Richard Armitage English actor known for his roles as John Thornton on the British television programme North & South, Guy of Gisborne in the TV drama Robin Hood, Lucas North in the TV drama Spooks, John Porter in the TV drama Strike Back and as Thorin Oakenshield in the feature film trilogy adaptation of The Hobbit. Posing elegance in high fashion brands Richard Armitage is billed third in the sixteenth most successful film ever made.
“That sounds good. I should say it like that more often. Not bad for a boy from Leicester,” says the 42-year-old, who might attain an even higher ranking than he did for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, with his next film, The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug. In both – and next year’s third in Peter Jackson’s trilogy – Armitage plays Thorin Oakenshield, the leader of the Company of Dwarves.
In Jackson’s preceding Lord of the Rings films, eight of the nine actors who played the Fellowship got a tattoo to commemorate their shared experience making the movies. It was of the word “nine” in JRR Tolkien’s Elvish language. The 13 men in the Company of Dwarves looked for a similar bonding exercise.
There is another legacy of his years in the intelligence services: his wardrobe.
“A lot of the clothes I wear every day were costumes from shows I’ve done. On Spooks, I ended up buying a lot of the gear – you get a minimal discount – because I just liked it. It’s that lazy mindset of ‘someone else has picked this because I look good in it, so I’ll have it’.
“Thing is, I get a little bit frustrated at being recognized sometimes, but then I think, ‘Of course you’ll be recognized, you bloody idiot, you’re wearing the costume’.”
Photographs by Blair Getz Mezibov.
Excerpt from Esquire UK.