Gotta Love Him

I adore this article. How could I not? Either RA is the smartest guy walking who knows how to work women or he’s smart and he really means all of this. Wow. Both possibilities are wonderful, but I hope it’s the latter — for his sake.

Richard Armitage: ‘I was a beanpole with a nose I hadn’t grown into’

By: Vicki Power. 30/05/2010

The sexy 39-year-old star of Spooks and Sky One’s Strike Back on growing into his looks/nose, why he’s more ‘new man’ than macho soldier, and looking for that perfect food-loving woman

You’re the go-to guy for brooding heroes. Do you like being seen as a sex symbol?
Richard Armitage: It’s quite funny – no, it’s hilarious to be considered a sex symbol. In school I was a beanpole with a nose I hadn’t grown into. Being thought of as sexy makes one employable, but it’s not going to last forever, so I try not to think about it. It’s like something that exists outside of me.

You certainly look hot in the dark blue suit you’ve put on for this interview…
RA: Thank you. It’s Dolce & Gabbana and the shirt is Prada, but the truth is, nearly all my other clothes are Lucas’s from Spooks. I can’t bear shopping. I can choose clothes for my characters, but not for myself. I’ve got no dress sense. Or I’ve lost it.

What appealed about your character John Porter in the Sky series Chris Ryan’s Strike Back?
RA: I thought, here’s a chance to have a crack at a man who’s not a bog-standard war hero. Porter is what Lucas wishes he could be – SAS men get to go all over the world and operate in deep cover, while in Spooks we only get to walk up The Mall and go onto a few London rooftops. Lucas would love to be shooting out of an aircraft.

Could you have been a soldier?
RA: Not a chance! I can work hard and be disciplined like a soldier, but I could never reach their level of fitness. I have a whole new appreciation of soldiers. I saw myself on screen and thought, ‘That body is so not hard enough to be a soldier.’

What sort of training did you do?
RA: I did mega-training with ex-military men. I’d be in the gym for two hours after a 12-hour day on Spooks, and it was so hardcore I’d throw up. I stuffed myself with food and drank protein shakes to bulk up. I used to be a dancer, but I had to strap my weak ankles every day and strengthen my wrists so I could hold a machine gun. My body just wasn’t up to it.

So you’re not a macho man…
RA: I’m probably more of a new man. I’m not particularly alpha. ‘Nourish and nurture’ are my watchwords as opposed to ‘search and destroy’. I kept asking myself why on earth have they asked me to play this character, rather than someone who’s really hard. But I suppose it’s because I bring something softer to the character.

You were filming in South Africa for five months. What was that like?
RA: We had a great time, although it was so hot it felt like you were in an oven. We filmed in a poor black township outside Pretoria that everybody told us was dangerous, but we’d often play football with the kids. Once we didn’t have anywhere to change and one of the locals said, ‘Come to my house.’ It was a tin shack, but it was spotlessly clean. You can’t believe it’s somebody’s home. It was so humbling.

What did you miss most about home?
RA: I didn’t miss anything. I was so in the character, I’d dream about him at night. Even I thought, ‘This is crazy, I’m too involved.’ I found it hard to call or Skype friends – it was almost as though I couldn’t get out of the character. I screwed up my social life a bit.

Speaking of which, how’s your love life?
RA: Unfortunately, my love life is nil. I’m not in a relationship any longer – I’m working too much – but I would like to settle down at some point. That’s probably why I’m going to LA soon, when I’m not tied down. I feel like if you don’t try LA, then people will think you’ve failed.

Do you want a family?
RA: Yes, I’d like a wife and family. I spend so much time with my brother’s little boy, Abe, who’s coming up to five, and he’s so hilarious. Playing a father in Strike Back has really resonated with me, although I can’t believe I’m starting to get cast with teenage daughters! I’m quite relieved I don’t have that responsibility in real life, but I look around and my fellow actors are having babies and I’m envious. One day, one day.

But you’ll turn 40 next year. Isn’t about time you gave it some thought?
RA: Yes. That’s part of the problem, isn’t it, because I still feel like I’m 25 in my head. I always thought when I got to 40 it would be OK because I’d feel 40, but I don’t.

What type of girl would you go for?
RA: Someone a bit naughty. And who likes food – because I really do – and who doesn’t take life too seriously and has a sense of humour.
I could never go out with another actor, I’d find that hard – the stresses of the job, they just pull people in different directions.

(emphasis mine)

See what I mean about being smart, and he wants someone who likes food? WHAT?!!! Wait. wait. Maybe he really meant it about kissing Nigella Lawson. Nooo! Surely not. But he has talked about this more than once. Hmmm. All you single girls out there who like to cook AND eat, have you died and gone to heaven yet? But hey, you need to be able to laugh while you’re eating. No eating without laughing. Hey, most of us who like to eat only have to look in the mirror to start laughing. LOL! I used to be a tiny little thing, and I’m still not huge, but there’s more of me to love these days. SO says I’m voluptuous and he likes it! I’m going to assume this is the kind of gal RA is talking about. So all you single, voluptuous gals need to line up. At the very least, I’m sure you will have sweet dreams tonight. :D

Your fans call themselves Armitage’s Army. What are they like?
RA: Over the years they’ve sent me presents and turned up at film sets, but lately I’ve kind of left them alone. I got a bit too involved and there’s an expectation from them that goes along with that.

I don’t know about all of you, but I’m tired of reading about all of us. Man, that husband who came up with this moniker is getting his revenge. LOL!

Do you read about yourself on the internet?
RA: I decided this year not to read anything. It’s been very liberating. The problem with me is I read everything, but it’s only the bad stuff that stays with me. It’s weird, you only need to be told something once and it stays with you.

What are your hobbies?
RA: I only learned to ski five years ago, but I’m addicted to it. I went five times this season. I should have been a ski instructor instead of an actor. I also dragged my cello out of the loft a couple of weeks ago and went back to that, but I have to squeeze playing it into the hour and a half I get in the evening after work. God, I sound like such a boring workaholic.

I would love to talk about this part, but I would really give myself away. :D

To read the rest, go here.

Do I need a picture? I didn’t think so. Those answers are so good, the images in your head are better than anything I could post.

edit: and yes, I know he’s only 38. How could I call myself an RA fan and not know that! But the journalist was correct that he will be 40 next year. He just hasn’t turned 39 yet. This edit was also put here as a public service for all of you who are not quite up yet on your RA facts. ;-) Oh, heck the whole post is a public service for women who like to eat. LOL!

13 Comments

  1. Great interview! Thanks for posting it.
    I love that he said tht sexiness is something that exists outside of him, well put. When I’ve been complimented on my appearance, I feel the pressure to reply with a sense of gratitute that I simply do not feel. Although of course it’s nice to know I have the capacity to be seen as attractive, the idea that I’m responsible for my attractiveness is ridiculous, given that our ideas about what is attractive are so culturally dependent. I always want to turn around and say “it’s not like I sculpted my own face!”

    I also love that you felt it unnecessary to post a picture with this post :)

  2. Oh my! I totally agree with you. Who needs the pictures? While reading the interview my head went crazy picturing him wearing a D&G suit, playing the cello, eating, driving his BMW, skiing and even playing w/ his nephew …. He’s just adorable! :)

  3. Isn’t he a sweetheart!

    Someone is going to be lucky to get him, and I have NEVER said that about an actor. Oh, God forbid! Well, whoever he ends up with will probably have a bit of a double-edged sword, but I’m sure they’ll deal with it. LOL!

  4. THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! for posting this article!

    RA revealed quite a bit about himself I think, especially given that I understand from some fans/sites that he is reluctant to speak about his personal life and for someone to post anything about it or to speculate on his private life is seen by some fans as a major invasion of privacy. (I myself don’t subscribe to that philosophy, I figure if you’re a celebrity and you talk about your private life to boot, well, it’s fair game)

    I am excited to hear he is coming to America (ok, I hear Neil Diamond singing in my head now). Will be curious to see what opportunities he will have. Actually, I wonder if his new Spooks costar Sophia Myles will be able to give him some insights as she has done the LA thing herself.

    There was one statement the interviewer said which I thougth was a little awkward, maybe borderline unprofessional but I’m not a writer so what do I know, Was curious to hear if anyone else thought it strange for the interviewer to say : “you certainly look hot in that dark blue suit you’ve put on”
    I could see if she said “you look nice” or “you look good” but “you look hot” just sounds too flirtatious and unprofessional. Makes me think of Rielle Hunter and what she said to John Edwards when they met, yikes!

    And I agree with everyone else, this man is one good catch, a lady would be really lucky to have him. I guess his momma raised him right :)

  5. She couldn’t help herself I’m sure. :D

  6. you’re probably right!

  7. This interview makes me wish I was single and available and living in London with a chance of meeting Richard Crispin Armitage! Don’t you love how he doesn’t big himself up all the time, but talks of weak ankles and throwing up and his fears of losing it all and having to go back to sanding floors for his mates. “Nourish and nurture as opposesd to search and destroy *aaah*.” And his ideal girl likes food and has a sense of humour (yeah, that description fits me)! He’s such a love he deserves a huge cuddle!

  8. I echo all your sentiments above. He really is too good to be true or better said, is he real? …. and I don’t need a picture either – much nicer to imagine at this stage.

    Not sure about the Hollywood bit – why not Australia? …. but we don’t have snow …much!

    (MTA: Nigella Lawson popped into my head when he mentioned food and naughty. Let’s face it though, his future intended is going to have to have looks and panache and style and intelligence, like food, but also be sporty … and pretty much younger than 40 if he wants a family … and I suspect she will need a thick skin.). PS: Those fandom comments were a bit interesting but I’m not going to go there …

  9. This interview is a treat! Well all I could think: I do have a sister who’s single with a wicked sense of humor. Loves to cook AND eat and is tall. Doesn’t act, has 2 adorable pre-teen boys. She is not a skier, daredevil things tend to scare her but doesn’t love concur all?
    I’ll make due having him as a brother-in-law! :))

  10. @mulubinba – we have snow machines!

  11. […] Spy does reference one of the sources. If you haven’t read that article, you can start here, and you get to read my gushing as […]

  12. I’m a late-comer to RA fandom only discovering him last year in Spooks which I had not watched in years. Then I had to catch up watching three series in a couple days. After that, I think I’ve devoured everything watchable on the internet that I could find on this unusual very human actor. He resonates with me on a common level – like he’s one of us but okay, he’s an actor. So, what? He’s a man first and oh, what a man! Your article is the most personable one on Richard I’ve read so far. I’m just awed by his comments. Thank you so much for posting.

  13. Welcome, Debra. Better late than never! “oh, what a man!” That says it all. :D


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