This week Richard Armitage is stepping up his game to raise awareness of cyberbullying. The actor teamed up with The Cybersmile Foundation to help tackle the problem of online abuse which has been on the rise, with celebrities, actors as well as internet users facing harsh critiques and abusive comments.
Armitage, best known for playing the role of Thorin in The Hobbit movies, spoke with The Cybersmile Foundation in-length this week about the problem of digital abuse, his advice on dealing with it, and what he thinks should be done to tackle the problem head on.
Interview with Richard Armitage courtesy of The Cybersmile Foundation. Click here to read the extended interview.
What inspired you to begin a career in acting?
Richard: I’m shy, or rather not particularly gregarious. I never really liked myself very much. I think that came from how I was treated by other kids at school. I read a lot, played a lot of music, dreamed a lot. I love getting into the skin of another person, living lives I’ll never live. Imagining.
I’m inspired by greater people than me. Sometimes they are lesser in their moral compass, but I’m fascinated by the concept of nature v nurture. I believe we are all born equal until life guides us down our different roads and of course from our humble or privileged beginnings, which immediately begins to make us ‘other’.
What advice would you give to people receiving abuse online?
Richard: I would say, ask the person to stop, don’t engage with them. Don’t get into conflict, you may find yourself spouting the same kind of abuse. Trust me on some sites I’ve seen an extraordinary display of child like petty squabbling that becomes a white noise of insignificance.
Remain silent, try to avoid reading the nasty stuff, seek out those who encourage you and do the same in return. If it’s unbearable then ask for help. Cybersmile is a good place to start.
Are you currently working on anything exciting or what are your plans next?
Richard: I’m going to be doing a movie called ‘Clearance’ in SA later in the year, it’s about a mine sweeper and his pregnant wife. An Edith Wharton Novel on film and a possible true Irish period Tragic drama.
Richard Armitage can be seen in the 3rd season of “Hannibal,” which premieres Thursday June 4th on NBC 10/9c.