As promised, a quick and dirty report of the New York City Hobbit Fan Event which concluded about 15 minutes from when I started writing this. There might be more typos than usual, but I’ll come in and pretty it up later.
Where to begin? With Richard Armitage, of course. There was no chance to meet him or speak with him, so I never had to face the ultimate decision of what I would do. Once fans were seated in the theater, Anderson Cooper came on stage, entering from the back of the theater and walking down the aisle.
He killed some time getting miked up, having fans who came in costume stand up (there was a really good Gandalf – I mean really.) After checking in with the other locations, first Orlando Bloom, and then directly after, Richard Armitage were announced and both walked down the aisle to take their seats.
Oooh, or maybe Ooof. Yikes would be good. Dressed casually, as most of you saw, in a brown mocha leather jacket- I think it was leather, but so buttery soft that it looked almost suede, favorite black jeans a black T shirt, what looked like some sort of black wingtips. He kept his shoes on. ( Not like some- Peter Jackson, hello- Anderson Cooper) You probably all saw that on your screens.
And I watched and I watched and I watched. I watched him get miked up, I watched him sit down, I watched him watching the monitor and turning around to see the huge screen. I watched him when I should have been watching the screen. (A few more tidbits below).
He is, indeed, very good looking in person, but from what I saw, and I was sitting about 6 rows from the front, I can’t say he was better looking from my viewpoint than in some of his roles or in beauty shots. That was in person, but on the giant screen – even though he was sitting right beneath it – he is to die for. Maybe it was the angle, maybe it was the lighting, I don’t know. Make no mistake, either way he is gorgeous – the best looking man, in my opinion, among Orlando Bloom, Luke Evans, Lee Pace, Jed Brophy, Anderson Cooper and Peter Jackson. And maybe any other man in the world. But the Richard Armitage on the giant screen was the one I recognized more than the guy sitting in the chair. But just by a hair. Maybe I wasn’t close enough.
He was attentive to what was going on. He laughed, he poked Orlando Bloom, they shared some secrets at times – remembering some of the incidents Peter Jackson was talking about, laughing at Lee Pace’s antics. Now and then he made a hand gesture if he thought something was funny -holding his index finger up, as though to say ” note this,” or ” see?”
From what Anderson Cooper said, unless I misheard, the three of them, and maybe some Warner Brothers people, watched the sneak peek just before the event. So, and this was really disappointing, they left shortly after the online feed was turned off and the sneak peek was ready to begin.
They just up and left. Anderson stayed on to introduce it, but then he was gone when the lights went up.
If you watched the Q & A – you know that Richard Armitage was asked only one question ( fair enough – not too many cast got more) – but it was a good one – what was his favorite line from the film? His answer was a good one, too. I think I have it right, ” If we burn tonight then we will all burn together.” Twitter and Orlando thought it was a sexy line. Images of burning with him – or anyway, heat, went coast to coast, across the Atlantic, over the Rio Grande and down under to the other side of the world. Just ask Twitter.
Richard Armitage looked amused when he saw, on the bottom of the screen, a tweet that said something like, “Richard Armitage has the sexiest line.”
His voice, live, was – G-d, it was so familiar. Hearing him answer that question might have been the best part, or one of the best parts of the experience.
As to the rest of the event, it was less disappointing than the star interactions.
I was so sorry that those watching on line didn’t get to see any of the sneak peek. Peter Jackson spoke earnestly and beseechingly urging people, not only to refrain from taping it and putting it on the internet, but also, he asked bloggers not to give too much away, because it would ruin it for others and might mean the end to this sort of event.
So, I’m going to abide by that and just tell you what scenes were shown – there are no spoilers and I’m not giving anything away. We saw more of the Mirkwood scene than ever before – though some of what was shown was in the trailer. We saw a scene with Thanruil, Legolas and Tauriel that has never been seen – and man, if you’ve heard that Tauriel is a bad-ass, wait until you meet Thranduil.
We saw more of the barrel scene than we’ve seen before, a look at the Dwarves’ trip to Lakedown with Bard and a longer bit than we’ve seen before of Bilbo discovering Smaug, or vice-versa. There was plenty of Thorin in what we saw. No skimping here.
And the song. We heard ( sorry, didn’t get his name) whoever wrote the song to be played during the ending credits – he sang it. It’s a lovely, moving ballad, and even without having seen the film, I was really moved to tears. I think it’s called I See Fire, or maybe Smoke and Fire, anyway ” I see fire” is the refrain. There’s a beautiful line in it, “keep watching over Thorin’s sons.” ( Thorin has sons?) , and another, ” If we die tonight, we die together.”
I really loved this song.
What more to say right now?
I was excited to be there, but I was disappointed that there wasn’t more interaction with Richard Armitage, or really with any of the cast. But it’ s Peter Jackson’s thing, so he led it. And it was a gift. No question.
So, if you wanted to look at Richard Armitage and not much more, this was the event.
And, sorry Richard Armitage, but this is why I would not want you to know I blog about you, As attentive as he was, and he didn’t look bored at all ( it was really too short to be bored) he looked at his watch once ( just before the video blog) . He moved his sleeve up so he could see it, and he looked at his watch.
And he picked at his cuticles. He likes to be in motion, I think. He was almost always in some sort of motion. He tried to clasp his hands and sit still, but no dice. But he seemed relaxed. As I said, he laughed and smiled a lot.
I didn’t meet any fans whose names I knew. I met some people who go to a lot of screenings and thought they were seeing the entire film. They were disappointed.
I met a group of younger people, college students, who were mildly ringers, and one was mad about Richard Armitage. She was maybe 21, which is a good thing for him. She had a painting of him that she hoped to be able to give him. Nice painting, nice young girl, but it didn’t look anything like him.
Wewere offered popcorn and soft drinks. We were given T-shirts and a poster. About 8″ x 36″ ( our NY Subway art is the same size). It’s the poster with all the characters – the one with Thorin, Kili and Fili in the right corner.
So, not everything I hoped it would be, only because Richard Armitage did not stay longer and he only answered one question – but it was a great question and an equally rewarding answer – and- they didn’t turn the lights out completely, so I could at him all the time, and I did.
I swear he looked right at me once.
[ETA] I know now that I got a few things wrong – his exact line, a missed word in the song and the color of his jeans. Also, didn’t know that he and the others went to the back of the theater to watch the clip.