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In a new interview today, Richard Armitage tells the Dominion Post how, at first, he had trouble imagining himself in the role of Thorin, but that feeling soon changed:

“…when I read what they’d done with the audition speech I realised that they were looking for something quite different. They needed someone who could play a warrior, who could play a young Thorin and old Thorin and also to bring the idea of somebody who could return to his full potential to become a king. That’s when I sat down with Peter and we talked through the journey and the arc of the character – and then they offered it to me. I had to pick myself up off the floor.”

When the production was postponed, and it was uncertain when it would be green-lit, he had already decided that nothing would stop him from becoming the character:

“I just couldn’t watch somebody else playing this role that had nearly been mine. I had to play him. I had to do it.”

For more insight into what it takes for Richard Armitage to become Thorin, read the full interview here.