I have often found myself asking that question when I read an interview with RA. His answers are almost perfect. Oh, my bias is showing. But let me explain. He gives answers that I actually ponder far longer than my reading requires. He also seems to have his profession in perspective and isn’t quick to believe his own press. As if that’s not enough to convince me he’s got his head on straight, he’s willing to admit he is still learning and his perspective is subject to change — more to ponder. LOL! This kind of thoughtfulness and candor is refreshing with anyone no matter what they do for a living. But to find it in an actor?
I guess I’ve been prejudiced in thinking actors are mostly caricatures and somewhat superficial and almost never thinkers. At least that’s how it seems when they’re confronted with an interviewer. Some of them state the obvious and never anything of interest that a casual observer couldn’t conclude. Kind of like the typical interview with a footballer who’s asked post-game how his team got the victory. He often responds, “We scored more points.” I would think they were making a joke, but their demeanor doesn’t suggest they’re being facetious at all. They usually have a wide eyed look about it all. I’ve often wondered if these athletes realize we already know that. LOL! Similarly, actors seem to think that they’re letting us in on something, but the reality is that we mostly get to witness their posturing, the spinning of their personalities for public consumption and hopefully increase in ticket sales or ad revenue or whatever it is that puts cash in their hip pockets. Whatever is actually happening, I almost always come away with a hollow feeling.
But I’ve never felt that with RA. With him I actually have to think! Quite simply he gives food for thought, and it’s because his comments make it clear that he thinks. Even this seemingly benign interview about his diet is packed with insight, and LOL! I really feel like I’m getting the inside track.
From Times Online
April 27, 2010
The inside track: Richard Armitage
Fresh from filming the TV drama, Chris Ryan’s Strike Back, Spooks star Richard Armitage, 38, gives us his health report
Melissa van der Klugt
I’m normally one of those people who, unless you shove a sandwich in my hand, would forget to eat. The last diet I went on was in training for Strike Back and it involved six small meals a day to keep my blood-sugar level high. It was carbs during the morning and two shakes a day. I kept this up for 18 weeks of filming in South Africa, because you’re often on your feet for 12 or 13-hour days.
For Spooks I lost a stone.My character had just come out of a Russian prison after eight years. I had to weigh everything I ate and not eat too late.
I am always jumping off things on set, on an adrenalin high. At the end of a take people suddenly run up to me waving cotton swabs because I am bleeding and I haven’t noticed. Strike Back was the most physical role I have taken on and I had to work hard with an ex-military instructor to build up my physical mass and strengthen my ankles and wrists so that I wouldn’t injure myself.
I follow the Alexander Technique for 15 minutes each morning. It’s a way of helping my vocal production and control, but when my stress levels are high during filming, it gives me a break. I lie on the floor with a book over my head while I focus on the exercise. On the shoot in South Africa I fell asleep pretty much every time I did it.
I don’t take risks enough in my life. As I’m always under contract, I’m restricted by what I can and can’t do with myself, so skiing is my nirvana. I have been skiing for the past few years and being in the mountains is very therapeutic. You’re up above the clouds, it feels remote. When you’re skiing just faster than is safe there is a thrilling combination of risk and freedom.
Read the rest here ( if necessary, click again to make legible).