To celebrate the release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in Australia on May 1st, Popcorn Taxi had a special showing of the film with a Q&A session with Richard Armitage. RingerSpy and long time message board member, Deleece Cook aka Elven, was lucky enough to attend and sent us the following report on the night.
Cremorne Orpheum Theatre, Sydney Australia – Wednesday 1st May, 2013
Introduced by: Chris Murray (Creative Director Popcorn Taxi)
Hosted by: Oscar Hillerstrom from Popcorn Taxi
by: Deleece Cook on behalf of theOneRing.net
The cheering began as soon as Popcorn Taxi’s Chris Murray walked out on stage to open the event. There wasn’t a spare seat to be had at The Orpheum Theatre at Cremorne for the exclusive screening of The Hobbit and the live on Stage Q&A appearance with Richard Armitage.
700 smiling excited Thorin Fans were in the audience – and they had come from all over Australia for the event – this is what they had been waiting for hours to see. And it didn’t disappoint. It was a wonderful night of entertainment and surprises – Richard was a talkative guest; relaxed, smiling and laughing through the interview and he tried as best as he could to answer every question put to him from the fans, and from the host Oscar Hillerstrom.
Here’s how the night went – plenty of laughter and cheering and just a great vibe all round!…
Chris Murray: “Good Evening! Do I need to ask how you’re doing? Um, I’ve never been to an underwear sale at David Jones but I suppose this is the closest thing. Ladies and Gentlemen my name is Chris Murray and I am the Creative Director of Popcorn Taxi. It gives me no greater pleasure and enormous privilege to have you here tonight to see on the big screen The Hobbit. But not only that I know why you’re here… Richard Armitage on that seat ladies and Gentlemen”
Chris Murray: “Yes, you get the chance to ask him questions – I get the chance to curl into a small ball and rock backwards and forwards in the corner.”
More laughter… Then Chris laid down some house rules regarding soft toys and portraits not coming anywhere near the stage, but he mentioned nicely that questions were welcomed from the audience.
Then the first surprise of the night was announced…
Chris Murray: We are celebrating a fantastic film, and that film is out on Blu-ray and DVD today (mad applause)… “Yes! You should buy it! Warner Bros will love me! But, what’s not on that Blu-ray and what’s not on that DVD is what I’m about to play for you now. We have 12 minutes of a little behind the scenes that you will not see anywhere else. (lots of gasps) After that, you’ll get to meet Mr Richard Armitage.
Chris Murray: So enjoy the 12 minutes and relax – get the wetness out of the seats – whatever works for you – and I’ll be back! Please enjoy this event.
The sound of the cheering audience was amazing! Then silence. The lights lowered and the huge screen lit up… and then there was Peter…
Peter Jackson: “You want the Hobbit to be a visual experience that goes several steps beyond Lord of The Rings”
And that familiar drone of singing Dwarves speaking of “Pines and Mountains cold” echoed through the theatre – every eye was glued to the screen… it was more than 12 minutes of magic!
The film covered races and character that we see in the An Unexpected Journey – with snippets of comments from the actors and crew members. It shortly gave a brief explanation of the storyline and highlighted some of the production values and costuming as well.
In no particular order – Here are just some of the presenters on the clip, and what they had to say…
Peter Jackson: “When we made Lord of the Rings I was absolutely sure that was going to be a once in a lifetime experience. I never realized that ten years later I’d be doing it all over again – and we actually shot the 266 days on The Hobbit which was exactly the same number of days we shot on Lord of The Rings, so I’ve sort of done the once in a lifetime experience twice now (laughs) not a third time – there won’t be a third time”
Peter Jackson: “10 years ago it was Ian playing the character of Gandalf and no one had seen any of the movies, and now that’s an iconic figure. That’s Gandalf.”
Peter Jackson: “The same creative talent. 20 or 30 of the most senior people were Lord of The Rings veterans”
Peter Jackson: “The thing that’s so incredible about Martin is that he’s always exploring, he’s experimenting, he’s always trying to figure out where Bilbo’s truth is”
Peter Jackson: “One of the scary things about adapting The Hobbit is the fact that there’s 13 dwarves – and differentiating those characters was important.”
Philippa Boyens: “I remember the day when I knew we were back in Middle-Earth. I walked over to the costume room and there was Gandalf. And I suddenly thought… We’re Back.”
Philippa Boyens: (about Dwarves): “In the end Pete fell in love with each and every one of those characters. And as much as there is a little bit of Dwarf in Peter I think there’s a little bit of Peter in all those Dwarves.”
John Howe: “I imagine that Peter will do for Dwarves what he did for Elves because he is going to give them much more density, much more history.”
Martin Freeman: (talking about his character Bilbo) “… We join Bilbo as the book of The Hobbit does, as a home faring solitary Hobbit. …certain things struck me about him suggested a certain timidity and a lot of life…”
Elijah Wood: “You’ll get taken on an amazing ride”
Elijah Wood: “To have a chance to return, pop a wig on and feet it kind of feels like I’ve stepped into a time machine. And I get to meet all of these other actors who are coming along for the real long journey and sort of seeing in them a little bit of what we felt like when we started”
Elijah Wood: “A seed is being planted for what eventually comes the time period that we meet in Lord of The Rings”.
Christopher Lee: “Middle Earth seems to be just beginning to rumble and tumble”
Christopher Lee: “The White Council – they represent enormous power. There’s suspicion amongst all of them that there’s this building power of evil – getting stronger and stronger!”
Cate Blanchett: (on Gandalf in the film): “What makes Gandalf the most wonderful hero is the courage against popular opinion. He gets to move on into the darkness that no one else is prepared to go into.”
Hugo Weaving: “Gandalf, Elrond, Galadriel, Saruman, they play a role in eliminating those [forces?] from the political landscape.”
Ian McKellen: (on his character Gandalf regarding the appendices) “ Gandalf in The Hobbit; he is off and away doing other business and quite what that is, is not revealed in the novel. In the films we get to see what Gandalf was up to.”
Ian McKellen: “It’s magic. It’s pure magic. And you’ll believe it.”
The sound of the Dwarves was heard and the film ended with the audience cheering and clapping once more.
Then it was time for Richard Armitage to grace the Stage…