Dwarf Milking & To-Die-For Warrior: More Nuggets from “The Movie Guide”


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 . . .

Tell me that is not a piercing stare. Go ahead. Tell me.

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:

(courtesy of Jas Rangoon and Tumblr)

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.)

96 responses »

    • I think for that top photo alone the Visual Companion is worth it, and I haven’t even really explored the other content in it. Sort of got sidetracked by that photo. *gulp* And there’s LOTS of good stuff in the Movie Guide. I love running across Richard’s various quotes. 😀

  1. Thank you for sharing! Do you think that my family will mind not getting Christmas Presents this year? All of my budget is going toward the Hobbit stuff!!!

    • LOL! We’ve decided not to exchange gifts amongst the adults in our family this year, just get something for the kiddies, which helps everyone’s wallets. But I am still having to watch it. I comfort myself by reminding myself books are educational. However, not sure about action figures, cuddly plush . . . *whistles innocently as she looks at ceiling* It’s as if I am reliving the excitement of the holidays of my childhood. All the anticipation, the excitement . . .

      • Oh ya, books I can justify! (After all I have them everywhere!) But the stuffed Thorin, he’s a little more difficult! However, one look at those lovely blue eyes…I just couldn’t resist! I’m not sure if he should remain hidden or be put on display. Will I have the nerve to live down the eye rolling! Oh, I’m planning on going to Denny’s either this weekend or the next! I may have to abscond with a menu! (Do they have cameras there?)

        • We don’t have a Denny’s here or I would likely have already visited. If nothing else, I could take photos of the menu. LOL Maybe when we get to Montgomery the next time.

          • No Denny’s anywhere near here, and I can’t eat most things on their menu (allergies), so I’ll just have to wait for you to take photos and post them.

  2. Man, I am a total sucker for behind the scenes stuff! I’ve been really ambivalent about Hobbitmania, but I may have to cave!

    • I have been resisting Hobbitmania too because the ONLY reason I have any interest in it at all is because RA is in it. Otherwise I know darned well I would not give a darned. I purchased Empire magazine and that is enough for me. That top photo is STRIKING, but I bet it will turn up online someplace without me having to buy that magazine too, so I will wait. I am not buying any of the figurines because I see them as “dust collectors”. If I see any really good posters highlighting RA as Thorin I would buy that. I just ordered two tickets online at Fandango to see The Hobbit at the local IMAX theater on Saturday the 15th of December.

      • I don’t regret ordering the books at all, or anything I have gotten thus far. I’ve had fun using the action figure for photo ops, so for me it is not just another dust collector. 😉 I’ve been pleased with the quality/content of everything–can’t wait to squeeze my cuddly Thorin LOL The books have a lot of great info about all the characters and the actors playing them, which can only help me have a greater appreciation for the film before I ever enter the theatre–that’s my take on it. I guess watching all those video blog entries by PJ really got me hooked on the movie production as a whole–NOT just the delicious Thorin. 😉 What a clever, clever man!!

        • Oh, and I should add lots of good info on the behind-the-scenes stuff many of us love. It’s great to see the conceptual artists, make-up and prosthetic artists, wardrobe and more get their due.

  3. Is there room in the naughty corner for me?!!

    I certainly won’t be telling you that’s not a piercing stare! Took my breath away. I seem to be muttering “oh my” a lot these days, too. Seeing that pic of him in the make-up chair was one of those poleaxing moments, and it still affects me. I’ve reblogged it twice. I adore these behind-the-scenes candids, and it looks like the books will provide me with plenty of yumminess – I’ve ordered the movie guide, the visual companion and the Weta art book.

    I have also resorted to ordering the Hobbit Thorin cover issue from Empire Online because THIS is our Aussie December issue!
    Lots of pages on Twilight and six – SIX – posters, and only a double page on the Hobbit (that I could see in a quick flip through) I was one very disgruntled fangurl yesterday I can tell you, when I saw the new issues on the shelves.

    • OH, I have cleared things out just to make extra room for everyone here in the old NC. ; The bad thing is when I read those quotes, I am also hearing Richard and that deep Thorin voice in my head saying the words, and seeing, shall we say, a certain glint in those eyes . . . and I really lose it!! Oh, I do have it really, really BAD. I saw that photo from the VG and felt like falling prostrate before him and declaring “I’m not worthy, I’m not worthy . . .”

      I am hoping that Entertainment Weekly will come through with some more articles on the movie as the premiere approaches (they had that nice issue with The Hobbit cover with lots of info, but I, of course, want and expect more.) They mentioned TH prominently again in their latest preview issue, but it was mainly about Andy Serkis playing a “younger, sexier” Gollum (Andy does crack me up) LOL.

      And there was recently a lovely little story about Sir Ian and his theatre charity and how that got started and of course they asked him about the upcoming movie. He mentioned again about the fact that this time around they know there’s a huge audience out there rather than wondering if they anyone was going to show up for the LOTR trilogy, and that makes a big difference.

      Twilight . . . *sigh* I know there are RA fans who are also Twihards, and I won’t denigrate your fav sparkly vamps. But really, all you media people, there are lots of rabid fangurlz for sweaty, dirty, raucous, naughty dwarves, too!! 😉

      • As far as I can see, New Zealand gets the Twilight issue too. I don’t have an argument with it, I’m happy for the Twihards, but I don’t understand why we get a totally different issue down here in the first place. I’m sure I’m not the only sale Australia’s Empire Magazine has lost.

        PS I might just have to buy a plush Thorin to snuggle down with in the NC!! 😉

        • I find it a touch ironic, given from whence Sir Peter hails and the movies are filmed, that NZ would also end up with that issue. *scratches head and shrugs* Oh, well . . .

          • And I was dumbfounded to read in the advert by the one Spanish cinema chain that had one that the film was “American” and Richard Armitage was not listed in the cast! The rcinema gave an opening date, but not which location would show it, nor the format, nor whether it would be VOSE, let alone when or how to get tickets. Argh!

            And everywhere is pushing the Twilight thing. Ugh.

            • I was very pleased to see at the Fandango site today that Hobbit tickets out-sold both Twilight and Skyfall tickets here in the US for pre-sales and shoved Twilight out of first place. 😀

              • There was an article in yesterday’s paper here on The Hobbit, seemingly from that mass interview where all the others we’ve read have come from. When I saw it I couldn’t wait to see what was written about Richard/Thorin, but…NOTHING! Not a single solitary mention of our darling man and/or hot dwarf. On top of Empire’s Twilight issue, this really got on my goat. 😦
                Maybe things will change with The Hobbit tickets outselling all the others…I’m rapt to see that too. *sigh* Is my bias showing?!!

              • I admit I get insulted when I read anything about the movie and they mention the stars and DON’T mention Richard. I mean, no offense to Hugh, Elijah or Orlando, but they do not have the prominence in this film that that RA does (I mean Elijah basically just has a cameo). I’m just waiting for it to come out and people to be wowed and finally wake up and smell the coffee!! And yeah, I am biased and I freely admit it! 😀

        • I don’t want to even say how many times I have smooched Thorin’s photos. The sister-sons are cuties, but their uncle and father figure Thorin is the one that really makes this girl’s heart THROB.

          • Yeah, I think we’re on the same page in the NC, so to speak . . . hmmmm, suddenly remembered the movie Dr. Stranglove and the guy who was obsessed with “precious bodily fluids.” LOL

              • Do you think he has the time?? The man did narrate a show called The Great Sperm Race . . . 😉 and we know he has a naughty side. It’s all his fault, anyhow. Shouldn’t be so darned sexy. 😉

              • Very true. It was quite kind of him to throw us a bone 🙂 Between this and the rearview over at Servetus’, I hardly know what to do with myself! 🙂

              • Also I ran across some entries at a site called “Dirty British Actor Confessions” (the things you stumble into just looking over RA images on the Google page!) and oh, brother, they weren’t holding anything back. Whoaaaaaaaa . . . the things they wanted to do to and with our lovely lad. So I feel downright tame compared to that. 😉 There was stuff for Tom HIddleston–and Simon Pegg in his Shaun of the Dead guise. Involving BDSM. LOL! Yeah, that rearview over at Serv’s blog. My word, has there ever been a man who looked more drop-dead gorgeous coming AND going???

              • I am not a huge fashionista, but I did not like those jeans from the front. It is hard to make RA look bad, but those jeans came close. From the back? Shazam! I just want unzip those pockets and warm up my hands! (Fanning self)

              • LOL I was speaking in general terms, actually, rather than those jeans in particular. I agree, the rearview in them is far superior to the frontal. And I generally love him in jeans, even though, as Serv has pointed out, his body type really isn’t made for most jeans out there. NOT that I would change a thing about that bee-you-tiful physique of his, mind you.

              • Gimme a tape measure, 3 m of superior denim, top-quality notions, and a couple of fittings and I’ll make a pair of jeans that will fit him very well indeed. It’s all in the cut…

              • Jeans, trousers, towel, au naturale. No matter- I have NEVER been so enamored of a man’s bum before…and I may have seen a few here and there 😉

              • It’s so—lush. Muscular and yet very curvaceous. I was looking at a screencap of him standing in that line in Strike Back after they’ve stripped down. My gosh, that arse stands out and not just because he’s the only white man in the line. I still envy the hell out of Julie Graham for getting to massage those peaches. *sigh*

              • Share the envy, but of course I would prefer no lights, no cameras, no body makeup, no crew…

              • I would love to do a vid to that song, but with a female voice and change of lyrics. RA is so fly, no body’s better, don’t deny, he’s got a bootie that just won’t stop, lush curves make my jaw drop. Richie’s got BACK! LOL 😉

              • I seem to be having problems with posts…sorry if I’m doing something wrong!? (that anonymous bootie quest one was from me too 🙂

              • Hmmmmm . . . . if I could find a karaoke soundtrack of the original song . . . I could do the vocals. Not my usual singing style LOL (more pop and standards) but I could do it. Just need to figure out the technical logistics.

              • I have access to sound mixing software..I need to figure out how to use it anyway if you get to that point. I have found karaoke tracks for pretty eclectic mid online…rock it sistah!

              • I think Benny has something in the way of software, too, but I do appreciate the offer. 😀 I will have to go to iTunes and Amazon later and see what I can find re karaoke tracks. And yes, you can find a little bit of everything music-wise, can’t you? 😉

              • My son is a singer, and he’s always looking for accompaniment…the trick now is establishing his key as he went from a soprano to a baritone in six months! Google never fails me…there is a place called karaokechannel.com where apparently one can even record vocals over the track. Technology!

              • Wow! That is convenient. I used to do quite a bit of singing-school and community events, weddings, etc.–not as much recently other than around the house, and I had a karoake machine that used cassette tapes and later, one for CDs. I don’t the thing even works anymore.

                Yeah, he’s at that tricky age when you don’t know what’s going to come out when you open your mouth. Makes me wonder when Richard’s voice reached its baritone state. I had a kid who attended my church when I was teaching at the school for the blind who was only 14 but brother, he sounded so much older. Loved hearing him sing.

              • Anatomically, the taller the person the more likely their vocal chords are longer, thus the voice is deeper (and hence the rarity of tall tenors). So when young males shoot up during puberty, that is when height and hormones combine to cause the voice to deepen. They acquire “secondary sexual characteristics”, some of which are obvious and some less so.

              • He’s teetering between a baritone and a bass right now, but he doesn’t have very good command over the lower end of his range yet – gets really muddy. He sang, “I Know Where I’ve Been” from Hairspray a few months ago at church, a people sat up and wondered what had happened to the little boy who sang “Colors of the Wind” a year ago 🙂 He started with a vocal coach this fall – he looks like a defensive end, but he couldn’t care less about sports – drama and music for my boy. Fine with me – it’s much warmer in a theater than on a football field!

              • Truthfully, it’s also a lot safer for him. As much as I love a good football game, I have seen too many of my friends and co-workers’ sons end up with concussions, broken arms, etc. from collisions on the field. I know Rich has had a few mishaps but nothing too serious yet. 😉

              • Great! A good vocal coach will help him so he doesn’t hurt his voice, but strengthens it and improves flexibility.

              • Believe me, I know! I was a 3 sport varsity athlete in High School and sometimes now I barely get up a flight of stairs…dislocated joints, broken bones, strained ligaments/tendons, generally poor conditioning I can’t help but think that all of the damage I did to my teenage body has a ripple effect to my middle age body. I’m tickled that he wants nothing to do with it. On the other hand, if there is a piece of set he can fall off of – he will! I can’t wait for this spring – the community theater is doing Beauty and the Beast!

              • Klutz is my middle name–Benny says if the three-legged cat was a blue-eyed blonde, we’d be practically indistinguishable from each other–and I’ve never had an athletic bone in this poor old middle-aged body, something I have always wished had been different (my knee I wrecked in a car wreck, not playing sports). I guess it can all catch up with you, though.

                Look at all the pro athletes with 70 year old knees when they are barely 40. One of my former students (who was also the granddaughter of a woman who was a second mother to me) actually broke her back while rehearsing cheerleader stunts. Thank goodness she was in good health and very fit as it helped her recover quickly. But I bet that back will come back to haunt her in another 20 years.

              • It all DOES catch up with you, and it’s not fun to realize that you have to pay for things that happened, say, 50 years ago.

              • I don’t know for certain, but the surgery for my knee may have precipitated the development of FMS–I had such difficulty recovering from it and it was after that things really went haywire with my health. And I do know physical trauma/surgery can lead to its onset. And the need for that surgery was a direct result of a car accident from my college days. So I am still paying, and always will be, for something that happened over three decades ago. Oh, well, c’est la vie. The moral of this story, kids, is: never go hydroplaning on a bridge in a downpour and remove an under deck tape player with your knee and send it into the back seat. 😉

              • He’s got all that going on…I didn’t have brothers, so I was really blindsided by puberty with my son…one day he was a smoothed cheeked little boy singing in the Boy Choir and seemingly the next he was taller than me and sprouting a beard with a voice as deep as his father – how’s that for creepy – hearing your husband’s voice coming out of your son’s mouth *shudder*. And the moods! I realized on Tuesday that he will be old enough to vote in the next presidential election. Good Lord! I’m much to young to have an adult son 🙂

              • Better to be young when this happens; then you can roll with the punches. Probably a good idea to have “the talk” if you haven’t already and demonstrate the use of condoms with a suitably sized vegetable. Fathers should do this, but they often won’t. It’s embarrassing, but better than having to say that you’re too young to be a grandmother.

              • I think my oldest sister (we had no brothers, either) experienced the same thing with my nephew. her youngest . . . suddenly that angelic-looking little towhead was looming over her and then the voice got deep. I think back to my adolescence–and I really was a pretty straight-arrow kid–but those moods. I could understand if my mom occasionally wanted to throttle HER formerly angelic-looking little towhead in pigtails 😉

              • Been there done that on the “talk” – hubby’s sister was a Grandmother at 42. No thank you! My son has informed me that he will not be marrying or having biological children, rather he will be adopting a baby girl from China. (and moving to Britain apparently) He’s doing virtual school this year, but we heard through the grapevine that there is a girl in the local middle school who is expecting – can’t be more than 14!

              • Good for your son! Virtual school is really good, though I’m wondering if there is a local music conservatory he could attend. That kind of background can be a real boost in terms of confidence and learning social skills as well as musical ones.

              • Oh, man, babies having babies. And you know, I really don’t think these “Teen Mom” and “16 and Pregnant” shows help any. “oooh, if I get knocked up, maybe I can be on TV and be famous and get plastic surgery and stuff!!” Never thinking of the responsibilities, long-term consequences of it all.

              • These shows actually exist?? Now I’m shocked. What a documentary should show is how ill prepared, unsupported, and ill-equipped such girls are for parenthood. Little do they realize that parenthood means a 24/7 job with no vacation or sick days, and the commitment lasts a lifetime. It’s incredibly rewarding, but it’s very hard work, even if the child hasn’t any problems..

              • Hard to believe, but true. These are reality shows that apparently are very popular (I’ve never watched them). And some of these girls become reality “stars” and are featured in the celeb weeklies, that sort of thing. One of them went to jail for something and that just got her more publicity. *sigh* There are people who have children very young and do an amazing job. However, most teenagers that I know simply are not emotionally and psychologically equipped to have children, let’s not even begin to talk about the financial aspects of it all. Our niece on Benny’s side got pregnant while still in high school and I have to give Deniece and Jason credit–they have stuck together and are raising three sweet kids, she got her high school degree and is pursuing a college degree, and Jason is really a loving dad to those kids. But I think they are the exception to the rule.

              • His vocal coach teaches through a local liberal arts university that is performing arts centered, so he has private sessions, but they also do ensemble work. He had a role last summer in a local production of Tom Sawyer (they said he looked to old to play Tom Sawyer 🙂 ) and it turns out that the vocal coach was actually who he had auditioned for. He has always been a bit of a loner, but he has really found his niche with the theater folk..Fortunately Wisconsin has an open enrollment program in the public schools, so I am applying for a transfer out of our home district to one of the two local high schools that have strong music and drama programs – our local district is atrocious.

              • *waves hands from Alabama as enthusiastic supporters of arts in all schools* My take is that every child needs that measure of success, that place in which he feels he or she belongs and can really blossom. Everyone isn’t an athletic or strong in academics (there are those souls good at all of it, of course); for some kids, the arts are what make such a critical difference in their lives. How great that your son has found his place and is getting to develop his talents and interests.

              • Now from the sublime to the ridiculous, I now have instrumental and vocal teaching tracks for a certain Sir Mix-A-Lot tune. I will need to get the lyrics so I can write my own to match the beat of the song. Benny’s got an idea about how I can record it. And of course, I will be forced to come up with numerous screencaps that illustrate the fact that Richie does, indeed, have some junk in his trunk. 😉

              • Looking for bootie shots will be awfully taxing 🙂 I hope it all comes together, I’d love to see it!

              • Well, that’s the way I look at it, but I am willing to take one for the team. 😉 I might even ask for the readers to send me their favorite bootie shots of Mr. A and his characters. So you can share in the, er, misery. You know, Misery loving company and all that. 😉

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