Richard Armitage’s Hannibal Experience: A Conversation in Three Acts – Act I

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Originally posted in All Film website as
Richard Armitage di Serial Hannibal: Perbincangan Tiga Babak – Babak I.

Warning: This article contains spoilers for Hannibal S3.

Hannibal the Cannibal finds himself in a quagmire. Entering the second half of its third season Hannibal Lecter (or the Chesapeake Ripper, if you prefer his serial killer name), played by Mads Mikkelsen, has landed himself in prison. Meanwhile, outside the TV show’s universe, Hannibal the NBC show is also in trouble – it’s been cancelled by its American broadcaster, NBC, and has yet to find a new home for its fourth season.

Ironically, just as NBC moved the show to a different, quieter night (originally Thursday night in the US and Friday in Asia; now it’s on Saturday night in the US and Sunday in Asia) and as fans fret over the loss of Dr. Lecter’s sumptuous dinner parties and his next nefarious plan to manipulate Hugh Dancy’s Will Graham from behind bars, the show is unleashing its most epic weapon of destruction ever: Francis Dolarhyde.

The character, same as Hannibal, Will and Jack Crawford (Laurence Fishburne), came from Thomas Harris’ famous novel, Red Dragon. A quick Google search will point out that he’s an iconic one that’s been played twice before. Tom Noonan played him in Manhunter (1986) and Ralph Fiennes in Red Dragon (2002), both of which are feature films. Now Hannibal showrunner Bryan Fuller has recruited yet another actor for the television series, making him the third to play Francis on screen. But despite being the third, this actor is set to make serial killer Dolarhyde, aka The Tooth Fairy, entirely his own. And his might just be the best; after all, the new Francis is played by none other than Richard Armitage.

We have interviewed Armitage twice before, specifically for his role in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit movies as dwarf king Thorin Oakenshield. We know him from those previous sessions to be courteous, eloquent and incredibly generous with information. There are few other actors All Film loves to interview more than the former Spooks and Strike Back leading man, especially because when we interview Armitage, we can let his own words do the work. Descriptions of experiences on a film set, character development and story arcs are naturally built upon his answers.

Rather than bore you with the details, without further ado, here is what Richard Armitage has to say about the saga of Francis Dolarhyde and the Great Red Dragon. Completely in his own words.

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Mads Mikkelsen: “Showdown is a small word for what’s happening between Hannibal and Francis Dolarhyde”

Photo credit: AXN Asia

Photo credit: AXN Asia

It’s less than 24 hours until Hannibal S3’s premiere and the excitement for the show based on Thomas Harris’ Hannibal Lecter novels and characters is at its height. I was fortunate to have been granted an interview session with Mads Mikkelsen, who plays Dr Lecter himself, and talk about the series. As anyone can guess, I couldn’t not ask him about Francis Dolarhyde, a.k.a. The Tooth Fairy. But first let me explain why I felt the need to ask him that.

Pretty much everything you want to know about Richard Armitage’s Francis Dolarhyde has been covered everywhere. I can’t even begin to explain to you just how epic this role is – The Tooth Fairy is THAT iconic – and the fact that Richard Armitage gets to play this character is an honor to both actor and character. (And before anyone accuses me of idolizing a serial killer – no, I do not admire Dolarhyde for being a killer. I admire the character because he is a complex individual that requires deft handling by an accomplished actor on screen. Let’s just get that straight.) So far, we’ve heard plenty Richard’s involvement in the show, but they are mostly from Hannibal showrunner Bryan Fuller and, in a couple of occasion, from himself. (Most recently, Fangoria has an interview with Richard Armitage on Francis Dolarhyde.)

When the opportunity came up for me to interview Mads Mikkelsen (who is also one of my favorite actors) I couldn’t not ask him about working with Richard. I wanted to know, from a fellow actor’s point of view, what Francis Dolarhyde’s appearance in this series will mean for Hannibal Lecter’s character. In other versions, Dolarhyde’s case was what made Will Graham consult with Dr Lecter again, and Dolarhyde was said to idolize Lecter, but I wanted to know if the TV show is going that way or taking a different path.

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Hannibal Season 3: The Tooth Fairy is Coming

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My fangirly heart was beating very hard today as I read Empire magazine’s interview with Hannibal‘s showrunner Bryan Fuller and stars Mads Mikkelsen and Hugh Dancy. The interview itself reveals nothing completely new – they even talked about King Arthur… again – but it also contains a mention of Richard Armitage and his character, Francis Dolarhyde, a.k.a. the Tooth Fairy. Which is why the upcoming third season of Hannibal has become my most anticipated show in the summer.

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Richard Armitage Interview Transcript from The Battle Of The Five Armies Media Junket

Photos by Sarah Dunn. Spread from All Film.

Photos by Sarah Dunn. Spread from All Film.

Richard Armitage Interview
The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies Media Junket
September 2014
Transcribed and edited by Amanda Aayusya
Published in: All Film #60

(This is an unabridged transcript of the talent interview that appeared in All Film #60, used for the main article and individual actor’s interview pages in the magazine. Please mention All Film if you’re going to post this transcript, and credit Amanda Aayusya for the transcription work.)

Hello!

RICHARD ARMITAGE: Let’s see if I can get tickets to go and see Kate Bush! Ian McKellen’s going.

Are you a particular Kate Bush fan?

Yeah, kind of, I mean, it’s one of those… I had a sort of flash of, “God, I wonder if she’ll sing the theme song to the third movie…” It’s one of those things…

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The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies – Reaction Post

THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG

SPOILER WARNING. If you have not watched The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies, please proceed with caution as this entry contains spoilers, or do not proceed to read at all until you’ve watched it.

I watched The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies today (at a press screening at 9 in the morning. In a cinema out of town. Because they made us. Trust me, I only wake up at 6 o’clock for Peter Jackson.) And here is my ‘reaction post’, which is a fancy phrase to say ‘notes about the movie that are not turned into a review yet.’

Again, the spoiler warning applies. I do not want to be responsible anyone getting spoiled.

If you have no watched the film, the next line is the start of Too Much Information for you.

(And if you scroll all the way down to listen to the sound bites, Richard Armitage’s sound bite may contain spoilers. Martin Freeman’s should be spoiler-free.)

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The Method: Richard Armitage Talk About Disagreeing with Thorin and Never Getting Sick of Him

The last two sound bites I have (for now) come from Richard Armitage, who managed – with his wonderful demeanor and professionalism – to make a fan out of All Film’s interviewer, Lauren. (And, really, none of the actors have his eloquence and diction. He’s orally, vocally perfect. I love transcribing him.) Listen for yourself.

The questions were: “Everyone reading the book probably identifies most with Bilbo. Were you the same? Did it surprise you that you ended up as Thorin instead?” and after he confessed to disagreeing with Thorin, the follow-up was “How do you play something that you disagree with?”

This sound bite was chosen purely for my own pleasure: to hear him sound exasperatedly amused at the question “Did you ever get fed up with it, playing the same character in the same universe?” Was he ever going to say yes? I doubt it. But I was amused by the tone of his voice when he answered it.

That is all for now. Don’t forget to listen to the previous sound bites:
+ Martin Freeman and Richard Armitage talk about Thorin and Bilbo’s relationship
+ Martin Freeman talks about his theater audience
+ Orlando Bloom talks about Elves, Dwarves and that ‘love triangle’

They are available on Soundcloud. Please visit/listen/like/add to playlist. That would be lovely – thank you!

These interviews are all included in All Film #60: All Hobbit Edition. (Available for order, even internationally.)

Transcripts to Richard Armitage’s interview will be posted in this blog next week.

This is not ‘the last goodbye’ to these sound bites. Now that I have a Soundcloud account, might as well upload others in the future. The only thing I need to find time for is to edit them… but I hope these sound bites have been enjoyable and illuminating and able to provide some excitement at this final chapter of Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth saga.

The Hobbit and The King: A Preview of All Film’s All Hobbit Edition

Martin Freeman and Richard Armitage on Bilbo and Thorin’s Relationship

Photo by Sarah Dunn

Photo by Sarah Dunn

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].”

Photos by Sarah Dunn. Spread from All Film.

Photos by Sarah Dunn. Spread from All Film.

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.”

Photos by Sarah Dunn. Spread from All Film.

Photos by Sarah Dunn. Spread from All Film.

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.

Listen to the sound bites.

All Film‘s All Hobbit edition will be on newsstands this week. For more info on this edition, click here.