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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Outstanding French Magazine Interview (possible spoilers)
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ShireHorse
Rohan

Nov 25 2012, 5:13pm

Post #1 of 69 (2026 views)
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Outstanding French Magazine Interview (possible spoilers) Can't Post

This has already been mentioned briefly elsewhere but it is so very good that I thought it deserved a thread of its own rather than becoming buried and missed on other threads. I hope the mods don't lock it.

It is an interview with Richard Armitage by L'Ecran Fantastique. The interviewer asks all the questions that I would want to ask and RA, as usual, answers in depth and very thoughtfully. You can find it on RichardArmitageNet which has also translated it for us. Scroll down a bit and click on "partial translation):

http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/news.html#nov24

The interview discusses what it is like to work with PJ and Andy Serkis, desribes the casting process, gives an interpretation of Thorin's character, gives make-up details and the problems caused by fake ears, describes Thorin's weapons and his fighting techniques, tells us about special effects, talks about the brotherhood of the dwarves on and off set, discusses how much humour there is in the film and reveals RA's favourite moments when playing Thorin.

IMO, this is the most insightful interview we've had so far. My thanks to RichardArmitageNet and the translator, lexie. (The translation is in progress and so there's possibly more to come.)


Faenoriel
Tol Eressea


Nov 25 2012, 5:44pm

Post #2 of 69 (820 views)
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Thanks, that was a good read! // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

But every word you say today
Gets twisted 'round some other way
And they'll hurt you if they think you've lied


Lacrimae Rerum
Grey Havens

Nov 25 2012, 5:54pm

Post #3 of 69 (927 views)
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In particular - on humour .... [In reply to] Can't Post

"Yes, and what's more, it was one of the things that all the actors who played the Dwarves and all the crew enjoyed very much because, once this group of characters sets off, so many things happen that there's very little room for laughs. The events which unfold plunge everyone into so many dangerous situations that they have to stay focused and serious. That is why we always try to make the most of those little moments where we can inject a dose of humour."

One of the clearest comments we have had thus far on the balance of humourous and serious in the films.

LR


imin
Valinor


Nov 25 2012, 6:05pm

Post #4 of 69 (833 views)
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Yeah that comment has made me feel much better [In reply to] Can't Post

That there will be a real balance and contrast to two aspects of the film.


Antalasse
The Shire


Nov 25 2012, 6:08pm

Post #5 of 69 (783 views)
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Thank you! [In reply to] Can't Post

It's really nice to see Richard Armitage has given Thorin's character this much thought.

...in every wood in every spring there is a different green...(c)


ShireHorse
Rohan

Nov 25 2012, 6:10pm

Post #6 of 69 (806 views)
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I thought that remark [In reply to] Can't Post

would cheer a few people up, LOL. And, I honestly think that, as the films progress, they will get more and more serious. The early humour will only underline the tragedy of the unravelling story.


Bagheera
Bree


Nov 25 2012, 6:21pm

Post #7 of 69 (812 views)
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Very Enjoyable...Silly Bit [In reply to] Can't Post

When he says (regarding the "Over the Misty Mountains" song,

"When I recorded this song, I imagined it had been sung to
Thorin time and time again when he was still a little baby in his crib, and that it also aroused
a strong emotional identification amongst the other Dwarves."

How on earth would a song written about the desolation of Smaug have been written and sung to Thorin while he was a baby? You'd think the actor playing him would see the incongruence, rather than use it to inform his acting.

Nerdy nitpicking aside, I still think what we've heard of the song is wonderful and Armitage did a great job singing it, and he also looks to be a great choice for Thorin (despite his age). I just think it's funny when actors say silly things like this, as if it really improved their acting. They should give themselves more credit...they're marvelous actors, they don't need to invent backstories that don't even make sense. The script is already there for all of that (though I'd imagine it makes sense).

Enjoy the trailer for my fantasy novel:
We Kill Death


sycorax82
Rohan

Nov 25 2012, 6:23pm

Post #8 of 69 (789 views)
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Richard does the best interviews [In reply to] Can't Post

You can tell he knows Thorin so well. It's brilliant to see him talk about Azanulbizar!!


ShireHorse
Rohan

Nov 25 2012, 6:51pm

Post #9 of 69 (749 views)
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Here's the last piece of translation [In reply to] Can't Post

which has yet to go up on RichardArmitageNet. It concerns the making of the Stone Giant sequence:

Was it sometimes difficult to keep your energy as an actor during the shooting against the green screen of those scenes meant to be finished with special effects? And which was the most difficult scene to shoot?

When one plays a character for such a long time, some of the most important things are knowing how to save one's energy, staying focused on the role and understanding what one has to do to play the character sensibly. Peter helped us move forward and improve in every take trying out new things. He was always ready to shoot one more take. It was as if he were waiting for the moment for you to tell him that you'd given your best, that you have no more strength left in you to shoot another take, just because he wants one to feel the characters are very tense. Peter also prevents actors from being too “comfortable” when acting because that will become evident on the screen and as soon as the audience notices it, they won't believe in what we put on scene and will stop caring about what's happening.As regards the special effects, I'd say that the most complex scene to shoot was the one in which we face the stone giants on the slope of the mountain. We shot that in the studio with a huge wind machine which threw a heavy rain upon us. I was wearing a harness under my costume and was hanging from cables to help me climb down the side of the cliff to rescue Gloin and Oin. When you're carrying the harness, the padding of fake muscles, the costume, the bags and the accessories in addition to your make-up and wig, and everything is soaking wet and weighs you down, it becomes extremely difficult to stay on your feet while having to withstand strong gusts of wind. It was exactly what the dwarves were supposed to be going through at the time, an arduous and dangerous test. However, it was also necessary to be able to keep going physically to carry out the sequence successfully... When we left the set we thought of weighing ourselves to find out how much heavier the water which was still soaking what we were wearing had made us. We realised then that each of us was moving around carrying a total weight of 25 to 30 kilos of soaked accessories and costumes! Getting through such an ordeal contributed to bring us even closer to one another.


Lusitano
Tol Eressea


Nov 25 2012, 7:21pm

Post #10 of 69 (708 views)
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And this [In reply to] Can't Post

 
is a moment of fervour almost religious in nature, which marks the beginning of their quest
towards the Blue Mountains.

Blue Mountains??


ShireHorse
Rohan

Nov 25 2012, 7:27pm

Post #11 of 69 (709 views)
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LOL, he's been reading the Appendices or The Tales of Erebor [In reply to] Can't Post

and is thinking of when he was a smith in the Blue Mountains whilst in exile.


Estel78
Tol Eressea

Nov 25 2012, 7:31pm

Post #12 of 69 (660 views)
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Of course that made me go :) [In reply to] Can't Post

Still, i remain somewhat sceptical, the ads paint a different picture.


Antalasse
The Shire


Nov 25 2012, 7:33pm

Post #13 of 69 (682 views)
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Too much Tolkien for one actor? [In reply to] Can't Post

Smile

...in every wood in every spring there is a different green...(c)


Lusitano
Tol Eressea


Nov 25 2012, 7:33pm

Post #14 of 69 (664 views)
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Ha [In reply to] Can't Post

I think he has immersed so much in the mythology and Tolkiens writings that hes getting confused with all the names and locationsLaugh

On the other hand, he used that name because we will see something to do with the Blue Mountains. It has been my belief that it is too good an opportunity not to show Thorin in exile, slaving away in the forges of the Blue Mountains...


Antalasse
The Shire


Nov 25 2012, 7:37pm

Post #15 of 69 (675 views)
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Well, in the Conceptual Art book [In reply to] Can't Post

there was a picture of Thorin working in the smithy.

...in every wood in every spring there is a different green...(c)


ShireHorse
Rohan

Nov 25 2012, 7:38pm

Post #16 of 69 (666 views)
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But Armitage ALWAYS gives himself a back story. [In reply to] Can't Post

MF just walks on and "does" it but method actors like Mortensen and Armitage must "become" it. And, if this produces a good end result, who are we to quibble about how they get there?

But, like you, I had to read that paragraph twice. He obviously knows he was a "young Thorin" when Smaug attacked because he's done that scene; so I suggest that he is explaining how he got the emotion by imagining a cradle song. Whatever. It worked.


Lacrimae Rerum
Grey Havens

Nov 25 2012, 7:42pm

Post #17 of 69 (640 views)
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Trailers aren't very good guides to proportions. [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Estel78
Tol Eressea

Nov 25 2012, 7:52pm

Post #18 of 69 (642 views)
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I dunno why they should misadvertise Hobbit [In reply to] Can't Post

I doubt it was families and kids that was the primary audience for the LOTR movies, so why cater to them in trailers?


Bagheera
Bree


Nov 25 2012, 8:02pm

Post #19 of 69 (617 views)
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Right, at the end of the day [In reply to] Can't Post

if it works it works. I guess I just think of cases like Heath Ledger's (playing the Joker), going above and beyond the script and giving us an incredible performance, and then becoming so exhausted he made a tragic mistake regarding the mixture of certain drugs...
Obviously you can't blame method acting for Ledger's death, but nor do I think that it can be credited for his wonderful performance. It was the great script combined with his talents that brought about the Joker, not whatever made-up "Joker diary" he kept on his own when not filming.

Then you have fellows like Martin Freeman, who, like you said, walk on set and simply act. I'm not trying to say Method Acting is a stupid waste of time, and honestly I don't care how the actors approach it, as long as the performance is good. It just amuses me to read things like, "Oh yeah, I figured that Thorin has known this song since he was an infant, so it's really important to his people, like a hymn." When I'm over here saying, "Dude! You're a great actor...and the song has reverence because it's about an act of terrorism your people suffered...one that you actually experienced! Tolkien put all that there. You can take a breather, it's all been structured long before you came along. You're doing good, you don't have to impress us with anything more than your acting."

Hope that doesn't come across as harsh (though it is rambling). Believe it or not, it doesn't really matter much to me, it just makes me laugh, and I have total faith that Armitage will give us a truly admirable portrayal of Thorin in a few weeks.

Enjoy the trailer for my fantasy novel:
We Kill Death


Lacrimae Rerum
Grey Havens

Nov 25 2012, 8:04pm

Post #20 of 69 (600 views)
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*Scratches head* [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm not sure where misadvertising comes into it. It is simply the case that what is shown in trailers is rarely a proportionate sample of what occurs in the film.

If we look at the Skyfall trailer for example (as one I saw recently) then more than half of the trailer focuses on the first twenty minutes of the film.

Similarly if we see five comic moments in a three minute trailer there is no reason to suppose that implies 300 comic moments in a three hour film. All we really know is that there are at least five (and possibly no more than five)

LR


Bagheera
Bree


Nov 25 2012, 8:05pm

Post #21 of 69 (620 views)
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Yeah, poor guy [In reply to] Can't Post

In his defense there are so many stinkin' mountains and valleys and forests to keep track of in Middle-Earth...and Tolkien named them all. I have a hard enough time remembering real-world geography as it is.

Enjoy the trailer for my fantasy novel:
We Kill Death


Lusitano
Tol Eressea


Nov 25 2012, 8:12pm

Post #22 of 69 (599 views)
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really?? [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes! I knew it! In your face Doubt!Laugh


Estel78
Tol Eressea

Nov 25 2012, 8:13pm

Post #23 of 69 (588 views)
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It's not about counting the number of comedic moments [In reply to] Can't Post

A trailer should give a good indication of the tone of the move. When i look at the trailers and posters, i almost get a Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs vibe.


Lusitano
Tol Eressea


Nov 25 2012, 8:16pm

Post #24 of 69 (581 views)
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I dont have that much trouble with that [In reply to] Can't Post

but i can sympathise with RA.

At least he didnt say towards Mount Doom
Wink


Lusitano
Tol Eressea


Nov 25 2012, 8:17pm

Post #25 of 69 (574 views)
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Well it is [In reply to] Can't Post

about a Fat Hobbit and the Thirteen Dwarves Tongue

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