Thursday, June 30, 2011

Voices Part VI: More from The Hobbit: Balin, Beorn, Radagast the Brown, and more Thorin

I'm continuing my VOICES series and  also continuing with my exploration of actors' voices in The Hobbit.  I'm always interested in the power of the voice and curious about how actors use this instrument of their profession. For the actors cast in The Hobbit it is interesting to me to hear or see them in different roles before we get to see them in the first film December 2012.

Mikael Persbrandt  is the shape-shifter Beorn in The Hobbit. Bilbo, Gandalf, and the Dwarves meet up with Beorn during their quest.

7/12/11 Update: Bloody Disgusting is reporting that Mikael Persbrandt has been cast as the lead in Lasse Hallstrom's new Swedish film The Hypnotist based on one of Lars Kepler's Nordic Noir mysteries. Persbrandt will play Detective Joona Linna, This is planned to be the first of three films based on Kepler's novels.  

I’ve only heard him speak English in interviews and every role I’ve seen him play, from Gundvar Larson in Beck when I first saw him, to a couple of movie roles, have all been in Swedish productions.Even when playing a good guy  like Gundvar he has a menacing presence.  I don’t understand Swedish, but his voice to me always has a staccato quality to it no matter the role.  Persbrandt has great charisma and screen presence and  I believe he’ll be an unforgettable Beorn. 

Click HERE to find out more about Mikael Persbrandt:

Below are two scenes of Persbrandt in the movie Solstorm (2007)(English subtitles). A warning that there are spoilers, in case you're interested in watching the entire film:

I've posted about Mikael Persbrandt before, as a matter of fact  it's one of the most popular posts on my blog, and I want to send a Thank You and a salute to his fans and to those curious about him.  Below is a link to that post:

Ken Stott plays Balin one of the Dwarves in The Hobbit .  He is often the lookout for the group and an old companion of Thorin’s.

Stott has a very deep voice that sounds like rumbling thunder.  In this excerpt  from  a BBC Radio production of Macbeth  we get a taste of this Edinburgh native's own Scottish accent starring as the Thane of Glamis himself.

Click HERE to find out more about Ken Stott.

Sylvester McCoy is Radagast  the Brown in The Hobbit.  Radagast is a Wizard who was involved in the struggle against Sauron.

McCoy was Dr. Who from 1987-1989 in the popular BBC TV series. I tried to find audio or video of him in something other than Dr. Who, but the only things I found just didn't fit or were of him preparing to read a poem at an event, and not him actually reading the poem. But for those like me who are not regular viewers of the Dr. Who series, I thought it would be interesting to show a clip of McCoy as the Doctor.

Click HERE to find out more about Sylvester McCoy.

No post of Voices from The Hobbit would be complete without our Dwarf leader Thorin Oakenshield. 

Below is an excerpt of Richard Armitage as Robert Lovelace in a BBC Radio 4 play (2010) of the novel Clarissa. 

Clarissa, or, the History of a Young Lady is an epistolary novel by Samuel Richardson, published in 1748.  It is the tragic story of the virtuous Clarissa Harlow and the rogue Robert Lovelace. Below Armitage as Lovelace writing a letter to his best friend Jack.  

I particularly love the many changes of tone in Armitage's voice in this clip (I'm going to start calling him The Voice).

Photo,caps, clips, etc. for this post  from, RichardArmitageCentral,,,, Google Images, YouTube. 


  1. I'm really pleased Mikael Persbrandt will be in The Hobbit. He's a great actor, and he can be a bit typecast as a gruff brute (think Gunvald Larsson) ... so this is different. I'm really proud of my fellow Swede, going to NZ and all. :)

  2. Hi Traxy!

    I didn't know you were Swedish :) I'm a big fan of Swedish mysteries and movies.

    I'm also looking forward to seeing Persbrandt in The Hobbit. Agree he's a wonderful addition to a great cast.


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