Martin Freeman and Richard Armitage on Bilbo and Thorin’s Relationship
In the upcoming issue of All Film magazine’s All Hobbit edition, actors Martin Freeman and Richard Armitage talk about the latest development in their characters’ Bilbo Baggins and Thorin Oakenshield’s relationshipin The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies.
Armitage started by revealing that for director/co-writer Peter Jackson and his writing partners Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, it was “really important for them to tighten up that relationship” as his character Thorin Oakenshield, the dwarf king who’s currently holed up in the Lonely Mountain, became “very isolationist and he becomes quite obsessed with Bilbo, that everyone is betraying him except him [Bilbo].”
It all leads up, the actor said, to the point in the book where their confrontation becomes dangerously physical, with Thorin nearly throwing Bilbo from the ramparts. The infamous scene from the book by J.R.R. Tolkien came as a shock for Armitage in his youth. “It was really shocking at the time, when I was a kid and I read it,” he said. “We were always driving toward that point so they were trying to tighten that story.”
Later on, when we asked The Hobbit himself, Martin Freeman, to describe working on those with Armitage, he confessed, “Richard, while we were filming, kept a slight distance from us anyway, just as Thorin. That helped him to feel slightly isolated.” This works because according to Freeman, “I didn’t feel I knew this character inside out, I didn’t feel I was overly familiar with this person, however well I sort of got to know him. For Bilbo there would always be a barrier, because he’s quite a foreboding person.”
Luckily, despite this barrier on screen, Freeman and Armitage still seemed to get along on set. “He’s a very solidly decent human being,” the Sherlock actor says of his co-star. “He’s fairly quiet, keeps himself to himself, in a way that I respect.”
Both actors, along with Sir Ian McKellen (who plays Gandalf), Luke Evans (Bard) and Orlando Bloom (Legolas), talked further to All Film in London about their work in The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies. Among others, Freeman also shared his thoughts on his latest work on theater (playing Richard III) and his emotional last day on set. Meanwhile, Armitage shared his reason for joining social media (find him on Twitter) and his approach to Thorin, a character he strongly disagrees with.
All Film‘s All Hobbit edition will be on newsstands this week. For more info on this edition, click here.