Rescue Mission Aborted

Richard Armitage is alive and well. Not sure he can speak, but he can move. :D

note: I’m posting this for all of you who are still not on Twitter.

The video below was taken at Ian McKellen’s one man show which has been raising funds for Christchurch’s earthquake-damaged Isaac Theatre Royal.

Once again, RA is almost hidden. Watch how he moves to the back. Some of that is conditioning from being tall. I have a daughter who is 5’8″ and a dancer. She was always up stage unless featured as I would bet he was. But he has long since left dancing and the stage. Hmmm.

For a long time I have believed his humility was part real and part effected, but I’m beginning to believe that he really is a bit shy. Considerate of fans but shy when not performing. Edit: shy is not the best word; reticent is more apropos.

My son is a performer, and at the risk of sounding biased (when has that ever stopped me), he is very good. He’s been known to draw crowds from 50 miles around. Might not sound like much, but it’s big deal in our parts. SO and I have continually encouraged him to also hone his public speaking skills, and he has resisted.

He finally said to me, “Mom, you don’t get it.”

I asked, “What don’t I get?”

“It’s easy to play characters. It’s another matter to play myself.”

Thanks again to for the heads up and all the great work you do!


  1. it’s impossible to tell anything from context here, but a surface read would suggest that he was extremely nervous.

  2. “play myself”…I get that totally!

    Because my daddy was 6’6″, he knew about being at the back. Me? I’m 5’4” and always got shoved to the front. Which I hated. Can’t tell you how much.

    So we can call this a “drought-breaker”? Yay!!!

  3. btw…rescue mission in stand-by? You never know…

  4. Servetus, Maybe I’m wrong, but someone with that much experience to get nervous in a big group like that? Sure if he were highlighted or in a small group, that would make sense. It doesn’t jibe with the situation. I think he’s naturally shy. It’s not his way to push himself to the front. Some of that is definitely from being tall. I have other thoughts, but I’m posting them later.

    NB, LOL! Yeah, stand-by.

  5. The rocking from side to side is what caught my eye.

  6. I guess took that as dealing with the energy in the room, but then I’m someone who is moving all the time (literally) and especially when there is a lot of energy around me in the form of people. So I wasn’t thinking nervousness so much as dealing with the energy. If he were playing a role, then he would have somewhere to channel it. In the absence of that, the rocking. Or it could be nervousness as well.

  7. I tried to avoid making a statement about his state of mind as opposed to his behavior. I do know that if he ever took public speaking with a serious coach he would have been coached out of behaviors like that when standing in front of others. So maybe it was also excitement, or it could have been failure to concentrate, or maybe he thought no one was watching, or whatever. Maybe the camera angle made it more extreme than it was from the audience perspective. I really don’t know. That is why I said, I have no context, and this is a surface reading. :)

  8. No problem. We’re all going to have a little different take on it. I was more interested in his moving to the back, which he always does.

  9. If you’re tall, as you say in the original post, you do get in the habit. I’m only 5’8″ and after years of getting shooed to the back of photographs I just go there before anyone tells me.

  10. Maybe a bit anxious about passing those buckets around?! LIke…where do I go first? What if some dame tries to jump into the bucket? What if I drop it? I saw those buckets and thought “what’s he selling, peanuts?” until I caught on, thanks to a tweet. Days like this makes me think Frenz knew what she was talking about when she convinced me to tweet.

  11. Yeah, the appeal of twitter is its reference to the immediate.

  12. which makes me think I’m even more hopeless than I thought!

  13. I love how you said… RESCUE MISSION. Boy I would volunteer on that account. Good thing it was a little gathering and not a press-stressed event. It was lovely seeing him again… ^__^

  14. me too, NovemberBride. I’m excusing myself on the grounds that it’s been a stressful week and is likely to continue to be, but I wanted so badly to see these pictures it was ridiculous. Oh well, a little euphoria never hurt anyone!

  15. I’m 5’11″ female since I was 14 – always the tallest and in the back. I know that feeling of awkwardness, especially while growing up – it sticked to me a bit even nowadays. But, I don’t think that 6’2″ male is SO tall – not enough to justify attempts to disappearing act. Must agree with shyness hypothesis. Rocking behaviour might fit into it as a sign of discontent from being exposed just as an idle body.

  16. Idle body could be it. I guess I just think of him as being trained how to hold himself when in public — idle or not. But maybe this is one of the things I love best about him — he does seem so normal, and the rocking thing is what I believe most people would do in that situation.

  17. I think, unless has been his duty to (hobbit press conference, publicity interviews) he has always tended to give everyone else space by going backwards or kept silence. Still, it does grab your attention the way he moves into the shadows in the vid, it looks like 2 steps backwards and he’ll be out of the stage.

    I guess, it’s more peculiar to me because from the interview and by his stance in the Captain America premiere, to me he seemed very self assured and comfortable in his own skin. The thought that it could be because he felt kind of ‘hidden’ behind beard and sunglasses crossed my mind but I dismissed it in favor of it being because he truly had become more self assured… This vid, makes me think again.

    OML :)

    PS: Poor guy, here we are analysing everything he does, no wonder he gets nervous, lol!

  18. In the pics with fans some people posted he looked happy and relaxed and appeared to me as comfortable in his skin. In a setting like this he has no choice but to stand in the back of the group. I think Comic Con will be a lot more daunting than this!

    BTW Frenz, I think your son summed it up perfectly!

  19. There was a rescue mission? Huh. Guess I need to pull myself from my Benedict Cumberbatch Hits Coney Island stupor and actually start paying attention again.

  20. It was in the planning stages. Something about Nigella Lawson and chocolate cake. Glad your vacation was so good that you’re oblivious. :D

  21. Thanks, Jane. I think it was well spoken too. He’s a bright boy due to a recessive gene no doubt. :D

  22. There may be something to the ‘tall people just automatically move to the back syndrome’ theory. If you notice, fellow giant Lee Pace follows Richard to the back. In fact, the two of them seem to be hanging out together alot these days. Wonder if it is because Lee is one of the few people on the set Richard can look straight in the eye without neck strain. hahaha ;)

  23. Dear Frenz. I just get a great big white square where I guess you put the video above!!!

    I’m imoressed that you spelled “theatre” correctly and even wrote the date correctly (23 June 2012) on the video you uploaded to YouTube!!!!

    Just pulling your leg, kiddo.

    Does anyone else get an error message every time in that YouTube clip or am I doing something wrong again?

  24. […] make sure you read the comments that evaluate the accuracy of the pictures, as the discussion of what Richard Armitage is really like continues. If blog hits for that rather minor appearance are any indication, we’re all about […]

  25. Is there a mystery about a tall person automatically moving to the back for group events? Short people know if they don’t stand in front first, someone will shove them there; even if they’d rather like to hide in the crowd :D . The repeated dancing was a bit odd. Sorry, I have no rational suggestion, considering the usual comportment he has always shown. Jeans too tight? Momentarily light-headed from a quick pint backstage? :D

  26. May I just say that that was a beautifully perceptive statement your son made there, “It’s easy to play characters. It’s another matter to play myself.” I’m sure this is a statement with which RA would readily concur!!

    I don’t think Richard likes to be in the limelight when he is “off duty” as it were. Even at that first Hobbit media conference when they took those pictures outside he hung out at the back of the crowd and I don’t think his height came into the equation on that occasion! :)

    These new pictures we have seen as well as the video are terrific and much longed for “drought-breakers” indeed!!! :D

  27. […] this is a relatively personal question for me, and I had pieces of this post drafted even before he showed up onstage in Wellington last weekend and moved to the side and then the back of the stage. Which actually made me think I should leave […]

  28. (Comments tl;dr)

    Isn’t that exactly what he’s said before, though? That he’d never appear on TV as himself? That’s why we won’t see him on any of those “celebrity” style shows. He’s on TV to promote something he’s in, not to promote himself. So that makes sense. :)

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