Before I go any further with this post, I want to comment on the other FanstRAvaganza bloggers. They have some wonderful and just downright fun pieces. Hope you take a look!
I had a debate with myself about this post, and I love it when I do that because no matter the decision, I win. So hang on. :D
Early on in my knowledge of Richard Armitage I read an interview with him where he mentioned auditioning for a part requiring an American accent:
[Richard's] been to a Los Angeles audition for a role as a CIA agent in a television pilot. Armitage tells a story about his casting session that just about sums up this man’s pleasing blend of confidence and modesty. “I’d practised my American accent really hard so I could get the part just right. When I finished reading, the casting people said, ‘Wow! That was great… Now would you mind doing it again with an American accent?’”
Read the entire interview here.
These were the days of my fan odyssey when I still thought Richard almost walked on water. That pleasing blend of confidence and modesty is indeed powerful. Sigh. …………………………………………………………………………….. Oh, Pardon me. What was I saying? Oh yes, I was really having a hard time believing he couldn’t nail an American accent. “The god known as Richard Armitage” not being able to pull American?! It wasn’t happening. Of course I was curious to hear him do it and heard it all sorts of ways in my head. Fast forward almost three years, and I finally heard him one night on BBC Radio 3. It sounded nothing like I had imagined:
My first thought was Nooooooooo! where has my RA gone?! I think I said to someone at the time that I would be fine with him never doing an American accent! Thankfully, it’s been a while since I listened to that snippet, and I find it doesn’t have quite the jarring effect it did the first time around. Yes, I’ve always appreciated his attempt, but it was hard not to dissect it. In fact, there was quite a discussion here amongst several of us. I think most Americans liked it, but it seems we all had pointers about how he could do it differently. Certainly, for the reading of Dos Passos, a New York accent was necessary, but I’m adamant about how his first foray into American should have gone. LOL!
I guess you know that many American women are fairly smitten with men who speak in English accents. Oh, you thought that bit in “Love Actually” was a joke? I would love to say it is, but a significant number of us are really that entranced by the voices of English men. So I have to admit that I already had a bias against you speaking American although I really wanted to hear what it would sound like.
I prefer you English. No need to sink to our level with an American accent. No, really, I mean that. But if you’re so inclined, some of us have a request of you:
Oh, you would definitely be charmed by it all. The part I love most is how outrageous we’re allowed to be by comparison to other parts of the country. ;-)
So I was thinking maybe a reading of Harper Lee, Walker Percy, or Flanner O’Connor next time.
One of your crazy fans whose love of a Southern Gentleman is only surpassed by love of an Englishman. :D
P.S. The South really does have the best food (ducks).
Apologies to my “Yankee” friends. I couldn’t resist. Seriously, I don’t care what accent he uses. Whomever he chooses to play and however he chooses to play it I’m sure will be lovely. I’m sure he will craft it well. If he can do Maori, I’m sure he can do American. But my control freak just had to get a plug in for something that would be like a dream to me — RA playing Southern Gentleman ala Atticus Finch. However, I stand by my food comment. LOL! And thanks to Angie for lending her talents again. She may have found a new profession. :D