See What Happens When I Stay Home from Church

I would have called this a tangent, but those pieces are supposed to be only remotely related to RA. This is firmly about RA and about “his people.”

When I think of “his people,” I don’t think of us –you know, you and me, the fans. When I think of “his people,” I think of the people working for him or advocating for him for money, i.e., agents, publicists, or whatever. He needs to give some instructions to “his people.” They need to put the word out that he will not answer any more questions about the Army. Do I need to explain what Army?

I was reading Servetus’ blog about what he should say about his fans, and it came to me like a lightning bolt. I would say epiphany, but hey, I’m only using that word once in the life of this blog. It’s too important a word to use more than once. Kind of like awesome which I’ve actually used twice on this blog. Shame on me. I won’t even go into my use of exclamation points. But yes, yes, I digress. Heck, this blog is one long digression.

Where was I? Oh, I had a revelation, no, er, a thought about what he could do about these questions on the fan thang. Just don’t entertain them, and that means saying ahead of time, “Could you please ask me all sorts of things but not about the fan thing?” Or “I will not answer questions about the fan thing. Ask me almost anything else, and I’ll cooperate, but I really don’t want to talk about the fan thing.” Now I proposed the first one because that seems to suit RA’s personality more. The second one just doesn’t seem his style at all, but then I really don’t know him. I just fancy sometimes that I do. ;-)

I think one reason he hasn’t done this (and hey, maybe he has and I’m all wet) was given in the latest interviews. He’s afraid this may all go away, so why be an ass and stonewall the press about the fan thing. Maybe that’s not his thinking, but he does seem way too compliant about this issue. Let it go, Richard. Please don’t answer any more questions about it, and if you need any other reason for doing it than it’s a pain, just know that WE ARE SICK OF HEARING IT TOO!

But if you are put on the spot again, I have the perfect comeback, which only you could pull off with that little laugh and grin you do, “Well, I’ve gotten my marching orders from the Army, and they’re sick of hearing about themselves.”

I am thankful at least the questions about the circus have gone away. Thank God.

I really should have gone to church.

edit:

Did I just write another fake fan letter? I think I did. Too bad no one who can do anything about the boring questions will read this. But oh, it felt good to say it. :D

30 Comments

  1. Yeah, I noticed that about the circus, too. The articles still often mention it but they don’t ask him anymore, maybe because they have read previous interviews and realized that he always says exactly the same thing.

    If you can use the word epiphany once, I will use the word “Amen!” just this once. Word. Agree with everything you say here. Amen.

  2. I just edited his comeback. Too bad he can’t do this. It would be hilarious, or maybe I’m being arrogant about that.

  3. It would be hilarious — and the Army would totally get behind it. Maybe you should write him a paper letter so as to be sure that someone sees it.

  4. I agree completely! It seems to embarass him and the question is getting really old. Give the guy some new questions already! And I agree with servetus, the Army would get behind it. Perhaps it really would be a good idea to write a letter to him, so at least it would reach his people if not the man himself. Let’s focus on his career, not his fans!

  5. Surely someone else has thought of this. I’ll bet someone has already said this to him.

  6. Okay, I’ve been thinking. Maybe this could be included in Natalie’s letter. A PS perhaps?

  7. I think before a celebrity sits down to be interviewed, his agent discusses what the interviewer can ask about. I had read about this before and they have a rehearsed answer, so they keep the questions about the same. Do not know if RA does this.

    But like you I am sick of the same questions.

  8. I feel obliged to point that if the press are asked to lay off the fan thing, then the story will then be that RA “is reluctant to talk about his fans” or “RA won’t talk about his fans” which would be equally if not more problematic than the status quo.

    The question may be boring and uncomfortable to answer, but it is genuinely a fascinating phenomenon, so one can understand why a journalist would bring it up. Most of the people who read the published piece will only have a cursory interest in RA, they’re not RA fanatics, so it is a relevant and interesting thing to include in a piece about him.

    Could I be so bold as to suggest that the real issue here is that every time RA is asked about his fans, it becomes a moment in which RA’s mixed feelings towards fans can be revealed, and this can make one feel self-conscious about their fandom – I wonder if this is perhaps one (unconscious) reason why some fans don’t want to hear about this anymore?

    Just my 2cents.

    RAFrenzy, you make the sensible suggestion though, that the “army” specifically request to RA that they don’t won’t to be talked about anymore. That could work, it would address some of the potential pitfalls of a fan talk black out. The question still remains though, what is the real issue that the army and fans have about being talked about in the press?

  9. I suspect that part of the issue for him is that at one point he feared he was getting hired only because of the fans, not because of his own talents, and/or feared that some of his colleagues might have thought that too. Some of the Guy haters on the various RH boards occasionally slam him with such remarks. He made a remark once in an interview about how being known was important step to being hired. There’s also an interesting point in the commented version of the last episode of RH series 1 where he and Lucie Griffiths are commenting on Guy’s outfit and Lucie says “that’s all for the benefit of Armitage’s Army, isn’t it” or something like that, and I got the feeling of an awkward or painful silence. If has any self doubt (and what performer doesn’t?) this is the kind of issue that is guaranteed to be problematic.

    For me, it is that I continue to observe these painful moments –even as his control of awkward moments when he is being interviewed has grown exponentially– and I think that there should be no question in his mind that he is getting hired because of his great performances. I wish, for him, if ongoing discussion of his fans gave him such mixed feelings, that he would come up with a pat answer and get the interviewer to move on. It’s a bit like being complimented. If someone compliments you for something you don’t want to be complimented for, the best thing to do is say thank you, rather than protest. He needs to find a way to say “thank you.” I mostly want to see him happy about how much we love him, but if that isn’t possible for him for whatever reason, then I think maybe he should fake it or get away from the question.

    I can’t speak for the longterm fans at large — the groups of people who participate in the Armitage Army and the discussion boards and have fan histories now approaching a decade — but perhaps some fans of the first hour feel like he does owe them a little loyalty. I can’t comment on the validity of that kind of obligation but it is true that when I got interested in him the flame was heavily fanned by the major fansites with all of the carefully catalogued information and screen caps. They did really support his career.

  10. There are Guy haters? Wow!

    I imagine RA would be ribbed mercilessly about the Army by his colleagues. It I were in his shoes this would get tiring pretty quickly, and I imagine I might come to resent its existence on some level, whilst also being eternally grateful for the support. Especially if, as you suggest, it raised issues concerning the reasons one is being hired – for talent or totty?

    The fact that the fans really did support his career makes it a relevant subject for an interview, as uncomfortable as it is. Like it or lump it, fans are part of the RA story.

  11. Yeah, a friend of mine who writes a blog on feminist cinema and wrote one post on RH essentially said that she thought that Armstrong was boring in comparison to Armitage, and it attracted a ton of trolls. And the people who write GuyxMarian fanfic are regularly trolled by people who insist on how evil and awful Guy is.

    Maybe Mr. Armitage should give ONE interview on his fans and then seal his lips for eternity. I could write him and volunteer.

  12. Interesting. I’m intrigued as to why a Robin fan would feel compelled to “attack” (troll) the Guy fans? No one is right or wrong here. Fascinating.

    Not for eternity! Should my hypothetical book on being the subject of fandom ever become a reality, I would appreciate his input :)

  13. I think I already said why I don’t want to hear about the fans. It’s boring. About that simple. I do not follow the work of Richard Armitage to continually hear about his fans when he’s interviewed, and I think a lot of his fans are great and have said as much on several occasions. However, I can interact with them myself and have no need to hear about them second hand.

    But yeah, I realized early on that fans were part of his story, and it was so much a part of his story that I was very hesitant to join the AA website. I had visions of a group that were mostly squealing airheads. Boy was that wrong.

    But mostly I hate that when he gives an interview where the fans come up that it spawns all of this introspection on our part. I mean no disrespect to anyone who’s commented here or elsewhere. I just wish it weren’t even a topic.

  14. Oh, and I’ve thought some more about sending a letter, or even attaching this to Nat’s letter. I don’t want to do it. My gut says no. It’s not my business even if it would be funny.

  15. I’m a relatively new fan of Richard,saw N&S for the first time a year ago and liked Mr.Thornton so much that I started following Richard’s career.I think he is a really good actor,a really handsome man and he seems to be a great person :)
    I personally don’t feel the need to meet him,stalk him,write to him or send him presents,(I never did things like that not even when I was a teenager,so surely I will not start now that I’m 40),I just enjoy watching him on TV,listening to his audiowork and chatting online with other fans,but to be honest I don’t understand why the “Armitage Army” seems to be something so embarassing for him,almost like a burden.
    Maybe I’m wrong or maybe I’m missing something (negative experiences RA has had with fans?) but that’s the impression I got reading his latest interviews.
    For an artist (actor,singer,writer….) having a fanbase shouldn’t be something to be happy and proud of? and why shouldn’t journalists ask an actor questions about his fans? what is so wrong and strange about that and why is it so difficult and embarassing for RA to answer those questions? I always thought that for someone working in that field (showbusiness) it should be great and advantageous to have a follow….especially for someone that is not a Hollywood star.
    I do understand that there are crazy and obsessed fans that act and behave irrationally and that have lots of expectations (while I don’t think RA owe us anything;he didn’t ask for a fanclub) and that it can get hard for the vip in question,but I find it a little sad that lately it seems like RA finds it difficult to have nice/positive words for his fans.
    He keeps saying that one of his greatest fears is that his career will not last,well I think that a loyal fanbase can be a little bit helpful regard that matter,but on the contrary it sounds to me like he would prefer to be left alone.
    I hope I’m not upsetting/offending anyone with what I’m writing and I really don’t want to start anything….I really like Richard as an actor and as a person and he will always have my support and respect (I hope to enjoy him in lots of future projects),but in all honesty it does “hurt” a bit to feel like you are kind of a burden to someone :(
    Maybe we should really start leaving him alone (no more presents,letters etc….) if that is what would make him happy and who knows perhaps after a while he will start missing us….LOL *I’m kidding*

    *love you Richard*

  16. My feelings are definitely not motherly! :)

    I’m guilty of introspection, but then that is the purpose of my blog — I am trying to figure out why he is so compelling — where is this reaction coming from? If I let go of introspection, I wouldn’t be writing. Of course, as someone informed me last night, some readers might see that as a good thing.

  17. “Well, I’ve gotten my marching orders from the Army, and they’re sick of hearing about themselves.” I like this one !
    Why disguard the Army? With every role he broadens his audience span, so in that sense it´s advertisment for the AA as well. So keep mentioning AA, even if I´m not on it !

  18. @Angela,

    Welcome!

    I think what you’re witnessing with RA’s remarks about his fans is his exasperation in the fans being highlighted in almost every interview he does. It’s like there is nothing of any worth to ask him about but his fans. So I understand why he may get a little irritated. I do not think it’s directed at us so much as it is his exasperation of ALWAYS having to address that issue and that focus taking time away from more valuable discussion.

    If it’s old to me, I can only imagine how old it is to him.

    @Servetus,

    Oh, hey, my blog wouldn’t be here without the introspection. Obviously, my introspection mostly masquerades as fluff, but there’s still introspection there. I really do think about my word choices. LOL!

    What I get weary of is RA’s words creating the introspection about his feelings for us. I really don’t want to examine that because there is not much to examine. I don’t really know him (I guess I’m firmly in ‘D’ on this issue :D ; excellent piece btw), and he certainly doesn’t know me, so trying to figure out “our relationship” is a bit absurd. Our relationship is a one way deal for the most part. He does his thing, and I get to obsess on it. LOL!

    Nothing I just said in any way makes implications about what you may or may not be doing. I’m just telling you where I’m coming from.

  19. @Skully,

    That’s exactly what I was thinking. I have a cousin who is in the media and frequently interviews celebrities. Usually she goes on a junket where she has interviews with celebrities lined up all day for several days in one place in LA. The publicists and/or agents for these celebrities give her their marching orders. Now if someone is not a big celebrity, they might get bumped from the schedule, so they don’t want to put too many restrictions on the press. I wonder if this is the mentality of RA and his agents.

    Oh, and I also think it’s going to help him that his former agent is now in LA.

  20. MAO. repeatedly.
    Barely had the time to read your latest posts, not through with all the comments yet, but you took the words right out of m.. nah, not really, mine would have been garbled, like my thoughts.
    Still, I know it’s bordering sacrilege for some, and stupidity for others.. and a repetitive rant ..and do I care? This latest interview (and some AA reactions to it) have made me realise that – should I never, ever, ever read anything about his private life again – I wouldn’t lose a minute of sleep. I’ve always said that, while admittedly and with glee, or squee, staring at some of the physical attractions laid out for us, I’m mostly interested in the characters he creates. And I understand that a) it is the man who makes them, b) the man is just another human being (with a private life), c) journalists are often lazy so-and-sos who can’t be bothered to find new and intelligent questions, d) half the answers are probably written for him by agents or folks at TV/movie studios whose products he sells, e) he’s nice enough to share some of his life with fans who he, being intelligent, knows keep him in the business… (I’d have f through z) but I’ll spare you :))
    Anyroad, I’m tired of ‘these’ interviews but understand their raison d’être. And I try to avoid them but since they’re being disected and analysed all over the net (and sometimes contain interesting snippets on his work – Ros-less Spooks!? booo-hoo) I try to skim and take what I need and ignore the rest. Hard work for something that was originally supposed to be fun.
    Please keep up your FakeFanLetters, they save me a lot of time, and are actually FakeFanFunLetters. I get my laughs, and my info, and some measure of perspective, and for that I thank you :D

  21. Yeah, if it quits being fun, I’m outta here.

    Glad you like the fakefanletters. I probably have oh, a few more in me. :D

    @violet, maybe someone will whisper that suggestion in his ear. LOL!

  22. A couple of times in recent interviews I have felt that Richard was about to mention C19 but was deflected from doing so for some reason or another. It seems to be the ‘biggest’ RA forum out there (yes I know that may be arguable) and I know he is aware of its existence and if he was asked straight ‘what do your fans of call themselves?’ he might as well say C19 instead of AA. But so far it also seems to have slipped under the radar with all the interviewers (probably because they don’t actually do any more research than read a couple of previous interviews) but I wonder what people would think if C19 did get mentioned instead of or in the same breath as the AA. I am inclined to think that it should remain somewhat out of sight.

  23. I think some journalists know of C19, but it doesn’t have quite the connotation of Armitage Army, and isn’t that great since it’s helped C19 stay under the radar!

    Plus, the Army has now transcended a particular website anyway.

  24. I agree, I think that interviewers assume all of his fans consider themselves part of the AA, and that when he is responding to these questions he is responding as if all of his fans were AA members. Even if he does know the difference.

  25. I’m a member of both those AA forums, but you know, I don’t really think of myself as ‘Armitage Army’. I don’t go there too often, and I don’t like that label particularly.

  26. I discovered RA only last year (like I said in my previous post) and when looking for informations/stuff about him I joined a few of the English forums/messageboards dedicated to him,but I don’t consider myself as “Armitage Army” either (in fact I haven’t posted anywhere),I’m just an admirer of Richard and his work.

    Being kind of new to the RA-fandom I don’t know if something happened (related to the AA) that “upset” Richard,but I find it really sad that he is taking distance from his own fans.

  27. I don’t think he’s distancing himself so much as he’s tired of the question. I am heartily sick of the question about the Army — as I’ve said many times before. I hope he learns to deflect it more effectively and yet retain his humor.

  28. Surely distancing must mean more than that, because I can’t imagine the questions about the AA will stop – it’s been mentioned so many times before that it must keep cropping up. I’m not sure of what he means, he has sent messages periodically, is that what he us referring to? I really hope those continue as they are our only chance to hear him talking directly to his fans without being filtered by an interviewer. I’m wondering if he has been lurking on forums or fansites. What other contact could he mean?

  29. I’m with you The Gruffalo and with Skully (her post on May 30, 2010 9:11 pm ).
    Like I said I find it sad that Richard feels the need to distance himself from his fans and I don’t think it has to do with journalists asking him about the AA,sorry.He is an actor and it should be a cool thing to have lots of fans adoring you and your work, supporting you and not something to be embarassed of,but what do I know? I don’t know him and the way he thinks or if he has had bad experiences with fans,but if now he feels like that,he obviously has his reasons and I respect that and his frankness.

    PS: sorry,forgot to say,thanks for the welcome :)

  30. […] did toy around with the idea of sending Richard some “orders” from the Army (Rogue Branch) where it would have been explained to him that he was not allowed to […]


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