Speaking of Progress

Four years ago right about now I discovered Richard Armitage. Those who know the story, I’ll spare you a repeat. Those who don’t, you can read it here. From almost the beginning, I had such hopes he would again find a vehicle worthy of his abilities as he did in ‘North and South.’ But no matter his roles, he has often transcended the script — even when it was almost non-existent — making it abundantly clear he puts (if not his all) a great deal of himself into his performances. That almost child-like willingness to throw himself into his characters, into their stories, and his obvious satisfaction in doing so, has been as much a source of pleasure as his acting ability, and it has inspired me personally.

Richard Armitage has been a catalyst for something that had lain dormant. When I was a kid, no one could put my imagination in check, and my creativity spilled out everywhere I went and was often remarked and praised by others. Then I became sensible and pragmatic and lost something precious. I’m writing the story of how this happened. But! it will be fiction since I’ve discovered the joys of playing God. :D

[click to enlarge; yes, it’s even bigger than this]

Candid photo snaffled from Karima, and what excellent quality for a screencap from a fairly poor quality video. Hope she doesn’t mind since I didn’t ask first.


  1. The Armitage Effect helps an amazing number of people who experience it embrace creativity, get inspired, expand their imaginations (and tap back into the imagination they thought they had lost) . . .
    North and South was a tough act to follow–how often do the stars align in such a manner and for a television production, no less–but I give him high marks for making the most of every role.

    He seems to have retained a certain childlike sense of wonder and excitement in his work. It’s not just a paycheck and it’s not for fame. It is the joy of doing something you truly love and doing it well and in a manner that others can enjoy and embrace, too.

    (and it is fun to be the Queen of one’s Fiction Universe *grin*)

  2. angie, I reckon the stars have aligned again for him with the role of Thorin; it’s his time and his place. He has said that if it’s the last project he undertakes, he would be happy with that, and who are we to demand more of him.
    He seems to be enjoying the experience so much with the excitement and wonder you speak of. I for one am glad he’s not cynical and jaded like so many others out there in tv/movie land.

  3. You are right. It took a few years, but I think our hard-working, super-talented guy has found another “role of a lifetime” and it seems to me he is enjoying every moment of the journey.

    Many people who knew of him before identified with him as John Thornton, an iconic character.
    Now he’s going to be another iconic character (hmmm, mere coincidence that both character’s names begin with “Thor”? Perhaps it was always meant to be . . .) and it’s going to be a role seen by many, many, many more people, male and female, young and old.

    And also I love the fact he isn’t cynical and jaded.This is the guy who rode the Tube to the first Baftas he attended. The guy who rode the bus with fans after the 24-Hour Plays and chatted just like a regular guy with his seatmate. The guy who looked so proud and happy at that Maori welcoming ceremony and didn’t say “I am Richard Armitage, who will be playing Thorin.” It was simply “Hi, I’m Richard and I am from London . . . ”
    Maybe he’s an even better actor than I give him credit for being and it’s all an act. But in my heart I don’t think that is the case.

  4. Somehow I don’t think it is an act either. I’m so happy he is finding so much pleasure in his new role as Thorin. I was just thinking about that first media conference when he said that his first experience on stage was in a production of The Hobbit and I’m sure he must have the urge to pinch himself at times finding himself playing the role of the King of the Dwarves in what is no doubt going to be one if not THE most outstanding movies of its genre with Peter Jackson at the helm! His joy at being a part of it all certainly shines through when he talks about it.

  5. I look forward to all the people who aren’t yet familiar with Richard discovering just what a fine actor he is through this role. Of course, we will have our smug little smiles on our faces–“We told you so. We’ve known it all along!”

    Don’t you know his mum and dad are so proud of him? And rightly so, for a number of reasons.
    And yes, it makes me happy to know he’s happy. :D

  6. I’ve been pondering these posts & everyone’s comments. So tonight on our evening walk I asked Mr BB what he thought RAs next role might be. Mr BB is by way of a bit of a movie buff (especially the old ones :-)) and he thought RA would probably play some sort of villian, Oh dear! He also thought RA would be suitable as a sea captain in a period drama. (a bit better….) And then he gave him a huge compliment. Mr BB thinks RA could play the lead in Scaramouche! Shock – this is Mr BB’s favourite movie! I then explained that RA had expressed a desire to learn fencing skills after having learnt to use a broad sword. So that’s settled then – Scaramouche it is. :-)

    It’s wonderful to read that R has inspired people to pursue something creative. When I look at all the amazing fan art, fan fic & fan vids and more I am in awe. But despite being creatively challenged I am managing to be part of an RA inspired project at RAC to knit scarves for the homeless. So all you amazing creative people, keep it up. I’ll keep reading, watching, admiring………and knitting.:-)

  7. Beach Baby,

    The knitting projects sounds wonderful I am sure Richard will heartily
    approve. I can’t knit or crochet; I did a lot of cross-stitching while recovering from knee surgery years ago, but that’s all I do in the way of needlework.
    Scaramouche sounds like a winner to me. I was recently watching some old Errol Flynn films and would love to see Richard doing something along those lines. He’s a wonderful baddie, but the baddies don’t usually have a very good fate in the films, do they? :(

  8. Hello, I just wanted to take a sec to tell you how much I enjoy your blog. I love your sense of humour and sharp tongue :) It’s like a daily breath of fresh air. I do like the no nonsense approach.

  9. Sometimes I’m just damn stupid. I cannot believe I didn’t respond to any of these comments! Well, I hope you all have figured out by now it was a gross oversight. I salve my conscience by remembering this was when I was delusional in thinking I could do the 365 days of blogging. ROFLOL!!!

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