Dwarf love for the Leader of the Company: Comments from HobbitCon

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I never grow tired of reading or hearing Richard Armitage’s co-workers discussing what a good guy he is. I think it would be easy to be jealous of and snarky about someone like RA– so blo0dy tall and handsome, so charismatic and talented–and yet he seems to be universally well-liked because he is also truly kind, generous, modest and sweet, with no particular airs and graces. You’d pretty much have to be a troll–or an orc or goblin, methinks–NOT to like him.

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(screencaps courtesy of Heirs of Durin unless otherwise noted; photo edits are my own)

Here’s what some of the actors who made up the dwarves in his Company in The Hobbit had to say about RA at HobbitCon in Bonn recently. Thank you, Herba and also Ali at Richard Armitage Net who shared additional quotes supplied to her via tweets. I confess shedding some tears as I read these words of praise for RA from the guys who spent two years training, rehearsing, filming and living alongside him.

I think under such circumstances you are bound to get to know something of the “real” person, and the “real” person named Richard Armitage is pretty special, indeed. *sigh* I have that sudden urge to hug his mother again, you know?

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RA manfully (dwarfully?) striding forth as the leader of the Company during Dwarf Boot Camp prior to filming of TH.

“When we were done shooting & Richard left the set we’d just follow because he’s such the perfect leader” Jed Brophy 

“How you imagine him to be is exactly how he is, wonderful, kind, and natural leader to our group” Graham

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“Yes he was . The nicest human I have met” Jed Brophy

“Richard was one of my neighbours in New Zealand and we had often breakfast together. He is a generous person and we had to follow him. He totally nailed Thorin.” Jed Brophy

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The lovely, caring, boyish Mr. Armitage peeks out of Thorin’s eyes and smile as he studies his mini-Lego doppelganger. Don’t think I will ever stop loving this photo.

“Richard is a sincere guy, really lovely and caring and the leader of the actors,like Thorin is the leader of the dwarves.” Graham MacTavish

Richard Armitage is a lovely guy. SOme weeks ago I mailed him a question and two minutes later he mailed back and said: ‘Sorry, I can’t answer at the moment but I’ll come back to you as fast as I can.” Adam Brown

“Richard is real and honourable and I was totally in awe when Richard did his first speech in Bag End, I think we were all moved in a really truthful way.” (Graham McTavish nodded) Mark Hadlow

“The amount of energy that Richard put in that role was amazing!” John Callen

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Richard using some of that amazing energy in preparing for the role.

“Richard was really good at the fight training.” Mark Hadlow

“He sat in his fatsuit the wrong way round on a chair, one hand on the back of the chair, the other hand held on Orcrist like a walking stick and his head with Thorin’s long hair leant back. And you also see Dwalin’s hand with a blow-dryer.” Graham MacTavish  (I love visualizing this description, frankly)

“Richard did a lot of homework (Tolkien related).” Adam Brown

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This image is courtesy of the lovely Bechep at “Such is Life.” Thank you, my dear!

37 responses »

  1. Angie,thanks for compiling all of these wonderful things his castmates had to say about him! It puts such a huge smile on my face reading how highly they all think of Richard.

    • Herba did most of it (thankfully she had the quotes in English on her German blog!!) and then I found the others on Twitter where Ali shared additional tweets by Graham and Jed. Wanted to put them altogether in one place, as I know some of my readers don’t do Twitter. I am just passing the good news along. I know, I have been smiling and yes, crying (but for happy!) today reading these.

    • What Jas said! 🙂

      When I checked my Twitter, I was grinning like a simpleton when the tweets from Graham and Jed showed up.

      And then there were the ones about the Con itself from the other lads … their camaraderie is heartwarming. (If they’re just acting that way for the fans/cameras/etc, then these guys deserve Oscars for their performances!)

      Funny (to me) side note: I was laughing so hard at Graham’s description of Richard’s calendar shot that my hubby raised a brow at me. So, I read it to him. He just started laughing, and shaking his head (he does that a lot *chuckle*), and then commented that they seemed to be having an awful lot of fun on that movie.

      • Yeah, I can’t help but feel things really did go well between them all–I am sure, as with any family, there were some squabbles along the way, but basically they seem to have developed strong friendships that I suspect will last the rest of their lives. I think those guys DID have a very, very good time of it, overheating, tired muscles, long days and all.

  2. How lovely–not just that Richard seems to be exactly as we see him, but that he inspires such admiration in the people he works with under such intense conditions. There are so many people in the acting profession who may have talent but don’t really merit personal kudos. We always knew it about him, but it’s wonderful to think that his light and beauty shine through for his co-workers.

    • Oh, yes, there are many whose talent I admire but not necessarily the way they conduct their lives. RA is definitely the exception to that. He’s the real deal all the way around. 😀

  3. Sitting here with tears in my eyes and a smile on my face, turning to mush reading these comments. Like you Angie, I never tire of hearing what Richard’s co-workers have to say about him. IIRC, he said at one time that he wanted Thorin to earn respect, not just command it. Well, our lovely, humble, honourable man, I think you can safely say that not only Thorin, but you yourself have done just that.
    Thank you for compiling these Angie. 🙂

    • He is such a great guy, isn’t he? I mean, he doesn’t show one face to the public and then another to the people he works with-he’s truly good inside. It warms my heart (and I believe everyone’s here as well) to know that his peers hold him in such high regard. It’s what he deserves for being such a humble, good-natured, inspiring man with great talent and integrity. Oh, RA, you fantabulous human being, you!!!

      • Yeah, and we’ve seen celebs turn out to be something very different than the image they project for the media. But I really believe Richard is who he appears to be, kind and generous and hard-working and a truly decent, good human being. Don’t we have great taste in crushes??

    • It just never gets old for me. Yes, he did say he wanted Thorin to be someone who earned his men’s respect and desire to follow him, and he obviously accomplished that–both as Thorin and as RA. I am glad you enjoyed, Mezz. 😀

  4. Thanks for this! It is so great to hear his colleagues praise him. We know it’s true — but it is still wonderful to have it confirmed by those who know him in real life.

    • Thanks, Phylly, glad you enjoyed. Yes, these confirmations, these affirmations really do mean a lot. Just reminds me of what a very special human being he is and how proud I am to be one of his ever-growing number of admirers. 😀

  5. I got goosebumps reading all these marvelous opinions that Richard´s castmates talk about him.
    It´s so nice to know how much they respect and admire this adorable man is Richard .How sweet of his part in respond to Adam Brown´s e-mail of that way . His attentive gesture touched me very much. It must be easy for the actors ( who are playing dwarves ) follow a leader like Thorin, because as we´ve already know, Richard manages to embody the own character he is interpreting, thus it´s fully understandable they follow him, as a truly leader, even after ending of the filming. Thank you for sharing this with us,Angie.
    Ps: Sorry my bad English!

    • Tereza, don’t feel the need to apologize. You got your message across beautifully. I also thought it was so nice he didn’t merely brush off Adam’s email. That was a thoughtful gesture. He is a very thoughtful guy. 😀 Glad you enjoyed.

  6. Angie, Thanks for putting this all together. What a great guy to have his cast mates say such wonderful things about him. As a mom with all sons, Richard is the kind of person that I want them to look up to. I know that son 2 likes him and is right there to watch most of his work or put in a Robin Hood audiobook.

    • You see, Katie, I think knowing that parents look on him as a role model for their children would touch him deeply. He would be humbled, of course, but I believe also pleased to know he’s seen in that light.

  7. I was at the HobbitCon -it really was an such an amazing and unforgettable experience! I’m still over the moon! The actors were so nice and approachable- they mixed with the normal people, often sat amongst us in the audience during each other’s panels, listening and sometimes intervening ,-). It could happen that you found yourself next to one of them in the lift or at the breakfast buffet, which I found kind of surreal sometimes, but great nevertheless! They even were at the parties and told us beforehand that we could ask them questions. Really and truly very fine guys- each and everyone of them! In their behaviour to each other you could see and feel, that they are not only collegues but have become close friends.

    Most of the time they needn’t to be asked about Richard, but mentioned him on their own. And their great admiration, respect and friendship for him was so sincere and really palpable- I sometimes was nearly moved to tears.You could virtually feel the waves of affection all over the place! Goosebumps moments! My impression was that Richard was especially close with Graham( who mentioned that he auditioned for the role of Thorin as well) – a true gentleman like Richard himself.

    BTW- as to one of your quotes above, concerning the mail exchange between RA and Adam ( so funny and cute- the poor guy was kind of shaky at the opening ceremony)- Richard wrote that he couldn’t answer him right now, as he was “on top of a mountain” . Mount Everest/Machu Picchu – mountaineering or skiing 😉 ?

    Anyway, we got such a great amount of information, I’m still processing! According to their behaviour and their tweets, all of the actors enjoyed the experience as well ( the Gameshow they did- ” Tossing the dwarves”- was a hoot, I think for them and the audience, we nearly died with laughter). They said they’d like to come back- maybe persuading Richard as well ;-)..

    • Nimue, welcome and thank you so much for your report from HobbitCon! That’s so interesting to note about RA being on top of a mountain . . . well, he said he wanted to, didn’t he??

      As someone said, either those guys really do have a lot of respect and affection for Richard or they all deserve Oscars for award-winning performances!! I have become very fond of these actors and really enjoy following some of their tweets as well as Mark Atkins, RA’s scale double–a sweetheart, too. I have had fun looking a DarkJackal’s HD screencaps of the Best Buy doc and seeing everyone in the BTS moments–the actors cavorting in their “fat suits” and generally seeming to have a very fine time of it. 😀 It sounds as if the event was a good one for both fans and actors, which is lovely.

      Thanks again for your report!

      • I really grew very fond of them. Liked them all before, but having met them in person is something completely different. The word “fellowship” comes to mind when you see them in each other’s company. It was e.g. really cute seeing Dean and Adam walking around the lobby, Dean having his arm over Adam’s shoulders. Sylvester McCoy also is one of a kind- very charming and extremly hilarious- I was in stitches. A bundle of energy- like Jedi (Jed Brophy)- always on the go. He also is a very good- smelling wizard- I know now the eau de parfum he uses- and it is not ” Eau de dwarf” 😉 .

        Graham said that Richard took great care that they all were very well looked after on set (enough time in the cooling tents etc.) like a good leader would. He told us about the rings they all had made- each one has a special, individual engraving and a picture on the inside to remind them of the bond they formed. At one point I even saw him wearing the ring. He said that in a way their role in the movie corresponded to their real-life position in the group- Adam being the “baby/youngster”, Richard the leader who inspired utter loyalty etc.

        • It really sounds as if you had a delightful time of it. 😀 I love that a former Doctor Who got to be in the cast. I never saw much of the original show but have become a fan of the reboot. Aww, to think of Adam and Dean in such a comradely fashion–that’s sweet. I was noticing on the Smaug Sneak Peek just what a handsome fella that Jed Brophy is without all his dwarf gear. 😉

          I am glad they opted for rings rather than Tattoos. Richard doesn’t seem like much of a tat type, although the poor man was covered with them when he played Lucas. 😉

          Again, thanks so much for sharing. I may pull out your comments for a special post to share tomorrow for Thorin Thursday. Love all these Hobbitcon highlights!!

          • There really were a lot of highlights. The boys seemingly all like dancing- I remember Adam doing some Beyonce dance moves and allegedly some (funny) dancing was sometimes going on behind the scenes on set as well ;-). Jed and Mark did some dancing on stage. For PJ’s birthday calendar, Aidan and Dean did the Tango together, with Aidan dipping Dean, who had a rose in his mouth. Sir Peter is said to keep the “naughty calendar” in his bathroom. The guys are all starting or ramping up their training again. Jed in particular is very athletic, always doing cartwheels, splits etc. Mark was full of praise for Richard’s fighting and riding skills.

            When asked what was especially funny, they mentioned the barrel scene. They weren’t allowed to talk about it yet, but we are in for a treat when we can watch the behind-the-scenes special on one of the next DVDs. I wonder if it has got something to do with Richard’s fish throwing ;-).
            Probably we will also see more of the dwarven underwear in the next two films :-). “The Adam Thing” is also one of the mysteries that only will be solved when we’ll get to see the material for the next movie.

            It was my first Con experience and I was surprised how lovely and kind of intimate the atmosphere was. I’ve been told by more experienced RingCon visitors, that the HobbitCon really was very special in that regard.

  8. I’d love to add anything meaningful to this, apart from saying thanks for the compilation. But there is nothing that hasn’t been said. The man is just really *really* LOVELY. Yes, that is th proper description. He’s not super or great, he is nice, caring, friendly, decent, charming, generous – in short, lovely. Sorry – I *did* repeat the chorus of praise. Ah well, he deserves it, anyway…

  9. I agree that it is great that those comments come from male co-workers and that they seem to imply more then just a common “great guy” which is just the expected thing to say. A female co-star may have bit of crush and be biased but with a male colleague who actually has a smaller role and is more ordinary looking it would really be easy to be jealous. When you look at the pic above, he really stands out looks-wise!

  10. I am one very happy person today–not only is my needlepoint canvas of Richard as Thorin already on its way to me (my friend is a wizard!), but I finally found a Lego Thorin I could afford–which is also on its way to me. This may be the highlight of my week–nah, it will probably be when the canvas actually comes and I get to see it and start hunting in my stash for fibers to use. Ah, heaven thy name is Richard Armitage/Thorin!

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