When I was just beginning my Richard Armitage journey,
the first interview I saw of him was a previous one from the 2012 Comic-Con event.
This short interview really impressed me
and fully opened me up to the notion that this was a man who deserved my attention.
The interview opens with acknowledging how Richard’s views of the Hobbit book differed from when he was a child compared to now.
This said to me that Richard Armitage was someone who was open to viewing things in new ways. That he understood that we, as emotional beings, evolve. When he said that the book was read to him when he was seven years old, also let me know that he was probably a book lover himself. And although what was being discussed has been classified by many as a children’s book, Richard recognized the deeper lessons within the story and respected it for that.
Next, Richard talked about putting Thorin’s costume on, talking and walking a certain way, in order to make the character come alive.
Fictional characters often become very real to me, so these words brought forth an image of the mighty warrior jumping off the page to physically stand in front of me, for me to see and smell and touch.
Richard then emphasized the responsibility he felt in trying to do the character justice. To satisfy those who had already read the book and so had a special relationship with the characters and story already, to those who were just being exposed to it for the first time.
That said to me that Richard Armitage had a passion for his work. He not only researched extensively, but believed what he was saying.
This became more apparent to me when he went on to answer the “staying power of myth” question. This man knew his Tolkien! Not just who Tolkien was, but what he was; creator of legend, religion, language. Richard believed in the world that Tolkien had created, and thought it would be a great “tragedy” if something like the Silmarillion was not brought to life on film.
At that time I knew nothing of Richard himself, that he had studied in literature or that he had been professionally trained. From this interview I could start to make a few guesses pointed in that direction though.
Something else that this interview told me, was that Richard Armitage was a modest man; he wasn’t doing this for fame.
The way he bashfully, yet sincerely, accepted the interviewer’s compliment gave me a peek into another layer. It was just a glimpse, but you could see it in his eyes and the tilt of his head.
This proved too interesting not to investigate further…