Having studied Richard’s interviews during Hobbit-Con at Comic-Con yesterday, I can only conclude the man has come a long way, baby. The nervous and slightly giggly fellow of earlier interviews has matured beautifully, and not just on the outside.
I won’t say he was completely without nerves—even experienced actors can suffer from a bit of stage fright—but if RA was feeling a lot of anxiety and trepidation over his appearance at the event, he hid it admirably well.
He appeared confident without being cocky—that quiet confidence that says, “I am a mature man instead of a spoiled boy in a man’s body.” He was good-humored (“I lost a foot”) without being mean-spirited.
Relaxed, and yet very in tune with what was going on around him.
As I said in one of the earlier comments, Comic-Con Richard was mellow—and yet, sharp.
Watching him interact with fans, interviewers and fellow panelists, I could not fail to notice his patience, unflappability and friendliness. The good manners John and Margaret instilled in their little boy all those years ago were fully in evidence. Mr. and Mrs. Armitage, you must be very, very proud of your son.
When he is interviewed, he engages fully with the interviewer, focusing his attentions on him/her and giving a thoughtful, articulate response to each question.
The man practically screams intelligence in these situations. It’s in his eyes, his words and his demeanor. And frankly, smart is very, very sexy.
I don’t know about you, but a muscle man with nothing between his ears bores me to tears every time.
I have to say I love how he talks with his hands in these interviews. I talk with my hands, too, although mine are nowhere near as elegant and attractive as his, and it makes me smile to see those handsome digits in action once again.
It was a pleasure to see him in all the interview situations, group and one-on-one. He is attentive to what the other panelists are saying, absorbing it all. I think he must have amazing powers of concentration. Perhaps, working on this film, having to perform in one room while the actor he will appear with onscreen is actually in another, for example, has only honed those abilities.
I think after 18 months of working together, the actors really have formed special bonds with one another. As Martin said, Wellington is sort of its own little world. When you’re thrown together like that, I suppose you’d better learn to get along or it would be one miserable experience.
I think Sir Peter chose his actors wisely; strong performers, yes, but also team players willing to work together on a common goal—to make the “best home movie” possible (and yes, I loved it when PJ walked out filming the audience). One suspects egomaniacs are not welcome on a PJ set.
In fact, there appears to be a whole village of wonderfully talented, dedicated and generous individuals who work with Sir Peter to make his vision come to life onscreen. I know Disneyland is supposed to be the happiest place on earth, but I am beginning to wonder if it isn’t a patch of New Zealand instead.
I have so much respect and admiration for them all. It certainly takes a lot of time, hard work and probably some serious headaches—learning to deal with the stench of hot, sweaty dwarf, for example (oh, Richard, you do make me smile)—but they are seeing this dream come together in this creation of a different world
He spoke of feeling the pressure because of the huge expectations for TH coming on the heels of the enormous popularity of LOTR trilogy. Richard mentioned envying the original actors who had no idea whether the films would be a huge success when they were making them.
He knows he’s got to bring his “A” game, as we say here in the states; frankly, I have no fears he will do anything less. As the fellows at theOneRingNet said, he already owns the role of Thorin. My gosh, but that 3-D poster is simply magnificent! So is the bloke standing in front of it.
And it seems as if Richard isn’t done with the “little world” of Wellington. Judging by what he told one interviewer, they are nowhere near to actually having the film wrapped, with important battle scenes yet to be filmed. He mentioned he will be going back into training prior to shooting those scenes. I can only imagine wielding Orcrist is quite a workout, especially underneath all the padding, prosthetics, hair and costume.
Will he return to NZ after filming the “tornado movie” or get to return to London for a while or start another project here in the States before going back to Wellie? I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
I think one thing is certain. The Richard Armitage Drought is over for now. And if RA makes it to Comic-Con next year, I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets his own standing ovation. For by then, the world will have discovered the Power of the Alpha Dwarf.
All photos courtesy of the hard-working Ali at www.richardarmitagenet.com Thanks!!