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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Who Do You Think Has the Most Challenging Role in The Hobbit?
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The Grey Elf
Gondor


May 7 2013, 2:10pm

Post #1 of 27 (1257 views)
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Who Do You Think Has the Most Challenging Role in The Hobbit? Can't Post

I've always been fascinated by the chameleon mechanics of being an actor. As an ordinary, non-thespian person, pretending to be someone else seems so mysterious and somewhat bizarre. Not a single actor had a part one could describe as a cakewalk and setting aside the resulting performance that came of multiple demands, I would say all told, Richard Armitage had the most challenging part. Every actor shared in the drudgery of hot costumes, green screen, prosthetics, ride horses, etc. but in addition RA altered his voice, sang, spoke another language, probably had the most fight scenes and stunt work, had the heaviest prop (Orcrist) and, LOL, grew his own beard. (Given all this, choosing a younger actor for the role of Thorin was probably a matter of necessity. Who else would have had the stamina for this part?)

But perhaps I've missed something. If anyone has a differing opinion, I'd love to hear your insights.


Kaede
Rivendell


May 7 2013, 2:42pm

Post #2 of 27 (667 views)
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Oooooooo.... [In reply to] Can't Post

Good question! I don't think I have a differing opinion, though. Martin Freeman has the most lines and is the POV character...but he doesn't have the same costume issues, even though he's right there with the dwarves on most of the fighting. Ian McKellan might be in the running. But I think I'd second that it's Richard, however. He has the added weight of the most dramatic character arc--most of which we haven't seen yet--but his role requires the dramatic range needed to take Thorin through the dragon sickness, and that has to be a huge challenge. I think he'll do it brilliantly, btw. Then there are the actors who respond to that range...Martin, especially. Then Fili/Kili and the rest of the dwarves.


Kullervo
Rivendell


May 7 2013, 2:53pm

Post #3 of 27 (617 views)
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I agree [In reply to] Can't Post

Thorin in the movie(s) is the most challenging, for all the reasons you listed. But also because Thorin's character goes through the most changes (next to Bilbo) throughout the story. Otherwise I might say Bilbo, but in his case most of the hard work was already done by simply casting Martin Freeman. He is so naturally Hobbity and Bilboesque that I don't think he has to strech his acting abilities too much.


(This post was edited by Kullervo on May 7 2013, 3:02pm)


Angharad73
Rohan


May 7 2013, 2:59pm

Post #4 of 27 (594 views)
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Hmmm, hard to say... [In reply to] Can't Post

For me it is between Richard Armitage and Martin Freeman. Freeman's part might not be as physically demanding as Armitage's, but he has the focus on him most of the time, and I do not think that the role of Bilbo is that easy to play. He has to convey the inner journey of Bilbo convincingly, not just the obvious action parts (and he has to run around with those huge Hobbit feet...Tongue). That said, I think that the role of Thorin will become more more demanding in the next two movies, especially when the Dragon Sickness kicks in, there will be a big change in him and that might not be easy to portray on the screen.


The Grey Elf
Gondor


May 7 2013, 3:02pm

Post #5 of 27 (582 views)
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Also MF had no facial prosthetics to contend with [In reply to] Can't Post

So his wonderfully expressive face was free to convey Bilbo's thoughts and feelings without latex and glue fusing it all together.


Old Toby
Gondor


May 7 2013, 3:50pm

Post #6 of 27 (535 views)
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Yup I agree [In reply to] Can't Post

I'd say RA hands down, for all the reasons you mentioned. (Not to mention having the burden of looking majestic and keeping his hair in perfect, casual disarray at all times! Tongue)

"Age is always advancing and I'm fairly sure it's up to no good." Harry Dresden (Jim Butcher)


Marionette
Rohan


May 7 2013, 3:52pm

Post #7 of 27 (557 views)
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Richard Armitage, then Martin Freeman [In reply to] Can't Post

As I said in other topic, Thorin is the most difficult role.


"Dear friend good bye, no tears in my eyes. So sad it ends, as it began"
Queen



dormouse
Half-elven


May 7 2013, 5:37pm

Post #8 of 27 (510 views)
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The director.... [In reply to] Can't Post

He takes all the flak, and whatever he does is wrong for someone!!

But if you really want an actor, I'd say Richard Armitage, for the reasons you mention. And Martin Freeman, because the whole thing depends on him inhabiting a very familiar and well-loved character.


Glorfindela
Valinor


May 7 2013, 5:45pm

Post #9 of 27 (509 views)
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Richard Armitage, for the reasons you've given. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Not a single actor had a part one could describe as a cakewalk and setting aside the resulting performance that came of multiple demands, I would say all told, Richard Armitage had the most challenging part. Every actor shared in the drudgery of hot costumes, green screen, prosthetics, ride horses, etc. but in addition RA altered his voice, sang, spoke another language, probably had the most fight scenes and stunt work, had the heaviest prop (Orcrist) and, LOL, grew his own beard. (Given all this, choosing a younger actor for the role of Thorin was probably a matter of necessity. Who else would have had the stamina for this part?)



Luinnár
Rivendell

May 7 2013, 5:49pm

Post #10 of 27 (481 views)
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Agreed! [In reply to] Can't Post

 


DanielLB
Immortal


May 7 2013, 5:53pm

Post #11 of 27 (576 views)
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Definitely Lee Pace as Thranduil [In reply to] Can't Post

Building up all that "sass" must take a lot of hard work.

UnsureWink


Darkstone
Immortal


May 7 2013, 6:23pm

Post #12 of 27 (508 views)
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Lilly [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm tempted to say Armitage, because a convincing build-up to Thorin's hubris is what's going to sell the story.

But I'll go with Lilly, because she's going to take the most horrible, nasty, vile abuse from "fans". I recall how tough Liv Tyler said it was to read all the fan comments and not let it affect her. And she ended up doing a wonderful job as the perfect elf. Now that's professionalism!

******************************************
The audacious proposal stirred his heart. And the stirring became a song, and it mingled with the songs of Gil-galad and Celebrian, and with those of Feanor and Fingon. The song-weaving created a larger song, and then another, until suddenly it was as if a long forgotten memory woke and for one breathtaking moment the Music of the Ainur revealed itself in all glory. He opened his lips to sing and share this song. Then he realized that the others would not understand. Not even Mithrandir given his current state of mind. So he smiled and simply said "A diversion.”



dubulous
Rohan

May 7 2013, 8:32pm

Post #13 of 27 (477 views)
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Let us not forget... [In reply to] Can't Post

...that 180 turn Cate Blanchett had to do without toppling over. It's not easy being an elf!

Wink


Ardamírë
Valinor


May 7 2013, 8:36pm

Post #14 of 27 (452 views)
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From a PR perspective, I have to agree. [In reply to] Can't Post

I have a feeling that no matter what Lilly does she's going to be reviled. I for one am very much looking forward to her portrayal. From what I've seen of her acting, I think she'll be able to portray all the range of emotions necessary, and I think she'll be able to do all the physical action as well.

"...not till now have I understood the tale of your people and their fall. As wicked fools I scorned them, but I pity them at last. For if this is indeed, as the Eldar say, the gift of the One to Men, it is bitter to receive." -Arwen


Darkstone
Immortal


May 7 2013, 8:41pm

Post #15 of 27 (437 views)
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So either... [In reply to] Can't Post

...Linda Blair's character in The Exorcist (1973) was an Elf, or Galadriel is possessed by the Necromancer.

Cool

******************************************
The audacious proposal stirred his heart. And the stirring became a song, and it mingled with the songs of Gil-galad and Celebrian, and with those of Feanor and Fingon. The song-weaving created a larger song, and then another, until suddenly it was as if a long forgotten memory woke and for one breathtaking moment the Music of the Ainur revealed itself in all glory. He opened his lips to sing and share this song. Then he realized that the others would not understand. Not even Mithrandir given his current state of mind. So he smiled and simply said "A diversion.”



dik-dik
Lorien


May 7 2013, 10:06pm

Post #16 of 27 (413 views)
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Re: Who Do You Think Has the Most Challenging Role in The Hobbit? [In reply to] Can't Post

My vote would go to Cate Blanchett. I can only imagine how difficult it must be to always look, speak and move in a lovely and gracious way, and look serene and sad most of the time to be the very image of a powerful Noldo who has seen more than three ages of the world. That sounds pretty challenging to me, and more than a tad restricted in terms of allowed expressions and voice work; that must be quite hard to perform without wearing the same expression most of the time.

"A journalist once asked me what I would like my epitaph to be and I said I think I would like it to be 'He did very little harm'. And that's not easy. Most people seem to me to do a great deal of harm. If I could be remembered as having done very little, that would suit me." ~ Paul Eddington


(This post was edited by dik-dik on May 7 2013, 10:07pm)


IdrilofGondolin
Rohan

May 7 2013, 10:54pm

Post #17 of 27 (393 views)
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If You are a Dancer [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
...Linda Blair's character in The Exorcist (1973) was an Elf, or Galadriel is possessed by the Necromancer.

Cool


you know exactly how to do that corkscrew turn. It's actually fun. But it's easy to topple over if you are not carfeul.


Otaku-sempai
Half-elven


May 8 2013, 12:14am

Post #18 of 27 (426 views)
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I think, Richard Armitage (spoilers within) [In reply to] Can't Post

Thorin Oakenshield seems like a fairly simple character on the surface, but when you look closely, it is really a quite complex and nuanced role. He is a king-in-exile and an experienced warrior. At the same time he is leading a small band that is largely far less experienced and battle-hardened than himself. His immediate goal (in the book) is far less ambitious than slaying the wyrm and retaking his home. While he would like to do both, he is initially content to attempt to restore his people's fortune and plan for the rest later.

Thorin is experienced, but not as wise as he thinks he is. He is prone to bad decisions, especially after falling victim to the dragon-sickness following the Demise of Smaug. He only shows his true measure on his deathbed, when he reconciles with Bilbo. The truth is that Thorin is almost a Shakespearean character.

'There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.' - Gandalf the Grey, The Fellowship of the Ring


Morthoron
Gondor


May 8 2013, 3:30am

Post #19 of 27 (387 views)
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Who Do You Think Has the Most Challenging Role in The Hobbit? [In reply to] Can't Post

The movie-goer who has to view it.

Please visit my blog...The Dark Elf File...a slighty skewed journal of music and literary comment, fan-fiction and interminable essays.



macfalk
Valinor


May 8 2013, 7:20am

Post #20 of 27 (327 views)
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Well [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree with Darkstone (where have you been, by the way? Anyway I used your mandatory subject line title in honor of your return.)


Evangeline Lilly is the Esme Bianco (Ros from Game of Thrones) of the Tolkienian fanbase. As of right now, most fans are very skeptical that the character of Tauriel will bring anything good into the movie(s). Lilly and PJ will have to pull off with something incredible if they want to avoid the fan reaction that the creators of Game of Thrones got when they created a non-canon role in Westeros and gave her plenty of screentime - in fact a lot more screentime than many minor characters from the books, something that was hard to forgive, according to what I've read over the years at various fansites.



The greatest adventure is what lies ahead.


Arannir
Valinor


May 8 2013, 7:49am

Post #21 of 27 (309 views)
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Agreed. [In reply to] Can't Post

Especially those "fans" who build up a movie-war between the Hobbit and Catching Fire have started to go into lows such as "the wrinkled elf" etc.

Though Lilly is used to it... in Lost her character experienced quite a lot of hate, as well.


To me, she remains a stellar actress and a timeless beauty :)



“A dragon is no idle fancy. Whatever may be his origins, in fact or invention, the dragon in legend is a potent creation of men’s imagination, richer in significance than his barrow is in gold.” J.R.R. Tolkien

Words of wisdom that should be remembered - both by critics, purists and anyone in between.


innoce77
Registered User

May 8 2013, 11:11am

Post #22 of 27 (296 views)
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Bilbo [In reply to] Can't Post

Thorin? Not now..maybe in third movie.
If I have to pick one character to this question I say of course Bilbo.


Bombadil
Half-elven


May 9 2013, 6:16pm

Post #23 of 27 (196 views)
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Cate was Standing on a "TurnTable"..Stagehands Turned HER! [In reply to] Can't Post

Bomby knows..Bomby IS a Stagehand...


Bombadil
Half-elven


May 9 2013, 6:23pm

Post #24 of 27 (202 views)
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Bombur has the Toughest Role! [In reply to] Can't Post

Poor Stephen Hunter..
But he gets to Truly Shine!!!
in DoS!

Bomby considers Bombur
my Brother!


Súlimë
Rivendell


May 10 2013, 8:01am

Post #25 of 27 (161 views)
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I agree with this [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
For me it is between Richard Armitage and Martin Freeman. Freeman's part might not be as physically demanding as Armitage's, but he has the focus on him most of the time, and I do not think that the role of Bilbo is that easy to play. He has to convey the inner journey of Bilbo convincingly, not just the obvious action parts (and he has to run around with those huge Hobbit feet...Tongue). That said, I think that the role of Thorin will become more more demanding in the next two movies, especially when the Dragon Sickness kicks in, there will be a big change in him and that might not be easy to portray on the screen.


Can't wait can't wait can't wait to see the rest of the triology! Laugh

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