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Richard Armitage Talks with the German Tolkien Society

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Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield in ‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. Photo credit: Warner Bros., Saul Zaentz, via http://www.tolkiengesellschaft.de.

Earlier today, the German Tolkien Society (Deutsche Tolkien Gesellschaft, or DTG) published their March 31, 2014, phone interview with Richard Armitage. The actor joined DTG Chairman Tobias M. Eckrich and colleagues to discuss a wide range of topics.

SPOILER ALERT: The interview contains a massive spoiler about Armitage’s character (Thorin Oakenshield) in The Hobbit: There and Back Again, for those who have not read The Hobbit. If you wish to remain spoiler-free, you need to avoid the first question in this interview.

DTG asked Armitage if working on The Hobbit was just like any other acting job, or if there was something special about the project. Armitage replied, “I don’t think it has been like any other acting job that I’ve ever done. I mean it’s very rare that you get to play one character over three movies with a continuing storyline. And for such a long period of time and away from home, on the other side of the planet, so it’s not like anything I’ve done before. There was also lots of material that needed researching and has such an interest in complicated characters that needed preparation and transformation. So yes, it’s quite unique.” The actor also talked about the difficulty of shooting scenes like the sequence at the end of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, in which the dwarves fight the dragon. “It was just a green box, there was no dragon, there were no forges, and we were completely relying on Peter’s description and the art department creating images for us so that we could visualise the world we were entering and really see the beast that there was in our mind’s eye.”

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Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) and the company of Dwarves in ‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.” Photo credit: Warner Bros., Saul Zaentz, via http://www.tolkiengesellschaft.de.

Several of DTG’s questions revolved around Tolkien’s characters. Armitage said that his favorite Tolkien character would have to be Gollum. “[I]t was one of those characters Tolkien just really enjoyed creating. And that very specific voice, which he describes so clearly, is very exciting.” However, if the actor could play any character in The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings, other than Thorin, he would like to be Smaug. “I’d like to have that ferocity and intelligence and that sort of arrogance that dragon has and I think he´s a fascinating creation!” And which Middle-earth character would Armitage date, if he could? “It’s got to be Galadriel, hasn’t it? I would like to take her dancing!”

You can read the entire DTG interview to learn more about many topics, including Armitage’s acting role models, his least favorite Tolkien character, and the prospects for a dwarven boy-band. The original English version of the interview follows the German translation.

Middle-earth News also published a roundup of recent interviews with Richard Armitage earlier this week.

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