Tag Archives: Ian McKellen

DoS tickets to go on sale next week . . . and watching EE version of AUJ.


Two momentous things will occur next Thursday, Nov. 21. Well, one is only momentous to me. I make my community theater debut as the tipsy and doomed Emma in “Dying for a Drink.” Final rehearsals are tomorrow night . . .

The one you’ll be interested in is the fact at 9 a.m. EST next Thursday tickets for “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” will go on sale here in the U.S. (according to the post on the “Ian McKellen” FB Page today):

‘Next Thursday at 9am ET in US, advance tickets will go on sale for THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG  First shows will be at midnite on December 12/13.’ http://www.thehobbit.com/

Our local theatre, which now shows 3D films (if not HFR–heck, we are a town of less than 8,000 people, we are happy to have a theatre, and a very nice multiplex at that), doesn’t do a lot of midnight showings. I’d consider going if they did, although Benny would opt out, what with Friday being a regular workday for him. Think I will have to wait until a daytime showing to revisit the world of the dwarves, elves and other assorted fantastical creatures. I sort of feel as if I am going to visit old friends . . .

935991_638272969558368_71234392_nRichard as Thorin Oakenshield in my edit of a RANet screencap from the EE version of AUJ. All caps in this post, original and edited, from Richard Armitage Net.

Had fun re-visiting my old pals this weekend. Benny popped the Blu-ray of AUJ into the Playstation yesterday and stretched out with me to watch the film. This was his third time, having watched the earlier Blu-ray with me and of course, he saw it with me in the theatre last December.

I think they’ve all grown on him, those dirty, sweaty, uncouth, boisterous dwarves. He often smiled affectionately at their lines. His favorite part was still that embrace when Thorin apologizes to Bilbo and admits he was wrong. Benny did have to rib me a little about Thorin’s poor sense of direction (“Follow this guy anywhere? But how do you know where you’d end up??) but I have a sneaking suspicion he likes Mr. Armitage and his character more than he wants to admit to me, that the whole Hobbity world is growing on him. And I can live with that. 😀


Richard on a break during a location shoot. Certainly one of my favorite screencaps from EE version.

We just dipped our toes into the extras, as we were both tired and started napping off . . . more to look forward to another day. I find myself enjoying spreading my treats out a bit these days, trying to avoid our predilection for instant gratification, as it were.


Oh, and another tidbit of good news: my DoS visual guide is due to arrive next Tuesday! Whoo-hoo! (And just what I need–another book 😉 )


“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.

It’s raining, it’s pouring–RA & Hobbity goodness!


It’s actually raining and pouring the regular wet stuff here right now. No wonder Bad and Even Worse Knee hurt all night. That may have impeded sleep, but it didn’t stop me from soaking up all the pre-premiere Hobbit hoopla. I have never been so ridiculously excited over the premiere of any movie, including one that was shot right in my hometown and county.

Of course, it didn’t star Richard Armitage as the world’s sexiest dwarf, either, more’s the pity.

Here are some photos that Sir Ian McKellen tweeted earlier of the preparations in Wellington as they literally rolled out the red carpet for Sir Peter and Company.

There are interviews which I tried to link to here, but only end up with big black holes. ?? Go to YouTube and type in “Hobbit Cast Interviews” and you should pull them up if you haven’t seen them already. Richard looks great, is in mellifluous voice and is his typical gentlemanly and articulate self. And those smiles and the laughter!

Thorin Thursday: Thoughts on The Dwarf & The Wizard


I was struck by this photo from the first moment I saw it in The Hobbit: The Official Movie Guide.  I have gone back several times to study it.

There’s the spectacular beauty of the New Zealand scenery, of course; with vistas such as this and the famed hospitality of its residents, no wonder many of the cast members were a bit sad to leave it behind.

But I found myself focused on the two men standing in the center of the photo, two tall bearded figures engaged in conversation, apparently on a break between shooting scenes on location.

It must be a cold day; Sir Ian is wearing a cozy-looking coat over his costume, which is far less bulky than the Dwarf actors’ gear is. Richard, with his dwarf padding and fur-trimmed coat, was probably glad for the cooler temperatures.

I wonder what they are talking about– is it something to do with the next scene, going over lines, or a topic as mundane as what the craft service provided for lunch?

Is the “old wizard” sharing words of wisdom with the younger man? Or are they simply discussing what a beautiful day it is to be alive . . .

I imagine their working relationship to be a mutually beneficial one, bouncing ideas off one another, each bringing out the best in the other. Richard is always at his optimum onscreen when he is acting opposite talented, inspired performers such as Sir Ian.

Two actors, more than a generation apart, both English gentlemen dedicated to their craft. The more I read of Sir Ian and his charitable endeavors, the more I am convinced he is as down-to-earth and generous of spirit as I believe his younger counterpart to be.

I am so glad Richard had the opportunity to work with someone of the calibre of Sir Ian McKellen. And I am so glad Sir Ian had the chance to work with someone of the calibre of Richard Armitage. They both deserve it.

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 . . .)


More dress-up fun with Guy and the Creator


San Diego Comic-Con International

There’s a reason why I made Guy a highwayman in my novel in progress. He sends chills down my spine when he declares, “Stand and Deliver!”

Guy is still trying to determine just what costume he wants to wear for Comic-Con International in San Diego. Here are some ideas he is tossing around. Yeah, I am seriously enjoying FaceInHole, Loonapix,BeFunky and other fun photo editing sites online. When you can’t sleep anyway, it’s a creative and pleasant way to pass the time and the subject matter is so–appealing. And I always did like playing dress-up. And dressing up the ChaRActers. 😉

You gotta admit. Richard–and Sir Guy–would make sexy, sexy pirates. He’s already got the kohl liner down pat.

This really isn’t a stretch for our dark knight. But he does look so good in chain mail and armor (and out of it!) and knows how to wield a weapon.

Being a tad jealous of a certain King Under the Mountain, Guy is thinking of getting his royalty on. This photo was originally of Al Pacino as, I believe, Richard III. This seemed quite fitting. 😉
Too bad Pacino’s neck isn’t longer. Well, not everyone can be as beautifully made as our dark knight.

The wasp-waisted Victorian dandy. The man does do period very well.

Comic-Con International is coming to San Diego in a few short days. Sir Peter Jackson and the lead actors in The Hobbit–Martin Freeman, Sir Ian McKellen and RICHARD ARMITAGE, along with director/actorAndy Serkis and co-screenwriter Phillipa Boyens will be part of the blockbuster movie’s panel on Saturday afternoon, July 14 in Hall H. And I will be there, too, as a reporter for Comic Book Resources and as an enthusiastic RA blogger and admirer.


Deutsch: Ian McKellen bei der Weltpremiere des...

Deutsch: Ian McKellen bei der Weltpremiere des dritten Teils des Herrn der Ringe in Wellington (Neuseeland) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Peter Jackson promoting the 2009 film...

English: Peter Jackson promoting the 2009 film District 9 at San Diego Comic-Con. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Empire Awards 2008 - Martin Freeman

Empire Awards 2008 – Martin Freeman (Photo credit: claire_h)