Tag Archives: effect of costume on character

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

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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.)