Last week, Hiddlestoners and Marvel fans alike were reminded (again...for like...the 756th time) why we have such a swoon-crush on Tom Hiddleston when his epic fanboy letter to Joss Whedon hit the internet. But the Man Formerly Known as Loki isn't the only person who has been part of the Marvel universe on screen to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) to write an epic thank-you letter. Just this weekend, [Guardians of the Galaxy](movie:424073) director James Gunn was so overwhelmed by the praise and support his film got that he posted a heartfelt, fantastic thank-you letter to fans on his Facebook page. AND informed us that instead of celebrating with a margarita on a beach somewhere after GotG's bonkers box office success, he was busy all weekend working on the [Guardians of the Galaxy 2](movie:1081113) script.
Now THAT is dedication.
In honor of the passion and gratitude that Gunn has shown his fans, here are the best thank-you letters from Marvel cast and crew ever.
1.) James Gunn is our spirit animal
Seriously. He is. He spoke for the nerd in all of us when he posted this to his Facebook page over the weekend:
Thanks to all of you who saw (and are seeing) Guardians of the Galaxy this weekend, from the bottom of my heart. The Guardians are a group of oddballs, outcasts, and geeks. The movie is for anyone who ever felt cast aside, left out, or different. It's for all of us who don't belong. This movie belongs to you. And, today, I think we're doing okay.
I am of course happy with all the film has accomplished box-office-wise. But what touches me the most is that the film I told the folks at Marvel I wanted to make two years ago is the film that you're seeing in theaters today - it's that so many of you seem to be directly EXPERIENCING the film I INTENDED. The cast, the producers, the crew, and I felt like we were making something special while we were making it. But it is very rare that a director's INTENTIONS in creating a film, or a scene, or a character, or a line of dialogue are, seemingly, specifically what is experienced by an audience (not to mention critics!), and that seems to be what has happened here. You have allowed a talking raccoon - for a moment, a minute, or a day - to make you a little more human. And for that, I am profoundly grateful.
If I relied on myself to implement these intentions, the film would be a shambling mess. But instead, I had a wonderful cast, genius producers, an incredibly brave studio, sublimely talented visual effects artists, great editors, and the best damn crew of mostly-British bastards to actually implement these intentions for me. Where I had a good idea they would, through alchemy, transform it into a great one. Many of you involved are friends of mine on Facebook. Many of you will read this somewhere else. I love you all.
You may remember me posting here a couple weeks ago how sad I was to be finishing up the film, that I was having trouble letting go of Rocket, and that I was going to miss him. But seeing him (and Groot, and the rest of the team) embraced by the world like they have been, to be UNDERSTOOD, makes it a wonderful letting go. It's like giving a foster pet up for adoption to the most wonderful parents in the world.
And, of course, I'm not really saying goodbye as, while many of you have been enjoying the film, I've spent this weekend hard at work on the sequel. I couldn't help myself! The results are nice but it's really the creative process I love and that keeps me going. I'm on fire with this thing! The Guardians have so many hardships and heartaches and triumphs ahead of them, and I can't wait to share them with all of you.
Onto week two...
2.) Tom Hiddleston geeks out all over Joss Whedon
Every time we think we've hit our capacity for loving Tom Hiddleston, he goes and does something like sending Joss Whedon an epic fanboy letter to Joss Whedon, thanking him for the role of Loki Laufeyson after reading the first draft of the Avengers script.
I am so excited I can hardly speak.
The first time I read it I grabbed at it like Charlie Bucket snatching for a golden ticket somewhere behind the chocolate in the wrapper of a Wonka Bar. I didn't know where to start. Like a classic actor I jumped in looking for LOKI on every page, jumping back and forth, reading words in no particular order, utterances imprinting themselves like flash-cuts of newspaper headlines in my mind: "real menace"; "field of obeisance"; "discontented, nothing is enough"; "his smile is nothing but a glimpse of his skull"; "Puny god" ...
... Thank you for writing me my Hans Gruber. But a Hans Gruber with super-magic powers. As played by James Mason ... It's high operatic villainy alongside detached throwaway tongue-in-cheek; plus the "real menace" and his closely guarded suitcase of pain. It's grand and epic and majestic and poetic and lyrical and wicked and rich and badass and might possibly be the most gloriously fun part I've ever stared down the barrel of playing. It is just so juicy.
I love how throughout you continue to put Loki on some kind of pedestal of regal magnificence and then consistently tear him down. He gets battered, punched, blasted, side-swiped, roared at, sent tumbling on his back, and every time he gets back up smiling, wickedly, never for a second losing his eloquence, style, wit, self-aggrandisement or grandeur, and you never send him up or deny him his real intelligence.... That he loves to make an entrance; that he has a taste for the grand gesture, the big speech, the spectacle. I might be biased, but I do feel as though you have written me the coolest part.
... But really I'm just sending you a transatlantic shout-out and fist-bump, things that traditionally British actors probably don't do. It's epic.
3.) Then Joss responds to Tom
Not to be outdone in the bro-fistbump category, Joss responded to his main man villain:
Tom, this is one of those emails you keep forever. Thanks so much. It's more articulate (and possibly longer) than the script. I couldn't be more pleased at your reaction, but I'll also tell you I'm still working on it ... Thank you again. I'm so glad you're pleased. Absurd fun to ensue.
Best, (including uncharacteristic fist bump), joss.
4.) And he loves fans for loving The Avengers
When the end of the world comes, and it's nothing but nerds and zombies battling each other to the death, this is the man I want leading me into battle. Why? Exhibit A, his super-great letter thanking fans for loving The Avengers.
Well, it’s been quite a weekend…People have told me that this matters, that my life is about to change. I am sure that is true. And change is good — change is exciting.
What doesn’t change is anything that matters. What doesn’t change is that I’ve had the smartest, most loyal, most passionate, most articulate group of — I’m not even gonna say fans. I’m going with ‘peeps’ — that any cult oddity such as my bad self could have dreamt of. When almost no one was watching, when people probably should have STOPPED watching, I’ve had three constants: my family and friends, my collaborators (often the same), and y’all. A lot of stories have come out about my “dark years”, and how I’m “unrecognized”… I love these stories, because they make me seem super-important, but I have never felt the darkness (and I’m ALL about my darkness) that they described. Because I have so much.
I have people, in my life, on this site, in places I’ve yet to discover, that always made me feel the truth of success: an artist and an audience communicating. Communicating to the point of collaborating. I’ve thought, ‘maybe I’m over; maybe I’ve said my piece.’ But never with fear. Never with rancor. Because of y’all. Because you knew me when. If you think topping a box office record compares with someone telling you your work helped them through a rough time, you’re probably new here.
So this is me, saying thank you. All of you.
5.) Andrew Garfield thanks Spider-Man for shaping his life
When Andrew Garfield was cast as the new Spider-Man and revealed to the world back in 2011, some people wondered who this skinny kid was and why the hell he had been cast in the role of our webhead. But his first appearance at Comic-Con with an emotional, nervous speech about what Spidey meant to him blew us all away and made us fans for life.
You have no idea how much this means to me. I've always wanted to come here as a fan, and this is my first time, so here I am, as a fan. I just want to say a couple of things. I'm Andrew Garfield and I'm going to be here introducing this panel, this Amazing Spider-Man panel.
Stan Lee says that the reason why Spidey is so popular is because all of us can relate to him, and I agree. I needed Spidey in my life when I was a kid, and he gave me hope. In every comic I read, he was living out my and every skinny boy's fantasy of being stronger, of being free of the body I was born into, and that swinging sensation of flight. And upon receiving his power, unlike most who have become corrupted, he used it for good. And I think that we all wish we had the courage to stick up for ourselves more, to stick up for a loved one more, or even a stranger you see being mistreated, and Peter Parker has inspired me to feel stronger. He made me, Andrew, braver. He reassured me that by doing the right thing, it's worth it. It's worth the struggle, it's worth the pain, it's worth even the tears, the bruises, and the blood.
And, and, and I wouldn't be able to stand here in front of you guys right now without feeling that Spider-Man was here with me with his reassuring hand on my shoulder, making sure I don't fall over and concuss myself. He has inspired countless people: girls, boys, men, women, all of us, and he's saved lives. And he's saved my life. And I owe Webhead a lot and I owe Stan the Man a lot and I'm humbled to be here, like you do not know, to share the work that we've done with all of you. And this is my first Comic-Con. This is definitely the coolest moment of my life and thank you for being here to share it with me.
BONUS: Anthony Hopkins writes Bryan Cranston an epic letter of praise for Breaking Bad
Not to be outdone, Odin himself has gotten in on the fan letter writing, albeit this time not to one of the Marvel directors or fans, but to Bryan Cranston for his mind-blowing talent and the brilliance of [Breaking Bad](series:200567). And as expected, Sir Anthony was as eloquent and salty as you might expect.
Dear Mister Cranston.
I wanted to write you this email - so I am contacting you through Jeremy Barber - I take it we are both represented by UTA. Great agency.
I've just finished a marathon of watching "BREAKING BAD" - from episode one of the First Season - to the last eight episodes of the Sixth Season. [Ed note: There are in fact five seasons of Breaking Bad; this might have been wishful thinking.] (I downloaded the last season on AMAZON) A total of two weeks (addictive) viewing.
I have never watched anything like it. Brilliant!
Your performance as Walter White was the best acting I have seen - ever.
I know there is so much smoke blowing and sickening bullshit in this business, and I've sort of lost belief in anything really.
But this work of yours is spectacular - absolutely stunning. What is extraordinary, is the sheer power of everyone in the entire production. What was it? Five or six years in the making? How the producers (yourself being one of them), the writers, directors, cinematographers.... every department - casting etc. managed to keep the discipline and control from beginning to the end is (that over used word) awesome.
From what started as a black comedy, descended into a labyrinth of blood, destruction and hell. It was like a great Jacobean, Shakespearian or Greek Tragedy.
If you ever get a chance to - would you pass on my admiration to everyone - Anna Gunn, Dean Norris, Aaron Paul, Betsy Brandt, R.J. Mitte, Bob Odenkirk, Jonathan Banks, Steven Michael Quezada - everyone - everyone gave master classes of performance ... The list is endless.
Thank you. That kind of work/artistry is rare, and when, once in a while, it occurs, as in this epic work, it restores confidence.
You and all the cast are the best actors I've ever seen.
That may sound like a good lung full of smoke blowing. But it is not. It's almost midnight out here in Malibu, and I felt compelled to write this email.
Congratulations and my deepest respect. You are truly a great, great actor.
What We Have Learned
1.) James Gunn reps the nerd in all of us...and possibly stole Oreo the Raccoon.
2.) Tom Hiddleston has a superpower for real, and that is the ability to generate massive amounts of charm whenever he wants.
3.) Joss and Tom have a pretty epic bromance.
4.) Was Joss saying he went through a goth phase? I'm pretty sure he went through a goth phase.
5.) Andrew Garfield might actually BE Peter Parker in real life.
6.) Pretty sure sipping whiskey with Sir Anthony and letting him regale you with tales of his career would be the best thing to ever happen to you.