Catching the Wave

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!

Please click to see list of participating bloggers

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!

Dear Richard:

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.

Sincerely,
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

14 Comments

  1. *giggles*

    Some good advice there!

  2. Are you trying to say something about his American accent? :D

  3. Atticus Finch! Yes! Written by a talented southern lady, one Nell Harper Lee, a mere hour or less from here in Monroeville. He’d be just wonderful. Or should I say “wuuuunduhful?”

    BTW I should probably state my natural accent isn’t quite that southern. I sort of amped it up a notch just for Frenz. *grin*

    And we DO have the best food (hides behind cublcle wall). And embrace our eccentricities.

  4. Yeah, I had to get in a Bama girl. :D

  5. @Angie, … you sexy vixen! I love that ‘amped-up’ accent (and also your british one of last week). I think you should do audiobooks…perhaps one with RA? Imagine, being in the same room for hours on end while you guys are taping the book…wow!

  6. *listens in trepidation* Oh! That wasn’t so bad. Compared to my Other Crush’s attempt that was sublime, a wandering off-key sublime, but sublime nonetheless. Now I feel like I need to put it on loop to discover exactly he kept going wrong. Damn you Frenzy! ;)

    Angie, you convinced me as well, I do declare. And as a Yankee, I humbly admit Southern food *is* better or as my great aunt used to say, “mo’ bettah.”

  7. @Angie What beautiful recording and I love the soft accent!!!

  8. After trying to get to bed at a decent hour for a change, Weather Body is awake as a storm system moves in so let me reply–

    To all,

    Glad I convinced y’all, now if only RA’s people ARE listening and will pass this on to our boy in KiwiLand so I can work my charms on him LOL And yes, southern food is better. Not necessarily the best thing for your arteries, but at least you die with a smile ;)

    @Calexora,

    Thanks, darling, for the shoutout!
    The thought of doing an audiobook with RA both entrances and terrifies me. On one hand, what a wonderful (wunnnnduful) experience; on the other, well–I could envision my mouth going completely dry and not being able to make anything beyond a funny Dawn French sort of sound when the Vicar realized Harry wanted to marry her, not be married by her!! Yikes!!

    Frenz,

    I remember there being speculation before about RA playing Atticus in the stage version of TKAM and being absolutely thrilled at that idea. Gregory Peck was lovely in the film version but I think it’s time for another tall, dark, handsome fellow to tackle the role and give it the Armitage Treatment. We know RA can do the loving father part well as witnessed by his scenes in a couple of productions, Strike Back the most recent, and I can see him commanding the room in those courtroom scenes.

    He hasn’t played a lawyer yet, either . . . and yes, being a Bama girl and very familiar with the reclusive Miss Lee, who occasionally does come out of her shell for public appearances and very rare interviews, I would especially LOVE to see him play that role. *squee” A girl can dream!!

    Judiang,

    I am guessing it was the lovely Scot David Tennant who mangled an American accent? I love DT to bits but I have never heard him try to do a Translatlantic accent . . . but a Scottish accent can be rather hard to lose. I worked with a lady who had lived in the US for decades and still sounded at times like she had just popped in from Edinburgh. :D

    Cdoart,
    Thanks, you are a sweetie!

  9. What a lovely voice you have Angie! But it is much higher than I expected! Somehow I expected a lower keyed purring tone. Heh! Heh! You really should do Audio books.
    BTW — RA’s American accent — I found it quite jarring myself! Although it was appropriate for the material, I felt strangely bereft not to hear his original manner of speaking. I wonder if it would have been less of an issue if we could have watched him speaking rather than just listened to him.

  10. How i miss him,,but,,i do have a wee tipbit,,all i can say is,,,watch out for a gangster,!;)

  11. @Angie, totally get you on the Gerry reaction. I think that would happen to me. I’ve been rewatching S.7-8-9 of Spooks and I was thinking when Lucas goes to that bar to spy on the Tazbeks (8.2) and there is this exotic dancer that comes to ‘chat’ with him, how did that actress not freak out – having to kiss him while being half naked. Imagine, getting a job as an extra that requires kissing RA. I wouldn’t be able to function! I’d either start screaming à la Gerry or pass out or both. (And I can’t even think about the scene some lucky actress with a bad American accent had to shoot…perhaps over and over again!)

  12. It was interesting to me because he sounded as if he was working REALLY hard at it! I just love him!

  13. […] POSTS Doing the HongiNot So Dreaded HousekeepingCatching the WaveGood VibrationsFanstRAvaganzaThe EarWho is Richard Armitage?Addict ListAbout RAFrenzyPlaces to Get a […]

  14. […] hear Judi (of Confessions of a Watcher), hear iz4blue / Sinjoor / Fanny (of DistRActed Musings), hear Frenz herself (a big deal, since I gather she has a love / hate relationship with her voice), and CDoart (of […]


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