new revival of Pinter’s classic 1978 tale of one-upmanship and infidelity, that is now transferring to Broadway’s Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre after a run in London’s West End.
In order to get into character and ramp up his competitive instincts, the 38-year-old actor showed Charlie, who plays Robert’s love rival Jerry, no mercy on the squash court.
“It was very instructive, playing squash. Some of those scenes, the competition is in the subtext, the brutality to each other is underneath it while they’re being civil on the surface. After we played squash, those scenes played themselves,” Tom tells Variety.
Revealing he came off worse, his 36-year-old co-star confesses: “Look, it’s not about who wins or loses, it’s about who’s fitter. And Tom is fitter than I am.”
Nursing more than his pride, The Theory of Everything star adds: “I still have a buttock injury from that last game. I was desperately trying to reach a ball because I was so determined to keep up!”
Zawe Ashton, who stars as the play’s third lead, Emma, Robert’s wife, and Jerry’s lover, was let off comparatively easy as she joined them in the spa after their long squash sessions.
Betrayal opens on September 5, 2019. Previews began on Wednesday.