Imagine a Gushy Title

Yep, I absolutely loved reading this interview. I’m with family today and can’t really weigh in on this as I want. Just know that I kept grinning while I read and almost said, “Aw!” out loud. :D

Richard Armitage: the warrior dwarf

THORIN OAKENSHIELD: Richard Armitage couldn’t imagine watching another actor play this role.

With 13 dwarfs in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, audiences are expected by the film trilogy’s end to easily distinguish and recognise each one.

But if there’s one dwarf that will be easy to spot from the moment he appears on screen it will be Thorin Oakenshield, played by British actor Richard Armitage.

One reason is that Thorin is the leader and, going on a glimpse I got of the band of dwarfs on set during filming earlier this year, a heroic risk-taker. I couldn’t help but think that Thorin could be to The Hobbit what Aragorn – played by Viggo Mortensen – was in The Lord of the Rings.

Armitage, 41, laughs. It isn’t the first time he’s performed in The Hobbit. He was cast in a school production but the part wasn’t so heroic. “I was playing an elf. I was running around in circles being an elf in a forest and we had a papier mache dragon and a man off stage with a funny microphone for Gollum.

“So it was pretty much like the movie we’ve just made,” he jokes.

Armitage, who is doing the interview while in New York at the height of Hurricane Sandy – “I haven’t got any power or water but I’ve got a phone line” – is best known to Kiwis for his risk-taking heroic roles in television’s Spooks and Strike Back. He’s done a small number of movies, including a part in Captain America: The First Avenger.

But The Hobbit is likely to have Armitage exposed to the biggest audience of his career. As yet, he hasn’t dwelled much on what life will be like after the first film is released.

But he says he’s optimistic that he won’t be recognised often when out in public, due to the prosthetics and makeup used to transform him into Thorin. “Because 60 per cent of Thorin’s face belongs to Weta [Workshop], I might get away with it. People might recognise my chin.

“I haven’t really thought about it. At the moment I just want people to really enjoy the film and enjoy the character. If that means they want to come up and say, ‘Hi’ then that’s good. They might want to throw tomatoes at me in the street – but fair enough.”

Armitage first heard about The Hobbit after Sir Peter Jackson contacted the actor’s agent. Jackson asked if Armitage could read for the part of Thorin. “I thought, first of all, I’m six foot two [1.8 metres] and Thorin’s an old guy. Maybe they want me to read it for a general audition.

“But then when I read what they’d done with the audition speech I realised that they were looking for something quite different. They needed someone who could play a warrior, who could play a young Thorin and old Thorin and also to bring the idea of somebody who could return to his full potential to become a king. That’s when I sat down with Peter and we talked through the journey and the arc of the character – and then they offered it to me. I had to pick myself up off the floor.”

Due to the long shoot, Armitage says he had to then juggle other acting projects so he could spend a long time in New Zealand. He was determined to do it, even when there were several months when The Hobbit was in limbo due to the machinations involving the studios. “I just couldn’t watch somebody else playing this role that had nearly been mine. I had to play him. I had to do it– and at that point the film wasn’t green lit.

Read the rest here.

It’s Thanksgiving in the U.S., and despite all the bad news in the world, we are blessed and many of us want to share with others. My prayer is to find ways to do just that and in a manner that brings glory to the Almighty.

And thanks to TheQueen for the heads up. :D


  1. Aww (I’ll say it for you.) Very nice. Besides my family, faith, job, and health, I’m also thankful for Richard Armitage today.

  2. Aw, indeed. It’s good to hear his voice, isn’t it?
    Blessings of the day, friends.

  3. “I haven’t got any power or water but I’ve got a phone line” – well, I had power and water, so you coud have just called and bunked with me!

  4. So many favorite lines here!! “Thorin was a old guy.” “So it was pretty much like the movie we’ve just made.”…too cute. Happy Sharing Day!! :) and you’re welcome!

  5. If you read to the end of that article (speaking of great lines) … it’s interesting that he discusses how different costumes “represent a different part of Thorin.”

    He said something similar about the costuming when he played Mr. Thornton in North & South and talked about small things — like deciding that the pocket watch was from Mr. Thornton’s father … and how that built the character in his mind.

    Really fascinating to me, in that he speaks of acting almost like a writer speaks of the characters he/she creates in a fiction.

    This actor digs deep to portray the story. Every time I read an article like this, I’m so mesmerized by the method acting and the approach. Gives new meaning to the phrase, “dramatic art.” It really is artful.

    Cool stuff. Thanks for sharing this one. I wouldn’t have seen it if not for this blog entry today!

  6. I read it all and all I got was, “OMG! He is across the bridge!!!” that and serious palpitations.

  7. Never in a million years I buy that he is not prepared for fame and being recognized. He may hope it turns out otherwise (at least with regards to being recognized, not necessarily to fame), but it can’t be something he never thinks of. I think this is the typical modest Armitage answer. He would think it sounds boastful to admit he has considers that.

    I also noticed that large parts of the interview still pander to the audience that was opposed to his casting. Starting with always talking about the prosthetics that in fact barely alter his face and hardly transform him into a geriatric dwarf. Continuing with talk about his connection with the hobbit as a child, signalling that he is one of the fanboys, and the casting process.

    I have to say that I am extremely sceptical about all publicity material we get. Both RA and PJ may still be the good guys, but with so much money at stake and the huge Hollywood machinery behind it, it doesn’t seem reasonable to me to assume that there is one word in the publicity material and the interviews that isn’t carefully calculated for a certain effect.

  8. You can count on their words being calculated. I would think PJ and Richard Armitage would be fools if they weren’t concerned about every word they say to the press. That’s certainly the part of promoting something this colossal, but I don’t in any way hold that against them. I wish it didn’t have to be that way, but it does, and I think RA does what he has to do,and probably tries to be as natural as he can be given the constraints of dealing with the press. If you have ever dealt with the press, you unfortunately understand the limits.

  9. I don’t necessarily hold it against them. It is part of the deal. But it means that I don’t take anything we get from now on seriously and don’t go “Awwwww Richard!” about it. I think the days of genuine Richard are gone.

  10. I wrote a comment so long, I’m putting it in a post. :D

  11. I think we all edit the image we present to the world. Or we should. I’m just glad that what RA chooses to present is intelligent, amusing and pleasant instead of conceited.

    Is it genuine? Over the years, his attitude has been consistent, and that has to mean something — at least some awareness and discipline about how he wants to be perceived. He appears to be a nice, hardworking guy who takes his craft seriously, but can laugh at himself.

    I remember watching the Robin Hood extras wishing that some of the younger actors would take Richard as their guide. I wanted to say, “Sit up straight! Don’t you know that every image you present is an advertisement for future work?”

    And since I want RA to produce a lot more work, I’m glad the image is good.

  12. I have to say something about this interview rubbed me the wrong way, perhaps it is mostly because it has been shortened and put into his own words by the reporter. I noticed that this version of the casting process was somehow contradicting earlier versions and that gave me the feeling that we are being fed some constructed story. Having now read the French and Spanish articles that seem to more or less reproduce RA’s own words in a Q&A style, it fills some blanks and I am more comfortable with them.

  13. I typically have a bullshit detector that goes off with barely a murmur said. Sad but true. I actually don’t like that about myself. Part of this is having practically grown up in a law office and not only seeing but also at times participating in mounting an offensive on someone’s ass. That kind of upbringing does something to a person. It makes it hard to trust people, so having said that, I’m keeping in mind that my livelihood is not dependent on assessing Richard Armitage nor his interviews.

    That’s my long way of saying I’m choosing not to nitpick this. LOL! Yes, I’m laughing but not at you. And I’m so glad I can laugh and still be entertained by Richard Armitage and still say, “Aw!” I love that. I hope I can keep doing it. I’m surprised I’ve been able to this long, i.e., that Richard Amritage hasn’t done something to entirely discourage my enthusiasm in him and his work. Seriously, I love that I’m still going with this. Of course SO teases the hell of me about it. He thought I was nuts, and he would be jealous, but he know he has nothing to be jealous of. Mostly he rolls his eyes and then tells me, “It’s great as long as you finish the book. Finish the book. Finish the book.”

  14. BTW, none of what I just said is meant to begrudge anyone combing over these interviews. Go for it, and I will sit back and watch with a grin on my face knowing I can perhaps learn something from it without doing the work myself. :D

  15. Another option is to choose NOT to read any of the interviews that the man has graciously agreed to do and let him live his life in peace rather than rip it apart and whine about what was said or not said or what was intended or not intended to be communicated.


    How about that?


    If you’re unhappy with his answers or the way the reporter presented it, then just watch the movies and let it lie. Otherwise, enjoy it rather than dissect it and analyze it negatively.

    He’s a film star, for Pete’s sake. He’s not the Dalai Lama. Give him a break.

  16. Just read lovemrthornton’s comment, and thought, “Wouldn’t that be an interesting film? Starring RICHARD ARMITAGE as THE DALAI LAMA!” :D

  17. HAHAHA! I’m for it!!! :-D

  18. I’m picturing his shaved head.

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