I recently got my official movie guide book for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. O frabjous day! Callou! Callay! There’s much in the book to rejoice about. By now, I’ve read every bit of it and pored over all of the pictures, the cast interviews (Ahem! Yes, all of them, not just some or one of them), all the production details and behind-the-scenes stuff. Here’s my favorite picture from the book, which I’m sure will come as a total surprise to everyone:
The interview in the book was lovely, too. Lots of new insights into the character, which is nice, considering that we have been treated to lots of other insights in other interviews. I’m sure by now it must be hard to think of fun, non-spoilerish tidbits to feed to the ravenous audience, but there they were.
Among the recent crop of other interviews, though, I liked this one because of the hand-drawn pictures:
In this interview, the journalist mentions that the only cast member to appear in street clothes for the interview was Richard Armitage. And that, I thought, was interesting.
In all the production vlogs, when Richard is interviewed, he’s just wearing regular clothes. There are candid shots of him as Thorin, sure, running through the tussocks or whatever, but he never talks to the viewers as Richard when he’s dressed as Thorin.
So it seemed to me that for all this time, Richard Armitage has made a point of never speaking to the press while in costume. And I wondered, is this due to the rigors of his role in The Hobbit? Now, his fellow cast members show up on camera in the production vlogs and in magazine interviews wearing their dwarven personae, and I can certainly see why it would be impossible to find a time when all thirteen of them could be at work and not fully kitted out. They probably spend most of their time all dressed up anyway, because it takes so long to apply all the prostheses and things.
But I just wondered if — whether it’s just for The Hobbit or for any role — RA has made a choice not to be “himself” when he’s in costume. It would make a certain amount of sense to make a mental connection between putting on the clothes and putting on the character. Plus, it would be easier to get into character for an intense scene if you were already part of the way there once you put on the costume. I know that in his interview for North and South he mentioned how important his costume was to him, and how if his clothes didn’t feel right, his portrayal felt marred somehow. Not sure if he felt that way in Robin Hood, because I haven’t watched that show as carefully, and in MI-5 (Spooks) it would be very hard to tell which clothes belonged to Lucas North and which ones to Richard. And it would be equally difficult to tell when he was in costume with respect to the upcoming tornado disaster movie Black Sky — unless, of course, he showed up at an interview soaking wet, which would be kind of a giveaway.
Whether it’s his choice just for this role, or something he’s decided works for him as an actor, it’s perfectly fine with me. But it’s just something I noticed.