Tom Hiddleston and Zawe Ashton have known one another since at least 2018, but there isn’t much on public record about how their romance blossomed. They were cast as a couple in the play Betrayal, doing such a great job that it traveled from London’s West End to New York City’s Broadway. However, after an engagement and a baby, the public still knows very little about their relationship.
Hiddleston told The Telegraph in March 2017, “Everyone is entitled to a private life. I love what I do, and I dedicate myself with absolute commitment to making great art and great entertainment, and in my mind I don’t conflict the two. My work is in the public sphere, and I have a private life. And those two things are separate.”
Despite his resolution, they have become a bit more open about being together and seen on the red carpet in affectionate moments. Here’s Hiddleston and Ashton’s complete relationship timeline so far.
Hiddleston and Ashton met when they were cast in the revival of Harold Pinter’s play Betrayal. With some foreshadowing, they played a married couple named Robert and Emma. Also in that production was Daredevil’s Charlie Cox. The play was at the West End’s Harold Pinter Theater until June 2019.
Before the show went on, they were clearly already introduced. In October 2018, they were photographed together at an after-party for a charity gala celebrating the life and work of Harold Pinter at Brasserie Zedel in London, already embodying their roles.
Ashton launched her first book, Character Breakdown, in April, and Hiddleston was at the party held at Wild By Tart in London. In pictures first shared by The Daily Mail, Hiddleston and Ashton look very friendly with each other, and Hiddleston is smiling broadly as he examines the book and poses with his co-star.
The show did so well in London that it went on for a run at Broadway’s Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre in New York City for three months. Hiddleston and Ashton stayed in their roles for the duration. It was the Loki actor’s first show on Broadway, and it earned him a Tony nomination for Best Actor in a Play.
That same month, rumors started circulating that the pair were dating when they appeared at the U.S. Open together. In March 2022, a source working around the production said that the chemistry between them was evident long before they went public.
“They were very private publicly, but behind the scenes, you could just see a lovely chemistry,” the insider said. “There were twinkles in both of their eyes, and the entire company, including Charlie Cox, were all very close.”
The source added, “Tom has always been a very, very private person. Behind the scenes, they would just privately be affectionate and hugging and sitting next to each other and holding hands.”
Ashton joined the cast of The Marvels in 2021, which was released in 2023. She was cast as the film’s villain, Dar-Benn facing off against Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel. Hiddleston also debuted as a villain in the MCU, though his character was gradually redeemed.
Funnily enough, Ashton actually dressed up as Captain Marvel for a Halloween before her casting as part of a group costume with the Betrayal cast. Cox and Hiddleston switched roles as Loki and Daredevil, and Eddie Arnold joined as Captain America.
The pair finally went public with their relationship at the 2021 Tony Awards, posing with their Betrayal costar Charlie Cox on the red carpet and inside with masks.
They went even further by holding hands in front of cameras on the red carpet at the BAFTA awards in March 2022.
That same month, engagement rumors started when she was shown wearing a diamond ring on her left ring finger in a picture posted in a carousel on Instagram from TV host AJ Odudu. Odudu is posing with the couple, and Ashton’s hand is very prominent as it rests on Odudu’s arm.
There was no confirmation of the engagement from them until early June, when Hiddleston was interviewed by Los Angeles Times, and said simply, “I'm very happy,” in response to questioning. But an even bigger reveal came on June 29, when the couple attended a screening in New York City for her film Mr. Malcolm’s List. As she walked the red carpet, it was evident they were expecting a baby.
Their first child together was born in October, according to Us Weekly, with a source stating, “Tom and Zawe are loving being new parents and are filled with joy.”
On July 16, Hiddleston and Ashton attended the Wimbledon 2023 men’s final in London alongside Andrew Garfield, Ariana Grande, and Jonathan Bailey.
A few days later, in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Ashton shared what she learned from her partner before being thrust into the MCU limelight. The star said that the casting “led to some incredible conversations” with him “about his experience being part of this franchise for over a decade.”
“One of the main takeaways from our conversations was, ‘What you put into Marvel, you get back,’” she explained. “If you go into this with an open heart and a great work ethic and just want to provide an amazing experience for the fans, you’ll have an amazing experience on those sets.”
She added, “He really empowered me in that way.”
In an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Hiddleston was asked if there were any connections between Ashton’s role and his show. He answered, “I mean, there are connections. Some secret, some not-so-secret. I don’t know what the fans think the secret connection is...My other half is in The Marvels, and I’m very proud of her. So there you go. That’s out this weekend.”
That same month, they attended the 67th Evening Standard Theatre Awardsat Claridge's Hotel in London, and were very affectionate throughout the night.
On Sunday, January 14, the couple made their first public appearance in the new year at the BAFTA Tea Party at the Maybourne Beverly Hills hotel in Los Angeles. They held hands as they posed on the the red carpet. Hiddleston wore a brown and beige suit with matching tie over a white button-down shirt with suede loafers.
Ashton was in a brighter ensemble, wearing a form-fitting red midi dress by Mara Hoffman, with rose shaped fabric across the arms and bust. She paired the dress with black pointed-toe heels and a pair of chandelier diamond earrings. The event celebrates nominees of the prestigious award show.
On February 18, Hiddleston received the trophy for The Sci-Fi/Fantasy Show of the Year at the People's Choice Awards. During his acceptance speech, after thanking the cast and crew of Loki, he warmly thanked Ashton.
“Zawe, none of this makes sense without you. Thank you for your love and support every step of the way,” he said.
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