Daily Archives: April 3, 2013

Nimue’s HobbitCon Memories: ‘Waves of Affection and Goosebump Moments’

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Nimue kindly shared some of her HobbitCon experiences with us in the comment section of a previous post, and I enjoyed them so much, I felt they deserved a post of their own here on Thorin Thursday.  It certainly sounds like it was a fabulous event for fans of the film and has whetted my appetite even more to see the next installment in December! Thanks again, Nimue, for sharing highlights of this fab experience with us here at TAE. I have used some of DarkJackal’s screencaps from the film and from the Best Buy doc to add some more Hobbit-y dwarfy goodness. 😀

I was at the HobbitCon -it really was 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 every one of them! In their behaviour to each other you could see and feel, that they are not only colleagues 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.

 

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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 ;-)

I really grew very fond of (the actors). 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 extremely 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” ;-) .

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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.

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.

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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.

‘A concentrating actor’: Richard on his acting & the challenges of The Hobbit

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 From Facebook. Thanks to Ali at Richard Armitage Net for the link. Well worth reading, although I found myself sorely tempted to edit out some typos. 😉 How do you spell Oakenshield??
One of the most interesting aspects is we now know RA definitely doesn’t think of himself as a Method actor.
Having read Alfred Hitchcock’s fascinating bio recently and learned how he wanted a leading man with sexual charisma and a dark, edgy, dangerous feel (and wasn’t always able to get what he wanted due to studio issues), I’ve envisioned RA in a Hitchcock film. After all, one of his favorite films is one of Hitch’s-“North by Northwest.”
However, Hitch was not particularly fond of Method actors, who frequently tried his patience (he actually had more affection and respect for the acting profession than has been reported; after all, his daughter, Patricia, became an actress).   However, I think the director would have found working with RA very rewarding indeed . . .
Alfred Hitchcock, head-and-shoulders portrait,...

Alfred Hitchcock, head-and-shoulders portrait, facing right (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – Richard Armitage (Thorin Okensheild) DVD Q
by Magnavision Home Video (Notes) on Wednesday, April 3, 2013 at 12:44am

QUESTION: What was the greatest challenge for you to act in this film?

RICHARD ARMITAGE: I think the greatest challenge of taking on Thorin was to attempt to make such a physical transformation feel real.  Our body shapes change.  We wore a considerable amount of padding, huge boots and a facial prosthetic which at first was kind of limiting. It meant that you had to animate your own face more to make sure that the expression that you were feeling inside was being transported through the makeup. So that was a physical challenge. In terms of the character I think layering the character with this inner fear of driving sickness and madness and the horror of what happened in the mountain; but at the same time show his dwarves the face of a leader that was not afraid, that was something that fascinated me.

QUESTION: Had you been a fan of the books?  Did you grow up reading the series?

RICHARD ARMITAGE: I read “The Hobbit” when I was 11 years old.  Then when I was 13, I was in a stage production, a very local piece of theater with no money. Gollum was made of paper, I remember that very clearly.  I was paid 15 pounds a week.  But that led me on to read “The Lord of the Rings.”  Then I watched the animated version, which was never finished, in the ’80s. I remember being very frustrated that it was never finished.  Then, of course, Peter[Jackson]’s trilogy defined the entire cannon in Middle Earth and that was incredibly fulfilling. I went back to read Rings again after that.

Gollum in Ralph Bakshi's animated version of T...

Gollum in Ralph Bakshi’s animated version of The Lord of the Rings (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

QUESTION: Do you feel that there’s a certain sequence or scene that stands out as your favorite part of the film?

RICHARD ARMITAGE: From my viewing of it, or from my playing in it?

QUESTION: Let’s take it from your viewing.

RICHARD ARMITAGE: The sequence I found incredibly moving is the sequence at the end when the eagles pick up the injured party and take them to safety.  I think all of the ordeals that this crew has gone through and the terrible dilemma that maybe their leader is dead is traumatic.  There’s this incredibles oaring sequence of stillness.  It feels like some kind of salvation; I was moved to tears when I saw that moment because it’s such a relief after such extreme circumstances.

In terms of what was the most important moment for me to film, I think my first time on location,which was being directed by Andy Serkis. I was helicoptered to the top of a mountain where there were no roads or no power cables. There was no sign of any human life there.  There were just three of us dwarves with some food in a backpack. He did 360 degree helicopter shots all day.  So we were left alone in character.  I remember feeling absolutely immersed in the character.  It’s in the prologue; I’m thrilled by that.

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QUESTION: Would you describe yourself as a method actor?

RICHARD ARMITAGE: No I wouldn’t.  I wouldn’t describe myself as a method actor.  I think other people apply that label.  I think I’m a concentrating actor.  So in order to do my work in the course of a day, particularly with a character like this I have to concentrate.  So it’s about staying in the scene, staying with my head in the scene and attempting to keep the character with me.  It doesn’t mean I can’t have a conversation or go and make a cup of coffee. But I actually stay with the character for 18 months.

QUESTION: Other than your own character, who’s your favorite?

RICHARD ARMITAGE: I think my favorite character has to be Mr. Baggins.  He’s the heart of the story.  He’s the character that the audience fall in love with and follow on his journey.  They fear for him, they hope for him.  He’s endearing and hilarious to watch.

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Oh, Richard, it’s not just Bilbo with whom audiences fell in love. Thorin has his own legion of admirers, too. Thank you for all you did to bring him to life for us.   (HD screencaps courtesy of Heirs of Durin and DarkJackal–thanks!)