Taking Richard Out of His Box

Not long ago a body was unearthed from its burial place under a car park in the UK. It may be the corpse of King Richard III, the last monarch in the War of the Roses. Various tests have been done to help determine the identity as a small group of zealous supporters longing for the king to gain his rightful place in history have watched the world become aware of him. Despite confirmation, Richard III will still be confined to a villainous image. He will still be seen by a significant number as the man Shakespeare portrayed as a scoundrel who callously killed his nephews and anyone else who stood in the way of what he wanted. And if he really has been unfairly maligned by the Bard, few will appreciate the fact. Such is the effect of a drama with a powerfully developed character — its ability to drown out anything that would give lie to it.

Richard Armitage in The Hobbit is also an unearthing. It is a star emerging to all but a few rabid fans who have waited for several years for the public to recognize it. Despite this rise to the larger public’s notice, will Richard, like his namesake, also remain confined to an image? I hope not. I hope his Thorin Oakenshield will be sufficient to give lie to the notion that he’s only a heart throb. But when I consider the effect of his portrayal as John Thornton in North and South followed closely by Guy of Gisborne in Robin Hood, and hear the current rhetoric about the hot dwarf, it’s hard not to see him remaining in the box marked tall, dark, handsome man who is extremely masculine and sensitive and must be a romantic figure.

When women in the U.S. alone get hold of the almost Svengali like appeal of his, the marketing of his roles will be narrowed to romances. Much like was done with Colin Firth and Gerard Butler only they aren’t Richard Armitage. He goes way beyond them in sex appeal. Yes, I’m biased, but I’m also not blind. Some women I know have never seen the likes of Richard Armitage, and those who have really watched him are blown away. One told me, “I laughed at your reaction. I really did. I thought you were just having a mid-life meltdown with all that’s going on in your life. Phew! I was wrong! I have never seen anyone like that!” To which I said with as much humility as possible, “I know.”

But for a good long while I’ve been finding that a trap. He’s too capable to be left to roles as a mere love interest, only useful for awakening desire. Granted, he does love interest so well, but how long can we dwell there? Doesn’t it get passe’? Or is our need as women so intense we must continually feed it with characters who engender passion? I can only answer for myself. I’m bored with this. And I’m way past the place where I wrote about his characters’ effects on me. I was actually past it when I wrote the piece but was compelled to capture the phenomenon so I wouldn’t forget. Now I want what I always want — a good story and characters that move me but without the added noise of squeeeing.

I’m all squeeed out for now. And it’s only my snark gene that continues on with the appearance of it yet with a twinkle in my eye hoping some of you catch on to my mirth at the manipulation we receive as fans.

I long for more from Richard Armitage. I long to see him leverage his ability as a chameleon and apply his fine sense of a story. When do we get to see that without the pr machine pandering to women? Playing them like a fiddle? Harsh words you say? What else to make of this? LOL!

Yes, I know I’m whining, but really, I just hate to see Richard getting in the box however big it may appear. A little Armitage Protection Mode at work? No question. And my control freak dictates this:

Dear Richard,

I hope once you get past all the hype for The Hobbit that you can really sit back and consider what’s next and do not feel compelled to give people exactly what they want. You once said of a character that he was only interesting when he didn’t get what he wanted, and it would be over if he got it. The same logic could be applied to you and your fans. Please don’t give what it seems we want. We don’t know what’s good for us. Yes, I am a capitalist, but not when it comes to art. Ignore my capitalist, please. Go with your heart.

Just please stay out of the box, or at least don’t let the marketers close the lid on you.

Other than all of that, I hope you have a Merry Christmas.

Signed,
One of your crazy fans who knows you have much more in you in than tall, dark, handsome cotton mill owner

P.S. Maybe a little chat with Viggo Mortenson might be helpful. Yes, I’m a control freak. Now listen to your mother, er, big sister. :D

The rant is done, and I want you all to know I am emphatically not against his being cast as a romantic figure, and I’ve been thinking about what I would like to see in that respect. More coming up on that and on Richard III. I’m not even close to being done with the “good” king.

edit: I am not down on Richard Armitage. I think he’s a great talent, which I would like to see succeed as some other great talents have succeeded. Neither do I begrudge him making money. Money is necessary to live.

But I had to say something about what I am seeing. More later on contributing to facilitating this. That’s the post where I admit my guilt. LOL!

296 Comments

  1. I’m not worried that he will become typecast as a romantic lead (that would would be a welcome change) but very much worried he will become typecast in action movies, most likely as the baddie or antagonist, not the hero (the heroes are often younger and have a more streamlined appearance), and not in the action movies of the more clever type, because those parts will probably go to other British actors that have a more intellectual air about them.

  2. In America action heroes are often considered romantic leads. This is a nuance that may be lost in translation. In my original draft, I explained this, but the piece was so long, I cut it.

  3. So glad you posted this, my friend.

    You nailed it.

    The wordless video underscores your points. That’s the first one I’ve seen that I actually hate, and not one word was uttered. It didn’t have to be.

  4. I’m still looking forward to the Fault piece because I’ve been reading the magazine, and it’s got an edge to it. But the video did make me think it might be the same old thing. I hope not!

  5. As for hating the video, it’s hard to take being manipulated. For the most part, I’ve laughed at it on this blog. My bullshit detector goes off every time I see something like this, but I’ve managed to make a joke of it. Today, I wasn’t in a humorous mood, and with marketing being king in America, I foresee a bondage for him.

  6. I don’t hate it because of what it does to “manipulate” fans. That’s a given, and I know that’s part of the machine at work.

    I hate it for another reason, but I’ll just leave it at that for now. Still thinking about it. :-/ I may post another comment later, but I want to choose my words very carefully if I do.

  7. I think I understand — it objectifies him in a way that is insulting not only to us but to him. Yep, APM working on me. :D

  8. Thanks, Frenz. You ticked the boxes of this corner of fandom. Was getting a wee bit bored with the “humble/genlemanly” etc. fan-imposed persona. Only one aspect of an actor. Enjoying seeing more of the ego emerging over the Hobbit tours. And the clowning (Marilyn Denis show and Strombo show. Do Canadian talk show hosts somehow make him relaxed enough to do “stunts”. (HRM actually did do a “stunt” with Bond guy….:D ) The actor and the man have matured. Still room to grow. Thank heavens – no-one should wish to stop growing.

  9. And I still can’t spell with a flat keyboard. Handwriting – actually can spell. But we all understand Typo-speech> Don’t we? :D

  10. Ohmygosh, anyone who hangs around for even a short bit of time could care less if you have a typo. I always enjoy what you have to say!

  11. I don’t hate that video, that hasn’t even crossed my mind. I think it is beautiful and may well result in his best photoshot yet. It seem they may have found a “mood” that works for him, better than the fake smoulder displayed in many photoshots. That doesn’t mean I will buy the magazine or even pay extra money for the RA cover. From the article I don’t expect anything earth shattering.

    I actually very much like the new and improved version of Richard Armitage, the new cloths and the new found confidence as seen during the PR tour.

  12. The clothes and confidence are fine. No problem with them although I wasn’t keen on his suit at the NY premiere, but that’s not a biggie. What I’m getting at has nothing to do with his clothes.

  13. I’d like to see Richard in a political thriller. I’d like to see him in some of the roles of the Russell Crowe type. He would be good in something like A Beautiful Mind. Anything with layers.

  14. Speaking my language, Beverly! :D I would also love to see him in something like Daniel Day-Lewis has been in such as ‘In the Name of the Father’ or ‘There will be Blood’ or quite a few others I could name.

  15. But if he must be in a romance, I’ve discovered just the thing. ;-)

  16. Would love to see a political thriller (BBC and U.S. State of Play?) But that is my Lucas hangover. :D Which ended stupidly. Or not, whatever. (Speaking from long Connery complex – until he accepted a knighthood – tongue in cheek, one hopes). In the Name of the Rose. Or something like Robin and Marian? OK done, been there, done, by others. No major desire to see him as a celibate priest, but it could be as interesting a character role as the is the 6’2″ something Dwarf. (just when did he discover that extra half inch? …Not going there…) Done action (Strike Back/yet to be seen seen tornado thing) Done the Darcy smoulder thing. Just offer the actor a good script apres Hobbit!

  17. I echo Frenz.

    Hating the video has nothing to do with his clothes or style.

    I know “hate” is a strong word, and I use it quite deliberately. But my reaction has nothing to do with what he’s wearing.

    The reason I hate the video is rooted in my respect for him.

    I’m not too happy with the folks at Fault at the moment. (pun intended). Maybe they’ll redeem themselves with the interview.

  18. I’m not put out with them. They were giving the fans what they made clear was wanted. And I’ve been part of that. I think the article will be good given their other pieces, but who knows. It could be a stinker.

  19. I”m just proud of myself that I didn’t call this piece “Bored Now.” :D

  20. As to the vid…the music was just plain weird. Maybe the French like it tho?! For future roles…something where the camera is on two actors who are…acting. Playing off of each other. No cuts, no special effects. Just one on one acting. WIth good music. :)

  21. There’s a dream. :D

  22. SO and I are off for the day with our son who just got home from school last night! Catch up with you all later. :)

  23. I’m patiently waiting for SO to get ready to go. I’m usually the one who leaves him waiting! Anyway, I just read one of my absolutely favorite bloggers while sitting here, and the advice from a guest poster is so apropros in regard to Richard Armitage’s pr machine. Go here to read.

  24. Be sure to check out the three bullet points in the last heading: Find out what moves you…

  25. :-) I hear you Frenz, loud and clear. I am in the same corner of fandom as you. I was a little surprised when RA said in one of The Hobbit promo interviews he created this romantic backstory with a princess for Thorin, but also wanted that to be in the movie and so discussed it with the writer, Philippa Boyens. The Hobbit is a story full of bromance and it would be ridiculous to write romance in, although PB said she did wrote a romance in between a dwarf (´hot dwarf´ Kili) and an elf and so an extra female figure, because the movie would be otherwise too male. OK, I´m guilty of deceiving RA to think fans would want that, I wrote a post on dwarf romance. My excuse, I have RA fans to please. :) Oops, now I am in the same corner of fandom as RA´s pr machine.

    On a shallow level, the pr machine of RA seems to do that thing all over again, now on worldwide scale, although I doubt that the example you mentioned, FAULT Magazine has many readers (so it´s just for the fans this picture taking?). Maybe he wants to put himself in that box of romantic lead. He mentioned in one of the hobbit interviews when accepting a role he takes into consideration what next role will come out of it. Personally, I am the type of fan/follower who doesn´t fantasize over him to strip or kiss handsomely (just women), just like his acting, which shifts between gentle and force. Oops, now I have a large section of the RA fandom against me :).

    The current market is that in Hollywood 9 out of 10 actors are unemployed. This US industry is forced to make safe choices: to fim just stories everybody, and I mean everybody, knows and has read as a book or comic. Nowadays, it´s a extra challenge for all involved in the industry to get interesting stories to screen or stage and moreover, to get the crowds in. It doesn´t need a wizzard to question young actors to take on romantic leading roles. So when Peter Jackson and co, and RA captured in this pr whirlwind with a learning curve, in a grand way humbly thanked the fans, I know where they stand.

  26. Well, you finally said it.

  27. My two cents’ worth. I love the video, can’t wait to get my copy of the magazine. As far as photoshoots go, I agree with Jane, they seem to have found a “mood” that suits him. I love his smile, but brooding and contemplative look so good on him. If it was the slightest bit beefcakey I could understand the objection to it (even as I was admiring the view) but it’s not.

    For me the only real romantic lead role he’s had was in “North and South” and that was eight years ago (not counting Harry Kennedy, as much as I adore him, that was only two episodes) so personally I’m starving for a decent love story where he gets the girl again.
    Like everyone else though, I do hope that he gets offered good meaty roles. Maybe I’m missing something here, but IMO these can co-exist quite happily with photoshoots such as the Fault one.

  28. Before the discussion about the video gets much further, let me make something plain that I may not have previously.. I don’t hate the video. Heidi is the one who hates the video. My post is not about the video. I merely reference it because it seems indicative of where Richard Armitage may be headed — marketed as a heart throb. I hope that’s not going to be the case. That is the point of my piece.

    Actually, I have hope the Fault piece will be good if some of their other articles are an indication, and I went so far as to subscribe because i liked some of their stuff. I would not have done that merely because RA was in one issue.. Anyway, I think they were trying to give the Army what it normally wants — something to fangirl over which is usually pictures of RA looking hot. LOL!

    With respect to romantic leads, Harry Kennedy was most definitely a romantic lead, Guy of Gisborne was a romantic “lead”; otherwise, the love triangle doesn’t make sense. John Porter wasn’t really a romantic lead, but fans made him one. Claude Monet was sort of a romantic lead. And Thorin is obviously not a romantic lead — at least not yet. :D

    But let me reiterate that I am not against him being a romantic lead. I think he’s great as a romantic lead. He’s wonderful at that! Seriously. I just want to see him play something else and hate to see him confined to nothing but a romantic lead.

  29. pi, you mean that I’m bored with fangirling? Or that Richard needs to do something other than hot male that makes even some grandmothers want to sleep with him? Btw, I AM NOT a grandmother. LOL!!!!!

  30. I hear you RAFrenzy, yep, he is being marketed as a hearthrob and I am pretty sure he hates it. The clothes in FAULT photo shoot are not bad but when I see Mr-of-soaking- wet- T-short picture, I cannot help thinking of cheap.

    I see one main risk with the hearthrob image – that is his age. He will soon be past that stage of his live and what then? They’re putting him in a bad situation.

    PS. I still haven’t recovered from the NY suit. Tokyo suit was bad, but NY suit was worse, because it was ridiculous.

  31. Nothing against grandmothers I hope you know. Tammi, my closest friend, and whom I’ve mentioned on this blog is a grandmother not to mention TheQueen being a grandmother of 11.:D

  32. Yeah. I hate the video.

    Na-na-na-na-na-na-boo-boo.

    :-P

    Leave Frenz out of it! :-D

  33. I thought the Tokyo suit was perfect for Tokyo. I can’t say what I thought of the NY suit. But really, I’ve never been concerned about the clothes Richard Armitage wears. That’s not why I like the guy :

  34. I honestly think the Fault people were giving us what we seem to want. Only I don’t really want it. LOL!

    If Richard Armitage were ever to read these comments, and thank heaven he won’t, he would have to be thinking, “Man, you can’t please women!!” He’s right. I can’t be pleased, so stop trying. LOL! Just do your roles well and don’t worry about all of us!

    That’s what I would like to say. :D

  35. Boy you saved yourself on that one. Us grannies were a fixin’ to come whack you.

  36. Give me a moment to get this foot out of my mouth, and I might say something else. :D

  37. Okay, I could be a grandmother, but I”m not. :D

  38. I was never concerned about what he wore when he was not subject to heavy styling and mind you, his wear was far from ideal on more than one occassion.
    However, when the stylist is at work and spends heavy money to prepare him for the NY premiere and outcome is as we saw, then I am concerned and speechless.

    No, I don’t want RA picture sporting him in wet T-shirts.

    I rewatched two of RA proposal scenes: from N&S and from Vicar of Dibley. The former intense, the latter hilarious, both exquisite. What a waste.

  39. I hear what you’re saying, but I’m going to give him a break on the stylist. I really do think he could care less and would rather leave it to someone else and also didn’t trust himself to do it.

  40. I should dress him. He wouldn’t have to pay me.

    OK, Heidi’s had too much wine …. Leaving you all alone now …

  41. ROFLOL!!

  42. Heidi, what’s your fav wine?

  43. I can answer that, but I’ll leave it to Heidi. :D

  44. Riesling, although tonight, I am fully sated with a robust Merlot.

  45. Maybe she’s already in Morpheus’ arms?

    I am drinking NZ Sauvignon Blanc from Marlboro area today

  46. Does anybody want a glass?

  47. I bought a bottle of Sam Neil’s Pinot Noir. It wasn’t bad, but then I’m not much of a drinker.

  48. I’m not much of a drinker, either, which is why after 1 1/2 glasses of this lovely liquid, I’m ……….. what was I saying? Oh yeah. I hate the video.

  49. NZ has the climate for white wines, especially Sauvignon Blanc. I don’t have much experience with their reds.

    Have you ever tried red whines from Rioja region in Spain?

  50. Have another glass and you might like it. Even the music might start making sense.

  51. Nah. Done had my 4 ozs of Red Electra from the cheapest place I can find it…not very sophisticated but it’sthe only red wine I can choke down. But y’all go ahead… :)

  52. Another glass ………….. I’ll try it now ……………. nope, still hate it.

  53. C’mon girl and confess, what are you drinking right now?

  54. I am a plebe when it comes to wine. I just don’t like sweet wine. It makes me ill.

  55. Queen, er, I mean TheQueen, I may have ruined the chair I”m sitting in, and I haven’t even had any wine.

  56. Am I going to have a face palm moment in the morning when I wake up and realize I commented on Frenz’s blog while drinking wine?

    What the ???? am I doing???

    I have become Bridget Jones. ………. Stopping. Now.

    :-/

  57. Ahhhh twas a depends moment? Yeah I have those too. wait. too much info….back to the wine.

  58. LoveMrThornton, actually my absolute fav is Riesling, but it has to be very dry, that’s why I am going for German and Austrian Rieslings, as they have the right climate.

    RAFrenzy, me too, it has to be really dry for me to like it, red or white alike.

  59. Did you know that Helen Fielding is writing a third installment?

  60. Yeah, but Bridget ends up with Mr. Firth!!!

  61. But I thought only grandmothers had those? ;-)

  62. Of Bridget Jones? Holly shit, Renee, Colin and Hugh are too old to play now

  63. I wonder if dear Helen has RA on the brain?

  64. I think she could. :D

  65. You guys made me realize (to my horror), that I could actually be a granny. I still have a couple of years to take me to 40, but with a little effort I could be one. Not that I stand a chance, first I would have to get a kid.

  66. A couple of years to 40? You’re a kid yourself. :D

  67. Thx RAFrenzy, haven’t felt that young for long

  68. LoveMrThornton: are you still ‘operational’ or have you dozed off?

  69. Operational, but from henceforth refraining from more comments or else in the morning when I’m taking myself too seriously, I will never comment on another blog as long as I live.

  70. […] I have this to say to this: […]

  71. That’s why you need to be anonymous, Heidi! :D

  72. Way too much being made out of the video. Maybe I should remove it since others are tripping on it and can’t see the larger point — boredom with RA playing only romantic figures.

  73. Oh, c’mon LoveMrThornton, don’t be so coy. After all, we all have had some wine today

  74. Being anonymous is no fun. :-P

    If I was anonymous, I wouldn’t have the satisfaction of telling people what I really think and relishing their reaction, knowing that they know I don’t give one whit what they think of me.

    Does that make sense?

    ……………. More wine!

    Did I say I’d stop commenting?

  75. What do you mean romantic leads RAFrenzy? What about Spooks, Strike Back? And Vicar of Dibley might have been a romantic lead but far from traditional so it doesn’t count.

  76. Those were all romantic leads.

  77. Oh, don’t stop commenting girls. And guess what, it’s quarter after 4 in the morning where I am.

  78. How was Spooks a romantic lead?

    By the way I didn’t care to watch it when they showed it. Now I am looking in Youtube but cannot watch because of Sarah’s accent and I am not even native. How it must hurt your native ears.

  79. Oh good grief. Go to bed woman. Or else the wine combined with late hours will make you look like me. A real granny!

    No, Miz Smarty Pants Frenz…I’ve had depends moments off and on all my life. Especially when PG. If you get my drift.

    But back to the subject at hand…what were we talking about? Oh yeah..romantic leads.

  80. Anneke, Did Lucas have a romance in Series 8 and 9?

  81. There are 80 comments on this post (now 81), and most of them have nothing to do with that horrible video. :-P

    And I KNOW the post wasn’t even about the horrible video. I just like stirring the pot.

  82. This was definitively NOT my favorite of Richard. As to him being typecast. It seems to me that he does not want that for himself. John Porter was in no way a typecast ole. Though somewhat Lucas-like, he played the messed up military man turned hero to perfection. Yes, there was a love interest but then there usually is to “attract” the female audience. I hope he gets another leadership type role, not necessarily a military man but someone in a leadership position with the hero aspect always on the horizon.
    Or a comedy, but not one of those silly sophomoric,” immature male” stories but something clever like a Cary Grant type character.

  83. And all this time I thought you were here for intellectual stimulation.

  84. Oh. f… the vid, excuse my language.

    Yes he did but it wa a c..y one and he first of all he was a twisted spook and only then a lover.

  85. The Queen, I am wide awake. Will sleep throughout the day

  86. Anneke. LOL! Doesn’t matter whether he was a twisted spook first. He had two romances. Pretty plain he was a romantic lead albeit in the context of a spy story.

  87. Spooks could have canned some of the romance with Lucas, and the show might have been better.

  88. By the way, i am very stimulated byt this highly intellectual and learned discourse.

  89. Okay now Anneke is starting to get sloppy from the wine. :D

  90. If I want intellectual stimulation, I’ll call up that video with RA saying, “What etymology are you using?”

    OK, THAT was hot. You have to admit it. That was much hotter than this Fault nonsense.

    Back to Bridget Jones ………

  91. Was the interview where he talked about the bugs in NZ? ;-)

  92. No, Frenz, you said exactly what you were thinking, directly, clearly. I think it’s the best thing you’ve written.

  93. I don’t know about bugs in New Zealand … it was the one where the kid said he was in 8th grade when #LOTR came out, and RA laughed and said, “Yeah, I was in 8th grade, too.”

    They were discussing the meaning of “Thorin,” which is where “etymology” came in.

  94. Thanks, pi. I appreciate that. Should I tell you it only took me almost four months to write it? LOL!

  95. I am back to my sober self.

    Which video are you talking? I don’t think I saw it. A link maybe?

  96. Heidi, I haven’t seen it either, and btw, I was teasing since entymology and etymology are often confused.

  97. On second thought, after a couple of more readings, maybe not so direct….

    I think of RA as a character actor. I think he’s being marketed as versatile, from heartthrob, Brit, American, through action,Brit American, veritably serious….to……oh wait. Nevertheless, great post!

  98. I was uncomfortable with the video and thought RA looked bored and not exactly happy to be there. And no, I don’t think it was an intentional image. The intent was to portray brooding sexiness, but I got the distinct impression he was just trying to “get on with it” to fulfill an obligation his PR people set up. Right now, he might as well have a Warner Brothers stamp on his forehead–the studio has him captive for public appearances at least until the summer of 2014, and the PR machinery is part of it. I think he knows it is a necessary evil but intends to play the game temporarily until he garners more attention for his talent. While his agents and PR people might want to push the romantic lead image, I don’t think he necessarily does. I like the new look, but suspect when left to his own devices, lots of those fancy new clothes will stay in the closet while he focuses on finding his “Elephant Man” role.

  99. @Frenz,

    It took you 4 months???? I never would have guessed! We suffer for our art, no? Without million dollar payouts. Heh. :)

  100. I read your post about that. I’m not buying the argument. Of course I have another argument. LOL!

  101. Oh geez, I can’t find it now.

    It was a blond kid who looked like he was about 18, and RA was wearing his little bomber jacket ensemble and he started spouting off like Indiana Jones.

    I’ll find it ….

  102. pi, what I”m trying to make plain is I”m a lousy writer. Seriously. Surely, no one who is worth a flip at it would take four months to write what you see above.

  103. NorthernGal, you and I are totally on the same page, girlfriend! :D Yes, I”m giving RA a big fat whopping benefit of the doubt on this.

  104. I’m not biased. I swear.

  105. pi, this piece started out as the follow-up to my Todd Garner thing. Still need to get that out.

  106. Little bomber jacked ensemble? Am I, ahem, less sober because I have no clue what you mean?

  107. Interesting post! I don’t have the same worries, though, because I figure that he’s getting to the point where he can make decisions about the roles he takes on. That’s the good thing about The Hobbit — he’s more in the driver’s seat than ever before.
    And he’s not a naive young 20-something actor. He’s a grown man, with almost 20 years in show business.
    Also, in the course of his career he’s gotten to know some very experienced actors, wise in the ways of fame, and I think he’s good at listening to and taking worthwhile advice.

  108. Little bomber jacket ensemble? What’s that?

  109. I have no clue how I managed to post twice, including once as anonymous. I thought the post went up in the air simply. Sorry

  110. This conversation is getting way too intellectual for my weary brain. :)
    Let me know who wins.

    Bomber jackets? Someone get Heidi some coffee so she can find the durned vid!!!!!

  111. I’m still looking for it.

    I swear, you guys, I did not drink so much wine that I imagined this. He said, “etymology,” and it ran off his tongue like he was saying, “Hi, how are you?”

    This dude.

    I’m not making this up. Hang on … I’m still looking for that little bomber jacket on youtube ….

  112. I am slowly coming to terms with the fact that I will have to go to bed in the near future. Not yet there but on the right course.

  113. to quote a famous conesiuerre (I have NO idea to spell it and refuse to look it up) of fine wine:
    *queen taps fingers on table*
    Come ON already! Post the link dang it. (almost a quote so sue me)

    I’m fadin’ fast.

  114. Bomber jacket was the the brown leather jacket he was wearing. At least I assume it is.

  115. I FOUND IT! I FOUND IT!

    Here you go — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZcgKGEe98k — it’s at 12:21 into it where the little kid first asks the question.

  116. And then he starts rattling off a lecture like he’s Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones at Oxford.

    Was Indiana Jones at Oxford?

    Anyway.

    I wasn’t drunk. He said it.

  117. OMG, who’s this interviewer? Just don’t tell, it’s a rhetorical question, I couldn’t be bothered to know.

  118. I think Indiana Jones was American and therefore at some Americam university, but you’re right, the ‘kid’ is a pain.

    I still cannot see why this should be a bomber jacket. Almost pissed myself laughing.

  119. Sounded like bullshit to me but damn good bullshit. :D

  120. Admit it.

    When RA gets brainy like that, it’s much hotter than some stupid video of his body parts.

    Give me a break.

    Someone give the man a decent interview already.

  121. Quiz Kid. Sheesh. He doesn’t even look 18. More like 14.

    So now I can go to bed? *the queen bows to Heidi* Yep, he said it. But not sure about the drunk part. Just sayin’.

  122. They say I’m a cheap date for a good reason. :-P

  123. Brainwise, the kid is even below 14.

    Still hanging around. Almost 6:00 AM

  124. Nah, don’t knock the kid. He did well. At least he got RA to say something other than, “I played an elf when I was 13 in a school play.”

    He did well. :-)

    I’m off to bed.

  125. 2 words…go to bed.

    *snort* little Joe Biden joke there.

  126. Frenz, I understand what you’re trying to say, but this strikes me as a bit APM. But it sounds as if RA is sharp and brilliant unless he’s somehow become a pawn of his PR machine. RA knows what he wants and doesn’t want. What’s happening here is what I’ve said all along: he has his own view of what he wants to do with his career and it doesn’t necessarily match up with the image and desires fans have for him. He’s not boxing himself in; it’s the fans who don’t like what he’s chosen for himself.

  127. it’s 3 words.

  128. :D exactamundo!

  129. Gotcha, but you know, people outside US are not necessarily familiar with Joe Biden jokes. We may take some extra thinking.

    I am shutting down. A night owl as I am, I am close to breaking my personal records today.

  130. Judi, did you miss the part where I cop to APM? :D

  131. TheQueen, you’re killin’ me.

  132. Ultimately, I am not a fan so much as a consumer. This consumer would like to see something other than romantic leads, and if he doesn’t come with anything but that, then so be it. I can live with that. Certainly not going to lose sleep over it. But there’s no crime in making my desire (snort) known. :D

  133. If it took me all of 30 minutes to understand the Joe Biden joke, does that mean that I’m still toasted on wine, or does that mean I’m just like Joe Biden?

    Don’t answer that.

  134. ROFLOL!! All I will say about Joe Biden is I hope nothing ever happens to Obama.

  135. @judiang,

    Well we don’t know what RA has chosen for himself. But you know, in the court of public opinion I get a vote. I’m disappointed at action man. I don’t really want the romantic. I want a character actor, and he has the gift for it, which to me, trumps all the other styles. What I don’t want is second rate crap. That is my right. Meanwhile, his gifts are not in question.

  136. I want character roles for him as well. But I think for him it is much harder to get them then for others. To start with, he doesn’t have character roles in CV to recommend him. He has already proven his willingness and ability to do action, something that isn’t an option for many others. He also has leading man looks that may make it difficult to buy an “everyman” character.

    IMO he has to try and break the mould by rejecting a certain type of role and actively going after something else, even if it means less pay and months of unemployment. Not all the time, but every now and then. Thing is, he should have done this before the Hobbit came along. Right now he has the once in a lifetime opportunity to put his profile on a completely different level and I don’t think he should let that go.

  137. Heidi, with enough wine we are all like Joe Biden.

  138. Things that make you go hmmmm…I got such an anxious feeling when I viewed that edgy clip. Perhaps it is the intent of this clip. No doubt, there will be some great shots from it, but, as we all saw recently, there is so much joy in RAs demeanor when he is smiling and interacting naturally. So, I think that this is just art and I’ll take it as that. He is a very photogenic model.
    As far as where his career goes for here, he seems grounded and perhaps is just pursuing this beefcake bit that goes with being Thorin for the next few years. It will definitely grow his fan base and his celebrity which, lest we forget,is what a lot a actors do. He is coming into the Hollywood game at 41 which may be the latter innings in terms of romantic leads so he needs to make hay while the sun shines if that’s what’s up next for him.
    As for my hope, I hope that he gets back into live theater in NY and pursues independent film makers’ projects that mature audiences gravitate too. He is just too good an actor to get stuck in the action-figure genre IMHO.

  139. Well said, Jane. This is definitely a pivotal time. I could be so wrong, but I think Richard Armitage is intelligent enough to navigate the minefield that is Hollywood. Not that he understands it fully. I’m sure he’s figuring it out as he goes along. I just wonder if he knows how much he can affect women. I mean truly knows it because if he gets into that that game here in America, it will be difficult to get out of it, and he will long for the days when a few well educated radio 4 listeners came to the red carpet events.

  140. Annie, interestingly enough, I don’t think Richard Armitage is that photogenic in stills especially if they’re candid pictures, which these won’t be. But allow him to be animated, and it’s another matter. He looks fantastic when he’s moving. That’s why I always tell my friends who don’t think much of his pictures that they need to watch him in something. They usually change their minds.

  141. Wow.I cannot believe how much I talked yesterday. Not only here but in email with others. Unreal. I may be talked out for a few days.Good thing since it’s Christmas and I need to be elsewhere. LOL!

  142. One last thing before I go — for a while. :D The reason I think RA could be setting himself up for romantic lead despite his cv reflecting action figure is the rabid insistence in America that all Englishmen be romantic leads or baddies. While baddies are fun, they don’t usually get paid as much as the leads, and I think he does want to get paid more. Also, I have only to look at the careers of other “action types” who have since fallen into romantic leads. Can you say Gerard Butler? Hollywood knows what pays the bills and women will flock to see Gerard Butler, so they give them want they want — a romance.

    Of course he’s not the talent of Richard Armitage, so there’s a lot of hope, but after having witnessed women’s reactions to RA heretofore (mine included), I get a little antsy when he postures as a romantic figure.

  143. It seems I just can’t quit talking this morning. This is not me, and I really do need to get out of here in a few minutes, but I did edit my piece to change Hugh Grant to Gerard Butler. That makes the point much more solid.

  144. GB certainly tried that, but I seriously hope RA doesn’t go down that path. Among other things that didn’t go well GB’s latest romantic comedy (with Jessica Biel, so reasonably high-profile) has flopped really, really badly. Both with critics and at the box office. Other problems with GB seems to be more inherent in his personality and I hope with RA it won’t be the same.

  145. You can drive yourself crazy with speculation on this subject. We can only have faith in Richard making the decisions that are the best for HIM. Personally I feel rather safe when I hear he draws on Shakespeare to create Thorin. To me Richard is so much more than an action hero or a romantic lead. Few actors can do what he does with a mere facial expression.
    I also take comfort in knowing he was brought up to have both feet firmly planted on the ground (despite fighting it with orange trousers).
    I just hope he keeps making the right decisions for HIM. That way we can all enjoy him as one if the best actors in existence.
    To end with the only poem I can ever remember an I fealt it could be appropriate a-pro-pos all the speculation we subject our poor nerves to:
    “We dance around in a ring and suppose. And the secret sits in the middle and knows”. – Robert Frost.
    (Not quite up to par with A blonde walks into a bar. You’d have thought she’d have seen it” I know. But then again I’m not Richard)

  146. LOL! I thought that was pretty good for not being Richard. :D

    Certainly, speculation can drive some mad, but honestly, most of the blogs and forums would not exist for long if we squelched speculation, and it actually can be fun.

    Further, when I start taking this seriously, then it’s not fun. So far, I’ve only taken this place seriously on two occasions, and hope I never do that again!

  147. Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait.

    WAIT.

    I’VE GOT IT:

    RA’s next film needs to be a “Rom-action.” (Get it? Romance + Action).

    So here’s how I see it:

    Some guy in a top hat in a Jane Austen novel intercepts a top-secret communique from 2012 about the end of the world, and it’s up to him to fly through time and space, rescue the feisty femme fatale in Kentucky from man-eating Derby horses that have turned into zombies from the apocalypse, while fending off CIA operatives that are trying to keep the globe from discovering that Santa Claus is not a myth after all, and the elves are really Mayans that have survived the ages and are trying to bring aliens to rule the planet.

    No, I haven’t been drinking wine today.

    I just think all of you need to lighten up and give the guy a break. He’s resting up from making a major blockbuster and twinkle-toeing across continents to bring joy and peace to all mankind in the form of a 6’2 1/2″ king dwarf.

    For Pete’s sake! LIGHTEN. UP.

    Back to my Sunday afternoon XBox game.

    As you were.

  148. @pi

    It’s certainly your right not to see him in projects that don’t float your boat. RA has the right to do what he wants with his career, and if some fans strenuously disagree, they have the right to move on. That’s as far as any “rights” we have as fans go.

    Actually I find the griping part amusing and part perplexing. He’s barely gotten off the ground, the dust has only just settled, and already there is fan discontent. At least give things time and see what happens.

  149. Had to read the thread again to make sure I didn’t come off as negative. Hope I didn’t.
    Don’t know who brought it up, but I felt rather sorry for the poor “etymology kid”. He had his questions rehearsed and anything apart from the answers he had expected went past him with a “whoosh”!
    Back to the blonde joke: I had to think my way through that joke before I got it. And NO I’m not blonde!! I blame it in the fact that English isn’t my first language. As I a quite firmly believe it has NOTHING to do with the way Richard Armitage tells a joke, not at all.
    Before having watched those two 60 seconds interviews with Richard an Martin I am ashamed to say that Martin had barely registered with me. As luck would have it “Love actually” came on TV 2 nights ago and having watched the movie the comments frim Martin about watching it with his family with that totally earnest deadpan face added a whole new dimension to things!

    While I am at it I may as well confess I was very put off when Rupert Penry Jones wass replaced by Richard in Spooks. Did NOT like this new guy at all. It took hearing about the Hobbit (which I didn’t really had any interest in at that point) coupled with Swedish TV to actually show the Vicar of Dibley and that Handsome Stranger at an opportune moment. I can truly say Harry Kennedy got me hooked on Richard. Since then I have watched whatever I have been able to lay my hands on (thank god for the internet!!) including North&South, Strikeback, Robin Hood and revisiting Spooks with a whole new view on things, so to speak.
    Enough rambling, I admire Richard as an actor but as most other women I also lust after him LOL.
    MERRY CHRISTMAS all!! It’s Christmas Eve here now!!

  150. See http://brit-actors.livejournal.com/ (the post for 24 Dec.)
    I never heard of these very young actors… Eddie Redmayne? Jamie Dornan? but they are now in every magazine (scroll for scans).
    I’d say RA’s pr is pretty tame.

  151. With the “clarity” of a Samuel Smith Yorkshire Stingo under my belt (if you enjoy hearty beer, I strongly advise you to seek it out–it is well worth the trouble and expense), I would not be surprised if RA lies low for a while and carefully chooses his next move. I think the tornado movie was a deal with the studio and while I don’t know what he was paid for it, it might have been a financial sweetener to committing to so much time on TH films. It was a quick 8 weeks of work, and I’m sure he received more per week for that than for TH. I think RA is quite a clever and calculating man. He will see the opportunity presented by TH, but he is already guaranteed to be in the public eye until summer 2014. I think his next move will be that of a chess master– well thought out over time and precisely the move he wants to make. He’s more financially stable than ever before in his career, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the next project is low profile but artistically fulfilling.

  152. Frenz,

    This post is the best you’ve ever written and I am so proud of you. There’s several reasons why I read your blog: Humor, snark, honesty, and your ability to capture the reader’s attention.

    The video is a classic example of a male not wanting his picture taken for hours. I see this behavior in my line of work and it’s been my experience that most men would rather be at the dentist office having a root canal than being at a photoshoot. Especially ones that have several wardrobe changes, same poses, same look, and ones that are boring. However, the atmosphere of the photoshoot all depends on the photographer. I’ve had male clients drag their feet when we start a shoot and by the end, they’re comfortable, relaxed, and suggesting poses/areas of lighting/etc…. As a photographer, it’s my goal to make my clients comfortable(spending hours with them before and during the shoot), to capture their personality through my lens, and to make it fun. I could go on forever on this subject, but I’ll spare you.

    Whatever direction Mr. Armitage decides to precede, I would hope and pray that He would accept work that challenges him as an individual. Not wanting to please others, but rather to fulfill his passion for acting and using his God given talents for good.

    “God created me—and you—to live with a single, all-embracing, all-transforming passion—namely, a passion to glorify God by enjoying and displaying his supreme excellence in all the spheres of life.”
    ― John Piper, Don’t Waste Your Life

  153. Oops….I meant *proceed. The combination of exhaustion, wrapping presents, complete frustration my iPad is not cooperating, and the simple fact that I am a complete idiot….. I am bound to make a errors.

  154. @northern gal: I certainly hope you are right and his next move will be that of a chess master. Maybe it is a good thing that nothing has been announced yet, but that he has based himself closer to where things happen, considering as many options as possible. I hope that is what is happening. It may or may not be true that he waits for people seeing his performance in TH. But what I fear is that he accepts anything he is offered without hesitation and without thinking where it might take him.

  155. I love everything Leticia wrote. As a photographer, she put into words what I inadequately communicated with my one word, “hate.”

    And I love the Piper quote.

    You summarized everything beautifully, Leticia.

    Here’s hoping RA sinks into a much deserved rest this holiday season.

  156. […] Taking Richard Out of His Box […]

  157. I can only wonder about Black Sky at this point, and that won’t be answered til I see it. I too hope Mr. Armitage continues to get offered & accepts roles that are a joy as well as a challenge.

  158. Todd Garner has said he will give me another interview before the movie comes out. Maybe we’ll learn something more then. I also have another piece coming about it before then.

  159. More responses to comments:

    @Frenz,

    I do think it matters, what he wears, because what he wore before did not matter. The change is dramatic. It means something.

    Also, I challenge people to present evidence of Brit romantic leads as opposed to baddies. I can count on multiple hands the baddies, and the leads…….well I am stumped.

  160. @judiang

    You said: “It’s certainly your right not to see him in projects that don’t float your boat. RA has the right to do what he wants with his career, and if some fans strenuously disagree, they have the right to move on. That’s as far as any “rights” we have as fans go.

    Actually I find the griping part amusing and part perplexing. He’s barely gotten off the ground, the dust has only just settled, and already there is fan discontent. At least give things time and see what happens.”

    It is my right to speak my mind. I don’t know why it gets personal. As for the “moving on” cliche…honestly, that’s all you’ve got as an argument? And you get to dictate the parameters? I don’t think so.

    I expressed an opinion. That was my right and my point. I don’t know what else you’ve talking about. I am not trying to control his career which is what you are insinuating. Who is the fanatic here?

    If there is ‘fan discontent’ what is it to you? Who made you the arbiter and defender of all things Armitage? Mine was a considered opinion. Would that your response was as well.

  161. Part of me understands what Judi is saying, but another part of me wants to say, “If my opinion had sway with Richard Armitage, then I might be more circumspect, but I’m just a consumer giving my opinion.”

  162. I think what judi meant, is wait and see what he actually chooses before you complain. And I agree. I think we should all remember that by the standards some of us express, his career didn’t go well in the UK. He was doing lightweight action stuff, he was heavily marketed as a heartthrob. He didn’t do character roles. It is not that he left something valuable behind.

    Something had to change and if he tries a change via Hollywood, well at least he tries. And I applaud him because he seem to be serious about his efforts and doesn’t do it by half. Clout in Hollywood can be incredibly useful. Look at those actors that get the meaty roles in BBC drama or that put bums in seats in the theatres. The way will be plastered with projects that some of us may consider unworthy of his talents but if they help to raise his profile and make connections, they may serve an aim after all.

  163. Yep, that’s what it looks like Judi said. :D

    “was heavily marketed as a heart throb…”

    What do you think the video was about?

  164. It was a thousand times more subtle and tasteful than what they did at BBC times to him – or what he agreed to do. The whole PR for the Hobbit was so much better than what he did before. It was almost completely about his work and his preparation and mostly in a style that allowed him to answer thoroughly. He always did photoshots, and they always tried to make him look attractive, but thankfully now photographers are better and he is better at modelling as well. And this specific photoshot seem “artistic” to me more than anything else. It is not as if he had taken a step backwards. I haven’t heard many voices that dismiss him as a “hot dwarf” or make fun of him, in spite of this being a big issue when he was cast.

  165. @pi
    British romantic leads who made it big in Hollywood: H. Grant, J. Law, L. Neeson, R. Fiennes, M. Goode (less famous but still), just to mention few.

  166. Colin Firth, since we mentioned H. Grant.

  167. @Jane,

    You see this as a complaint? Yet, all the treacle is fine. No one complains about that.

    I am not aware that he was marketed as a heartthrob. If he was, it failed where I am concerned. I have ALWAYS thought of him as a character actor because that means a multi-faceted challenges to which there is no doubt, IMO, he can rise to. Standring and a large part of his minor roles were not heartthrob types. I want evidence of that marketing, because I have never seen it.

  168. @Frenz,

    I didn’t watch the video. I guess I will have to.

  169. I’ve seen it, but it doesn’t matter if he was marketed as a heart throb before, he is now.

    And for the record, Standring is what made me a fan for life. Actually, I think I’ve already said that a few times. And I would have been fine without the makeover. In fact, it would have been a better story if he’d had no makeover. The makeover was gratuitous.

  170. And the video in and of itself is not the problem. It’s just more of the same stuff we’ve been getting with his marketing. I hated to see that.

  171. Oh my gosh. 170 comments??? Are you guys still going on about this thing????

    MERRY CHRISTMAS.

    Just had to say it.

  172. @Anneke,

    I love you man, for giving it the old college try. I really appreciate it.

    R Fiennes? Really? He made his name as a Nazi psycho in Schindler’s List. He is a character actor, I believe.

    Liam Neeson is playing daddies these days. Another character actor.

    Take a look at this: http://www.denofgeek.com/movies/14244/top-10-english-psychopaths-in-american-movies

    I would add Cate Blanchett in the last Indiana Jones, except that she’s Australian.

    I think my favourite in that list is Brit villains in all 6 Star Wars movies.

    But I also take this from my own experience. And what did RA play in Captain America?

    Meanwhile a pic like The Hobbit is littered with Brits and Aussies and New Zealanders even though it’s supported by an American studio. Where are the American actors?

    Jude Law, though pretty in his younger years, brought some gravitas to his roles and currently is playing a drab, cuckolded husband.

    If they were British romantic leads, it didn’t happen for them in Hollywood, IMO.

    As for Hugh Grant, he’s the master of rom-coms. But he’s still based in the UK.

  173. Okay, I just watched the video. Bwahahaha! So pretentious on the part of FAULT. I see NO heartthrob here. I see a putative cutting edge style icon here. Totally cool but lacking in warmth and humanity. He’s presented as a cipher.

    However, if he is perceived as a ‘heartthrob’ from this video then I can expect more of the deluge of searches from potential fans for “Richard Armitage naked”.

  174. This is the “thinking woman’s” heartthrob don’t you know? :D

  175. The video was given to us to swoon over. I admit I’ve been dazed by his photos and videos a few times. Readily admit it. But there was something about the exchange that was a like a mental slap which said, “Hey, hey, here is something for you to objectify, something to make your heart speed up.” Usually, I make fun of that crap, but I wasn’t in as humorous a mood that day. I still laughed but not as much as usual.

  176. @Frenz,

    I so agree. The makeover was gratuitous.

  177. When I first saw it and thought that, I gave it a pass because he was a nobody. What was he going to do, say no? I don’t think so. But now, I hope he says no. I hope he says no way in hell.

  178. BTW, I’m not against swooning, but when I can feel the hand of manipulation on me, I want to acknowledge that bullshit for what it is.

  179. I should have put an emoticon on that last comment because I did have a grin on my face when I posted it. I usually grin when I call bullshit. :D

  180. I’ve been up since 4:30am which is my usual wake-up time and no one else is up yet! Such is a household without small children. Anyway, I’m waiting for everyone else to wake up. I may have to wake them up if they don’t get up soon. LOL!

  181. @pi: if RA ever was a character actor in the UK, that was before his breakthrough thanks to N&S and before he acquired an army. John Standring was a character part, as was Paul in Between the Sheets, in spite of the nudity. Some smaller parts may have been as well. Since RH he has been cast and marketed to attract a female audience (more precisely “the mums”). He was the sexy baddie in black leather and in Spooks he was the sexy male lead, the only one who was not allowed not to look good, the one who needed a love interest and some love scenes in every series, to attract the female audience. The one who’s tattoos were an excuse to take off his shirt for publicity pics. Every article mentioned his fans and his heartthrob status and hardly ever his acting. If he did interviews with serious newspapers, the journalist often did put a dismissive slant to it. It was only after filming of The Hobbit was well under way that articles started to refer to him as an “accomplished actor”. It is not a bad thing to be attractive or have fans or be a “heartthrob” but it is bad if that is the only thing an actor is associated with and that was the case with RA in the UK. And he did get cast accordingly. It did not surprise me at all that many Tolkien fans thought he was a lightweight when he was cast as Thorin, thankfully he has proven them wrong, as hardly anyone is dissatisfied with his performance and the way the character turned out now.

  182. Well said, Jane, and now it’s time for something else. I am not a Richard Armitage fan to look at beefcake.

  183. And may I say how nice it is to be able to come here and talk about such subjects without getting personal and being argumentative!!!! That’s why I feel comfy here. We can disagree NICELY!!! You gals are the best. Now go make some eggnog, drag out Manheim Steamroller and sit down and relax!! And Christmas blessings, joy and love to y’all. Oh yeah…and world peace! :)

  184. @pi,)
    Ralph Fiennes, English Patient, Sunshine, End of the Affair, COnstant Gardener, Maid in Manhattan (yes, yes, I know it was c..p), and dozens of others.
    Neesom is playing daddies now because he is past certain age.
    H. Grant temporarily lived in US when he shot.
    M. Goode is reluctant and doesn’t want to move to US, which may damage his career.
    It certainly happened to them in Hollywood.

  185. @Jane

    About the hearthrob stuff, I am afraid this tone can be heard when Peter Jackson talks about Thorin charakter. They still put RA forward and a hot dwarf.

  186. Geez,

    character and they put RA as a hot dwarf. I am losing it.

  187. @Anneke,
    Aw geez, I just lost my whole reply.

    Baddies:

    Tom Hiddleston
    Jeremy Northam (apart from ‘Emma’)
    Alan Rickman
    Mark Strong
    Gary Oldman

    As for Colin Forth. He has been a romantic lead in the UK. His films are mostly British, not American. In fact, off the top of my head, I can’t think of an American film he has starred in.

    The only consistently romantic lead in American films I can think of is Clive Owen.

    It’s a fact that Brits largely play baddies in American films.

  188. I think it’s splitting hairs to narrow to whether the film is American or British produced. I’m talking about films that play in America despite where they’re produced.

  189. @Jane,

    To me, he was never anything but a character actor in North and South, IMO. Darcy, on the other hand was totally romantic.

    It was about more than romance for me. I guess we will have to agree to disagree. But I do know most people would agree with you.

  190. North and South was definitely about more than romance, but Richard’s ability to get women’s attention was so overwhelming, it catapulted him to heartthrob. Top that performance with Guy and it was a slam dunk for those wanting to market him. I just hate to see that done again in America.

  191. Something strange is happening on this forum. Fragments of my two posts got somehow corrupted and mixed up.

    @pi, was Bridget Jones a UK movie? That for Colin Firth.

    And I will never ever agree that Ralph Fiennes is not a Holly Rom Lead.

  192. I don’t see any from you other than what you’ve posted, Anneke.

  193. @FRenz,

    Splitting hairs? I think it absolutely makes a difference in terms of what roles aspiring Brits get in the States. I’m not sure what your point is.

    Even Helen Mirren agrees with the Brit bias :
    http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/news/not-all-villains-must-be-british-says-mirren-1950699.html

    If RA is being marketed in the States as a heartthrob and this video is an example of this marketing, then I am sure he will get the audience that’s looking up “Richard Armitage naked”. That kind of marketing is predictable, IMO. Whether it is effective is something else.

  194. @Anneke,

    Bridget Jones is completely British. From the novel, to the powerhouse writers of Andrew Davies and Richard Curtis and the director. Only Renee Zellweger is American as far as I know

  195. And all of the movies and actors mentioned have been marketed to American movie goers. That’s what I’m talking about not the producers.

    As for baddies, yeah, I hear you:

    https://rafrenzy.com/2010/05/25/tangent-my-timing-stinks-or-maybe-not/

  196. @Anneke,

    Take a look at most of Ralph Fiennes’ roles. Not a romantic lead, definitely character, IMO.

  197. Quote:
    Geez,

    character and they put RA as a hot dwarf. I am losing it.
    Unguote.

    That is stuff from two posts merged together. I wrote geez and then put corrections to my spelling mistakes like CHARACTER instead of CHARAKTER and so on, but when came back later, the post looked like above.

    Maybe it’s the system telling us we have been dwelling on this one for too long.

  198. LOL! could be.

  199. pi, I have taken a look at all his roles because he’s my fav actor and the best one, too.

  200. @Frenz,

    Both the Thornton role and the Guy role are sexy. He made them thus as a by product. This does not make him a romantic lead. Especially with the Guy character. He looked hot, but damn, I wouldn’t take him home. To me it was character all the way.

    I think it’s too late him to market him as a romantic lead anyway. He’s 41. If that video is anything to go by he’s being marketed as a sexy lead. Meh. And here, I am probably splitting hairs. :)

    Damn, he doesn’t need marketing as anything but a character actor, IMO. But I agree with @Jane, that he’s going for action man. I guess that’s sexy enough for most. Heh.

  201. @Frenz,

    Have the others been actually been “marketed”? I am not aware of that. I have never seen such a push as with RA.

  202. If Richard Armitage thinks marketing as an action hero will keep him from being a romantic lead in the minds of American women, he’s a fool.

  203. @Anneke,

    Well, you have good taste! I think Ralph Fiennes has largely had character roles apart from a couple of early ones. I guess we will have to agree to disagree here too. :)

  204. I honestly don’t know about marketing of the others. I have never kept up with an actor as I have Richard Armitage.

  205. Does Richard Armitage have much influence on how he’s being marketed at the moment?

  206. I don’t know. I was hoping Thorin would give him the ability to be a little more discriminating.

  207. @Frenz,

    I am not sure how he comes across to most of the world. You seem certain that he comes across as a romantic lead. I guess we will just have to wait and see how it pans out.

  208. The power of big studios, you know Rafrenzy. I am on the sceptical side on this one.

  209. The rest of the world I’m not sure about, but the press seems to think he’s a heartthrob and tumblr and twitter and forums and blogs. Yes, I’m guilty of participating. LOL!

  210. @Frenz,,

    What people see in RA I think is undisputed and they have voiced their opinions and reactions all over the net, myself included. The original Army was the train who helped get him here. And I am sure you are not ashamed of your part. :)

    The next step, beyond the disaster film, should be interesting.

  211. I’m not sure it is WB marketing him, I think it is RA grabbing the chance to market himself by doing interviews and photoshots beyond the press junket. No-one else made so much effort with regards to clothes but him, I don’t think it was a requirement. I don’t think he is WB’s puppet. And I applaud him for doing it.

  212. I think he’s hired a publicist and others to help him on his own. He does want to be successful, and I don’t begrudge him that at all! But I hope he retains the artist as well.

  213. Somehow the actor/artist has to gain clout. He DIDN’T manage to get himself into high quality, award worthy BBC drama. BAFTAs always went to someone else and to productions that didn’t involve him. If this is the way, so it be.

  214. The devil is in the details of “somehow” LOL!

  215. Re. clothes, someone please confiscate the NY suit and burn it because if he re-appears in it, I will not survive.

    I know, I know, I am on the brink of NY suit obsession, maybe already fully in it but I couldn’t help it.

  216. The NYC suit didn’t look bad up close…but from afar, it was just weird. The pants didn’t jive or something. But I’m betting if he saw my Sunday outfit, he’d do the face palm thing!! As far as the PR that is going on with The Hobbit, there is contractual stuff with the studios and I’m betting Sir Peter has some say too on all of these interviews, appearances, etc. Or so an insider of the film business tells me. I’m betting it’s 50/50 his people and Jackson and WB. Shoot what do I know…I just waved bye-bye to the last of 11 grands who have been here all day so that means I don’t have a brain cell left. In which case, carry on while I collapse in the nearest chair/bed/floor.

  217. Anneke I am all with you on the NYC suit. Iögitting and paired with chunky shoes. However I would like to add the super shiny Tokyo suit. Its only advantage would probably be that it was weather proof from all that wax.
    His stylist may be one of the top ones but she went for English Gentleman without really understanding the concept. Someone needs to build up Richard’s own confidence in picking his own clothes or find him a British stylist.
    Peace out sisters!!
    I mean Glamour UK hit the nail right away!

  218. Karin, I did write before about Tokyo suit, too. I hated it but still think NY one was worse because it was ridiculous.

  219. TheQueen, no, simply no to NY suit. I’m just not buying it.

  220. The NY suit in person isn’t as bad as how it looks in photos the fit on the pants notwithstanding, but the shoes don’t work no matter what. Argh. I cannot believe I’m talking about this. I really, really don’t care about his clothes, or rather I don’t want to care about his clothes!

  221. This post may beat “what if you were checked out by Richard Armitage” post on comments. Gone to check.

  222. OK, let’s talk about his hair.

    I AM KIDDING!!!

  223. We talked about it before RAFrenzy, I don’t care about his clothes except when they turn him into clown.
    I know I am repeating myself. I need to stop.

  224. Ohmygosh, this post’s comments passed that other one quite a while ago.

  225. *Heidi circles around to Frenz’s blog after a day of merry making to check the comment tally on … what is this blog entry called again? …. *

    220 COMMENTS!!!!

    Were you guys *that* bored with Christmas today, or did RA post a comment here to generate that many comments?

    Good grief, Charlie Brown.

  226. Anneke, If you have ever seen this guy in real life, you could never think he looked like a clown. LOL! He lives up to the phrase devastatingly handsome. Let me put it this way. They man is not photogenic. :D

  227. I’m somewhere between, “Oh my gosh I can’t believe it. That’s horrible.”and “Wow, congrads.” LOL!!

  228. Actually, it’s tomorrow where Anneke is, and I’m completely okay with anyone commenting on any day. :D

  229. This site will not withstand RA posting.

  230. It’s unusual for this place, and I think that’s mostly because I’m not as talkative as I probably could be. I also don’t post things that are super provocative and beg a question. This piece does, and I’m glad people want to give input. I am always happy to hear others’ opinions.

  231. We cross-posted, Anneke. I’m not sure what you mean.

  232. Really RAFrenzy? I mean this photogenic thing.

    Am I then ready to take that blow and see him in RL? Maybe my delicate disposition will not allow me to survive? I fear this may be too much.

    How many time have you seen him? Only this one in NY?

  233. Tell the truth. All y’all have been hitting the egg nog really hard today.

    Holy cow, this site is going to crash.

  234. Heidi asked whether RA posted here and that caused such hectic trafic on your blog. I am saying your blog would fail such a crash test

  235. HAHAHA! Frenz HAS seen him more than once, but she has yet to blog that other story.

    :-P

  236. Yes, really. I know that’s hard to believe, but it’s true. He is beautiful in real life. If I were the type that could really be addled, I would have been. As it was, it stunned me for a moment.

    I’ve seen him twice. The first time he was standing a foot from me, and turned to face me, so I was almost eyeball to eyeball with him. The second time was the brief moments in my video of the NY premiere.

  237. Heidi, be a good friend, tell more.

  238. Heidi, I’m not sure I could ever really blog that story.

  239. Why?

  240. No, Heidi better not. LOL!

  241. Anneke, a good friend is “as silent as the grave,” to quote Jane Austen. :-D I’ve already said too much here. I blame it on the French cheesecake I had for dessert and the mulled wine.

  242. Why? Because I’m not ready for her to do that!

    As for Richard Armitage posting here. ROFLOL!!!!!

  243. Did he smell nice during this one-foot-apart encounter or were you too stunned to record?

  244. I don’t remember a smell. I can report that he did not smell bad. LOL!

  245. It’s Frenz’s story to tell if she ever decides to do it.

    :-D

    Oh gosh … RA posting here. LOL!!!! I was kidding, but that actually would crash the site.

  246. I think I would have remembered some foul odor. LOL! I cannot believe I’m saying this.

  247. Bad, bad, cruel witches. Now I am all sooooooo curious that i can hardly mask my worse self, but ok, secret remains yours.

  248. Yes, if RA ever posted here, WordPress would charge me more money for bandwidth. I have no worries about that.

  249. That means a lot, no foul odor. Geez. I certainly hope he does not read this.

  250. I wouldn’t worry about him reading anything we say on the blogs. I do get notes about once a week from people swearing he reads my blog, but I’ll bet quite a few other RA bloggers get those kinds of notes as well. I don’t heed them.

  251. Why do people always bring up the olfactory question after fans meet him?

    Listen, as long as he’s not wearing Old Spice cologne, we’re good.

  252. I adore Old Spice!

  253. We’ve had our folly moment, haven’t we?

    4:30 AM

  254. :D Yep, but I can live recklessly since I don’t have to work tomorrow.

  255. Oh gosh, lucky you. I have to take my kiddo to the pediatrician tomorrow for this cough that sounds like something out of an Alien movie.

  256. Heidi, you have a kid?

    Rafrenzy, I am not working until end of 2012. I am starting a new project in Jan.

  257. Sorry to hear that, Heidi.

    Oh, that’s good, Anneke. I’m sure we can talk some more. I’m off for the next few days if I can force myself not to work. I actually love working.

  258. @Anneke Yes, he’s 9 going on 53 and he likes to hear RA read CBeebies and he has a speech issue with his Rs, so he calls him, “Mistah Wichahd.”

  259. Me too, I love working. I am a freelancer, IT. Half of my life is spent on a plane crossing Europe, plus I move around a lot. Two years there, one year there, then again 2,5 years somewhere else. Crazy life.

  260. I love your kid for that Heidi ‘Mistah Wichahd’

  261. I’m a freelancer with IT as well. I didn’t do it for a long, long time although I kept up a decent amount of my skill set. In the last couple of years, I’ve jumped back in and have now started a business. Having lots of fun with it. I’ve spent the last week working on a new business plan. When the new year starts I’m hoping to find some investors.

  262. I run my own business, too but I am technical, I work hands on with the system, so I call myself ‘a blue collar’

  263. My fav job is full life cycle projects, then i do also prestudy, business analysis, design and then technical stuff.

  264. I’ve also done that but less so now that I’m back in. About the only hands on work I do with physical systems is helping friends fix their desktops or laptops. But I don’t do anything like I did years ago when I was testing and installing systems. I’m getting into the developer end of things building sites and now getting turned on by building apps. I’ve followed Y combinator for a long time. If I come up with something that might interest them, I may take a trip to California. That’s my goal anyway. :D

  265. In my case ‘technical’ means software,

    Good luck with your project/plans.

    It takes all kinds here, doesn’t it?

  266. Do you design the software, install, test, or what exactly?

  267. SAP is my area. I don’t deal with Basis rather, so the very installation is not my bit but then I do prestudy, business analysis, design/blueprint, configuration/programming when a customer wishes a non-standard enhancement, test, traininig, support, authorisations

  268. interfacing, system architecture design, data migration, upgrades, system clean-up, etc..

  269. SAP? No wonder you go all over. BTW, I’m a former IBMer. :D

    Systems architecture used to be my middle name. And I’ve done so many data and systems migrations for business systems, well, I have no idea how many. And the last two years I worked for IBM, I flew around the country consolidating in-house systems, i.e., putting people out of their jobs. Not fun.

  270. Portal is also my area. ESS and MSS. I am thinking about taking WF – everybody does it and that would be my next career step.

    I worked in Waldorf for some time. I know the ‘gurus’ defected from IBM back in the early 70’s.
    I was actually subcontracted by IBM on some projects. You know, whoever pays more, has me.

    Unfortunately, it happens to me too. I mean I implement a module and it often turns out to be the introduction to ‘restructuring’.

  271. They defected about 10 years before my time with Big Blue. Considering the blog, I’ll bet everyone is getting tired of our alphabet soup. LOL! Maybe we can talk about this in email though. :D

  272. True, I forgot that this wasn’t an interesting topic to people craving info about RA. Sorry

  273. And on the restructuring, my experience with facilitating it broke off what vestiges there might have been of being a company person. no thanks. I started my own company short thereafter and have never looked back. I sold that years ago and retired to the boonies but a couple of years ago I needed to go back to work. I’ve slowly been putting something together and now I’m almost all the way back into it and loving it more this time around. I didn’t think that was possible.

  274. Don’t apologize. Send me an email if you want to talk about it. :)

  275. Now what IF Richard read this post? I am afraid he would go into eternal hiding LMAO!! It’s been entertaining to say the least!

  276. I will but maybe tomorrow or some other day – 5:40 AM.

    The project I just finished also triggered ‘restructurisation’ catapulting some of the business people who worked with me on it out of their jobs. That’s difficult. Have a lot to say on this and about my decision to go free lancing – apparently for reasons very similar to yours.

  277. Whenever you want to talk. On working for myself, I’ve done that now for over 20 years. I honestly don’t know if I could work for someone else again. I did try a couple of years ago when I needed to go back to work, but no one would hire me. So I hired myself again. You will never know how glad I am I was not hired by someone. I might still be there! LOL!

  278. I know, I cannot work for someone else any more. We will certainly talk.

    Good night everybody.

  279. Goodnight. :)

  280. KarinO, LOL! I just had a mental picture of him in “eternal hiding.” LMAO.

  281. I have changed my post to more accurately reflect what i meant by Richard Armitage being cast as a romantic lead. It reads romantic figure. I did think about leaving it “lead” but for whomever may read in the future, I wanted it more clearly described. Damn! I wish I were a better writer. Seriously. I”m not saying that as some sort of false humility. I really do desire that, and in that interest, I am going to keep writing, and writing, and writing until I get there!

  282. Haha now there will be another 200+ posts to figure THIS out. JK. It’s impossible to always convey to everybody exactly what you mean since we all interpret things based on our own experience. (Hence, I suppose, the nature of legalese) Keep writing Frenz you do it well!!

  283. Frenz, my friend. Here’s the deal. You write to your audience. In this case, your audience is fellow RA lovers. So when you wrote the phrase, “romantic figure,” we all knew you meant, “romantic lead.”

    :-)

    You are a great writer. Don’t sell yourself short. Keep it coming.

    XO

  284. KarinO–the nature of legalese is that NO ONE understands it! LOL! Everyone understood Frenz, just in at least 200 different ways. Good writing provokes commentary; legalese simply provokes! :)

  285. Thanks, NorthernGal. I’m wondering if cutting my teeth on legalese helped or hurt me. LOL!

    Whatever is going on, I’ve set a high standard for myself, and this is about a speck off the ground, so I’m going to keep at it, and I’m loving it. I hate, hate, hate that I did not start writing sooner. Like 30 years ago. SO was right about this, and i fought him every step of the way.

  286. Wow, all these comments. Merry After Christmas all. :D

    @pi

    I wasn’t insinuating, being the arbiter of anything, or even being personal. That’s something you decided to read into my response. I was responding to you saying “What I don’t want is second rate crap. That is my right.” That seemed to imply you have rights as a fan. Maybe that’s not what you intended to say. Of course, we all have our opinions, and that’s all they are.

  287. […] Taking Richard Out of His Box […]

  288. TBH before The Hobbit I was more worried about him being typecast as a villain. I think now though he will be seen as a box office big hitter & this will lead to him being offered all manner of scripts & just give him every opportunity to take his career in whatever direction he chooses, which can only be a good thing. And because his head is screwed on spectactularly well, I have every confidence he will go on to do many other wonderful things. The future is bright. The future is Armitage.

  289. I like this! Needed to hear it. :D

  290. “And because his head is screwed on spectactularly well, I have every confidence he will go on to do many other wonderful things. ”
    My sentiments exactly! Although the choice of Black Sky is a bit baffling to me. I have a problem with Brits trying to sound American. IMHO the only ones to pull that off so far are Eddie Izzard and Hugh Laurie.

  291. I don’t find his choice of Black Sky so surprising. It should be a good screenplay with Simon Beaufoy writing and could further his career in the US. A number of Brits have done well in the US recently and I think demonstrating versatility with accents certainly helps in this regard. If it’s anything like Twister, I’m in.

  292. I don’t have a problem with him playing an American. As most movies are made and set in America, it is given that he has to deal with that. In fact I mostly see BS as an audition tape with an American accent. For me BS is a par excellence example of accepting the first bit of “second rate crap” he is offered because the money is right. Without hesitation and without thinking where he wants to take his career. I don’t think it was a “choice” at all, I don’t think RA has made many choices yet. I think it is a misconception that he accepts a project because the character interests him, finding something interesting in every character comes later.

    Simon Beaufoy was brought in in the last minute, the script isn’t his creation. I think he was hired to do some damage control. Or perhaps to re-write the script to be more dad-centric once they did cast RA. In early press released there was no mention of a father, only of high school students.

  293. […] I have almost no fear that, his attractiveness and capacity to arouse desire notwithstanding, that Armitage will be imprisoned in superficial romantic roles just because he’s physically beautif…. First of all, he hasn’t ever really had a role like that. All of the roles in which he also […]

  294. […] a year ago, I gave my opinion of the marketing of Richard Armitage. I still feel that way as the deluge of photos of him are released on the Web, but I’m a […]

  295. […] we get to see something besides the heartthrob, and I’m feeling great about it. Maybe I shouldn’t say that either. But isn’t […]

  296. […] on heartthrob, then it should’t be too much of a problem. Glad he’s been getting out of that box. May he […]


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