Chairman Tobias M. Eckrich of the German Tolkien Society (Deutsche Tolkien Gesellschaft) recently chatted with Richard Armitage about his time on the Hobbit set. What he says about the Erebor interior scenes in the confrontation with Smaug being shot inside nothing but a great green box is interesting — one wonders whether a theatre background helps with the adjustment to such an absence of visual cues.
Don’t forget to follow the link at the bottom for the complete interview. You can find the English transcript immediately below the German translation.
DTG: Did you know there is a petition on Facebook, to prevent Thorin from dying in the movies? What do you think about that?
RA: I think you’ve just given away a massive spoiler for everyone who hasn’t read the book (laughs). I didn’t know there was a petition and I have to say I think it’s going to be fruitless, unfortunately.
DTG: How did your involvement with “The Hobbit” come about? Did you go to a regular casting or were you approached by the film makers?
RA: It was a fairly traditional process, actually. I auditioned and was approved by the film makers and then I met Peter Jackson […] and that was it, I was casted [sic], it was fairly straightforward.
DTG: Is being part of “The Hobbit” like any other acting job or is there something special about the project?
RA: I don´t think it has been like any other acting job that I´ve ever done. I mean it´s very rare that you get to play one character over three movies with a continuing storyline. And for such a long period of time and away from home, on the other side of the planet, so it´s not like anything I´ve done before. There was also lots of material that needed researching and has such an interest in complicated characters that needed preparation and transformation. So yes, it´s quite unique.
DTG: Was there a scene that was particularly difficult to shoot, in terms of acting or external influences?
RA: I think the end of the second movie when the dwarves fight the dragon in the mountain, that was complicated because nothing existed. It was just a green box, there was no dragon, there were no forges, and we were completely relying on Peter´s description and the art department creating images for us so that we could visualise the world we were entering and really see the beast that there was in our mind´s eye.