It’s been a few days since I shared anything from the latest in the series of ‘Chronicles’ books from Weta Workshop. Thought these tidbits about various aspects of the production might make a fun read for Sunday, along with a few more images in glorious HD (thanks to Heirs of Durin) from the film.
And don’t forget if you do have a Twitter account you can vote for Bilbo as “Best Hero” at the 2013 MTV Movie Awards through tonight when the broadcast takes place.http://www.mtv.com/ontv/movieawards/2013/best-hero/ As I write this on Saturday near midnight Bilbo is still in the lead by several thousand, but that could always change . . .
The Eyes Have It
Jeffrey Thomas, who plays King Under the Mountain Thror, actually wore colored contact lenses to increase his resemblance to the actors playing his son and grandson, Mike Mizrahi and Richard Armitage, respectively. All three men have blue eyes, but unlike his light-eyed co-stars, Thomas’s are a very dark blue that resembled black when photographed. A pale blue contact lens color not only tied him to his son and grandson but also served to “age him as well as give him a hint of the crazy eye, which fits considering his obsession with the gold.” (Tami Lane, prosthetics supervisor)
Cate Blanchett also wore contact lenses for the role of Galadriel. Rather than completely recolor them, these lenses were designed to lighten and enhance Cate’s own pale blue eyes, “making them feel even more remarkable and beautiful, but still based on her natural coloring,” said hair and makeup designer Peter King.
Peter Hambleton, who played the dwarf Gloin, the father of Gimli of LOTR, also wore lenses to change his eye color. “I have blue eyes and we wanted to make a connection with Gimli, whose eyes are brown,” said Hambleton. The actor didn’t require the dark lenses for distant shots, just more close-up ones, and a licensed optician on set would pop them in and out for him (remember, he was wearing those clumsy prosthetic hands). “I hope the brown eyes sing out,” Hambleton said.
“With no sons of his own, Fili and Kili are his family. Thorin is tough on Fili and overly protective of Kili. He sees their hope and their ambition, their youth. It’s a great driving force for him, to seek out something to bequeath for their future.” Richard Armitage~Thorin
“Dwarves are a proud and noble people who were at one time very wealthy. They carry jewelry and ornate plaiting in their beards to show their pride and a way of holding on to their lineage. . . they begin looking very ornate and proud, but their journey humbles and batters them . . . but it isn’t the same for each of them.
‘Fili and Kili don’t have the big, ornate, blinged-out beards of their fathers. They have a different attitude and aren’t as burdened down by the loss that gnaws at Thorin and Gloin and the other Dwarves who are obsessed with the gold. They haven’t decorated themselves as heavily, like kids who can’t see the reason for wearing shoes in a restaurant. They’re not holding onto an old grudge. They’re freer spirits.” Peter King~Hair and Makeup Designer
“Beards are already in at the moment, but I have to wonder after these films come out whether there might not be a sudden rise in braiding and beard decoration?” Dean O’Gorman~Fili
“On one level, we’re funny little guys, and on another, we’ve won wars and are actually pretty dangerous . . . don’t laugh at the Dwarves because they will mess you up.” DoG
“It’s tough being a dwarf in Middle-earth. It’s exhausting . . . they get chased around and for all the times they get caught, they really aren’t wanted anywhere.” ~Aidan Turner-Kili
- A ‘proud, cantankerous’ father figure: An Xbox SmartGlass Exclusive Vid Clip (thearmitageeffect.wordpress.com)
- Dwarf love for the Leader of the Company: Comments from HobbitCon (thearmitageeffect.wordpress.com)
- LOTR, The Hobbit, and Richard Armitage (marieastra8.wordpress.com)
This clip is part of an exclusive featurette, “The Company of Dwarves,” which you get when you buy THAUJ on Xbox Video. It features Richard Armitage, Dean O’Gorman and Aidan Turner talking about their respective characters and their relationships with one another, and gives lots of behind-the-scenes looks at the making of the film. Quite a lot of Thoriny goodness here. And the rumble of Richard’s voice. And I do believe I detected a note of Richard in Dean’s character voice–well, he did say he patterned it after RA, right?
Richard describes Thorin as a proud, cantankerous, angry, burdened man who has developed a hard shell from life’s circumstances. Yet the uncrowned King Under the Mountain also tries to be a father figure to his two fatherless nephews, Kili and Fili, grooming the eldest to one day sit on the throne and lead his people. We see how the three share a strong bond. Watch and enjoy! Thank you, RA Net, for the heads up on this at Twitter.
Thanks to the lovely Fabomanto, who put together these clips from the German TV special about the making of The Hobbit.
Fabo’s set the vid to a soundtrack of classical music, which works beautifully as you watch the actors move in slow motion in their well-choreographed ballets of battle. Makes me appreciate all the more the hard work, dedication, fancy footwork and just plain blood, sweat and tears it requires to create such scenes in the film.
That Richard Armitage sure knows how to take a tumble and wield a weapon. *sigh*
The folks at Buzzfeed.com decided to rank the dwarves in terms of hotness. http://www.buzzfeed.com/louispeitzman/the-13-dwarves-in-the-hobbit-ranked-by-hotness
Things were going pretty well until they got to number four. Thorin. Thorin?! Only the fourth hottest dwarf? Thorin, with his piercing azure gaze, deep, commanding voice, that flowing mane of hair with its widow’s peak and those fetching braids–only the fourth hottest?
So, who was ahead of him? You might have guessed the hottie nephews, and indeed, Aidan Turner as Kili and Dean O’Gorman as Fili took the number two and number one positions in Buzzfeed’s rankings.
But there was also a number three. This guy. Jimmy Nesbitt as Bofur. With the funky braids and the idiotic hat. This was deemed hotter than Thorin.
Now, I like Jimmy. He’s got a lovely twinkle in his eyes, wonderful dimples and that great Irish accent. And he’s a good actor.
But even HE has described himself as looking like a “transvestite Pippi Longstocking” in this role. Transvestite Pippi Longstocking does not trump the regal, majestic uncrowned King Under the Mountain.
If I were ranking them, Thorin would, of course, be number one, then Aidan and Dean, the hottie sister-sons, as two and three.
Take a look at the link above and see what you think of Buzzfeed’s overall choices. And perhaps you’ll join me in wondering “what were they thinking??”
I sleep in today after being up until 4 a.m. with various aches and pains. And then I spent the rest of the day trying to catch up with all the Hobbit hoopla whilst keeping my laptop working, which is no mean feat these days–either task, actually. Didn’t get around to responding to comments until the past hour or so. As always, thank you ladies for keeping the conversations going!
What I also got accomplished was donating to Richard’s Just Giving Fund as part of a fan effort to “bomb” the site with donations just in time for The Hobbit premiere. If you haven’t given yet, consider it, even if it’s only a few dollars/pounds/euros/what have you. Little becomes much when many give it. Here’s the link below. There are several organizations, including the Salvation Army, Childline, Barnardo’s, and Shelter.
Now, on to Mr. A. and the excitement of that “flying billboard” arriving in Wellington with some of the cast onboard, waiting to be greeted by the rest.
Not a sight one sees every day. My, that stern-looking bearded fellow with the lion’s mane is quite handsome, isn’t he?
Richard–wait–do you realize you are in front of the pack for a change?? Just where you belong and looking delicious! I suppose they told you to stand there . . .
I loved Richard’s look for today, skinny jeans and all (don’t his legs look impossibly long? And great footwear as usual). The vest and jacket combination with the plaid shirt and jeans all worked well together for him. Yes, he looked a bit more dressed up than many of the other cast members, but nothing wrong with being well turned-out when all those camera are going off. There was nothing flashy that screamed “look at me! I am a superstar” about the outfit. A nice blend of the casual and conservative in which he seemed very comfortable and relaxed.
And here’s a link to a video of the plane’s arrival, with a lovely welcoming hug shared by Richard with Aidan Turner at the .49 mark. Thanks to Mezz for sharing it.
One suspects these comrades are glad to see each other again and to share in all the excitement of this huge premiere event.
Now what will Richard be wearing tomorrow night (or should I say “who,” assuming it’s designer threads)? Stubble or clean-shaven? (I tend to think he will be clean-shaven). And what shoes will he be wearing? Is he nervous? Does he have butterflies in his beautifully toned stomach? Is he eager for it to be over? Wondering how audiences will react? Oh, how excited I am for him.
Richard, I just know you are going to amaze us all. I hope all the fangurlz who got to make the trip have a terrific time.
And I couldn’t resist sharing another version of this pic . . .
My ever-helpful husband found a copy of a mag titled The Hobbit: An Unexpected Prequel to The Lord of the Rings while we were browsing at Books-A-Million Saturday night. Naturally, I had to take this periodical, which bills itself as “TheOneRingnet’s Collector’s Edition” by Topix Media Lab.
I wanted to share some of the contents with you with a few editorial comments thrown in.
“There’s something to be said for a short man with a hot temper . . . Gimli didn’t stand up to the rugged allure of Aragorn or the ethereal good looks of Legolas, but this new crop of dwarves manages to stay true to the brawling, bearded dwarf aesthetic of the books while showing off a bit more of what the dwarven race has going for it.
Each dwarf has a very unique look, but they all have one thing in common: really awesome facial hair . . . from Bifur’s black braids to Thorin’s well-groomed goatee, the variety of scruff proves without a doubt that beards are back in a big way.”
(naturally, I love this following quote and thoroughly agree with opinion expressed)
“No Shortage of Smolder . . . it takes only one look at the leader of the Company to see these dwarves are not your average brawlers. Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield is the breakout heart throb of the series, with his baritone singing voice and his piercing gaze throwing female audiences into a tizzy. It’s safe to say this dwarf would have no trouble finding someone to join him on an adventure.”
(Yeah, where do we sign up for this adventure?)
The writer adds that Thorin’s nephews Fili and Kili are “arguably the easiest on the eyes . . . looking more like elves or humans than the typical dwarf , with manicured beards and flowing locks that frame their chiseled features. However, they still stay true to Tolkien’s vision, and it doesn’t seem like anyone is complaining about watching these two trek through three movies.”
(Personally, I am not complaining about watching Uncle Heart Throb and his Hottie Sister-Sons through it all and beyond.)
First of all, this just below. My cropped photo of a two-page photo spread (I think we used to call it a “double truck” at the newspaper) of Richard Armitage as Thorin. This is actually from The Visual Companion, so, yeah, you’ll probably want to buy it, too. *sigh* I had one of those visceral reactions to this photo. The old punch in the solar plexus, if you know what I mean . . .
I swear, I am not getting a kickback from New Line or Warner Brothers. Just hoping Mr. A gets in on the royalties from all this.
Apparently, Richard Armitage wasn’t kidding when he described dwarves as a sweaty bunch. In spite of “chillers,” tents with huge amounts of cold air pumped in to give the actors a chance to “chillax” between takes (an idea amongst the actors made reality the very next day!) and lots of rehydrating drinks that wouldn’t send them to the dwarf port-a-potty, once those hot studio lights went on, it didn’t take long for the perspiration to begin to pool.
This leads to a need for “Dwarfen Irrigation,” as Aidan Turner (Kili) calls it.
Here’s Richard’s description of it:
“Perspiration runs down, combines with the prosthetic glue and collects in little pools underneath our silicon eyebrows. Prosthetics Supervisor, Tami Lane, squeezes these little reservoirs and projectile sweat shoots out of your head. We refer to it as being ‘milked!’”
Probably not the sort of-ermmmm-”milking” some people had in mind in regards to RA . . . . Sorry, sorry, my mind and the naughty corner are so well acquainted. I have a reserved seat there. *cough*
With the varying looks for the dwarves, it took anywhere from 30 minutes (for younger dwarves such as Fili, Kili and Ori) to three hours (for the plus-sized Bombur) in the makeup chair for application of prosthetics (I am not sure if that time estimate factored in hair application . . .).
Here’s a photo that’s been circulating online of RA in the makeup chair:
There is nothing quite like looking at yourself in the mirror and seeing someone totally different looking back at you. There’s no better way for an actor to “get into character,” because 50 percent of the work is already done for you!”
~~Richard Armitage quoted in “Being Dwarfed” from The Hobbit Movie Guide.
Seems to be no doubt that the clothes–and nose and brow and hair, etc.–make the man. Or dwarf, as the case may be. By the way, they had to create forty individual facial silicon appliances for every single day of filming.
Ann Maskrey, head costume designer for the film, pointed out that Tolkien’s descriptions of the dwarves hanging up their different colored hoods at Bilbo’s house reminded one a little too much of “garden gnomes,” not really the image they wanted to project onscreen. However, since the passage is one of the few bits of description Tolkien provided about the dwarves’ appearances in the book, Maskrey decided to have the lining of each dwarf’s cape hood feature the key colors mentioned by the author.
Then she chose to color-coordinate each of the dwarf’s costumes. Thorin? Midnight blue, of course. Perfect choice, don’t you think?
“The fabrics used for the Dwarves are a mix of wool, silk, corduroy and moleskin combined with leather and suede decorated with angular detailing to give a Dwarven look–we even managed to create Dwarf designs on knitted scarves and waistcoats.”
~~Ann Maskrey, Chief Costume Designer for The Hobbit
(Good grief, guys, I hope you don’t mind me sharing more of what I am gleaning from the two latest additions to my growing Hobbit collection. Given that some of you have purchased said books after my earlier post, I am thinking you won’t mind a few more quotes/details/pics. It is all so entertaining, informative and FUN. Oooh, and I got an email today that my Thorin cuddly plush should soon be on the way from Jolly Olde England. Squeeeeeee!!!!!! Gee, am I 52–or 12? Oh, I don’t care . . . I am having the time of my life.)