Tag Archives: Gandalf

“I’m a lucky boy”: Great RA interview you must read


“Whenever I play characters that are a bit grubby and grungy it just feels better. Maybe it’s because I’m a Northerner, and I’m just meant to have my hands dirty. Part of the thrill of playing Thorin was this transformation.”

Richard Armitage on his transformation into the bearded Dwarf, Twitch Magazine.


Richard and that nice old Gandalf, the amazing Sir Ian McKellen.

Richard and that nice old Gandalf, the amazing Sir Ian McKellen.

“Ian is such a delightful man, whenever I had to be aggressive towards him there was always a pang of guilt inside of me that thought, ‘oh, don’t be too rough on poor Gandalf!’

That’s part of the thrill of acting, that you have to push those bombs onto other characters.”

Richard Armitage on working with Sir Ian McKellen, Twitch Magazine


I saw the link to this interview with Twitch this morning and thoroughly enjoyed it. I love it when Richard is given time to respond in-depth to questions. This is also done in Q&A style, which I like (and enjoyed using when I worked for the paper) with good, open-ended queries. Lots of excellent insight into the art and craft of acting from a man who is a master of it. Give an intelligent, articulate person a chance to discuss a topic they are passionate about and you can’t miss . . .

Richard Armitage Visits Union Station To Promote "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey"

Richard during his headcam interview with Damnit Maurie at Union Station in Toronto Monday morning. Courtesy of the Russian RA site.

Momentous Thorin & Co. Moments: A Middle-Earth Timeline


(Thanks to The Hobbit Tribute Magazine by Topix Media and writer Jan Sterling.)

In the Second Age of Middle-Earth~~

2770: Smaug the dragon descends on Erebor (the Lonely Mountain) and lays waste to the nearby town of Dale. The Dwarven King Thor escapes with Thrain II and Thorin II.

Young Thorin, a displaced prince after the attack by Smaug.

2850: Gandalf finds Thrain and receives the key and map of Erebor.

2941:  March 25~~ Gandalf and Thorin have a chance meeting at the Prancing Pony in Bree.

April 26~~ The Unexpected Party at Bilbo’s.

July 16~~The Company is captured by Goblins dwelling deep within the Misty Mountains.

July 17~~Bilbo is lost inside the Misty Mountain tunnels and stumbles upon the Ring.

July 19~~Bilbo encounters Gollum and narrowly escapes with his life (and the Ring) after besting the creature in a battle of wits.

A group of vicious Wargs traps the Company in the tops of some trees, but the adventurers are all saved by Giant Eagles (and this is likely where the first of the three movie ends).

Thorin high atop the trees in an effort to escape the nasty Wargs.

So, if Thorin is 200 years old at the time the film is set, would that make him in his late 30s when the attack by Smaug took place?

“An Experience Like This . . .”


“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!!

Thorin Thursday: What a Gorgeous Dwarf!


(With apologies to David Guetta)


He’s nothin’ like a dwarf that you’ve ever seen before

Nothin’ you can compare to your part of the world

I’m tryin’ to find the words to describe this guy

without bein’ disrespectful . . .

Damn, boy!

Damn! you’re a sexy dwarf!

A hottie dwarf!

Damn, you’re a gorgeous dwarf . . .

OK, so he’s a good half-foot shorter than I am. And very hairy. When compared to his age, I am practically jail bait.  And yet . . . oh, the allure.

Who needs Naomi or Miranda  or Gisele or one of those other supermodels when you have Hirsute Hotness Incarnate to grace the cover of your magazine?

Ladies and Gentlemen, I enter into evidence the photo above. *thud*

Even with Gandalf looming over him, Thorin still manages to look very regal and kingly–a fellow not to be trifled with.

I want to run my fingers through that mane of hair, stroke his beard, nibble on those delectable elfin ears . . .

What a magnificent beast! And the “pony” isn’t bad, either.

Undoubtedly, undeniably the Universe’s Hottest, Sexiest, Most Alluring Dwarf.

The Juggernaut Continues. Sir Peter is smiling somewhere.


I was napping a good portion of the day. My sinuses are much better; I just feel kind of–wobbly, for lack of a better term. Sort of like a human version of the three-legged tuxedo cat, in fact.

It was fun catching up on all the comments tonight and discovering the latest Thorin merchandise via Aprilviolet’s blog. And yes, I succumbed.

OK, I know Thorin does not have his long locks here, but darn, he’s cute. And I love that he looks so fierce and yet–so cuddly all at once.  Yes, Benny, my Christmas presents are being taken care of early . . .

Estimated shipping date is late October. Below is the link to the UK site carrying the items, which also include a plush Gandalf, Gollum, Bilbo and Goblin King.


Tomorrow this should arrive from www.amazon.com. Love that a certain alpha dwarf is on the front of this calendar:


Wednesday, this guy, also from Amazon, is due to arrive. It’s not as handsome as the real thing, of course,  but I like the details and you get TWO weapons. 😉


*Remember, when you order anything through Amazon US or Amazon UK, use the portal at www.richardarmitagenet.com and a portion of your purchase will go to Richard Armitage‘s designated charities. It’s a way to give back as Richard has encouraged us to while shopping for things you need–and things you just simply WANT. 😉

I should also mention that collecting such items really isn’t terribly outside the sphere of normality for moi. After all, I had a whole collection of novelty bedroom slippers at one time–and one of my birthday gifts was an 11th Doctor Who Sonic Screwdriver. Complete with lights and sounds.  I happened to mention I’d like to have one while Hubby and I were watching BBCA one Saturday night and hey presto–I got one. The kitties love it. I give them–CAT scans. (Sorry, couldn’t resist).

I really am just a kid in a grown-up body, after all.

Sir Peter’s latest vlog: my thoughts (part one)


Well, what a day it’s been. Mine started late because I didn’t get to sleep until sometime close to 3 a.m. and was in no mood to rise early. Feverish visions of highwaymen were dancing in my head, I suppose. When the highwayman looks just like Guy, this is not a bad thing.

And then, as I was checking email and Twitter, I saw the news: Sir Peter’s latest videoblog was up! I have the World’s Slowest High-Speed Internet (and of late it seems slower than usual) so I had to allow that video to buffer, watching a few minutes, then allowing more to upload . . . it’s tedious, but some things are definitely worth a bit of tedium, wouldn’t you agree?

I was totally wrapped up in this entry from the word “go.” Often, I must confess, I have mainly been eager for glimpses and sound bites of RA in previous vlogs. Well, this IS called The Armitage Effect, right?

But this time was different. Is it due to having followed along on this incredible journey, getting familiar with the faces behind the making of this huge film project? 

Perhaps it is due to all the coverage of Comic-Con and enjoying the interviews with RA and the other Hobbit folks.


Maybe it’s just that I am now like Pavlov’s dog and start salivating at the notion of watching anything remotely connected with Richard Armitage, regardless of whether or not he can be seen or heard.

It was fun reliving those Comic-Con moments like this.

Whatever the reasons, I was excited and enthused by it all from beginning to end. Multiple sightings of Mr. A as himself and in Thorin guise did not, of course, hurt.

Since this odyssey began, I’ve come to feel a great affection, admiration and respect for Sir Peter Jackson and cast and crew of this film.

And this particular entry is less about Richard—more on him later, of course—and more about my general impressions of the vlog and some of my favorite moments.

I am one of those people who actually likes to read all the credits for a film. It’s sort of my way of paying homage to all the clapper loaders, best boys, gaffers, Foley artists, set decorators, conceptual artists, makeup artists, second second unit directors and all the others who combine their talent, creativity and experience to make movie magic happen.

I really appreciate the fact Sir Peter took the effort throughout the eight vlogs to give us a chance to get to know some of these people and to see their dedication and enthusiasm. As I have said, it takes a village to not only raise a child, but to make a fantastic film such as The Hobbit.

Some (though not all) fav moments:

*Seeing that bowl filled with pencil stubs from all the conceptual drawings from the films and hearing the sense of pride and wonder in the artists’ voices when they speak of going from those drawings to walking within the very sets they have designed really touched the artist within me.  And their work and the work of the set builders and decorators is phenomenal.

*Watching Andy Serkis in action as second unit director. I’ve been a fan of Andy as an actor for quite a while; now I am simply a fan of Andy’s, period. One could say he’s learned from the best. He truly seems to exude the same sort of boundless energy and enthusiasm for his work that we see in Sir Peter. And he seems truly grateful to have been given this fantastic opportunity.

We also found out he plays a mean sax.

I sense the smiles and bonhomie were not merely for the cameras with this project.

*Visiting the amazingly detailed and beautiful set for Dale. I could imagine feeling transported to another time and place walking through those streets.

*Lee Pace. I really, really like Lee as an actor and an all-around nice guy. It was wonderful to see the behind-the-scenes footage of him learning how to walk and move like an elf. Another tall, graceful, talented, good-natured, shy guy of whom I am very fond.

American actor Lee Pace at the ET Post-Emmys P...

American actor Lee Pace at the ET Post-Emmys Party, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Sept. 21, 2008 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

*Seeing more of the dwarfs. They really do seem as if they had an absolute blast playing these roles, don’t they?

* “I’ve never worked on such a hairy movie.” 😉 It does appear there could be yaks with chilblains in the Himalayas this winter.

Seriously, the amount of materials and supplies that went into costumes, wigs, sets and so much more is mind-blowing.

*The camaraderie.  I know it’s easy for the more cynical to dismiss those on camera talking of the sense of family and how much they will miss one another as merely part of hyping the film.

 I choose to believe otherwise; I choose to believe they really, genuinely have formed bonds and friendships and they will, indeed, miss working and playing together.  I know how much I came to care for my co-workers and those long hours we sometimes worked, literally putting out one publication at night whilst working on a special project, having said publication printed three hours away and returned to our offices the next morning—and we’d never gone home yet.  Tiring, oh yes—but such a sense of accomplishment and teamwork, too.

(Damn, I am about to start crying. I miss that, you see.)

*The hug of the two sirs. Sir Ian in his Gandalf guise giving a bear hug to Sir Peter. Really touching.  

*Seeing all those people in those final shots. A smiling, happy-looking lot of folks, indeed.

*Martin’s comments about “high-quality people.” I think he’s absolutely right. High-quality people creating a high-quality product.

And I can hardly wait to see the end results of the fruits of their labor!  And just think, this isn’t the last of the vlogs! PJ is promising more post-production goodies for us. Bless you, Sir Peter. You spoil us. ( And have I mentioned I find you, your cardigans, disheveled hair and generally rumpled air incredibly endearing . . .)