Richard Armitage: 'I wish I could jump out of character; I'd be more popular'

 

I never like to go out of character when filming starts I fear that if I do, I might not be able to pick it up again. This was particularly the case with the character Thorin Oakenshield [in Peter Jackson's The Hobbit]. He's moody and broody, so people kept their distance from me during the production. I wish I was good at jumping out of character in between takes, as I'd be more popular socially.

Publicity for 'The Hobbit' was relentless I was travelling and doing junkets around the world, being asked the same questions every day for three weeks. Then at the end of the working day I'd have to get down the red carpet. It's pretty hard work. I much prefer being in front of a camera.

I love how Gary Oldman disappears into a role You see a character before you see him; you believe him as he's so invested in that character, such as his George Smiley in Tinker Tailor… That's what I'm striving for.

I'd like to act in a film without special effects I've spent the past two years in a special FX environment for The Hobbit. I also need to find something where I'm not fighting or inflicting violence on someone, as a lot of the roles I've had, such as Lucas North in Spooks and Guy of Gisborne in Robin Hood, have involved that. I don't know why that's been the case!

It's bloody annoying being shy I'll spend a whole evening at a party asking everyone else about themselves. I'm not being self-deprecating; it's because I'm too shy to talk about myself. So people come away from the evening actually having learnt nothing about me.

I hate selfishness in people I lean towards the Japanese idea of "you first", such as always allowing another to walk through a door before you. Though admittedly, in their culture, this [thoughtfulness] is shame-based, to some extent.

I'm an avid skier Most of the time that I've been skiing, I've been about to go and film something, so I'm always living in fear of a broken leg and I ski very safely. I've taken a few tumbles, though. I once flipped and bounced on my head, landing in a mess on the floor; it's a dangerous sport but it's exhilarating and it allows me to unwind.

Snowboarders ruin the piste They shave off all the snow so it's like an ice patch, and they sit in the middle of the piste, chatting with friends in a line, so you have to jump over them as you come over the crest of a hill.

I'd like to live off-grid I'm fascinated with the documentation of the environment [and its degradation] through photography, and our hunt to move away from fossil fuels and towards new technology. I'm attempting to build a home that uses water, wind or solar power. Right now it's just a pastime, but it's an exciting prospect.

Richard Armitage, 41, is a British actor. 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' is available on DVD from tomorrow

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

East15 Acting School: Finance and Contracts Officer

£20,781 to £24,057 per annum: East15 Acting School: The post involves general ...

Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher

£150 - £180 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: A mainstream Secondary school in C...

Austen Lloyd: Practice / HR Manager - Somerset

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: A rare and exciting opportunity for a Practice...

Recruitment Genius: Human Resources Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This company provides global satellite communi...

Day In a Page

Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen