Tag Archives: Richard’s qualites as actor

Maybe you do need a break from ‘slightly dour’ my dearest RA.

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I am sure you’ve probably all seen this by now, but here is another online interview promoting the Hobbit DVD release, this one courtesy of Christa Ktorides at DIY.

(What an apt place for our Thinking Woman’s Greek God-like DIY Geek to appear, don’t you think?)

http://www.thisisfakediy.co.uk/articles/film/richard-armitage-interview-im-always-the-slightly-dour-one-who-doesnt-get-a/

Now, some have interpreted Richard’s comments about being the slightly dour one who doesn’t get a punch line to mean he doesn’t understand the punch line–as in Richard Armitage doesn’t get the joke. That he is being the typically diffident, self-effacing gent we all know and love, the one who “can’t do impressions” and is “not a bad singer.”  (To which I say, “Poppycock!”)

My interpretation is that RA doesn’t usually play characters who get to crack jokes. He’s often the brooding, angsty, conflicted hero or anti-hero types, and, let’s face it,  they typically don’t get a lot of funny lines. They aren’t the proverbial life of the party.

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And yet there were moments of levity, times in Robin Hood, for example, when I thought he was absolutely hysterical in his own way. Look at some of his facial expressions and body language when reacting to the Treacherous Troll’s antics. RA’s no “slip on the banana peel” slapstick kind of actor. He’s not fated to do stand-up comedy, I am certain.  But he’s definitely got a sense of humor and of mischief. “Love in an Elevator” and “Master and Servant,” indeed!

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One of my favorite RH S3 moments: Guy realizing Vasey is still alive–followed by a little “hi there!” wave and singularly insincere smile.

How about some of the moments he shared with Ewan Bremner in Strike Back? Definitely funny.

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In VoD he’s more or less the charming, cheeky straight man to Dawn, but it’s certainly proof he can handle lighter stuff just fine, too.  He can *cough* charm the pants right off you.

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We’ve got two more installments of TH trilogy, which promise to be much darker than the first film. More conflict, More angst and brooding. And you do it all so beautifully, so compellingly.

And yet–maybe, dear Richard, you do need a break of sorts.

Something, as you have mentioned,  without all the action and violence, with less of a dark edge (as good as you are at all the angst, brooding and “simmering dignity”).  Something well-written and witty–that goes without saying–that combines comedy and drama, and a talented co-star with whom you have great chemistry.  Just for a change of pace and a break from all the sturm und drang.  Surely that would be good for your own mental well-being, yes?

And it might help your fan base out, too. Our poor besotted hearts can only take so much . . . *sniff* Show of hands of those who want to re-write the ending of The Hobbit? I know, I know–but a girl can dream.

Kaleidoscopic Armitage: An Actor of Shifting Colors & Patterns

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Blogger’s note: I am short on sleep and long on pain (see previous entry) so I hope this all makes sense. At least the colors are pretty. Hope you have a good day/night wherever you are.

I remember being charmed by the vivid and ever-changing colors I discovered inside a simple metal tube as a child. Years later, I found one at the local Woolworth’s and shared it with my students at the School for the Blind. Contrary to popular belief, certain visually impaired individuals can and do have some usable degree of vision.

And those who did were completely captivated by what they saw in that inexpensive kaleidoscope.

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Just to give you a little background on it, the kaleidoscope was invented by a Scotsman named David Brewster back in 1816. He was intrigued by many aspects of the physical sciences, including polarization optics and the properties of light. While looking at some objects at the end of two mirrors, he noticed that patterns and colors were recreated and re-formed into beautiful new arrangements.

To name his new invention, Brewster took several words from Greek: kalos, the Greek word for “beautiful,”  eodos, the word for “form,” and scopeo, the word for “to look at.”

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Now, there’s the obvious link to Mr. Armitage I could make here–that he has a beautiful form to look at, which he does, and that I delight in watching it, which I clearly do.

However, I want to go in a different direction (surprise, surprise!)

I would say that Richard Armitage is an actor who brings many shades and colors to his characters; that he, himself, is a complex individual whose personality possesses an extensive color pattern (and far more than simply grey).

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He could be described as kaleidoscopic, “of shifting colors and patterns.”  An acting chameleon, Richard Armitage gives us an iron-hard warrior dwarf king, a gentle, painfully shy Yorkshire farmhand, a sternly handsome Victorian mill owner fighting a “foolish passion,” a cerebral, enigmatic, dedicated spy, a smooth, silver-tongued, criminally attractive businessman, a tough, ruthless soldier still capable of compassion, a sweet, sunny-natured, cheeky accountant, a volatile, seductive medieval master at arms hungry for both power and love–so many characters, and each and every one believable.  Each one possesses his own colors and shades as Richard breathes life into them.

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Each one looks different, and not just in terms of their haircolor or style, facial hair or lack thereof, or the clothes they wear.  There is something in the way they hold themselves, how they walk, talk, gesture, smile; suble differences, perhaps, but they are there, and they allow us to immerse ourselves in the character and to forget the actor playing the role.

Richard Armitage–a veritable kaleidoscope of talent, beauty and brains.

“I had to pick myself up off the floor”: New interview with RA

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“With 13 dwarfs in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, audiences are expected by the film trilogy’s end to easily distinguish and recognise each one. 

    But if there’s one dwarf that will be easy to spot from the moment he appears on screen it will be Thorin Oakenshield, played by British actor Richard Armitage.

One reason is that Thorin is the leader and, going on a glimpse I got of the band of dwarfs on set during filming earlier this year, a heroic risk-taker. I couldn’t help but think that Thorin could be to The Hobbit what Aragorn – played by Viggo Mortensen – was in The Lord of the Rings . . .

Portrait of a charismatic handsome prince–young Thorin.

An older, more world-weary Thorin.

Armitage first heard about The Hobbit after Sir Peter Jackson contacted the actor’s agent. Jackson asked if Armitage could read for the part of Thorin. “I thought, first of all, I’m six foot two [1.8 metres] and Thorin’s an old guy. Maybe they want me to read it for a general audition.

“But then when I read what they’d done with the audition speech I realised that they were looking for something quite different. They needed someone who could play a warrior, who could play a young Thorin and old Thorin and also to bring the idea of somebody who could return to his full potential to become a king. That’s when I sat down with Peter and we talked through the journey and the arc of the character – and then they offered it to me. I had to pick myself up off the floor.”

~~excerpts from Tom Cardy’s interview with Richard Armitage in The Dominion Post  (NZ) 11/23/2012

Here’s the link to the rest of this interview: http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/culture/7985809/Richard-Armitage-the-warrior-dwarf

Thanks to Heirs of Durin for the heads-up on the new interview. As always, Armitage brings thoughtful, intelligent and good-humored responses to the reporter’s questions.

He also discusses being on pins and needles during the months when he had the role, but the project had not yet been fully green-lighted. RA had to juggle projects, as he was determined that no one else would play the role.

And now, frankly, can any of us imagine anyone else playing the role? Just as Viggo became Aragorn, so Richard IS Thorin.

To all the naysayers, it does appear that Richard, a man in mid-life who is also strong, athletic, fit and accustomed to action-oriented roles as well as detailed characterizations; a skilled actor known for his chameleon-like qualities, is the perfect choice to play Thorin. Sir Peter obviously had faith in him.

Richard mentions the Powhiri ceremony kick-starting the production being an “amazing moment” after those stressful months of being on that knife edge, and I recall how overwhelmed he seemed to be in those opening moments: the flare of his nostrils, eyes shining with emotions, the smile on his face. And then the way he did us all proud with his little speech as representative of the movie’s cast and crew.

You also discover the importance of Thorin’s boots. I knew a broadcast journalist who taped pieces from the waist up. So you couldn’t see that she wasn’t wearing her customary high heels. “For some reason I can’t talk if I’ve got my heels on, so I do those reports barefooted,” she told me with a laugh.  Apparently Richard couldn’t play Thorin without his boots–even if the shot was from waist up! Just shows how importance costuming is to the characterization.

A GIF of RA doing a bit of boot bumping at Dwarf Camp (click on to play).  Richard said he had never traveled so far from home and felt more at home in New Zealand, it all seemed so familiar to him. Funny, that’s the way I felt about London!

Oh, things like this article only make me more ridiculously excited about the film. Just a few more weeks . . .