EXCERPTS from The Scotsman interview:
Quote from RA: "Sometimes you know your villain is doing really terrible deeds but you want him to succeed because he's doing it with such finesse," he says.
"You want to see him get his comeuppance but you also want to see him pull it off. It's a real paradox. Perhaps we like it because we're not allowed to be bad in real life."
..In "real life", Richard Armitage is one of the good guys. Atop Soho House in London on the hottest day of the year so far, on a break from filming The Hobbit in New Zealand, he's looking distinctly relaxed in jeans, wraparound shades and a rather Hobbitesque beard.
Quote: “I'm kind of indulging myself at the moment, doing loads of research, finding stuff that isn't necessarily relevant, but it's a luxury. This question people ask actors - 'are you resting?'. It's such a weird expression. I don't think an actor can ever rest."
..Regardless, he looks fairly rested today. The sun is shining, he's got some colour in his cheeks, he's been using his time off to visit the gym more frequently and looks in great shape.
"With my character in The Hobbit there's this emotional explosion and suppressed anger, and I'm trying to work out whether I have that in me or whether I'm going to have to imagine it. I guess there's a dangerous place, my own darkness, that I don't access in life but have the ability to go 'alright, just for this role, I'll just open this door and have a peek'."
..In wholly occupying a role throughout filming, however, Armitage is throwing that door wide open. He admits to dreaming in character. He is currently, he says, dreaming as Thorin Oakenshield, but it happened most acutely when he was filming a prison break sequence for Strike Back and found himself dreaming each night that he was escaping through underground tunnels.
..He is characteristically positive about his time under the big top. "I was part of a mime troop, I threw batons to acrobats, held the ladders for the guys juggling," he says. "And I did a bit of acrobatics, a bit of clowning. But you know all of it, all of it has been invaluable."But most of all working as part of an ensemble. Because when you're responsible for a ladder when there's somebody standing at the top of it, you can't be distracted and walk away because there's no safety net."
..He has taken this lesson to every set he has worked on. His expression is one of incredulity when he recounts that some actors will wait in their trailers and send stand-ins for the lighting tests.
Rather, he insists on embracing the more pedestrian, practical elements of the job, and repeatedly refers to creating a drama as being a team effort, enthusiastically lauding the rarely credited sound and lighting teams, as well as the many other members of a film crew who help to make the magic happen.
As for other performers, he rather likes a no-actor-is-an-island approach, suggesting that often actors tease the best performances out of one other.
--When it comes to his own performances, he likes to push the limits of his comfort zone - then push a little further - and hates to rest on his laurels. Indeed, he was quietly contented when he realised that Peter Jackson was barely familiar with his back catalogue, and had cast him in The Hobbit entirely on his audition.RA Quote: "The more I talk to him, the more I realise that he's not as familiar with my work as I thought he was," he says.
"That pleases me. Sometimes when you're cast because of what you've done before, you're cast to do the same thing again. The Hobbit for me is stepping outside the box."
..The Hobbit - alongside Captain America - also means stepping further into the limelight. It wasn't a conscious decision. Fame, recognition, and working in LA have never been goals Armitage has pursued. In fact, he had arrived at a point in his career where he was comfortable with the steady stream of television roles he was being offered. He was satisfied.
..Then Hollywood came knocking.He looks a little bashful[when asked about online fans] He used to read their comments online, but doesn't any more, worrying that he might find himself too influenced by them, trying to please them in his choice of roles. Still, he seems flattered, if somewhat amused, by their attentions.
When pushed further on the subject, he is philosophical about the possible reasons he proves so magnetic to them[online fans], but is too modest to consider, at least out loud, that his smouldering looks might have anything to do with it.
Quote: "North and South was that kind of romantic period drama where love blossoms among so many social restrictions," he says slowly.
"It's what you don't see, what you don't say, that make it incredibly electric. I think that's possibly where all that comes from; a lot of characters I've played have had elements of that idea of love or romance that the character isn't allowed to express."
That, and we all love a bad boy.
Quote: "I enjoy playing the bad guys, probably more so than the floppy-haired would-be heroes," he says with a chuckle. "And I'm not desperate to play a good guy. My 'thing' that I've always really enjoyed doing is when you do get cast as the hero you look for all the flaws, for the dark side to the hero. And then with the bad guy you look for the good side of the bad guy."
..In other words, his characters tend to be more complicated than they initially appear. He has gone looking for the lighter side to Heinz Kruger and is relishing getting his teeth into the complex character of Oakenshield, a role which he has researched extensively.Quote: "My interest in acting came from reading and books, and my most satisfying parts have always been those that have come from novels," he says.
"Some people like working from a completely blank page so they can create something. That's exciting as well but I'm less confident with that than if I'm given a really good starting point. I love working on a character who comes from a novel because not only have you got what's in that text to work with but you can also look into the writer, and the more you find about that author the more you understand what it is you're working on."
..The Hobbit is a gargantuan undertaking. Split into two films being shot back to back, it's dominating Armitage's schedule for the next 18 months.
That's a long time to immerse oneself in the character of an angry dwarf. Thorin Oakenshield may be something of an unlikely hero, but like all of Armitage's characters, he's got his fair share of darkness in him. Isn't he a little fed up of so much nasty?
Quote: "I've got this theory," he says. "Actors who portray a certain type of nastiness too well, you kind of think 'hmm, do you have that in you?'
So that's why I quite like the broad dramatic strokes of evil rather than anything too domestic because if it's too domestic you think, 'actually do I have the potential to be like that in life?'"
..Does he? He laughs. "Well, you do start to think 'hang on, why are they bringing me in for these darker parts?' Actually, I think I'm quite a nice guy, really …"
Captain America: The First Avenger is on general release from Friday
The Tudors Time...many dresses and jewelry pieces were reused by other characters...
It didn't seem unusual when jewelry pieces were worn by more than one of Henry's wives. In fact, he actually requested (it's recorded history) that Katherine of Aragon return the jewels designated 'belonging to the queen of England' when he told her their marriage was null and void, and she was therefore never entitled to wear those jewels in the first place.
Same tiara worn by Jane Seymour, Katherine Howard and Katherine Parr.
Anne Boleyn & Katherine Howard wear the same mask...
Anne Boleyn & Anne of Cleves...
Same dress on Henry's young daughters, Mary and Elizabeth....apparently all families have children wear hand me downs *winks*
Again - same tiara on Anne of Cleves and Katherine Parr
This is rather macabre..it's the dress worn by Anne Boleyn for her beheading reused on wife #2, Jane Seymour. That French executioner must've really been as efficient as advertised..:)