Sunday 30 December 2012

Bathroom ballads and shower soundtracks

I was looking for a reason to bring some music into this blog and, as always, my muse provides me with the inspiration I was looking for...

So Richard Armitage does not sing in the shower... But if he did (I will be eternally grateful to Martin Freeman and Andy Serkis for pressing on and making RA answer this question) he would sing this: Love In An Elevator by Aerosmith! :-)

What a great choice! There's a ride in Disneyland Paris by the name of The Rock 'n' Roller Coaster which features Aerosmith and, more specifically, this song. The ride is a great thrill, taking you from 0 to 100 km/h in less than 3 seconds. It's one of my favourite roller coasters!

But back to music, and singing in the shower. As RA's been so good as to give us a sneak peek into his shower (oh no, it's going to take me hours to get THAT mental picture out of my head...), I thought I'd return the favour and share a song that I sing in the shower.

To be honest, I always sing in the shower, mainly because I love the way my voice echoes in the bathroom :-) Although that does not necessarily mean that my singing is any good :-§

The songs that I sing tend to change according to my mood or the radio station that I've been listening to, but there are certainly a few songs that I keep going back to. I love film and musicals, so this is a definite favourite: Let's Go To The Movies from the musical Annie. When I was young, we had this film on VHS tape and I'm sure the film is now completely ruined from the very many times my sister and I used to watch it and sing along to all those wonderful songs.

What about you? Any favourite bathroom ballads or shower soundtracks?

Thursday 27 December 2012

Let's make him number 1!

As of today, Richard Armitage is ranked #2 on the IMDb Starmeter.

Wouldn't it be great if he got to number 1?
I know Richard probably couldn't care less about his rank, as it's a popularity contest of the purest form and he has no interest in being popular whatsoever.

Richard Armitage promotes The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in Toronto, Canada on 3 December 2012

But still, as a fan, I would love to see my favourite man in the top spot.
And, as it's so easy to make it happen, why not?

All you need to do is get as many different people as possible to go to the IMDb website and visit pages related to Richard Armitage. Not only his profile page, but also the pages of the projects he's been involved in: Spooks, Captain America, North and South, The Hobbit, Chris Ryan's Strike Back, Black Sky, The Phantom Menace, Robin Hood - it all counts.

So let's all do this and show our man that he is our number 1!

Thursday 20 December 2012

Richard Armitage, this is your Fault!

So yes, I ordered the Winter issue of Fault Magazine with the special edition Richard Armitage cover. And although it was ridiculously expensive, I'm now convinced that it was a good idea. The video below will show you why. Best looking 41-year-old man I have ever seen! Not a 'fat dude' in sight, Mr. A, but I'm now beginning to realise what you mean by "I'm extremely vain"!  :-D

So I guess I'll just consider this a little Newyear's present to myself... as it will only be delivered somewhere in the second part of January. It's all Richard's Fault anyway... bad, bad man! :-))

What to look out for in the video? Designer stubble alert, the blue-eyed wonder, glorious fashion (yes, I did notice the clothes as well...), crinkles (yes!), the new hairstyle (which I still love, although the natural hair colour is now gone - but black just suits him so well, so it's all good!) and last but not least: the hands, those lovely long and elegant fingers...

Right, I'm watching this again!

Richard Armitage for Fault Magazine Issue 13 - Behind the scenes

Wednesday 19 December 2012

Gone in 60 seconds

Two brilliant new interviews: one in which Martin Freeman interviews Richard Armitage and one where Richard interviews Martin. Funny, adorable, sexy (that voice!)... these guys are so funny together!

What I've learned:
- There's somebody out there who is even worse at telling jokes than I am :-)

- RA prefers wine to beer... As I'm belgian, it would be almost sacrilege for me not to like beer at all, but I have a definite preference for wine. My new favourite is a Sauvignon Blanc from the Stoneleigh vinyards in New Zealand ;-)

- RA had a 'relationship' with his horse - Good to hear that he got along with HER after his rather 'difficult' relationship with Richie, his horse for Robin Hood... :-§

- He trusts the judgement of a stylist to make him look good. Now, I know we agree that this man would look good wearing a plastic bag (and not much else, winkwink), but he's right that his stylist for the press tour for The Hobbit has made him look absolutely gorgeous (Best dressed list gorgeous, that is!). Can I get a big round of applause for Miss Ilaria Urbinati?

- RA is a bit of a fitness freak... lifting weights because he "would not want to be a fat dude". I love people who like to suffer the pain of sports, and appreciate the incredible feeling you get when you've put your body through an extensive workout :-)

- He's sticking to his guns (!) about social media, but he prefers making that perfect shot with a bow and arrow... good, I don't like guns anyway, unless we're referring to a specific part of RA's body; in that case: I love guns! ;-)

Oh, and can I just bring everybody's attention back to that voice... That's dip-me-in-chocolate, tingles-down-my-spine, rich velvet voice? Not even Thorin's voice can top the real thing! Enjoy!!

MAX 60 Seconds with Richard Armitage - Thank you Cinemax!!

And MAX 60 Seconds with Martin Freeman:

Monday 17 December 2012

Dwarven fun with the merry men

This is hilarious! IGN ( submits the dwarves to questions on all things Hobbit. So, have our dwarves done their homework? Have they checked the facts and checked them twice? Have they read and studied all things Middle Earth?
Well...not exactly :-)

Prepare yourself to meet the newest members of the company of dwarves: Milli and Vanilli. Also, we find out that there is a connection between Bilbo Baggins and Star Trek's Spock, that it's not easy to remember exact dates when you're travelling halfway around the world and that Cate Blanchett is actually a sword... :-)

But, most of all, we get to see how these 12 men from different countries, different backgrounds and different ages have really become a band of 'merry men', and friends for life, I'm sure!
It's a shame, though, that dwarf number 13 (or is that number 1?) is missing...

Friday 14 December 2012

A little gem of an RA interview

This interview is brilliant - had me laughing out loud!! :-)

There will be more in-depth analysis of the film and the previous weeks and days very soon, but as it's already 01:40am here, I need to get some sleep first. Or maybe I'll just quickly watch this interview again... ;-)

Richard Armitage on George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight- Toronto, Canada
Video shared on Youtube by TheHour

Thursday 13 December 2012

Thirty Days to Thorin - It is done...

It is done. I have just seen The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in 48fps 3D. My hands are actually shaking while I write this. I wanted to describe the experience, but I seem to be unable to string a few words together to form a decent sentence...

The film

I am in awe of Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens and I am extremely grateful for their interpretation of Tolkien's 'children's book'. They do the story so much justice and they treat it with nothing but love and respect. Their knowledge of the details of Tolkien's world is so very evident throughout the film...
I expected the return to Middle-Earth to be a wonderful experience, but nothing could have prepared me for this!

The story

Sir Peter and his team remained extremely loyal to Tolkien, whenever they could. So much so that much of the dialogue comes directly from the novel which is just what the fans want. Whenever they do stray from the original storyline, it is because some things simply do not translate well to the silver screen. Even Tolkien, the great storyteller, would have agreed with that because he would have understood that the success of a story depends as much on the vehicle you use (film, in this case) as on what you describe. Even though I've heard certain people in the media say that "Tolkien would be turning in his grave" if he could see what PJ has done to his story, I firmly believe that he would be proud to have this story interpreted the way Sir Peter has.

The 48fps

Oh my world! The 48fps makes everything so very clear. Every hair on Balin's beard, every piece of Thorin's battle robes, every wrinkle in Gandalf's face, every piece of gold in the Lonely's all there, right at your fingertips. This is setting a new standard for film in the future, and it really makes this specific film an extraordinary experience. I don't want to give away any spoilers, so I can't go into too much detail now, but I just want to say this: if you have a chance to go and see it in 48fps 3D, do yourself a favour and do it - you will not be disappointed.

Richard Armitage

Fans of Richard Armitage, look around you. Once this film is released to audiences across the globe in the days to come, there will be many more in RA's "little group of friends".

He took my breath away! The regal authority, the gravitas, the depth and the sense of purpose he brings to Thorin are undescribable; I was literally moved to tears. Such wonderfully detailed acting: the eyes, the hands (although they're not his own elegantly beautiful hands) the posture, the voice... I'm sure that voice will haunt me in my dreams tonight and possibly for many nights to come. That was SO good!

I don't think I'll manage to sleep tonight, but I'd better try anyway - long day at work ahead of me...
But for now, with Thorin's voice in my head, all I can really think about is: When can I go see this film again?

Wednesday 12 December 2012

Thirty Days to Thorin (26) - Finding Thorin's confidence

This is an exerpt from the London press conference posted on Youtube by RedCarpetNewsTV. Richard talks about finding the confidence to commandeer his 'merry men' of dwarves and about venting his inner anger through Thorin.

I'm always fascinated when Richard speaks about his process of becoming a character. Without knowing it, he has taught me so much about acting and there are so many little things that I now do when I go on stage just because he has spoken about how they help him do a better job. So, thank you, Mr. A!

Thirty Days to Thorin (25) - Looking good in a red chair

Feast your eyes (and ears) on this!

Just a small fragment of Richard Armitage's appearance on Strombo - The George Strombopolous show when he was promoting The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in Toronto, Canada last week. (clip from Youtube shared by @RA_Central on Twitter)

Thirty Days to Thorin (24) - Exclusive!

It's exactly 01:00 on Wednesday, 12 December 2012. It's officially Hobbit Day - I will only have to wait hours instead of days, weeks or months before I get to see Thorin, and the full film, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. The midnight screening here in Belgium is going on as we speak. At 20:45 today, I will be watching the film in high frame rate 3D and I can't wait! By the way: does that mean I will be watching the film at the exact same time that Richard will be watching it at the premiere in London? Well, that's almost as good as watching it together with him, right?! Oh, if only...

In the meantime, enjoy an exclusive scene from the film - The Misty Mountains song, delivered by Thorin and the company of dwarves in Bag End, while Bilbo and Gandalf contemplate the journey that lies ahead...

Monday 10 December 2012

Thirty Days to Thorin (23) - Best of both worlds

This picture left me completely speechless... It's one of those rare pictures of Richard Armitage dressed as one of the characters he's portraying, but not 'in character'.

Being the kind of actor that he is, he usually keeps himself and the character separate. When it comes to Thorin, Richard has said that he got more and more into character while the prosthetics, the body suit, the hair and the costume were being applied every morning. I think it's extraordinary that we get to see Richard here, dressed as Thorin, but as himself. And, trust me, that smile is all Richard!! :-)

Richard Armitage (Thorin Oakenshield) meets LEGO-Thorin (and presumably takes him home!) on the last day of filming in New Zealand
Image shared by

Sunday 9 December 2012

Thirty Days to Thorin (22) - My new precious

With all the new pictures and videos that have appeared this week, it was not easy to pick a favourite. So, I gave myself 24 hours to make up my mind, and this is the one that I keep going back to.

Richard Armitage photoshoot in NY 5 December 2012
Picture by Victoria Will - Invasion - AP

Why this one? There are so many reasons why I love this picture, many of which would make no sense to anyone but me. I'll try to explain:

  1. Richard looks tired. I can see the jetlag. He looks real. After the larger-than-life pictures from the many red carpet events over the last week or so, it's obvious that the hectic schedule is getting to him. Hey, if you had gone from LA (US) to Auckland (NZ) , to Wellington (NZ), to Tokyo (Japan), to Toronto (Canada) to New York (US) in only a week or so, you would be tired as well! The great thing is that RA is not afraid to show it.
  2. I love the new haircut! Slightly longer on top and short along the sides. Just a little bit of wax and he's ready to go ;-)
  3. Lucas' sideburns and designer stubble - no explanation necessary
  4. The blue background makes his eyes sparkle
  5. I love that smile (what can I say?)
  6. The black hoodie again reminds me of Lucas North and black is not only my own favourite colour, it's also my favourite colour on him (although I must say that plum is also growing on me...I'll explain that in a later post)
  7. Leather... he's wearing leather *sigh* The jacket is a Todd Snyder (NY) and it looks incredible on Richard
  8. Last but not least: I have a very strange attraction to Richard's hands. When I see Richard on screen, my attention goes to his long, elegant fingers. The fact that they feature so prominently in this picture, makes me love it all the more...
So this is currently my favourite picture of Richard as himself, but the competition is fierce! He's on the limited-edition cover of the next edition of FAULT magazine and that picture took my breath away!

Oh, and this was my runner-up for favourite picture. It's from a recently published photoshoot for Glamour Magazine that shows Richard in different scenes involving taxies in New York City. The caption for one of the pictures just said it all: "Yes, it makes us want to be a New York cabbie too" :-)

Friday 7 December 2012

Thirty Days to Thorin (21) - Warrior voice

OK, so yesterday was the premiere of The Hobbit:An Unexpected Journey in New York. Can I just say that Richard looked absolutely amazing!! There will be more about the fashion of the premieres soon, but I wanted to share this "Soundbites" video with you first.

In this video, Richard talks about Thorin, about Thorin's reasons for going on the quest to reclaim Erebor and about how safe he feels in the hands of Peter Jackson who "has the entire film in his head" and "knows this character better than I do".

The content of this interview is really nothing new: over the last week or so, we've seen more interviews with RA than we had in the last 2 years, so all of these questions have come up at some point. But this video is still very much worth watching - or rather, it's very much worth listening to.

As you can see, this was taped while filming for The Hobbit was still ongoing - hence the beard (by the way, I still love that beard, even though RA looks stunning without it). And I think Richard is still very much in Thorin-mode here: his voice is very deep, he speaks very slowly and deliberately - this is not Richard! No, I honestly think we are looking at Thorin, dressed up as Richard.

In the beginning of this video, although you can't hear the question, it's obviously "tell me about your character in this film" or something like that. I can almost see a look of frustration on RAs face. It's as if he's offended because some 'human' has basically said "who the hell are you?" and is not giving the King Under The Mountain the proper greeting and acknowledgements. When you get as immersed into a character as RA usually does, it must be very difficult to remind yourself who you really are, especially when you're asked to do interviews in between shoots.
He's talked before about how difficult it was for him to be friendly to fans when he was on his way to set to film a scene for Robin Hood. He would be so deep into the evil Guy of Gisbourne, that it was almost impossible to quickly become Richard again and smile and sign autographs. So now that he's been living as Thorin for the last 18 months, it must have been quite a recovery process to find the real Richard again.

Anyway, watch the video here. I would love to hear if you see what I see!

Thursday 6 December 2012

Thirty Days to Thorin (20) - 13 minutes of awe

"Whatever age you are, try to remember the sense of awe you had as a child... Hopefully you will leave with that awe firmly in place"
(James Nesbitt - Bofur)

A 13-minute Television Special has been made available. Careful, the video is full of spoilers, so if you're not ready for more details of the story, better not watch this...

If you are up for it, you will love this. I do. I can't believe that I'm only 1 week away from finally seeing this film, the first of 3, at least. *jumps up and down!*

I will mainly remember this:

Not only does Richard Armitage play a fierce warrior... he IS one! The proof is in this video :-)

Tolkien was a brilliant writer (not that there was ever any doubt!)

Philippa Boyens is a huge fan of Thorin Oakenshield (and, I suspect, also of Richard Armitage!)

This is how Richard describes Thorin:
"He's gone from prince to pauper and he's a battle-hardened warrior.He has a fierce sense of honour but he's been hardened by life, so his outer shell is pretty impenetrable."

I hope you enjoy this as much as I did!

Update: The original video was removed from Youtube, but it seems it's now available again. I hope it remains here:

Thirty Days to Thorin (19) - Naughty dwarves!!

The dwarves exclusively reveal that they created a secret naked/naughty dwarves calendar as a birthday present for Peter Jackson. There's only one copy of it, unfortunately...

Watch the video to also see the special rings that the Hobbit stars all share, symbolizing their incredible Middle-earth bonding experience! Beautiful, and much less painful than a tattoo :-)

Thirty Days to Thorin (18) - Thorin takes Toronto

This is the story of how one humble, but incredibly talented man from England becomes the spokesman for a Peter Jackson trilogy. He's generous, patient, open, friendly and genuinely thankful. And he speaks about this film with so much passion... no wonder people love him! Even those who had no idea who he really was...

Thanks to Warner Brothers Pictures Canada for sharing this video on Youtube!

The hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - Union Station Takeover - Toronto, Canada
3 December 2012

Tuesday 4 December 2012

Thirty Days to Thorin (17) - Good questions!

Can I just say to Richard Crouse: This was a wonderful interview. Thank you for allowing this intelligent man to speak! Your questions were very good and Richard's answers are always extremely insightful and so well thought-through. I love hearing him speak about his love for these books, these films, his sense of responsibility for the correct portrayal of Thorin, his research into Tolkien's reasons for and messages in The Hobbit. And even about his acting process - now that piece of information is a true gem! Thank you! 

And then this: "I'll certainly give it to my kids"

Excuse me, I need to listen to this again!

Listen to the interview on Youtube

And here's a picture for you to enjoy while you listen to RA's beautiful voice:

Richard Armitage and Thorin Oakenshield were both in Toronto, Canada today!

Monday 3 December 2012

Thirty Days to Thorin (16) - Orcrist in safe hands

Now, I expected Richard to walk away with the map and key to Erebor. The Oakenshield belongs to the character of Thorin, so that makes sense as well. But he's got THE Orcrist!! How coolis that! Now, Richard, when is the Army expected at your house to come and take the mighty sword for a 'schwing'?

Saturday 1 December 2012

Thirty Days to Thorin (15) - A snippet of Smaug

In this new TV spot for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, we get a first look at the dragon, Smaug. You have to look very carefully, though, because he appears just a fraction of a second.

Although I'm very excited to see how Peter Jackson has designed the mightly beast Smaug, the end of this TV spot is actually a lot more exciting for me as it shows more of Thorin.

That hug between Thorin and Bilbo! I'm absolutely certain that that is going to be a very emotional moment in the film. Note to self: Take enough tissues to the cinema on 12 December...

I've got my tickets booked, by the way - I'm so excited!!

Thirty Days to Thorin (14) - Konichiwa in leather!

So I wake up this morning to find my Facebook wall and Twitter timeline full of pictures and video from the press conference and premiere for The Hobbit in Japan.

First of all: Richard Armitage in leather! Both at the press conference and later at the premiere, he wears leather. Talk about pleasing the fans: he brings back a little bit of Guy of Gisborne, just for us! :-)

Richard Armitage and Elijah Wood at the premiere for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in Japan - 1 December 2012.
Picture (screenshot) from the image gallery of

Secondly, both Martin Freeman and Peter Jackson had some extremely nice things to say about Richard: about him as a person, about him as an actor and about what he brings to the character of Thorin. I was completely blown away by what they said, and by the man himself... again!

I thought about putting some quotes in this blogpost, but decided agains it because you need to hear it from their own mouths. And please, look at how RA reacts to what they say, especially after Jackson sings his praises about Richard as Thorin. Such a humble, thankful, respectful reaction - tingles down my spine!

You can see the entire press conference on Youtube thanks to but you especially need to see part 4 - Enjoy!