Articles and interviews : 2013
A selection of articles and interviews with Richard Armitage published in 2013, from press, radio, TV and the Web.
Please see the links at the bottom of the page for articles published in earlier years, or use the menu.
Richard Armitage Discusses His Character Thorin In 'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug', Josh Horowitz (video)
Richard discusses Thorin and the dragon sickness that he succumbs to... and invents a new word. (Please note, the above link is viewable in North America, but in other countries see this version, uploaded to YouTube by RichardArmitageCentral); MTV News , 20th December 2013
MTV News interview: Luke Evans and Richard Armitage (video)
The two actors talk about the difficulties of filming The Hobbit, including barrels, fish and the dragon; MTV News, 17th December 2013
Richard Armitage on The Hobbit, beards and barrels, Ryan Lambie
The title of the interview says it all...; Den of Geek, 16th December 2013
‘Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug’: Richard Armitage on Thorin’s madness, Gina McIntyre
A long and detailed interview about playing Thorin; Los Angeles Times,
15th December 2013
On what playing Thorin has meant to him; "I think it’s really made me reengage with what I want from my career. It’s not fame and fortune certainly. It’s the ability to investigate a character in this way, but at the same time it’s going to be really difficult to surpass this experience. I’ve got to maybe give up the idea of finding another character like this. But I had said that before. I played another character where I said, I’ll never find another character like that and then this one came along. It was John Thornton in “North and South,” which is something I did maybe eight years ago. But it was a book I loved and a great writer and a great director, just a small BBC four-part series but it had a real impact on me and again changed me as an actor. So I found this one eight years later. I hope it doesn’t take eight years. I know I will find it somehow. We’ll see."
Made in Hollywood - 1 on 1 - Richard Armitage, Kylie Erica Mar (video)
An interesting and intelligent discussion of The Desolation of Smaug; Made in Hollywood, 13th December 2013
Richard Armitage on the rising darkness in Thorin for 'Desolation of Smaug', Drew McWeeny (video)
A discussion about filming The Desolation of Smaug, Thorin, and his scene with Thranduil; Hitfix, 13th December 2013
Empire Podcast 91 (audio)
A long podcast that includes some Hobbit material. Richard Armitage is interviewed at length at approximately 1 hour 24 minutes; Empire Online, 13th December 2013
Richard Armitage On New Additions To The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug, Jolie Lash
A brief interview about the technicalities of filming The Hobbit; Access Hollywood, 13th December 2013
Peter Jackson & The Hobbit cast on There & Back Again (video)
Richard Armitage talks about the "psychological corrupting of the mind" of Thorin that we will see in the final film of the Hobbit trilogy; Total Film, 11th December 2013
The Hobbit's clash of the kings, Des Sampson
Interviews with Richard Armitage and Lee Pace; New Zealand Herald, 7th December 2013
Daybreak interview (video)
A short interview with ITV's breakfast programme (this recording posted to You Tube by RichardArmitageCentral); Daybreak, 6th December 2013
Richard Armitage - The Desolation of Smaug interview, Kate Rodger (video)
An interview for New Zealand TV channel 3 News, in which he talks about last year's world premiere of the first Hobbit film, Thorin's character and working for Peter Jackson; 3News, 6th December 2013.
On Thorin as a leader: "He is finding the ability to suggest to himself that he might be wrong. That very simple idea that no matter how tenacious your ideas are and how tenacious your character is, if you can look at yourself and say I might be wrong about this person or this event or this pledge, then I open my mind and potentially become a better person and definitely a better king."
TODAY talks to Richard Armitage about The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug, Phin Wong (video)
Another interview that was part of the publicity for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug; TodayOnline, 4th December 2013
Access Hollywood, part 1, part 2 (video)
A two part interview recorded the day after the world premiere of
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug in Los Angeles. In the first part, he's asked about the fan reaction, while the second part is a longer discussion about Thorin and his story; Access Hollywood, 3rd December 2013
Richard Armitage Reveals What Peter Jackson is REALLY Like, Grae Drake (video)
Part of the publicity for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, this interview touches on the shooting of the barrels scene, working for Peter Jackson... and Thorin skiing; Rotten Tomatoes, 3rd December 2013
Shakespeare, performance capture and getting back on stage, 'Greendragon', part 1, part2
A long interview with TheOneRing.net about The Hobbit, and his love of theatre; TheOneRing.net, 19th November 2013
On getting back into character for the pick-ups filmed in 2013: "It was harder than I thought it was going to be. You always underestimate … putting on the wig and the costume, you think, ‘Oh I’m just going to be able to snap back into it.’ But actually, it took about 48 hours; that sounds like nothing, but the very first day of filming I had a really long scene, which took two days to shoot, with Ian. And I couldn’t find his voice again! I was going into my trailer and doing voice work to try and pitch the voice right. Luckily I wasn’t moving around, I was sitting down, so … I mean, all the ideas stay with you, and obviously I’d made quite a lot of notes, so I’d sort of swotted up beforehand, to try and remember where we were. The good thing about it was, a year on, having seen the movie and understanding the character a little bit more, I feel like there was a bit of germination that had happened. So there was another layer that I could add to the character. That went through all of the pick ups; whenever we were going back into scenes, there was a little bit more understanding of where the character had been, and where he was going to, which I felt was really useful, to giving it another dimension."
'Richard Armitage', Elle Morris
An interview with a New York magazine, on New York, politics, and the possibility of playing a psychotic mass murderer; NewYorkMoves, 16th November 2013
'The Hobbit's' Richard Armitage on 'The Desolation of Smaug's' 'relentless' barrel scene, Chris Eggertsen
A short interview about the filming of the second film in the Hobbit trilogy; HitFix, 17th October 2013
"Being in those bloody barrels, it was like being at the fun fair for three days. In an unsinkable barrel getting dumped on with tons of water, it was just relentless, and kind of frustrating, but fun at the same time. And I was like, 'We will never have another day like that on a film set.' It was like being a child on a constant rollercoaster that you just didn't get off all day. So that was pretty amazing."
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - Thorin Speaks! (video)
Richard talks about fan reaction, and about the next two films: IGN, 8th May 2013
Asked how fans have reacted to his interpretation of Thorin, he said, "They have been very polite to me. I don’t really know, I don't troll the Internet for comment, but people have been very kind to me face to face. I try to respect that everyone will have their version of that character, I had my version when I was 12 and I have my version now that I'm… older than 12. So I try to respect everybody's opinion and then bring my own thoughts to the table. It is a new idea, it is a new manifestation of the character. It's not the wizened old man that I'd perhaps seen when I was a child, but it was important that he was a legendary warrior because we do need to seem him potentially rise to reclaim his title as King under the Mountain, and I think you needed someone with enough prowess to do that. So, people have been kind."
Short and Sweet, Guy Davis
An interview from Australia, in which Richard Armitage discusses Thorin and the dwarves: The Music, 4th May 2013
On the dwarves: "The thing that most interested me was this idea of these people being in exile. That really struck a chord with me because there are so many examples of it from the past half-century – the dwarves are essentially refugees just trying to find their way home, and I think that’s something of eternal human interest. And this gold lust that will eventually consume Thorin, I think that is something particularly in the past five years that has really become very relevant as well, just because of the way the global economy has changed. I was fascinated by how greed can change a person mentally and emotionally, which is what happens with Thorin as our story progresses."
Richard Armitage: interview, Michelle Starr (video)
A long and detailed interview, part of a promotional visit to Australia for the release there of the DVD of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey; CNET Australia , 3rd May 2013
The Hobbit's Richard Armitage answers your questions
Richard answered questions from fans for Warner Bros while visiting Australia; WarnerBros Australia, 3rd May 2013
The Hobbit's Richard Armitage on Thorin and Peter Jackson, Gaetano Prestia
A short interview about The Hobbit; MMGN.com, 3rd May 2013
GO POP: Full Interview with Richard Armitage, Sophie Lapin and Topher Willis (video)
Richard was interviewed briefly on GO POP, an online show from SFTV in Australia. This is the full interview;
GO POP, SFTVau, 3rd May 2013
It cost $1.6m to get a face like this! Richard Armitage's Thorin make-over for The Hobbit, Katie Midina
Another Australian interview, touching on stunts, prosthetics, his preparations for filming The Hobbit... and his nose: news.com.au, 1st May 2013
On the prosthetics for Thorin: "Well it's my beard, which I'm growing back in time for the next lot of filming, the hair is a wig which strangely a lot of people don't realise, but the forehead the eyebrows and the nose are all prosthetics."
"Each piece had a price tag on it that would make you baulk. They cost about $2000 each, you only stick them on once because they’re so delicate, and once the day is over you throw them in the bin. I had a collection of Thorin's eyebrows stuck to the wall, each eyebrow hair had to be punched in by hand, and if you think that every single time it has to be identical, it's just a work of art. Our prosthetic artist would spend each night punching eyebrow hairs into the mould, being so meticulous about it. It's a whole new world of skill."
On filming the stunts: "I had a stunt double, I had a scale double, I had a riding double… My stunt double is a much better fighter than I am, but by the end of the shooting he'd kind of coached me so we could both do the same kinds of things."
"Some of the big stunts, like where Bilbo falls off the mountain and Thorin has to jump down and nearly falls over, I did that one myself because my double was doing it and asked if I wanted to have a go and I was like, 'Yeah yeah, let me try!' And it's interesting because of the whole hero thing of actors doing their own stunts - I like to do it because it makes me get into the character even more and it means you've been through everything the character's been through and you feel closer to him. It's not about saying 'Oh I do my own stunts', it's about saying 'I am this character and I fight like this character and I feel like this character'."
Richard Armitage: 'I told Prince William he'd make a good elf in The Hobbit', Yasmin Vought
A long but light-hearted interview from Australia: MovieFIX, 1st May 2013
Asked about the biggest challenges of playing Thorin, he said, "The physical challenges, that was the endurance test really. When it comes to the physical thing, you just go to the gym and work hard and bear the heat and discomfort. It's not exactly rocket science, it's just about endurance.
One of the challenges I always found was that I came up with a voice for him and keeping my voice at that level was complicated, because your voice changes from morning to evening — if you've done a lot of shouting the day before with fighting — trying to keep a constant sound to him was challenging. But of course we can go back and do a lot of sound post-production."
Scotty & Nige (radio)
Richard answers ten questions on an Australian radio show (the link is to the archive of podcasts for the show - see 1st May): Scotty & Nige Show, 104.7 Canberra, 1st May 2013
Popcorn Taxi's Hobbit Q&A with Richard Armitage
To celebrate the Australian release of the DVD of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Richard Armitage did a Q&A at a special showing of the film at the Cremorne Orpheum Theatre in Sydney. This report of the event on TheOneRing.net includes a transcript of the Q&A. See also this short video teaser; Popcorn Taxi, via TheOneRing.net, 1st May 2013.
On being directed by Peter Jackson: "It was always very difficult to get Peter to sit down before you went onto set to talk about the character, or the process or the story. He actually likes to have a conversation while the camera is rolling, so the whole thing feels like an experiment. He loves it when you develop an idea and he’ll go with you. It takes a while for you to find that path together. But one of the things he does which I absolutely love is that he’ll use another actor to get the performance out of somebody, so he doesn’t necessarily come to you and say I want this response. He’ll take an actor away that you’re going to work with. And I had a moment in movie 3 – which I can’t talk about – with Martin where I was in the middle of a scene and he took Martin away, and I didn’t know that he’d done this. And Martin came back and played something to me which got quite an extraordinary response from me that I had not predicted – and that was the take. And that’s actually what he [PJ] does. And he did it to me as well. I had a scene with Kili and he [PJ] took me aside and said ‘I want you to say this, I want you to do this’ and we got the response from Aidan. And I say this; it’s such a great piece of work you just don’t know that he’s having an effect on you."
The Hobbit's Richard Armitage (video)
Another interview on Australian TV to promote the Australian release of the DVD; Mornings, Channel 9, 1st May 2013
Richard Armitage and The Hobbit: "It’s mind blowing the things we did", Alice Tynan
A long and interesting interview with The Vine, also part of the promotion for the Australian release of the DVD; The Vine, 30th April 2013
On Thorin, "Thorin’s elemental really. I remember doing my research into the dwarves: in The Silmarillion they talk about how the dwarves come into being; they’re born of the rock, and they’re laid in rock in the end. And I remember thinking, “That’s the key to this character; he’s of the earth.” They live underground; he sort of is a kind of a cave man, but he’s also a member of the royal family. His prowess on the battlefield is extraordinary. So all of these elements, I guess I saw someone who didn’t really have any vanity."
"He had to have a charisma, which has to do with his nobility, and the way that he commands his troops. I think that he commands through example rather through just instruction, which is something that was important to me. "
Dan & Maz Interview Richard Armitage (or download podcast), Dan and Maz (audio)
An interview on Australian radio about The Hobbit... and IKEA furniture. ; The Dan & Maz Show, 2Day FM, 30th April
Return to Middle-earth
Richard Armitage talks about The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, working with Peter Jackson, and the scene he's most looking forward to in the second film of the trilogy; Total Film, May 2013
On Peter Jackson: "The thing about Peter Jackson is that he just doesn't understand the word 'no'. Even when you're on your knees vomiting into a bucket about to pass out, he'll be like, "Do you have another take in you?" And it's not in an egotistical or demanding way, it's just he throws down the gauntlet and people pick it up."
On Thorin in the second film: "The trust between Thorin and Bilbo has now been established. He's gone from somebody that absolutely dismisses this halfling to realising he's an essential part of the quest. Bilbo becomes his confidant and that goes further into film three - we're planting seeds for when Thorin is betrayed by Bilbo..."
Asked about how The Hobbit compares with his other work, he said "There's no comparison. I knew before I started there would never be another film like this for me. Not just the experience of making the film but the incredible complexity of the character, the transformation of my physicality... It ticks every box I could ever want as an actor. And then working with Peter Jackson, who takes you to a new place in terms of work. It's probably the most important piece of work I'll ever do."
Interview with Richard Armitage, Dino and Pete (audio)
Another radio interview to promote the release of the DVD of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in the UK; Capital Breakfast with Dino and Pete, Capital East Midlands, 10th April 2013
I’m Always The Slightly Dour One Who Doesn’t Get A Punchline
A general interview about The Hobbit; DIY, 9th April 2013
On working with Thorin's make-up, wigs and costume: "It is something you get used to. Going back this year for ten weeks, I was thinking about it last night, and one of the awful things is having to get all that stuff on again. For the first few weeks it's very uncomfortable and it feels alien to you. But after a while, it's part of staying in character and it focuses you. If you're thinking about this stuff on you it pulls you out of character. So the closer you stay to character, the less you care about the stuff you're wearing."
"I worked with Mana Davis, my stunt double, on a training regime to facilitate some of the moves the Orcrist would make, because it's a big heavy sword and it flows in a certain way. I'm still doing those exercises in the gym now in preparation for this year. It's very much about the back and the shoulders and making it look like it's heavy, but elegant."
Hobbit stars on ‘dark’ sequel Desolation Of Smaug, Mark Lankester
Richard Armitage, Andy Serkis and James Nesbitt talk about the second film in the trilogy; Yahoo Movies, 9th April 2013
Steve Wright chats to Hobbit star Richard Armitage, Steve Wright (audio)
An interview about The Hobbit, which also touches on Black Sky; Steve Wright in the Afternoon, BBC Radio 2, 8th April 2013
Richard Armitage Interview - The Hobbit and Unexpected Journey, John Lyus (video)
An interview promoting the UK release of the Unexpected Journey DVD discusses how Thorin will develop in the next two films; HeyUGuys, 8th April 2013
Richard Armitage talks The Hobbit, Rick Astley (audio)
A long interview with a British radio station about special effects on The Hobbit, working with Andy Serkis and much else; The Rick Astley Request Show, Magic 105.4, 7th April
'I wish I could jump out of character; I'd be more popular', Adam Jaques
A general interview in a British newspaper about selfishness, being shy, promoting The Hobbit, and skiing, among other things; The Independent on Sunday, 7th April 2013
The Hobbit: Thorin Actor Richard Armitage Interviewed, Dave Golder (video)
Another interview tied to the UK release of the DVD of the first film covers shooting at different scales, and Thorin as an Internet meme, among other things; SFX, 5th April 2013
Richard Armitage talks to Sarah-Jane Crawford, Sarah-Jane Crawford (video)
A video of a radio interview about The Hobbit; The Sarah-Jane Crawford Show, BBC Radio 1Xtra, 5th April 2013
Hobbit stars on 'Unexpected Journey' and 'Desolation of Smaug', Emma Dibdin (video)
Richard Armitage, Andy Serkis and James Nesbitt are interviewed about their experiences of making The Hobbit, and the next film; Digital Spy, 5th April 2013
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - Chasing Smaug, The Magnificent Dragon (video)
Richard Armitage, Andy Serkis and James Nesbitt talk about Smaug and the second film of the trilogy; IGN, 2nd April 2013
iTunes interview, Andy Serkis (video)
A fascinating and wide-ranging discussion about The Hobbit between Richard Armitage, James Nesbitt and Andy Serkis. The conversation is led by Serkis and goes beyound the standard interviews of the cast by journalists; iTunes Germany, 25th March 2013
Richard Armitage talks to TheOneRing.net, Kirsten Cairns (video)
A detailed interview about Thorin and The Hobbit with 'Greendragon' from TheOneRing.net; TheOneRing.net, 18th March 2013
The Jim Davis Show, Emily Anderson (audio)
Richard Armitage, who was born and grew up in Leicestershire, was interviewed for the local radio station about his reaction to the recent discovery of the bones of Richard III in Leicester. He was also asked about preparing for and filming The Hobbit; The Jim Davis Show, BBC Radio Leicester, 13th March 2013
Lorraine, Lorraine Kelly (video)
An interview on the Lorraine show to promote the release of the DVD of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. It concentrated mainly on The Hobbit, but also touched on Black Sky and The Vicar of Dibley; Lorraine, ITV1, 7th March 2013.
Responding to Lorraine's suggestion that if it was Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, Thorin would be Grumpy, he said, "He is a bit of a grump, isn't he? We tried to soften him up a bit and give him a sense of humour, but it's not really there in the book. He is pretty cantankerous in that book."
On the dwarf boot camp, held before shooting began in New Zealand: "It was originally a three week training period. It turned into eight weeks because Peter Jackson fell ill, but it was really beneficial for us because we got more time to learn how to walk, to interact with each other, to fight. We literally had these enormous boots we had to walk in. They were like clown boots, because dwarve's feet are much bigger... and heads and hands, as well. We did a lot of improvisation. We'd go out into the field and behave like a military group where we found our hierarchy, which was really useful.
On Black Sky: "We shot that last year and I've done some extra footage in the beginning of this year. It's a tornado movie called Black Sky. It's an action-based piece but we did a lot of wire work on location and dropping cars from buildings. It was pretty dangerous stuff."
On Ian McKellen: "He's very naughty. He's got a great sense of humour and he keeps the set very bouyant. It was a real honour and privilege to work with him. He commands such respect and he's part of the family from Lord of The Rings, but his humour is to be... experienced."
An Unexpected Journey, Caroline Lawless
An interview and photo-shoot about The Hobbit and Black Sky with a British film and fashion magazine. A video of the photo-shoot can be seen on Fault magazine's YouTube channel; Fault, Winter 2012-13
On the daily transformation into Thorin: "People complain about spending three hours in the makeup chair, [but] those three hours were very much a preparation time for me. I didn't go to sleep - I really enjoyed watching him 'arrive' every morning. [The makeup and prosthetics] was enough of me and enough of the character so that you could sort of see both."
On Thorin's costume: "[Although] it was an endurance test, and was extremely hot, I couldn't play the character without it. I remember... being asked to go to the set to rehearse before I had completed the transformation - I always found that very difficult. I really needed all of the elements of the costume... in order to become the character."
On the most challenging aspect of filming The Hobbit: "You will find that most of the dwarves talk about Scene 88. There's this one scene in the movie where the dwarves are being chased... and we shot this chase sequence in every location we could find in New Zealand over the course of ten weeks. It was a running scene, so we spent ten weeks running, and running. We had to run with all that gear - all the bags, all the weapons, all the backpacks. So it was the full weight of the dwarves running all through the north and south ends of New Zealand; it was relentless."
Force of Hobbit, Stefan Marolackakis
An interview about The Hobbit; Nylon Guys, January 2013
"If this opportunity had come to me 10 years ago, I would not have survived. I wouldn't have known what to do with it. Now I feel like I've got an opinion to bring to it, my own interpretation of the character in the book, but other things as well, attitudes that I think we can make resonate with a contemporary audience: honor, loyalty, nobility, corruption."
Richard Armitage Exclusive (video)
An interview carried out during the photoshoot in New York for the Glamour magazine article below; Glamour magazine website, 3rd January 2013
The Hottest Man on (Middle) Earth, Helen Whitaker
An interview with a British women's magazine; Glamour, January 2013
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