Tag Archives: Brian Sibley

True-Blue Thorin: How Sir Peter inspired RA’s Characterization

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Peter Jackson doesn’t know this,” Richard Armitage confides, “but I’m using a bit of him in the way I play the character of Thorin. Peter shows and commands great loyalty. That quality–to inspire and be inspired by loyalty–forms an important aspect of my portrayal of Thorin, and it comes directly from Peter.”

~~Richard Armitage in a profile article by Brian Sibley in the Official Movie Guide.

Judging by the many actors and crew members who were eager to return to Middle-Earth to perform and work their creative and technical magic, it would seem PJ does indeed have a loyal following of more than just Tolkien fans. Call it Jackson’s Army.

And the actor chosen to play Thorin has a pretty loyal “little community” of his own.  Lots of loyalty in play here, folks. Hence the “true-blue” in the title of the post, and the blue central to the artwork–blue being a great color for RA and midnight blue, Thorin’s key wardrobe color for the film. And it’s one of my favorite colors–can you tell?

“An Experience Like This . . .”

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“I know there are a million people out there for whom I will probably not be their version of Thorin, but I can only be my version of Thorin. Yet even that is elusive, and I still don’t know whether I can achieve what I want to do with this role. Peter thinks I can do it, thinks I can get there; so I trust his judgement and hopefully we’ll get there together. And that’s very exciting because an experience like this doesn’t come around very often.”

~~Richard Armitage in a quote from The Hobbit:  Official Movie Guide by Brian Sibley.

This is a photo taken of a fairly small photo situated on a page that would not lie flat, so there is some distortion.  Still, I think you can see why I liked it so much.

This book and the movie tie-in visual guide both finally made it into my hot little hands tonight.

Benny and I watched Prometheus together whilst dining on Papa John’s pizza, so I haven’t had the chance to properly peruse them both. Something tells me I won’t be falling asleep early tonight either. The guide is a large 166-page paperback with slick and glossy pages, tons of photos, including all that behind-the-scenes stuff so many of us love and lots of interviews with cast and crew.

But, what do you know– my fingers immediately seemed to find Sibley’s article with RA.  There is a photo I had not seen before of Richard and Sir Ian standing in a field talking together,  a down-filled coat covering Sir Ian’s costume. For some reason it put a lump right into my throat. And then I read that Richard was trying “desperately” to stay in character on the first day on set whilst thinking, “That’s Gandalf!” Seems he still gets starstruck, too. Which I find so endearing–the seasoned professional sparring internally with the wide-eyed boy feeling a major squee coming on.

The BTS photo of Richard in Thorin gear looking down with a pensive expression is amongst the photos in the article; the cutline is “An actor prepares. Richard Armitage becomes Thorin.”  This perfectly mirrors what many have expressed about that particular photo, that it is neither Richard nor Thorin, but a combination of the two melding before our eyes.

Turns out our poor lad was doped up on painkillers when he auditioned for the role–he’d injured himself doing a stunt for Spooks, which makes me hate TPTB there just a little more–and says if nothing else, he had succeeded in showing his ability to convey pain!

And the clever boy has come up with a reason for Thorin’s beard being so short compared to the other dwarves and the description by Tolkien. It seems that his father and grandfather’s beards were badly singed after their encounter with that wicked dragon Smaug. Thorin decided to cut his beard short to show his elders respect for the indignity suffered by them. And if he ever does get to sit on the throne again, maybe he will grow it out again!

And that’s just a small portion of the good stuff you will find within.   In his interview alone, RA elaborates on the Shakespearean connection to Thorin, why the part needed to be played by a younger man,  why it’s important to know the history of the other characters as well as yours, and more.

It’s $18.99 for the paperback or $9.66 for the Kindle edition. Personally, this is the kind of thing I would prefer in traditional book form, particularly if you don’t have a color e-reader.

If you haven’t already gotten a copy of the book, you can do so by visiting www.richardarmitagenet.com and using their Amazon or AmazonUK portals to order and a portion of the sale will go to charity.

Resistance is futile. Go ahead and dive right into full-fledged Thorin Mania if you haven’t already.  What an amazing ride!!