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!!
I was so exhausted last night from all that Richarding that I went to bed far earlier than I do some nights. Now I am up, my eyes a bit more rested, thinking about Comic-Con and RA and my reactions and impressions.
I described myself as being in “hyperfrog” mode in one comment I made on the blog last night. I was hopping between The One Ring net’s live blogging, Twitter, the blog, EW.com and checking out the various photos being posted from the event, even tossing a couple of them up on the blog in the “Sweet Baby Richard” post.
Like everyone else, it seems, I was slightly drunk from that euphoric feeling that came from seeing and hearing my favorite actor once mor
I downloaded and re-watched the EW interview with the cast and watched the Fandango interview in which we learned Thorin’s actual height.
This morning I enjoyed watching TORn’s interview with Richard and finally being able to understand what he was saying, thanks to Bccmee’s closed captioning. You go, girl!!
Several people have commented that he looked a bit tired. Frankly, I would have been surprised if he’d looked completely bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Anyone ever heard of a little thing called jet lag?
I remember sitting in a hotel lobby in England and wondering if earthquakes ever struck London.
And I was a little younger at the time than Richard is now and hadn’t spent a year-and-a-half in an intensely physical role.
Everyone looked a bit weary—well, with the possible exception of the amazing Sir Ian, who seems to be channeling some of Gandalf’s magic. What a terrific example of a senior citizen!
Tiredness aside, I thought Richard looked wonderful—a touch of color in his face, I am thinking; the hair, now growing back out a bit, is glossy and healthy-looking and presumably his natural color. There was the black shirt and v-neck tee showing off a lean, muscular frame with just a hint of chest hair peeking out, along with that tantalizing glimpse of a necklace. A souvenir of his sojourn in NZ?
Yes, the beard was a bit fuzzy but it didn’t bother me, personally. It will be interesting to see if said beard stays or goes for the tornado movie (I will be glad when it gets a working title again).
Yes, he’s lost weight since the original Hobbit press conference. Riding, fighting with the rather heavy-looking Orcrist, marching and running around in all that dwarf regalia would tend to burn some serious calories, I reckon. Heck, he’s grown half an inch, though, so New Zealand must really agree with him!
On the subject of his height, I can help but wonder if he might have fudged slightly about his height earlier in his career. Being too tall can be considered a liability in his profession, especially back in the days when he was in musical theatre. And he always wanted to be shorter, didn’t he?
I found Richard’s comments about the physical appearance of the dwarfs quite interesting–that the dwarfs were made bigger so they could be made smaller—i.e., padded to give them a more sturdy and robust appearance. That prevented the actors from looking like little kids running around on screen instead of believable (if slightly height-challenged) warriors.
And I have no doubt I will completely believe in the fierce, complex and charismatic warrior dwarf, Thorin Oakenshield.
OK, need to take a break. I’ll be back with more thoughts on Richard’s evolution as an actor and public persona. And with one of my favorite photos from yesterday.