Richard Armitage finds it 'strange' that so many fans are sending him Bibles

The Hobbit star Richard Armitage – or perhaps better known for his Vicar of Dibley kisses with Dawn French – has told us about his weirdest fan gifts, how he lives like a monk before getting into character, and whether he’d taken on ‘celebrity’ reality programmes.

The 51-year-old is stripping down for Netflix’s sexy, dark thriller, Obsession, and we caught up with him to hear about how he’s now expecting even more Bibles sent in the post. 

What were your thoughts when you first heard about and read the script for Obsession?

It was sort of sent to me in a in a very delicate way. Because I think everybody thought that it would spook me. They kind of approach you like you’re approaching a horse from the side a bit – it was other people that had sort of trepidation over that rather than mine.

I don’t know, I came at it with quite an open mind and tried to be a bit European about it. It’s cool, it’s the body, it’s life. It’s an adult conversation about how human beings function in an overwhelming circumstances. So I thought that’s a really good basis for for a thriller.

Do you feel like you have any similarities to your character William?

To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a webbrowser thatsupports HTML5video

I suppose as a professional, his approach to his work was incredibly kind of detailed and quite singular. So I suppose I related to that side of his character. I mean, he’s a pillar of society I would call him. He’s a doctor at the top of his field. He has a reputation, all of those things I understood.

In terms of that overwhelming feeling that he is experiencing when he meets Anna, that was new territory for me. I mean, I felt intense feelings as a person but the fact that he is sort of drawn into it against any rationale, that was a kind of new thing for me.

You said that you went into it with an open mind, especially with filming the intimate scenes – were you ever worried about feeling awkward or uncomfortable?

Yeah, and the awkward feelings are more to do with, “Am I going to offend my screen partner or am I going to do something wrong?” Yeah, it’s always about the other person. I was never really bothered about myself.

But then when you’re guided through with somebody and you get rehearsals and conversations about, you know, the shapes that this is all going to take it sort of dispels those fears, and it was a more freeing process because of it.

So we were able to be much freer in our heads than we than we were because our bodies had been taken care of if you see what I mean.

Did you have any off camera pre-filming rituals, or have you had any in your career?

Not rituals. I’m pretty good when I go into the filming process. I do tend to live a little bit like a monk. I don’t drink anything. I tried to eat well, because you’re always making sure you slept properly because there’s nothing worse than being kind of half there and sloppy.

I tend to look at the week’s work on the weekend beforehand, so that I have a real sense of where the character is going. But yeah, it’s all in that early prep. So I do as much as I can in the time that I’m given.

What do you think is the biggest misconception about you?

The biggest misconception about me? Oh, gosh. That I’m an extrovert, because I’m actually the opposite. And I think a lot of people think actors are just big show offs that want to put themselves on screen and I’m sort of the opposite.

I’m an introvert. And I use characters as a vehicle to experience other people’s lives, but I want them to see the character rather than me.

What do you think about method acting?

I think there’s always a method in everything. I mean, I went through a drama school training so I apply method to certain things. And I think in this context, and in a context of of other extremes, like violence, you can’t really be a method actor in the way that people understand it.

So for example, on Obsession, method acting would mean that the sex is real. And it can’t be, it’s simulated. So there’s a place for it, but I don’t necessarily apply it.

Have you ever had any unexpected or slightly weird fan encounters or received any strange gifts from fans?

I have been sent Bibles which I always find it a bit strange. I probably will get a lot more Bibles in the future because of this.

No, I mean, I’m really lucky. You know, the people that follow me and support my work are just really good-natured people who have formed their own community that’s really none of my business. And I love the fact that your work can bring people together, so it’s been really largely positive.

What’s been your favourite role to play?

I think I would have to say Thorin in The Hobbit simply because of my childhood addiction to Tolkien’s writing and everything about that film, the unexpected nature of me being cast and going to New Zealand for that length of time and yeah, I mean, it was a sort of life changing role. So that one.

Do you feel like that was a career success moment for you? What have been your others?

Yeah, I would put that there as a sort of massive gear change. I think North and South was a huge gear change for me as well, the first time I really, really truly felt like, I’ve got something to bring to this character that resonates with me. So yeah, I’ve had a few of those in my life.

But this this role in Obsession is something which I was not expected, and I put things on screen that I didn’t think I was capable of, like, the scene at the end with Anna and William, where she’s sort of saying goodbye to him, and there was a sort of trigger in me, which was very real. And I realised that I had sort of fallen in love with Charlie [Murphy] and it had morphed a bit with the character and that emotional nerve was very raw.

What was it like kissing Dawn French in The Vicar of Dibley?

Dawn French, you know, she’s an icon, it’s kissing an icon. And she is a beloved character, as was Geraldine Granger. I think that was a highlight of my life. Maybe I should put that up there.

My husband is a total mensch…❤️

A lot of people would see that as a huge career moment for you?

I’ve never worked with a live audience, I don’t do comedy very often. I’ve never worked with a live audience before and seeing what she does in front of a live audience was just groundbreaking for me.

What’s left on your bucket list?

What’s left on my bucket list is… I think it’s just in vision but it’s slightly out of reach, which is to produce something that I’m developing from a book or something from a book that I’ve written and it’s getting closer, but I think that would be part of the bucket list. We’re getting pretty close, but it’s all up in the air, nothing is certain until you’re turning over on first day of photography, but that would be a big feather in the cap.

Stage, film or TV – if you could only have one more for the rest of your life, which would you pick?

I think TV? I mean, I don’t want to dismiss either of the other two because theatre has this immediacy, which is extraordinary, but I love that slow piecing together of a character and tiny fragments that create a whole and I think television is the most accessible medium because it’s in everybody’s home so you can reach people more easily and more globally. And I think that’s amazing.

What TV shows are you enjoying the minute?

I’m rewatching Schitt’s Creek. I binged it during lockdown and I think I’m on my third round because I haven’t got anything else on at the moment. Although I’ve got a couple of good recommendations.

What TV show would you love to be in if you could?

I would love to be in The White Lotus. I think it’s amazing. I think it is brilliant. I love it and I love the story of Mike White and that script being rejected. We’ve all felt that, we’ve known that, and now he’s winning everything and everybody wants him and everybody wants to be in it. And it’s like “Good on you mate”.

You know who I think should replace Jennifer Coolidge is Catherine O’Hara, I would like to see her. Because I’m like, yep, more of you. Please.

Would you ever go on a reality show?

I don’t think so. And I think it taps into what we were saying about who I am. I’m not an extrovert. I don’t like putting myself on screen. I’m really much more happy being a character. I don’t really want to be known for me. So anything with the word celebrity in it, I’m already out the door.

What’s your most controversial food opinion?

I can’t eat pasta because of the gluten. But I would push my face into a bowl of spaghetti carbonara if given the chance.

What’s your biggest regret?

I don’t know if I do have any regrets. I really don’t.

Obsession is available to watch only on Netflix from Thursday, April 13.

Got a story?

If you’ve got a celebrity story, video or pictures get in touch with the entertainment team by emailing us [email protected], calling 020 3615 2145 or by visiting our Submit Stuff page – we’d love to hear from you.

Source: Read Full Article