Before Peter Jackson’s three-part “Hobbit” saga, few people knew who Richard Armitage
was. He had starred in a handful of well-regarded television series, but nothing that really stuck out. Now the actor has been immortalized as Thorin Oakenshield, one of the big heroes (and, in the third film, major villains) of the entire “Hobbit” franchise. Immortality has been assured; now everybody knows who Richard Armitage is, even under pounds of prosthetics.
We sat down with Armitage on, as he says, “the final press tour” of “The Hobbit” franchise, in London, England. You could tell that Armitage was in good spirits, even though there was a fair amount of sadness in seeing this chapter in his life come to a close, linger just beneath the surface. We talked to Armitage about the involvement of “Hellboy” director Guillermo del Toro (who was originally slated to direct and still maintains a co-screenwriting credit), what it was like shooting his big ice fight, and whether or not he’d jump into another giant franchise again.
Moviefone: How does it feel?
Richard Armitage: It’s good. It’s very good. It’s interesting thing, like what Ian said, what people want to know about the making of the films and what it’s like to be there and to be those characters. It says a lot. He inspires a visceral response to his work.
Looking back on it, what do you think your contribution is?
It feels like I’ve been to the theme park too and I’ve had the Middle Earth experience. It’s a big chunk of my life and there’s a lot of physical and emotional investment, a lot of investment of time and creativity. It’s very satisfying to get to this point and take the third film out on the road and see people’s response to it.