Sir Peter’s latest vlog: my thoughts (part two)


Well, feeling better than I was earlier today, thank goodness. And I am thinking about Richard Armitage once more. I know. What a surprise.


I rewatched that last production vlog again earlier in anticipation of writing this second blog entry on it. Once again, I found myself thoroughly enjoying the entire thing. What an exciting journey it has been thus far! And how fortunate I feel to have the opportunity to be part of it thanks to Sir Peter’s efforts to share it with us.


The focus of this entry is to be Mr. A, but first I have to reiterate how much I admire and appreciate the infectious spirit of camaraderie and team work seen in the cast and crew of The Hobbit. I can only believe that is a positive work environment for all involved.


Something that particularly struck me on this viewing was Sir Peter’s expression of nerves on his way to Comic-Con. Of course, a tremendous amount rides on the reception of these films, yet the fact this celebrated genius of the cinema was so concerned about a positive outcome at an event which is largely fan-based touched me. The fans, as he said, are his kind of people, and he wants them to be pleased with what he’s doing.

Oh, and I must give a shout-out this time around to the charming T-shirts I actually noticed on first viewing (yes, I actually did catch things other than a certain hot dwarf and his Creator) for those working with second unit director, the multi-talented Andy Serkis: “Andy’s Flying Serkis.” Gotta love those!!

Now, on to RA.

He looks fantastic, doesn’t he?  

A happy and healthy-looking Richard Armitage. I do find those flecks of grey in his beard quite endearing.



Of course, we all saw him looking quite relaxed and fit and truly gorgeous at Comic-Con. But this vlog gave us an opportunity to see more of him along the way—the sort of moments we saw so few of in earlier production vlogs.  There were amusing moments, breathtaking moments (he really is absolutely beautiful as Thorin), moments of quiet reflection and boisterous tomfoolery.

Some of my favorite RA moments:

Richard playing “footsy” with the other dwarfs in those great cumbersome boots.  I love him in jeans, of course, but we don’t see nearly enough of him in shorts IMHO.  Legs like those deserve to be showcased. And once more that dancer’s stance shines through.

 Poetic Armitage. Like everyone else, his evocative comments about those early arrivals at Stone Street with the stars still shining in the sky struck a particular chord with me.  The man may have the profile of a king and the body of an Adonis, but he’s got the heart of a poet.


His ability to focus. The sense that he is “all there” and never slumming always strikes me. I love seeing these behind-the-scenes glimpses of Richard at work. Those azure eyes and elfin ears (rather more elfin than usual, even if he’s playing a dwarf) take it all in, don’t they?

Ah, that intent, focused gaze.

Younger Thorin? I do believe—judging by the attire and also the lack of grey hair here—this must be younger Thorin in battle. I see a hint of Sir Guy in his expression. I don’t know if it makes Sir Guy happy—I still avoid mentioning a certain warrior dwarf in his presence—but it makes me happy. And all the more eager to see younger and older Thorin on the big screen.

Leaping Armitage. It’s a “blink and you miss it” moment, but when in that one scene in which Martin is cutting up with the dwarfs you can just glimpse a tall, dark-haired fellow jumping in the air on the left side of the screen. I could only recall his Cats days—and smile.

Cheeky Armitage. He’s grown into a beautiful mature man but it’s fun to see the boyish, cheeky, flirty side of him peeping out at us. Sticking out his tongue at Graham MacTavish. Tossing that fish at Adam Brown.  Like others, I had worried somewhat that he might be so caught up in the angsty gravitas of Thorin he never really let his hair down.

Moments like these make me think he also knew how to kick back and be a cheeky monkey along the way.

I recall what the stuntmen on Strike Back said: “He’s one of us.” I suspect that is exactly how the crew felt about RA—the hard-working, good-natured, gentlemanly, down-to-earth fellow we all know and love- after working with him for a year and a half. And I do believe he has so many wonderful memories he will treasure for the rest of his life from his NZ odyssey.

And now with these continued speculations that a third film is not, in fact, out of consideration . . . so he may be spending more time Down Under.  Who knows? I just know I am now eagerly awaiting a post-production vlog from our friend Sir Peter . . .

And, of course, news of sightings of Mr. A in the Midwest re the “tornado movie.”  I think these next few months are going to be very exciting for us all. 



20 responses »

  1. Leaping Armitage? I totally missed him there, probably too busy laughing at Martin’s antics! Of course I’ve had to go back to the video and rewatch several times to catch him at it. 😉
    Absolutely with you on these moments, they are all a delight. Poetic and Cheeky Armitage are particularly appealing because it’s those facets of his personality that won me over initially-his thoughtfulness, intelligence, his sense of humour and good-naturedness. I want to try loading his comment about early mornings onto my iPod, his voice is just beautiful as he reflects on those memories.

    Another great post Angie, thank you, you always manage to articulate what is in my head and heart when it comes to this wonderful, beautiful man! 🙂

    • I missed Leaping Armitage the first time through, too, and then saw someone on Twitter mention it occurred during that particular scene.

      So I made sure to keep an eye out the second time. It’s just so much fun to see him break out of his serious actor mode and be light-hearted (even when he’s just doing it in the background). I am glad he was able to let down his hair on what I suspect were a number of occasions over those 18 months.

      He really is a lovely, high quality of a human being. So very much more than just the good looks and gorgeous physique. In a world of cheap imitations, he is the real thing. I’m glad I can put things into the right words for more than just myself. 😀

      • With production taking place over such a long time, it’s been great that circumstances were such that the cast and crew could feel comfortable enough to break out and let their hair down. Having lighter moments in one’s day are essential.
        I don’t know how many hours of extra behind-the-scenes stuff there was for LOTR, but I really hope that there’s heaps of it for TH, including of course, more of Leaping, Poetic, Cheeky and Focused Armitage!

        I’m glad you’re feeling better! 🙂

        • I think from hearing other actors talk about shooting films, if you don’t get along well with your co-workers, it can be a pretty dreadful experience. Imagine if you were miserable for a year and a half–it would seem an eternity!! Yes, we all need those moments of light-heartedness in our days.

          I don’t have the LOTR DVDs, so I have no idea exactly how much extra stuff was on there (although I have heard there was quite a bit). I can only imagine the same will be true of these films. We can hope for lots of Armitage in All His Modes. 😉

          • It would seem that Sir Peter has the uncanny ability to choose the right mix of “high quality” people who are great to work and have fun with, as well as seeing the talent and potential in a relatively unknown actor. 😉

            • And I think that’s part of the success of the films–his bringing together the right people in terms of talent and personality. There are very gifted people who just don’t play well with others, and I can’t see PJ hiring that sort of individual. And yes, he does have the ability to see the potential for true stardom in a relatively obscure British actor–thank goodness!!

          • There’s hours and hours of additional stuff. I watched at least 3 to 6 hours of addition info. for each film in the trilogy divided into 2 dvd’s. It’s fascinating stuff. I just takes a while to watch it all. It took me several days for each one.

  2. I agree with you Angie!:) Yes, Peter Jackson intensionally avoids a “prima donna” kind of actors. 😉
    They performer the hard work but in the best company:) Richard so nicely emphasized the word “camaraderie”, don’t you think?

  3. Thank you Angie for yet another beautifully written post. I think I have already said how much I love this latest vlog. I was thinking about it a lot today – even when I wasn’t actually re-watching it – and I kept hearing Richard’s voice when he spoke and also what he said about his early morning experiences when entering the studios. As well as a poetic soul I think there is a romantic one there too, not only in what he said but in the way he said it. There is a different timbre to his voice when he talks of things that move him I believe. His voice has the power to move me too, I have to admit! Looking at that second picture does things to me as well!!

    I too missed The Leap the first few times I watched!! 🙂 There is no doubt that a lot of the dancer still lives on inside the actor which is very evident even by the way he carries himself whether standing or moving. Even the way he runs is elegant, I think, although with the heavy costumes it isn’t that easy to spot in this movie! They appeared to be rehearsing something fairly serious in the boot clicking clip, judging my the expressions on their faces, but you can see the difference in stance between him and “Dori”.

    From all the fun stuff they seemed to get up to, it’s clear how very comfortable they felt around each other. The fact that the cast is for the most part made up of guys I think it wasn’t just the dwarves in the movie who are naughty but the actors themselves!! 😀 The girl you see between him and Adam in the fish tossing clip (one of the crew I’m guessing) seems to be enjoying the fun too! 😉

    Watching the whole vlog again tonight I found myself becoming quite emotional and I had quite a lump in my throat! You could feel the love emanating from the whole group at the end. I know it all has to come to an end eventually but it is obvious by some of the sentiments they expressed that they will indeed miss each-other dreadfully. Some of them might never work together again but all these months they have done so will be indelibly etched in their minds and on their hearts.

        • I caught the Leap this time, as I knew where to look (I’m supposed to be working, oh dear!) Yes, it’s definitely him, boyish Armitage making an appearance! My fav remains the fish tossing though. Oh and the stars at 4.45 am. 🙂

          • The early start reminded me of something Ralph Fiennes said when he was on Inside the Actor’s Studio. He said he had a 2 (two) am make-up call for “The English Patient”. He said the make-up process for the badly burnt Count Almasy took 8 (!!!) hours initially, then the make-up artists managed to get it down to 5 hrs. So Richard didn’t have it that bad with Thorin after all! 🙂

  4. Beautiful post as always, Angie. 🙂 I have to confess I’m not keen at all on the idea of a 3rd Hobbit film. I’m afraid the plot would be too thin for that. It would definitely cast a shadow of “milking the cash cow” over the whole production (I’m not saying it would be that, but it could appear that way to a lot of people), and I really, really don’t want that to happen. Sorry I don’t mean to sound negative. It’s just my opinion.

    • I am dubious about the whole idea of a third movie. The Hobbit itself is much shorter than the trilogy of books and they really would have to pad it with a lot more material. We’ll see . . .

      • Exactly. They’d pretty much have make up a whole new plot, write additional stories. Now I’m not a purist (far from it) but I would feel a rather uncomfortable about it (as good a writer as Philippa may be). In the quality vs.quantity debate, I’d always pick quality. I’d rather have 2 classy films than 3 mediocre/bad ones

    • Yes, I keep thinking of the song The Twelve Days of Christmas talking about “lords a-leaping.” In this case, dwarfs a-leaping. Look to left of your screen while Martin is doing his martial arts moves with the other guys. 😉

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