Actor Richard Armitage on embodying Thorin Oakenshield, the compact warrior with tremendous courage

If Richard Armitage doesn’t look like the most likely candidate to play a Middle-earth dwarf on screen — well, he agrees. ”When I got the call to come in, I was like, ‘Are you joking? How can I possibly play a dwarf?”’ says the 6-foot-2 English actor. ”I’ve always been taller than everybody else.” Transforming Armitage, 41, into the fierce leader Thorin Oakenshield took three hours of makeup and prosthetics work each day. ”It started quite dramatically different, with a much bigger nose, a really big forehead, and massive eyebrows,” he says of Thorin’s look. ”They’ve slowly taken it back to somewhere halfway between human and dwarf. I think they found a good place.”

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
  • Movie
  • 170 minutes