Richard Armitage is known for a number of high-profile roles across his career, from Lucas North in Spooks to Guy of Gisborne in Robin Hood and varied characters in Harlan Coben's Netflix shows.


Now, as he stars in ITV's new thriller Red Eye, he has spoken with Radio Times magazine about perhaps his biggest role to date, Thorin Oakenshield in The Hobbit film trilogy, and has revealed his fear at the time of filming that they had "made the wrong choice" in casting him.

Asked if he ever has 'pinch-me moments' in his career, Armitage said: "I remember getting to New Zealand to shoot The Hobbit and not unpacking. I genuinely thought I was going to be fired and sent home because they had made the wrong choice.

"Not in a million years would my nine-year-old self, reading the books, ever have imagined that he’d be starring in the films!"

Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, surrounded by the other dwarves
Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. Warner Bros

In Red Eye, Armitage plays Dr Matthew Nolan, who is arrested on suspicion of murdering a woman during a recent business trip to China when he lands in the UK.

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As he is extradited back to China, with DC Hana Li (Jing Lusi) as his police escort, it appears there is a larger conspiracy at play, with multiple incidents affecting the flight.

Armitage told what drew him to the role, saying: "One of the things that I was attracted to about the role was, by default, as a doctor, he's somebody that we should trust. He's taken the Hippocratic Oath to do no harm.

"So, therefore, the accusation of killing someone and leaving them for dead strikes me as unfair."

He continued: "Normally, I would probably have written a biography of him, but I didn't. I focused on his job and I focused on the here and now, because I wanted this man to be an enigma.

"I did like the idea of the viewer fluctuating between completely trusting him and really having serious doubts about who he really is."

Red Eye is available to stream in full on ITVX. The Hobbit trilogy is available to stream on Prime Video. Sign up for a 30-day free trial of Prime Video and pay £8.99 a month after that.


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