Stephanie and her housemate got the chance to attend the NY Fan Event for the Desolation of Smaug. As soon as I found out they were going, I asked Stephanie to share her thoughts on the experience with me for the blog. I am certain you will enjoy reading them as much as I did. Thanks again, Stephanie! I have added a few screencaps from Richard Armitage Central and from Servetus.
While the event on the whole was not quite what I was expecting, I did finally fulfill my dream of seeing our lovely man in person. We did manage to get seats about eight rows from the front of the theatre, so had an excellent view and a good vantage point from where my housemate took over 100 photos, which hopefully will be downloaded on her photo page soon.
The excitement was very contagious and many of the people we met while waiting in line were total Richard fans, so I really hope he felt all that love flowing towards him because there was an ocean of it. I have to say though–when he walked up on stage, I felt this very strong vibration that he either wasn’t feeling well or perhaps it was that he simply has not yet become as comfortable as some people have said about dealing with these fan events. Of course, the other possibility could very well be that he’d just flown in from London for this event and was a bit jet-lagged. Even tired and scruffy though (and don’t misunderstand me, I adore his scruffy look), he was everything I’ve always thought he would be.
I have to wonder that the Q & A was so brief; each of these amazing actors except for Evangeline Lilly in LA only answered one question. (I loved her response to the question about her role model for her character–Tinkerbell! What a terrific choice). The question that was addressed to Richard was, at least, a very good one–his favorite line in all three movies. And he did appear to give it serious consideration before answering, so I think it was a very honest response.
He did spend a great deal of time watching the monitor while the Q& A was going on, and there were a few asides between Richard and Orlando. What was truly surprising (to me, anyway) was that once they ended the live feed, everyone just left the stage–and nothing was said about whether they would return after the viewing (they didn’t) or if the film clips would be the end (it was).
The movie looks astonishing and if this is possible, I think Richard looks even more wonderful in this installment than in the first movie. He has truly grown in the role of Thorin; when he’s onscreen, he fills the screen with his magnificent, kingly presence and his star quality is evident no matter what else may be happening in the scene. You cannot look away from him (a problem I regularly suffer from anyway)–he is mesmerizing. During the event itself, I found the same thing happening–I could not take my eyes from him., even though he was merely sitting onstage. He is that magnetic; he is that beautiful. He is everything I could have hoped and more besides.
We also met a man from Warner Brothers at the event who was apparently in charge of seeing that things went smoothly–and he told us that, of all the Hobbit actors and technical people he’s met, Richard is definitely the nicest.
Does this surprise me? NOT! But it’s so nice to have it reaffirmed by someone who actually knows him, that he truly is the lovely gentleman we’ve all come to know over the years. He even did meet with one set of four fans before he left, despite the best efforts of rampant security to prevent it, who were in costume and had brought something for him–he most graciously met with them for a few minutes and took a photo with them. I wouldn’t expect anything else of him.
Would I have loved to meet him? Of course. Was it enough that I got to be in the same room and see him? Actually, yes. As I have pretty much always known, our Richard is a lovely, lovely man–I sincerely hope for the future that he does become more secure and comfortable in his personal appearances, for his own sake. In the meantime, a huge hug to our dear one from me and many others. He is most truly one of a kind–the best.