Fans were treated last week to a number of interviews given by actor Richard Armitage, who portrays Thorin Oakenshield in The Hobbit films. Armitage was a nominee and a presenter at the Jameson Empire Awards on March 30, 2014, and also made several interview appearances in the days following to promote the home video release of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. We have collected a few of Richard Armitage’s recent interviews in both print and video.
Speaking to the Independent on the Empire Awards red carpet, Armitage said that The Hobbit: There and Back Again will be a celebration of Middle-earth and director Peter Jackson’s work to bring it to the screen. “The final movie is going to be the celebration of 15 years of visiting Middle Earth. It will be the final time Middle Earth will probably be seen on the big screen so I think it will be quite a nostalgic event for everybody.” Armitage also expressed gratitude for the opportunity to be part of bringing Middle-earth to life. “I’ve been a fan since I was a young boy so I feel really privileged that I was asked to be involved, especially because it’s probably going to be the last time we see Middle Earth on screen. I feel really proud to be a part of that,” acknowledged the actor. The complete Independent interview can be found here.
Red carpet interview at the Jameson Empire Awards, March 30, 2014
RadioTimes asked Armitage how he rates Martin Freeman (Bilbo Baggins) as a leading man. “He’s just brilliant. He’s so inventive and he keeps the atmosphere on set really buoyant because he’s got a natural sense of comedy, as Martin but also as Bilbo Baggins. He really experiments with the role and he makes me work in a different way. . . . I really enjoyed working with him and I think a lot of the evolution of Thorin is down to the way that he portrayed Bilbo. There wouldn’t be a Thorin without a Bilbo.” Armitage also described Freeman as “little ninja Bilbo,” trying out his “kung fu moves” on everyone behind the scenes. Armitage called Benedict Cumberbatch, who voiced the dragon Smaug and the Necromancer in The Hobbit films, “an extraordinary actor,” and the day that Armitage was able to do some dialog on set with Cumberbatch “a real treat.” The complete RadioTimes interview includes a number of topics, ranging from stunts to Thorin’s hair.
Film3Sixty, in “5 Minutes with Richard Armitage,” asked the actor if he was intimidated by the prospect of fulfilling fan expectations when he took on the role of Thorin Oakenshield. Armitage replied, “It wasn’t something that I worried about. I was obviously very conscious of upholding the expectations because there are big expectations and such a huge fan base with his work and I’m one of those fans. I had a version of that character in my head so I just put aside any kind of fear and went for it.” Armitage also discussed the challenges of maintaining a character arc over three films, and the effects of the hours spent in makeup and rigorous filming schedules on his process. He describes Thorin as “probably one of the most complicated characters that Tolkien created,” beset by conflicting motivations. “[H]e’s ultimately a good man, but he’s got a dark, complicated past.” You can find the full interview by Film3Sixty here.
ITV’s This Morning Interview
BBC East Midlands
Here is an interview from BBC East Midlands.