Female of the Species

Music & More Challenge

15.) your favorite female interviewer: greendragon

I like the greendragon interviews because we get to see Richard geek out about Tolkien, but also because her style is a nice mix of casual and professional.

greendragon has done several print interviews with Richard Armitage for TheOneRingnet. I especially enjoy when the conversation turns to Richard’s portrayal of Thorin, and his acting process in general. In their first interview for The Hobbit: an unexpected journey, they talked about how Richard incorporated Shakespeare into his characterization of Thorin Oakenshield:

“…the whole idea of the rallying cry of a leader on the battlefield is very much Henry V; the self hating deformity of Richard III was sort of relevant; and also the Macbeth figure when it comes to the gold lust- this man who believes he is doing the right thing and gets corrupted by something which ultimately destroys him…I just felt that those three figures were all going to be pretty useful for me to have in my head.”

Thorin blocks Bilbo with sword

In their interview for The Hobbit: the desolation of Smaug, greendragon gets Richard to talk a bit about his acting history, the pros and cons of “learning on the job” vs. organized classical training, and also how much of himself he brings to his roles:

” […]sometimes if it feels like too much ‘acting’, it can really pull you out of character. That was the thing about Thorin; there were times when I really felt like I was acting; and I’d go to Pete and say, ‘can we go again?’, because it just felt like I was ‘doing’ the character. The moments which are the most real and the most moving were the moments where I just wasn’t acting; I was just inhabiting what was literally another being, a whole body of clothing and a whole new face.”

Thorin on the steps of Laketown

I find all of the interviews from TheOneRing.net team interesting. I think Richard sharing his thoughts about Thorin with people who are already familiar with the history and feel of Middle Earth, allows him to delve in at a deeper level than he would normally feel comfortable doing. greendragon brings out a relaxed honesty with her questions that keep things from getting too heavy, as shown in her first report with Richard when he shared his thoughts about Tauriel:

“The older audience can grunt and snarl about it, but  at the end of the day, she’s a great character and she’s female! There are so few female characters- aspirational characters- in this, you know? I’m saddened that he hasn’t created a demonic female orc! I think that would be kind of interesting…”

Thorin sees dragon for first time
is that…lipstick?

music question: your favorite female vocal song

Brave by Sara Bareilles

this song has become a kind of affirmation for me. the lyrics are inspiring and validating at the same time. I want to be as honest as I can be with my words, not only to others, but to myself as well. I don’t want them to hurt, although I know that will sometimes inevitably happen; I want them to be freeing. free from silence, free from stress, free from masks.

let your words be anything but empty

why don’t you tell them the truth?

Black Seems to Suit Me

Music & More Challenge

2.) favorite interview of all time

I adore this interview! Richard’s answers are interesting in their detail but we’re also given a glimpse of that cheeky dry sense of humor too (The Lucas North look doesn’t hurt either). We start off with cuteness right out of the gate when Richard is trying to answer a question about always wearing black, only to realize that he is currently wearing black. That laugh is genuine and carefree, and I love it! I have to snicker to myself when he clarifies the question author’s name because I don’t think he realizes it’s a username. I could be mistaken, Dreamer would be a cool name to have. The quiz I just took said if my parents were more hippie they would have named me Luna.

“your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries”

I like his answers about Guy being a damaged soul and that he feels defensive of him. It shows how connected Richard feels to the character even though, as he says, he doesn’t always agree with everything Guy does. His reactions to the question concerning what part of Guy is the hardest to play is enjoyable too. The question starts out saying that Guy has a brooding anger about him, which causes Richard to give a side-eyed look. What? you’ve never heard the term brooding before? you better get used to it.

I knew I should have bought that joke book

and then after the question goes on, Richard’s eyes widen and he gives a laughing sound at the heaviness of it. He answers it wonderfully though by explaining the humiliation that Guy regularly goes through at the hands of the Sheriff. The next part is my absolute favorite. First, to hear him say “placated” (I don’t know why I like to hear him say that) and then second, for his dry delivery of saying he can use the action-figure horse to practice his horse-riding skills. So funny! I laugh loudly every time I see it. The last question is fun too: the mouth movements while he’s “thinking” and then not only his actual answer and how he laughs at himself, but you can clearly see the moment that answer popped into his head but he still had to act like he was thinking about it and set it up for delivery. Richard teases well.


and now the Music Challenge question:

your favorite song of all time: Won’t Go Home Without You by Maroon 5

the taste of her breath, I’ll never get over

the noises that she made kept me awake

I find that line sensual and romantic.

And then:

the weight of the things, remained unspoken

built up so much it crushed us everyday

incredibly realistic.

Think It Through, Armitage!

Today is Richard’s birthday.

Instead of waxing lyrical about him

O my Luve’s like a red, red rose

I think it’s time to start another blogging challenge!

*cue trumpets and fanfare*

So you know how I like to modify already existing blogging challenges to fit my needs, right? Well, my friend just started the 365 day Music Challenge…I am NOT going to blog for 365 days straight! *yikes* but I did start answering the questions just for fun. I only made it to #66 before I gave up.

I lacked the proper motivation

Since I always say that everything comes back to Richard, I’m going to adapt those questions for a new RA Challenge. A very random RA Challenge that very loosely resembles the original questions but I’ll also answer the music questions too because: why not? At the beginning my interpretations stayed normal enough without repeating questions that I’ve done in other Challenges (what is this now, number 3? 4? I think I may be a Challenge whore *blushes*) but the further along it went the more slap-happy I became. I hope you’ll stick around and join me for the madness.


Music & More Challenge

1.) a favorite recent interview

Can I just say how much I am enjoying Richard and Max doing promos together? There’s an easy camaraderie between them that is nice to see. Although having teenage sons seems to be rubbing off on Richard’s posture. Sit up straight! Square those shoulders! (that was said in my Dad’s voice, in case you didn’t recognize it).

I like how both Richard and Max seem to be in awe of Sarah’s weather knowledge in preparation for her role as Allison. They even go so far as to suggest that she’s the real hero of the story. interesting.

smart is the new sexy

Richard seems to be at ease in this interview, smirking at Max while he’s talking, using a multitude of hand gestures himself (was that supposed to be a shark?), and making up more words (“found-footish” sounds legit to me. but then so does “strategery”, so maybe I’m not the best judge). I liked when he referred to Donnie and Trey as his boys too, it made me feel all gooey.

RA Into the Storm Final Scene
here’s a story of a man named Gary, who was alienating 2 boys of his own…

and the surprise Richard exhibits when he finds out Weta worked on some of the special effects in the movie was cute too. As was the red-telephone-box-bit. Think it through, Armitage! totally sounds like something that would come out of my mouth. I may just have to steal it.

and now the Music part of the Challenge

your favorite song today: Haunted by Sinead O’Conner & Shane MacGowan


he’s kind of shy

but that’s the kind of girl I am,

he’s my kind of guy


The Insider Access interview where the Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug cast are asked to identify each other’s feet is always good for a laugh

It starts out with Martin’s wonky ankle and moves straight on into a typical shot of Peter Jackson, which everyone guesses correctly. Then when shown a photo with two different poses, Richard asks if one of them is him; I guess it would be embarrassing if you didn’t get your own feet right.

no, that’s not David Hassslehoff, Richard; it’s you!

Luckily Martin, Benedict and Evangeline all guessed their own feet correctly. Martin even pointed out that one photo that was thought to be him, wasn’t him at all but a manip instead; good for you Martin! But then he goes on to guess that Evangeline’s small stubby feet were Richard’s. Now I can understand why someone might guess Richard instead of Ian, they have similar builds thus they might have similar feet but Bennedict and Luke both guessed Richard too; were they trying to be ironic? I mean, have they not seen this man’s shoes?

It cracks me up how bad the guys all feel (and borderline scared) when they see that the feet belong to Evangeline and not Stephen Hunter! I think I would be able to recognize my own feet in a photo. My toes are all lined up nice and neat according to height, instead of that unruly second toe that breaks all the rules on most feet. I’m not sure I’d be able to correctly guess another’s feet though. Maybe I should study Richard’s a bit more, just in case I’m ever asked…

A Perfect Mix

The current frenzy surrounding the Hamlet audio book release made me think of my first collective experience as a Richard Armitage fan: the Popcorn Taxi Q&A in Sydney, Australia.

The build-up to the event, not to mention two very fortunate fans getting to share a studio camera with Richard earlier that morning, was fun to follow in real time. The question and answer session itself was informative and classy, while still appearing fun and light.

First of all, let’s just get this out of the way: Richard was looking fine that day. I could feel the charisma seeping out through the camera lens! The beard, and the clothes, and the…

okay, you have eyes, you can see.

Straight out of the gate we see sincerity when Richard is asked what he has personally taken away from portraying Thorin, and his answer is about leadership. I suspect he didn’t know he had it in him, so the experience really settled in and changed how he viewed himself. The reluctant leaders are often some of the best because they don’t get caught up in the role but focus on the action instead.

you can lead a king to water but…

I found the mention of mask work interesting because I had never heard of it before; the simplicity of something that is one of an actor’s most important tools. That and the fact that I can now convince myself that I am merely a budding Thespian when I make faces in the mirror, instead of a self-involved doofus.

“To be, or not to be”

I found it humorous that Richard wanted credit for the Dwafs Illustrated 2012 calendar idea. I love those moments when we glimpse the subtle struggle of wanting attention, but not too much. We see it again when talk turns to the singing of The Misty Mountain song.

“so I’m packing my bags for the Misty Mountains, where the spirits go now”

Richard, the perfectionist, threw himself into making that performance the best that it could be with his in-depth research and dedicated voice work. Mr. Consummate Professional may say that his solo didn’t belong in the end credits, but you can see that a big part of him really did want it there.

Then there’s talk of character development, staying in character, and that same old song and dance about Richard’s face being meant for darkness.

Bennedict Cumberbatch is mentioned and suddenly we’re at a sporting event. No matter because I soon become distracted by the insinuation that Thorin and Smaug were initially not going to confront each other. This always fascinates me, learning about the parts that were added in pick-ups, because sometimes they are really significant.


And then, of course, we end with the swoon worthy bit

about Thorin’s lost love.

and that’s how it’s done

I always thoroughly enjoy this interview. It’s the perfect mix of professional insight and casual conversation. I think we’re ignoring the elephant in the room though:

What is a Popcorn Taxi?

A cart full of popcorn, a circus car, a marketing ploy ahead of it’s time? Alas, this particular mystery of the universe will have to wait… because I’m off to make some popcorn.