The winner: Richard, by a nose


I love Richard Armitage’s nose. If I do get to meet him at Comic-Con International, I am half-way tempted to tell him I am so glad he left well enough alone and didn’t tamper with that magnificent proboscis. I know he hated being teased about his hooter in his younger days, but Richard grew into it so beautifully. I look at men with lesser noses–cute, boyish or simply bog-standard in nature–and I sneer a little bit inwardly (evidence of my inner Guy, surely).

Richard’s regal aquiline nose works beautifully with his face. To tamper with it would practically be sacrilege.

Orson Welles chose to use prosthetic noses in certain film roles because he thought his own nose, which was on the cute side, simply didn’t work for some of the heroic or villainous characters he chose to play. Simply put, his natural nose lacked gravitas.

A young Orson Welles with his natural nose.

Welles wearing a prosthetic nose in “Mr. Arkadin.” There’s a built-up bridge, slight extension and drop of the tip of his nose.

A more bulbous nose prosthetic was worn by Welles in this role in “Touch of Evil” (Commeaucimena)

I think Mr. Welles, who loved performing in meaty dramatic roles, would have been thrilled to have a nose more like Mr. Armitage’s, don’t you?

Looking at the first glimpse of the dwarves in The Hobbit and their scale doubles presenting themselves to Sir Peter (as seen in an early video blog), it certainly appeared as if, along with his forehead, RA’s natural nose had been modified.

The early Thorin nose appeared more hook-like than RA’s natural nose.

However, subsequent glimpses of RA in Thorin makeup seemed to indicate he had more or less gone back to his natural nose.

Based on a screencap from the TH trailer. Is this RA’s “real” nose or slightly modified?

Make a comparison to this screencap of Guy from the Children in Need sketch:

In the most recent videoblogs, is it Richard’s natural nose in all its aquiline glory that we are seeing?

The handsome Thorin on set with Gandalf, based on a screencap from most recent video blog.

We know it’s customary for tweaking to be done to a particular character’s appearance for a role in a film such as this. My hope was that Richard’s face would not be too heavily hidden beneath his Thorin makeup because (A) it’s a very mobile, expressive face that beautifully telegraphs the inner workings of the character without speaking a word, and (B) he’s Richard Armitage.  I’m not afraid to admit I like his looks, and I enjoy seeing that face in all its distinctive masculine beauty.

And I also love Thorin’s magnificent mane of hair, his bushy brows, elfin ears, his stockier dwarf physique et al.  Richard rocks the Thorin look.

And he rocks that wonderful nose.  The nose of a man meant to play a king, whether one Under the Mountain or Over England.

32 responses »

  1. I wonder if the early nose wasn’t just a trick to placate the purists that thought if they did cast RA, he definetely needs heavy prosthetics? The hooked nose really doesn’t help to look more dwarfish, because his own nose is more than sufficient, it is just a change for the sake of a change.

    • Could be. I ‘ve wondered if the rather extreme prosthetics on some of the dwarves is to make them more distinctive looking from each other (and to enhance the comedic elements found in TH)–otherwise, you’ve just got a bunch of short hairy guys. I think Thorin should have a certain regal quality about him and I think Richard, unlike Orson, doesn’t need help looking the part. 😉

      • I think it is to make a gradual transition from Gimli on one side of the spectrum and Kili and Thorin on the other. Some of the other actors don’t really need prosthetics because they already have wonderful, distinctive, dwarvish faces.

  2. Beautiful man, beautiful face, beautiful lips, beautiful eyes, beautiful skin and the most aristocratic beautiful nose. In my eyes he is the incarnation of perfect and harmonious beauty. “sigh”

  3. In the last vlog, Thorin’s nose very much looked like Richard’s own! 🙂 I don’t think an aquiline nose would have suited Orson’s face. He would have looked weird. Richard’s nose fits his face perfectly. It’s a gorgeous nose! Not to be tampered with, ever (not to mention that nasal surgery is such a painful operation to recover from as you and I know very well Angie..I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy, let alone darling Richard)!

    • I agree completely. The nerve endings and blood vessels in that part of the face are very dense, probably a natural selection thing for survival. In consequence, any mucking about is horribly painful and very bloody, and IMO only to be done as a last resort. Richard’s nose suits his face and contributes to his unique beauty. He uses it in his work, too; how many of us have noticed Guy sniffing? So, why use a prosthetic unless it’s absolutely necessary? Sometimes I think the makeup designs are done in advance, with the artist’s conception of what each character should look like. Then they evolve when the director and the artist see what the actor can do

      • I was thinking about when the anaesthetic wears off, of course. I have known people who had to have the antrum re-bored because the sinuses could not drain properly. I’ve also seen a very tough man to reduced incoherent groans after surgery to repair a broken nose.

        • How about having them cut through your gums to go up into the sinus cavities to remove a cyst on one side and thoroughly vacuum out the sinuses on the other. This was before the endoscopic kind, which I had a few years later when the sinuses got all fouled up a second time. Yes, I ‘ve been lucky enough to undergo sinus surgery twice. The second time I was in a quad room at the base hospital and one of the other patients moaned all night. I am sure the poor woman was genuinely in pain, but my head felt like it was splitting open, I needed morphine 10 minutes ago and I wanted to scream for her to STFU. 😉

          • Good grief!! Heaven knows why they didn’t go in through your eyebrow, but sheesh! And they don’t even give you a medal for that kind of bravery.

          • That 1st surgery sounds like a proper nightmare!*shudders* Poor you! I guess I shouldn’t complain as mine was done with the endoscopic technique. Still, the 48 hours following the operation were excrutiating. I vowed never to undergo a surgery like that again unless the doctors tell me that my life is in danger and can’t be saved otherwise.

            • thankfully, they were dissolving stitches in my gums so I didn’t have to go through further discomfort with having them removed. The endoscopic surgery was much less invasive. Re nightmares, remind me to never show you my videotape of my knee surgery. It’s all being inside my knee but he made a three-inch incision and then sucked all sorts of debris from beneath the kneecap. Benny watched it after we got home and I swear he was starting to turn green. He said his knee hurt and he didn’t have anything wrong with it! LOL When I did my PT starting the next day, I cried involuntarily. It just hurt so very, very much . . .

      • Nor mine. Welles’ remains were interred on one of the local bull farms. By the time he was hanging around the town, he bore a marked resemblance to the Michelin man with a cigar stuck in his face.

            • The same thing can hold true for women. Sometimes those who are cute when they are younger don’t age too well, either. And then there are those poor child stars who grow out of their cuteness, can’t make the transition to adult roles and they get into all kinds of trouble. I can think of a number of them that has happened to . . . Lindsay Lohan wasn’t particularly baby-faced, and she actually does have talent, but my word, she looks like a 40 year old who’s been “rode hard and put away wet.” And she’s, like, 25. At the rate she is going, I hate to think what she is going to look like when she is 40, assuming she lives that long.

  4. Richard’s nose is perfection; so are his bushy eyebrows. I usually don’t care for small lips on a man, but Richard’s tiny lips are perfection. Richard’s entire face is perfection. I am so glad that Peter Jackson decided to scale back on covering up his face. I the more muscular upper body too. Richard is regal as Thorin. Richard Armitage is PERFECTION.

    I have to say also that I love his surname. Armitage is such a commanding name and it suits Richard to a tee.

    One The Hobbit reaches the theaters world wide I am going to see it on opening day.

    I streamed LOTR: Fellowship of The Rings yesterday morning. I wanted to see what all the hoopla is about. I am so glad I watched it during the daytime. It kind of scared me. If I watched it at night time I could have had nightmares. I have to give LOTR an A+ for costumes and special effects.

  5. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Richard’s nose is perfect for him! I think he’s used the feeling’s he’s had about his nose and the comments that he’s suffered through to help him become the man and the actor that he is today! I’m so glad they took off the prosthetic and went back to his own, grand nose! Oh, and I LOVE when he takes those huge sniffs! It makes me giggle every time!!

  6. I too think his nose is quite perfect! It is so much a part of his magnificent masculine beauty along with the rest of his amazing features; his mesmerizing eyes, soft looking lips with their perfect cupid’s bow, and so on. At times I could talk endlessly about how absolutely gorgeous he is and sometimes I am at a loss to find one word that truly does him justice!! 🙂

  7. I think it is possible there may be something laid down along the top, maybe to de-emphasize the aquiline beauty and maybe emphasize rough and tumble stocky dwarf. It may also help anchor the forehead/wig prosthetic. I guess we’ll have to study just how crinkly the crinkles are when The Hobbit comes out. 🙂 I am already looking forward to the hours and hours of behind the scenes extended version features for the DVDs!

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