Tag Archives: The Hobbit An Unexpected Journey

Richard: an inspiration, an encourager, a hero

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Richard Armitage as Thorin. My edit of the cover of the Blu-Ray extended edition of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

You may consider yourself dull and boring, Richard, but I disagree. I find your commitment to your work and your craft admirable, your passion for acting and getting all the details right exciting. I always look forward to seeing what you do with each new character, what insights you will bring to the table.  Your performances manage to touch my mind, heart and soul and I am caught up in the journey with Thornton, Thorin, Sir Guy and the rest. I may not always like how a character behaves; but I also know I will be able to relate to the character on some level as a fellow human being (Yes, even if the character is a fantasy dwarf).

I think technique can be learned to make a person a competent actor, painter, musician or dancer. But ultimately, for me, it’s the sense there is a passion deeply held to do this, to craft and create and share this with the world that separates the merely competent from the true visionaries.

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For me, you shine as an example of excellence in your field. Always going from strength to strength and growing ever better, ever more nuanced.  You hung in there when the roles were sparse and the auditions didn’t go well and you had to work front of house and lay floors to make ends meet. You persevered.  You inspire and encourage me.

But you are so much more than a fine actor. I truly believe you are also a fine human being. Generous, kind-hearted, compassionate, humble, good-humored, well-grounded and possessing a strong moral compass. Respected by those who have worked long and hard beside you . . .

From Isabelle Wyss at Facebook via the Richard Armitage California Base. Original GIF at thorinshielding.tumblr.com

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I am so grateful I discovered you six years ago. Little did I know that the handsome actor who looked good in guyliner and could smirk like nobody’s business would go on to win and break my heart repeatedly in role after role, to teach me lessons and make me aspire to be something, someone better.

You are a hard act to follow. But you are also the one I will happily call king and follow anywhere. Bless you, Richard Armitage.

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Original artwork by loobeeinthesky.tumblr.com

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Bruce Wayne, anyone? 😉 Or Matthew Clairmont, or . . .

More Thorin Thursday: The CReAtor beneath the dwarven exterior

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Beneath the proud, slightly dour, majestic presence of battle-hardened warrior and displaced king Thorin Oakenshield, is the enormously talented Richard Armitage. Such a focused, committed actor. Such a thoughtful, generous, hard-working, modest, sweet and beautiful man. *sigh*  In my eyes, just as much of a hero.

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Thorin Thursday: My kind of ‘stormy’

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It’s warm and sultry here this afternoon, thunder rumbling in the distance, with a wind advisory, tornado watch and severe thunderstorm warnings all in place. Oh boy. Buckle your seatbelts, fellow Lower Alabamians, it could be a bumpy night.

Feeling the closeness of the heavy, humid air, I twisted up my hair and clipped it in place with my “Octopus” (what clever hair accessories Goody comes up with!) to get it off my neck. Ah, better now.

I went out to pick up the mail and play with the dogs a little, and felt the flare of pain in the FMS trigger points inside my knees and hips.  FMS no likee tempestuous weather.  However, I am quite fond of a certain rather tempestuous, brooding, heroic warrior dwarf who can roar louder than the fiercest March wind and fight with the  ferocity of a killer tornado. Oh, Thorin, you are my kind of stormy.

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‘He’s a hero on screen and in real life.’ From the new Chronicles II book

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Here I am bloody crying again and it’s not my wonky Even Worse Knee (now being iced) that’s making me tear up. It’s reading both Richard’s words and those of others who’ve worked with him found within Weta Workshop‘s beautiful new book, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Chronicles II, which arrived today.

Here’s a snippet of what Amy Hubbard, UK casting director, had to say about RA (who gave what she called “one of the most committed performances I have ever seen”). Bold font my addition:

“I know he won’t mind me saying that Peter saw potential in Richard that hadn’t been fully exploited before . . . (Richard) turned down the opportunity (to appear in next series of Strike Back) to make himself available to appear in The Hobbit. His commitment to the films . . . was an inspiration to all of us. And I believe it was a much-needed boost to the filmmakers’ morale during a marathon casting process. And Richard really deserves credit for that. He’s a hero on screen and in real life. Other actors made similar sacrifices, but Richard made this one very early in the casting process.”

Amy Hubbard

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The book also states in the opening section on Thorin that “it was essential filmmakers cast an actor in the role with the same charisma and simmering dignity that the character demanded. Fortunately the casting directors found Richard Armitage, an actor with the quiet intensity and thoughtfulness needed for the role, and a man in whom both the rest of the cast and the audience can believe.”

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Didn’t those casting directors do a splendid job? I most definitely do believe in the power of the Armitage, and appreciate all the more the commitment he made to the film when it wasn’t even 100 percent green lighted yet. Richard, you tall, gorgeous drink of water and inspiring morale builder, you.

*Smiling even as I blink back tears* I am so very proud of you, Richard.

Dwarf love for the Leader of the Company: Comments from HobbitCon

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I never grow tired of reading or hearing Richard Armitage’s co-workers discussing what a good guy he is. I think it would be easy to be jealous of and snarky about someone like RA– so blo0dy tall and handsome, so charismatic and talented–and yet he seems to be universally well-liked because he is also truly kind, generous, modest and sweet, with no particular airs and graces. You’d pretty much have to be a troll–or an orc or goblin, methinks–NOT to like him.

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(screencaps courtesy of Heirs of Durin unless otherwise noted; photo edits are my own)

Here’s what some of the actors who made up the dwarves in his Company in The Hobbit had to say about RA at HobbitCon in Bonn recently. Thank you, Herba and also Ali at Richard Armitage Net who shared additional quotes supplied to her via tweets. I confess shedding some tears as I read these words of praise for RA from the guys who spent two years training, rehearsing, filming and living alongside him.

I think under such circumstances you are bound to get to know something of the “real” person, and the “real” person named Richard Armitage is pretty special, indeed. *sigh* I have that sudden urge to hug his mother again, you know?

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RA manfully (dwarfully?) striding forth as the leader of the Company during Dwarf Boot Camp prior to filming of TH.

“When we were done shooting & Richard left the set we’d just follow because he’s such the perfect leader” Jed Brophy 

“How you imagine him to be is exactly how he is, wonderful, kind, and natural leader to our group” Graham

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“Yes he was . The nicest human I have met” Jed Brophy

“Richard was one of my neighbours in New Zealand and we had often breakfast together. He is a generous person and we had to follow him. He totally nailed Thorin.” Jed Brophy

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The lovely, caring, boyish Mr. Armitage peeks out of Thorin’s eyes and smile as he studies his mini-Lego doppelganger. Don’t think I will ever stop loving this photo.

“Richard is a sincere guy, really lovely and caring and the leader of the actors,like Thorin is the leader of the dwarves.” Graham MacTavish

Richard Armitage is a lovely guy. SOme weeks ago I mailed him a question and two minutes later he mailed back and said: ‘Sorry, I can’t answer at the moment but I’ll come back to you as fast as I can.” Adam Brown

“Richard is real and honourable and I was totally in awe when Richard did his first speech in Bag End, I think we were all moved in a really truthful way.” (Graham McTavish nodded) Mark Hadlow

“The amount of energy that Richard put in that role was amazing!” John Callen

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Richard using some of that amazing energy in preparing for the role.

“Richard was really good at the fight training.” Mark Hadlow

“He sat in his fatsuit the wrong way round on a chair, one hand on the back of the chair, the other hand held on Orcrist like a walking stick and his head with Thorin’s long hair leant back. And you also see Dwalin’s hand with a blow-dryer.” Graham MacTavish  (I love visualizing this description, frankly)

“Richard did a lot of homework (Tolkien related).” Adam Brown

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This image is courtesy of the lovely Bechep at “Such is Life.” Thank you, my dear!