Peter Jackson on choosing Richard Armitage:
“We auditioned the role of Thorin and saw many, many actors and Richard really managed to capture for us the very important sense of nobility because he is essentially playing a king, but also the conflict as to whether or not he has the ability to lead these dwarves on this very difficult quest, a small number to fight a dragon, to reclaim a homeland, it’s a very noble thing he’s trying to do but he doesn’t really have the resources. Also, with the character, there’s a sense of honour, the quiet honour that Richard carries which I think is absolutely superb. As an actor, Richard is one of those very rare actors in which he uses stillness and he uses quiet to draw your eye. There can be a lot of things happening on the screen, there can be many characters on the screen, and yet Thorin in his stillness draws your attention. It’s a very, very rare skill and he’s somebody when he’s on screen your eyes go to, you want to watch.”
Martin Freeman on working with Richard Armitage:
“It was very easy, working with Richard. What Peter just said about what he brings as Thorin is partly what he brings as a person which is that he has quiet determination. He respects himself and others, he respects others when working but he holds onto this strong core of himself, actually. He’s about the least arrogant person you can wish to meet, very self-deprecating, and he’s always up for what you’re going to bring to the scene.
“I went to the gym with him once, and there was a few of us there, and we had to do these circuits around the gym with this insane, psychopath of a gym trainer, and I was busy dying about half way round. And I nearly did pass out, I genuinely nearly did, it was only a sports drink that stopped me from rolling on the floor. And Richard had sort of quietly completed the entire circuit with only slightly breaking a sweat; he sort of admitted he found it hard but what I really admired about that was that he wasn’t being macho, he wasn’t being butch, but he just quietly got on with it. And that’s kind of how he treated the 18 months on the job, really. All the trials and tribulations that inevitably come, which is the day-to-day making of a film, it’s tiring, you miss home, et cetera, but he was very stoical about it, which again is a great thing for Thorin. So there was a good marriage of Richard and Thorin there, and I enjoyed working with him very much. What I always think about Richard is that he is essentially a decent person, and I can offer someone no higher praise than that. He’s a good human being. I like being around him.”
~ during the Japanese press conference of The Hobbit, as transcribed by Yuko Kato. Images belong to RichardArmitageNet.com
Reading this made my eyes tear up a bit. <3