PaleyFest 2024: “Loki” Red Carpet and Panel

The Loki panel at PaleyFest
The Loki panel at PaleyFest. Photo by Angie Fiedler Sutton.

On April 13, 2024, PaleyFest celebrated Loki with a showing of the season 2 finale episode and a panel with some of the cast and crew. I managed to snag a few minutes with writer Eric Martin and directors Justin Benson and Aaron Moorehead.

I asked writer Eric Martin what he was trying to say with Loki. “So I think the greater meaning in this, if I can say that, is really just about found family. That’s something that’s been important in my life. And in looking at the character of Loki, that’s just where I felt like I intersected best with him and his experience at the TVA. So while I didn’t necessarily set out to make this about that, I realized at some point while writing it, like, oh, that’s kind of what I’m talking about here. And that’s where it intersects with me the best.”

I inquired about the influences Martin looked at for the time travel aspect. “We kind of looked at every time travel movie or show, and I then kind of put all that aside and it’s just like, ‘Alright, where are our characters at what’s happening in their world?’ Let’s just let it fly. I wanted to do as many different time travel things as we could never force anything in but not hold ourselves back on any of that at all.”

I asked for a behind-the-scenes story from Martin. “The day Ke (Ke Huy Quan) came to set the first time, we had lunch together and we’re talking about the character. And he was getting to the influences and what he really saw in the character, and I was talking about how, you know, OB is very focused on whatever task he’s doing: that’s the center of his world. And he was saying he read that in the character too. And it reminded him of Steven Spielberg, who would see a room, and everyone wants his attention. But when he’s talking to you, he’s giving you 100% of his attention. And so we kind of both focused his work on the character thinking about Spielberg in that way. Whatever he’s doing, he’s just 100% involved in that. And I thought that was really interesting, unique way into that character.”

When it came to what Aaron Moorehead and Justin Benson were trying to say about the show, they went another way. Moorehead said, “The first thing that comes to mind is that an individual can go from being petty, selfish, and childish, and it is possible for them to transform into something more noble and self-sacrificing.”

Benson added, “There’s also a line in the final episode that says sometimes purpose is more burden than glory and the idea of shouldering a burden that gives you no glory whatsoever, something that is purely just not for you and you stand nothing to gain from it yourself. That’s a nice lesson.”

In the interview with my predecessor on the carpet, he mentioned Loki went from an anti-hero to a hero. I asked them what the difference to them was. “I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but I genuinely think that heroes as far as I know that are right,” Moorehead said. “Since written language started and through all of humanity, it is defined by being someone who is willing to do something for the greater good out of self-sacrifice and to not give in to the brief dopamine hit of saying something petty or childish or trying to get revenge or retribution or that is and just putting it all aside and just doing what is right for the aggregate as opposed to just be yourself.”

Benson took on what an anti-hero was. “I would say an antihero is somebody that does make bad decisions and selfish decisions, and yet you cheer for them anyways. Because you recognize that same darkness in yourself, perhaps. So it’s a much more cynical look at how to present a journey of a character you know, but it’s one where you’re not supposed to agree with the decisions and yet, you still are on board with them.”

Moorehead continued, “There’s so much dramatic satisfaction that comes out of watching something like the journey of Walter White from being a schoolteacher to an antihero or the journey of Tony Soprano that is similar to the journey of Dexter or something like that, but this is a journey that went in the opposite direction from anti-hero to hero, and it’s just a satisfying to see it going the other direction.”

The panel itself had not only Martin, Benson, and Moorehead, but also Tom Hiddleston, Owen Wilson, and Sophia Di Martino.

I liveblogged the panel over on The Geekiary’s BlueSky account. The Paley Center usually releases the panels on its YouTube account.

For more information on Loki, visit the official page on DisneyPlus.

Author: Angie Fiedler Sutton

Angie Fiedler Sutton is a writer, podcaster, and all-round fangirl geek. She has been published in Den of Geek, Stage Directions, LA Weekly, The Mary Sue, and others.

She also produces her own podcast, Contents May Vary, where she interviews geeky people about geeky things. You can see all her work (and social media channels) at

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