The Hobbit's Richard Armitage plays the stoic Thorin Oakenshield, the leader of the dwarves and a very strong presence throughout The Hobbit. But how will this lofty, Lordly character play with today's movie audiences? We asked, and Armitage answered — plus find out what other songs we'll be hearing from Armitage in the movie!
Is [The Hobbit] going to be a little bit more musical than The Lord Of The Rings?
Richard Armitage: Yeah, yeah, and there are other songs in it [besides the one we've already heard]. Which I was kind of hoping for. But I thought, "are they gonna shy away from that?" But I think the culture of the dwarves, the dwarves are kind of raucous dirty, filthy beasts. And when they party, they party hard. So there are a few drinking songs in there.
What makes a good drunk?
A smelly dwarf — and boy, do we smell.
Oakenshield is kind of this classical Lord figure in the books, how do you update this character for modern audiences?
I never really thought of updating it. I actually did the opposite. I thought of it as more kind of Greek tragedy. I looked at Shakespeare, a lot of my preparation I was looking at Henry V and bits of Richard III, just to find roots in British literature that were deeper. But I think making it feel contemporary the big themes of the story — loyalty and trust and camaraderie — I think those things are contemporary.
There's been talk of splitting the second film in two, do you have strong feelings about that?
Um, I have no concept of what you're talking about. But I think the book has it's natural points of peak and trough, so hopefully our story will musically honor what Tolkien was writing.
Where do [the current two movies] split?
Nobody's quite sure yet. We've kind of shot it as one long story, so that will be one of the surprises we may get when we see the final films.