Richard Armitage Talks 'Hobbit' And Thorin Oakenshield, Takes A Phone Call From Sauron

Armitage Hobbit Thorin Sauron

Standing well over 6' tall, with an athletic frame and impeccably coiffed hair, Richard Armitage the silhouette screams matinee idol, which makes it all the more impressive that Richard Armitage the person screams "Dwarf!"

But, then, this isn't your older brother's axe wielding, pipe smoking, occasionally tossed comic relief.

As Thorin Oakenshield, the leader of a band of not so merry dwarves looking to reclaim their ancestral homeland from the ravages of the dragon Smaug in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Armitage takes his first bold, steely-eyed, heroic steps into the world of Middle Earth, embodying with method exactness the badass anti-hero of J.R.R. Tolkien's original.

Before that, though… a little bit of fun. Armitage recently sat down with Movieline in New York City where he revealed the physicality of being a dwarf, his facility for speaking in tongues, his hard fought battle scars, and the number one reason you should always answer an interrupting telephone.

Movieline: Here's what we can do. We can do the entire interview in Khuzdul [the fictional language created by J.R.R. Tolkien for the dwarves of Middle Earth].

Do you speak dwarvish?
I speak some dwarvish.

Do you speak it fluently?
There isn't really that much [in The Hobbit].

Baruk Khazâd! Khazâd ai-mênu!
No. You can't fool me. That's from Lord of the Rings.*

Do you know dwarf sign language?
[Huge laughter from Armitage as he crosses one forearm perpendicularly over the other, giving an especially vigorous non-dwarf signal.]
Yes, any dwarf could understand that. But, no, this is a real thing. Tolkien made dwarf sign language because, you know, it's too loud to talk in the mines.

Actually, we did work with Terry Notary and we did work on a kind of sign language. That scene in Bag End where Dwalin head butts Balin as a dwarf greeting — it's a visceral, physical greeting. The language implies [physicality] as well. Physical sort of found its way into the vocal for me.

Physical as in changing your body? Is there a physical choreography to being a dwarf? A way to walk?
It's sort of informed by the skeleton of these creatures because they're not really human. Their center of gravity is much lower, their torsos longer — which was really tough for me because I'm the other way around. I've got really long legs and a short body. So all of my belts were down here on my hips, and slowly they work their way up to where your waist is. I was constantly having to pull them down.

There were other things we worked on — chewing up the ground as you walk. You know, when a dwarf starts running it takes a long time to stop. They're very heavy, very stooped trains. They can't stop immediately. Like, they'll crash through a wall. Their bone structure is heavy and solid. And those huge boots, which I think are going to be a big fashion statement next year.

Why not a trend following all these hot dwarves?
[Laughs] Oh yeah, we were baking!

Dwarves baking wasn't what I think these websites that listed 'hot dwarves' were thinking. Was there ever advice or conversation with John Rhys Davies [who played Gimli the dwarf in Lord of the Rings]?

Was there something in his performance that you ever looked at?
No. He came to visit and said hello. But we started from scratch.

With this dwarf physicality, were you able to escape unscathed from all these battle scenes?
I put my tooth through my lip when we were shooting the Battle of Azanulbizar. You see Thorin fighting six orcs. And we choreographed it on the ground and then filmed it on platforms so everything gets higher by about two feet. I actually smacked myself in the face with the shield and had this huge swollen lip that was bleeding down my neck. I was so angry at myself. You know when you hit yourself? I was so bloody angry. And then Andy [Serkis] came and showed me a mirror. I was like, 'Oh God.' He said, 'Do you want to carry on?' I said, 'Yeah, cause it looks good.' It looked really good. It looked really kind of real.

In the original film, both Elijah [Wood] and Andy [Serkis] were able to take props home. If I go to your house will I see Orcrist above the mantle?
You have Orcrist in the umbrella stand. Cause I want to be able to pick it up. You also have the shield in the kitchen drawer. And on the wall you have the map and key. I've got the full kit. The only thing I wanted was the key. But I was very kindly —

[Armitage is cut off when the phone in the hotel room where we are conducting the interview rings, interrupting us.]

Do you need to answer that?
Maybe I should. It's Sauron. You can tell by his ring.

Pages: 1 2


  • Christine Golden says:

    Mr. Armitage has it 1/2 right on Tolkien and religion: he hated allegory, but freely admitted that his writing was influenced by his conservative Roman Catholicism. One example: in a letter to a friend, he stated that the character of Galadriel was a Marian figure.

    • Laura says:

      what Clifford answeredI cant believe that anyone able to

      profit $5017 in a few weeks on the internet. did you see this at

  • Sam says:

    I am not in The Hobbit nor have I ever watched any Lord of the Rings movies but I will go to see The Hobbit just for Richard Armitage. He was smoldering as Mr. Thorton In North and South. He was a dream. Too bad we don't get to see him in more movies. I wish him the best.

  • Great actor, looking forward to seeing it tonight. Check this new series out 'A simple walk to Mordor its very entertaining!

  • Annie says:

    he seems quite charming, i really like him.

  • Mae says:

    I watched The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey already and I was impressed by Richard Armitage's acting. He did justice to the character of Thorin very well. All the emotions of Thorin were efficiently conveyed through his eyes and to think he even have a lot of fighting scenes in the Hobbit. I'm looking forward to watching the continuation of this trilogy and possibly watch his other films since the Hobbit's the first movie I watched starring him. I think the producers of the film did a good job of choosing him to portray the character. Very fine actor!

  • He is seemingly unafraid of reprisal from his guests, believing that speaking his mind is better than holding his peace. Grate it yourself. These shoes will change the method walk, providing a more natural looking gait and more joyrful posture, to boot. Pattern Mixing up that is such a enormous trend in 2010 it presented on a wide variety of catwalks in one manner or another. And so the company has made a radical shift in its focus, deciding to close its Limited Too stores to focus on its newer, upstart brand. Reason 1: Cavity Louis Vuitton Rapid 25 Bag with its infamous monogrammed canvas and traditional silhoette has really been in design for years and years now, so as soon as you get it, you could possibly be certain it will certainly look fashionable and in fashion as long as you have it (which is not constantly the example, specifically with the it bags of the duration, comparable to this summertimes Prada red stripe hobo and so forth.However, engineering solutions are not the only methods to implement sanitation. 3. Officer James L. Each Seller shall want happy customers and tend not to require any increase in cost to remain in business.

  • Kinder Uggs says:

    Helmut Lang (born on March 10 1956 in Vienna), is an Austrian fashion designer, known for his minimalist, deconstructivist, and, Louis Vuitton The Louis Vuitton Company (more commonly known simply as Louis Vuitton) is a luxury French fashion and leather goods brand and company, headquartered in Paris, France. Howard Samuels, the CEO and founder of Hills Treatment Center said that, he doesnt have any problems with sober people visiting clubs, as they go with other sober people and there is no change in the behavior of Lindsay Lohan. There exist people whose entire careers (or current lack thereof) revolve around getting their employer's brand to show first in autocomplete. Resistance training, then, is the gift that keeps on giving. In the wild their burrows match their bodysize. Pundits estimate that China would surpass the United States as the world's largest luxury market within five to seven years. It is worth noting that Lowe's has been seemingly more willing to boost shareholder value through dividend hikes even during EPS contractions.

  • Howdy I am so grateful I found your weblog, I really found you by mistake, while I was browsing on Digg for something else, Nonetheless I am here now and
    would just like to say cheers for a incredible post and a all round entertaining blog (I also love the theme/design), I don't have time to read through it all at the minute but I have book-marked
    it and also included your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read much more, Please do keep up the excellent work.

  • Jasmine says:

    Hello webmaster do you need unlimited content for your website ?
    What if you could copy post from other sources, make it unique
    and publish on your page - i know the right tool for you, just
    search in google:
    kisamtai's article tool

  • Hi there, its nice paragraph concerning media print, we all understand media is a impressive source of

  • Akomomis says:

    domperidone sustained release pellets formulation symptoms of oral chlamydia