Nobody Says It Better

[on restrictive prosthetics] “I think hands reveal so much about a character. They are sensitive little beings all on their own, and the enlargement with the silicone hands could be quite restrictive. I wasn’t able to put my hands through my hair, or pick up anything with ease. Touching my face or touching another character’s face in a tender moment, was always going to be difficult. Hands are also connected to the emotions. The clenched fist and the relaxed shaking fingers– these were things we had to live without.”

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“When you give a character such a dark center, a damaged inner life; when you give them the potential for redemption I think everybody is sort of attracted to them. They feel that there’s a journey to go on. I think we feel a need to see them through that journey.”

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[on being shy at parties] “…I’m good once I get to know people. I’m not very good at talking to a lot of people at the same time. If I can’t focus on one person, I get kind of itchy–especially at a party when someone’s talking to you and they’re looking all around, I’m like ‘are you talking to me or are you talking to everybody else?’ “

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“I always imagine characters who are defined by their history. If it’s not there then I will inevitably construct a detailed biography. For Thorin this was very easy…but I still needed to investigate a more domestic biography; what do Thorin and Dwalin chew the fat about? Or, what was Thorin’s relationship with his sister Dis like? I felt that might inform how Fili and Kili would feature in Thorin’s life.”

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“Sometimes you know your villain is doing really terrible deeds but you want him to succeed because he’s doing it with such finesse. You want to see him get his comeuppance but you also want to see him pull if off. It’s a real paradox.”

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[on meeting Prince William] “…after the movie, I was sitting on the aisle and he left and he kind of walked past me and shook my hand and said, ‘That was a really really great performance. Kate’s going to love this when she gets to see it.’ My dad was like, ‘What did he say?’ I was like, ‘Did you not hear him?’ and my dad’s like, ‘No, I’m deaf, I didn’t hear him.’ That was one of those days that I felt very proud.”

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20 thoughts on “Nobody Says It Better

      • When I am speaking with people in individual discussions, as in parties or events (rare for me) often I have a tendency to avert my eyes in some fashion because I cannot stare into their eyes for too long. The thing is they usually do the same, and then quickly look back at me when I return my eyes, but it is often to the point where I feel I never had their attention in the first place. Most often, I find that people are not listening – they are just waiting for that moment when they can speak again. They rarely just respond to what you have just said. I find that even more difficult in groups, as they are usually making small talk until they see another they want to speak to. “Hollywood” parties are notorious for that. It’s beyond horrible sometimes. Place holder is right.

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        • I very rarely look people in the eye when I’m talking to them too, but looking down or off to the side when speaking is different than looking all around the room and appearing like you’re too cool to be there in the first place 😦 I know many people who “think ahead” when talking in conversations (one in particular I’m related to πŸ˜‰ ) and not only does it make you feel like they aren’t listening (in my case he usually isn’t) but it also makes you feel like you’re not worthy of their attention to begin with. which is why I greatly admire Richard’s habit of giving fans, interviewers, etc. his full attention when speaking with them πŸ™‚ (the operative word in that sentence being “with” not “at” πŸ˜‰ )

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          • I admire that about Richard also. He is focused and attentive, which may be his business to do so, but there is something else in it that also that is outside simple, good professionalism.

            I think it is absolutely reprehensible when people ‘search the room” with their eyes for other people. I would probably never speak with that person again or lose complete respect for them. I certainly would never considering dating them either, if that ever came into their narrow heads to want of me. Huge red flag there.

            It’s a shame that this is someone you care about/is family. I know this is your business, but I’m a bit curious if you’ve ever talked with them about it?

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          • it’s my brother that I was referring to and of course I never talked to him about it, that would be confrontation! I confront friends and strangers, but never family *laughs* (well, I do regularly confront my mother but that’s like a mine-field, I never come through unscathed!)long story short: my family does not “do” feelings, which was very hard for me growing up being the emotional being that I am. I’ve maintained a close relationship with my parents, mainly by finally letting go of what I *wanted* them to be and accepting them for who they *are*. it’s taken me a bit longer to get there in regards to my brother, but I’ve finally gotten there within the last year; I’m not ready to rock that boat quite yet πŸ˜‰

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          • Since you have mentioned it earlier, chances are that animal might rear it’s head soon. Keep an eye out for your’s at the next social function. I know mine can be vicious if I cage her too long in that way. πŸ˜‰

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        • Bollyknickers says:

          I know what you mean about the rudeness of the person who is constantly looking around for someone more interesting to talk to. However, eye contact varies within cultures and the normal eye contact in western culture is less than you might imagine. From memory, it is about 65% for the listener and 40% for the speaker. The speaker often looks to the left of the listener in order to access memory. Studies have found that when the gaze ratio is altered, people feel uncomfortable and altering the ratio can be a sign of dominance ( an aggressor in an argument will stare at their opponent whilst talking and then not look at them as they respond).

          Armitage is apparently someone who does hold eye contact – this is described by the lucky few who have been under the gaze as part of his charisma. But it also goes back to the power dynamic – Armitage signals his power and control through his gaze ( and also utilises this in his characters). My guess is that he developed this to counteract his natural shyness.

          These are some great quotes and a few of them were new to me. I especially enjoyed the one with his Dad and Prince William. He has every right to feel proud and it was so wonderful he took his parents along to enjoy that moment.

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          • I speak more clearly in type than I do in person, and yet it’s not like I’m sitting here pondering what to say the best way. when I’m talking to someone I’m always conscious of them, which makes me nervous to begin with, and then my mind is just a jumble! either I can’t remember my exact train of thought, or I’m constantly reaching for the words to convey what I’m trying to say. I oftentimes think much faster than I can talk, while I’m relatively able to keep up when typing. (I have to go back and correct all of my typos though ;)) when I’m being direct and to the point I do look straight at who I’m talking to, and I’m guessing this is why I’ve had several people say I’m intimidating. it’s when I try to solve the mysteries of the universe that I get tongue-tied and end up sounding like a Valley-Girl (and blushing because of it!)

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  1. Bollyknickers – I have head that also. I do look away when i have to recall things…such as names. I am not aware of which direction I look. But I still look away from discomfort.

    Richard focus on people when he speaks with them is very good. In chracters, the power dynamic is very different.

    In a scene with Maya, in Lucas apartment (“You remember”) he practically forces the actress to look at him – to focus ON him. To this day, I am not sure if that was a character choice or Richard, the actor, trying to get the actress to act and/or respond to him. But it was intense.

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