‘Hobbit’: Lee Pace, Richard Armitage salute Peter Jackson’s ‘Battle’ vision

Dec. 18, 2014 | 1:47 p.m.
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Martin Freeman as Bilbo and Ken Stott as Balin in "'The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Mark Pokorny / Warner Bros.)

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John Bell as Bain and Luke Evans as Bard in "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Mark Pokorny / Warner Bros.)

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Dean O'Gorman and Aidan Turner in a scene from "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Mark Pokorny / Warner Bros.)

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Smaug, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, in a scene from "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Warner Bros.)

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Lee Pace as Thranduil and Ian McKellen as Gandalf in "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Warner Bros.)

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Orlando Bloom as Legolas in "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Mark Pokorny / Warner Bros.)

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The orc Azog, voiced by Manu Bennett, appears in a scene from "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Warner Bros.)

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Cate Blanchett as Galadriel and Ian McKellen as Gandalf in "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Warner Bros.)

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Hugo Weaving as Elrond in a scene from "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Warner Bros.)

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Martin Freeman as Bilbo in a scene from "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Warner Bros.)

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Ian McKellen as Gandalf and Billy Connolly as Dain in a scene from "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Mark Pokorny / Warner Bros.)

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Evangeline Lilly as Tauriel and Orlando Bloom as Legolas in "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Warner Bros.)

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Luke Evans as Bard, Mary Nesbitt as Tilda, Peggy Nesbitt as Sigrid and John Bell as Bain in "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Mark Pokorny / Warner Bros.)

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Peggy Nesbitt as Sigrid and Evangeline Lilly as Tauriel in "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Mark Pokorny / Warner Bros.)

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Bolg, performed by John Tui, in a scene from "'The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Warner Bros.)

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The Keeper of the Dungeons, performed by Conan Stevens, in a scene from "'The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Warner Bros.)

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Richard Armitage and Aidan Turner in a scene from "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Mark Pokorny / Warner Bros.)

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Mary Nesbitt as Tilda, Peggy Nesbitt as Sigrid and John Bell as Bain in "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Mark Pokorny / Warner Bros.)

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Luke Evans as Bard in "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Mark Pokorny / Warner Bros.)

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Ian McKellen as Gandalf in "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Todd Eyre / Warner Bros.)

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Richard Armitage and Aidan Turner in a scene from "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Todd Eyre / Warner Bros.)

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Evangeline Lilly as Tauriel and Orlando Bloom as Legolas in "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Mark Pokorny / Warner Bros.)

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Luke Evans as Bard in "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Mark Pokorny / Warner Bros.)

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Evangeline Lilly as Tauriel and Orlando Bloom as Legolas in "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Mark Pokorny / Warner Bros.)

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The orc Azog, voiced by Manu Bennett, appears in a scene from "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Warner Bros.)

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Ken Stott as Balin, left, and Martin Freeman as Bilbo in "'The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Warner Bros.)

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Lee Pace as Thranduil in the fantasy adventure movie "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Mark Pokorny/Warner Bros.)

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Evangeline Lilly as Tauriel in "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Mark Pokorny / Warner Bros.)

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Ian McKellen as Gandalf, left, and Luke Evans as Bard in "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Mark Pokorny/ Warner Bros.)

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Cate Blanchett as Galadriel and Ian McKellen as Gandalf in "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Warner Bros.)

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John Callen as Oin, Dean O'Gorman as Fili, Aidan Turner as Kili, William Kircher as Bifur, James Nesbitt as Bofur, Adam Brown as Ori, Jed Brophy as Nori, Graham McTavish as Dwalin, Ken Stott as Balin and Stephen Hunter as Bombur in "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Todd Eyre / Warner Bros.)

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Martin Freeman as Bilbo in "'The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Mark Pokorny / Warner Bros.)

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Richard Armitage as Thorin and Martin Freeman as Bilbo in "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Warner Bros.)

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The Keeper of the Dungeons, performed by Conan Stevens, in a scene from "'The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Warner Bros.)

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Luke Evans as Bard, left, and Orlando Bloom as Legolas in "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Warner Bros.)

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Graham McTavish as Dwalin, Jed Brophy as Nori, Ken Stott as Balin, John Callen as Oin, Dean O'Gorman as Fili, William Kircher as Bifur, Aidan Turner as Kili, Adam Brown as Ori, Peter Hambleton as Gloin, Mark Hadlow as Dori, Martin Freeman as Bilbo and Stephen Hunter as Bombur in "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Warner Bros.)

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Director Peter Jackson, center, and Martin Freeman on the set of the fantasy adventure movie "The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies." (Mark Pokorny/Warner Bros.)

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Peter Jackson, left, and Ian McKellen on the set of "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Warner Bros.)

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Peter Jackson, left, Luke Evans and Ian McKellen on the set of "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Mark Pokorny/ Warner Bros.)

Of all the visually striking sequences in “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” one of the most arresting comes well into the film, the final installment in Peter Jackson’s latest fantasy trilogy, where dwarf king Thorin Oakenshield is wrestling with the greed and arrogance that threaten to rob him of his honor.

At a special Hero Complex fan screening of “Five Armies” on Dec. 11 at New York’s AMC 34th Street 14 & IMAX, Thorin actor Richard Armitage explained how that scene came together — it was born out of collaboration between Armitage and Jackson.

“There were so many moments of experimentation throughout the course of filming, but this was toward the end of the shoot,” said Armitage, seated beside his “Hobbit” costar Lee Pace. “It was just a simple stage direction which said, ‘Thorin sees his reflection and realizes what he’s become.’

“Pete had said, ‘I don’t really know what to do with this — do you have any ideas,'” Armitage continued. “I was kind of hoping he’d have all the ideas.”

To learn the whole story, watch the clip below.

The final installment in Jackson’s epic “Hobbit” trilogy, “Five Armies” picks up where last year’s “The Desolation of Smaug” ends, with Thorin and company, accompanied by Martin Freeman’s good-natured hobbit Bilbo Baggins, having reclaimed the treasure of their lost homeland Erebor from the evil dragon Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch).

A vengeful Smaug heads to Lake-town to decimate the nearby village, and the destruction the dragon causes leaves the townspeople insisting upon recompense from the dwarfs who disturbed his resting place, setting into motion the conflict that will grow to include the armies of the title.

“It’s very much like a thriller. That’s the tone of it,” Jackson told Hero Complex. “I’m not letting that tone go for a second. It gives me a chance to feel like I’m making a different movie, not something that has the familiar elements that we’ve had in the past.”

So far, audiences appear to be responding: The film collected a reported $24.5 million in its opening night.

To find out first about upcoming films that will be featured in the Hero Complex Screening Series, follow us on Twitter: @LATherocomplex.

Check back soon for more clips from the conversation with Pace and Armitage, and read our in-depth interview with Armitage here.

Watch the first video in the series here.

– Gina McIntyre | @LATHeroComplex

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