Set in Ireland in 1209, Pilgrimage follows a small group of monks, including a novice (Tom Holland) and a mute (Jon Bernthal), as they begin a pilgrimage across landscape that has endured centuries of warfare. As they escort their monastery’s holiest relic to Rome, they quickly realize just how dangerous their journey is when they cross paths with Sir Raymond de Merville (Richard Armitage), whose primary motive is to steal the relic on behalf of his family.
During this 1-on-1 phone interview with Collider, British actor Richard Armitage talked about the appeal of Pilgrimage, the challenge of doing some of the role in French, understanding such a difficult and ambitious character, why religion is such an endlessly fascinating theme that’s explored in movies, having such terrific co-stars to work with, and pulling off something with such an epic look and feel on a much lower budget. He also talked about how much he enjoyed voicing the character of Trevor Belmont for the animated series Castlevania, what fans can expect from Season 2 of Berlin Station (returning to Epix on October 15th), and his experience working with the fantastic cast of Ocean’s Eight.
Collider: You do really remarkable work in this film, playing someone so intensely ambitious, as well as doing some of the role in French. What was the appeal of Pilgrimage, for you?
RICHARD ARMITAGE: One of the things that really attracted me to the piece was to do a European movie with multiple languages. I spoke to (director) Brendan [Muldowney], at the beginning, and I said, “Will this language thing throw away?” And he said, “No, I want all of these different languages to show what that period of time was like in Ireland.” So, the challenge of speaking a foreign language, for my character, was really fascinating.
When you play a character like this, do you look for ways you can identify with him or find things that you like about…