He’s A Fighter: Armitage Levels of Combat

Armitage at ease in Strike Back (courtesy of: RichardArmitageNet.com)

After dabbling in archery (Robin Hood level combat) with friends, we had a weapons upgrade to laser tag guns (what I would consider Spooks level combat) this past weekend.

I have a tendency to melt in heat so I was quite content to be the patient assassin that holes up in a shady wooden box and waits for my target to walk by.

Now there is talk of actual gun usage (definitely Strike Back level combat). I hear that shooting ranges are in fashion for bachelorette parties and dates. What a strange prelude to romance—”biting the bullet” indeed.

I would prefer the outdoor shooting of clay targets with a rifle over the indoor shooting of a slowly approaching paper target with a handgun. But really, I want to go back to arrows.


From a print BBC interview on Spooks with Richard Armitage:

. . .There was a shoot-out in the final episode where I surprised myself about the amount of rounds I could pull off and how quickly.

It’s a weird thing. I’m not a violent person but when you put a gun in somebody’s hands something strange happens. It’s like a little animal comes out of you that wants to fire the gun again. I don’t know what that is!

Did you have to have lessons?

I had a very, very quick lesson, but really I should have gone to a shooting range and gone through it properly, but I’d worked for weapons before on Ultimate Force. The weapons chap was the same guy so he knew that I could cope with it. But there is a procedure that you have to go through and it’s very, very strict. They scare you into realising how serious the weapon is before you fire it.

From a Reader’s Digest interview on Strike Back:

When I was researching the character, I read a lot of material on war and the nature of killing. There was a very surprising statistics – I think it was from the Napoleonic Wars – about the number of muskets they found on the battlefield that hadn’t been fired. And it still happens: when the call to fire comes, some soldiers either fire high or they simply don’t fire. It’s like conscientious objecting on the battlefield; some people, when it comes right down to it, won’t or can’t kill in cold blood. I was surprised – and slightly relieved – to know it.

. . .

On the one hand, we decided that at no point must we make the violence gratuitous, or glorified, or any more elevated than it really is. On the other, there must be a point in a soldier’s career where he feels like he’s in a war movie. There is this state of mind which is called “berserking.” You get it in war and you get it in football crowds – where something triggers the adrenaline and there is kind of surge mentality; you break through to a place where everything suddenly becomes much more animal. I hope we’ve accessed a bit of that.

From a video interview (with transcript):

You star in Strike Back too. What draws you to these action-based roles?

I’m sure while I can breathe and get my leg over a horse I’m sure I’ll be asked to do action again. And fine, whatever it is that keeps me in work. But I’m semi-conscious of picking something which doesn’t necessarily have a violent content. I feel like I’m getting to be associated with violence and I’m really not a violent person which is probably why it’s easy to act. So yeah, I’d like to do something nice and calm and all about love.

The Hobbit isn’t completely about love and does involve some combat, but it has lots of laughter and singing. I can’t wait to see how Thorin reacts to sleepy Bombur and adorable Fíli and Kíli.


2 thoughts on “He’s A Fighter: Armitage Levels of Combat

  1. Now there’s a “time out” I’d like to take. 😛

    It’s true what he says, though. When you confront your target, you can’t shoot just once: you return fire again and again although the laser tag reader thingy has already decided which one of you made the first shot.

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