Richard armitage on dating
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\u201c I don\u2019t think acting is pretending,\u201d he says.\u201c Some people pretend and do it very well but I\u2019m not very good at pretending.\u201d He knows that being waterboarded \u201csounds like an actor being a bit too invested in the role but I\u2019m more interested in presenting the truth than a fake reality\u201d.
Richard III, meanwhile, was our last king to die in battle, as Thorin does in Tolkien\u2019s novel (but not necessarily in the forthcoming final Hobbit film, The Battle of the Five Armies \u2014 more of which later).\u003Cbr \/ And Iron Maiden?
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Armitage knows it was a risk to go back to the theatre after 13 years, having made his name on TV and then in film: \u201c We could have come out with terrible reviews.\u201d Instead, there were raves across the board.\u003Cbr \/ His relief is palpable: he worried about being typecast as an action hero.
\u201c I don\u2019t know why I\u2019m the kind of guy where they just want to put a gun or a sword in my hand,\u201d he says.
A combination of melancholic, fierce and hairy \u2014 sounds about right.\u003Cbr \/ Armitage is more affable than Oakenshield, less fierce and hairy and, at 6ft 3in, considerably taller.
His height, he says, often surprises those expecting someone of dwarven dimensions.
Well, the 43-year-old Armitage is also a practitioner of a technique that you might call \u201cmixtape method acting\u201d.
Before he plays a role he compiles a selection of music that helps him get into character. \u201c Philip Glass, some Iron Maiden, Arvo P\u00e4rt, Kings of Leon,\u201d he says.
This is the man who asked to be waterboarded to prepare for a torture scene in Spooks, and again, just to make sure, when he played a former SAS man in Strike Back; who was drawn to the role of the mill owner John Thornton in the BBC\u2019s North & South because he too was descended from a family of weavers; who dreamed in character as John Proctor when he played him in a much-praised production of The Crucible at the Old Vic earlier this year.\u003Cbr \/g Thorin to the real world pushed Armitage to new levels of research eccentricity.
His interest in Hitler arose because Oakenshield\u2019s bunker mentality, in which he turns on his closest friends, including Bilbo Baggins, reminded him of the F\u00fchrer\u2019s last days in Berlin.
Next on his slate are Urban, a drama in which he plays a social worker; Sleepwalker, a Memento-style thriller.