Richard Armitage on Politics and What Does It Mean?

No, not that Richard Armitage but our Richard Armitage.

Oh, I can feel the ripples rippling. :D

I just came home from being out most of the day and received a bunch of emails asking if I had read his interview in New York Moves and what I think of it. I hadn’t read it but went over to look at it and have just now finished.

It doesn’t matter what I think of it in terms of his political views, and I find myself fairly apathetic about what he thinks politically. Much of that is predicated on my becoming more and more apolitical as the years pass. I’ve had several come to Jesus moments which have brought home to my thinking someone who believes Christ is real and His ministry is real and reflected in scripture, is not to be about politics. I’ve said for years that one of the biggest mistakes Christians in America have made was forming political coalitions. All of these realizations have nothing to do with the Constitution and everything to do with Christ’s example.

For the record, I’m not part of any political party or movement and that’s been the case for quite a few years. I do have opinions about political issues from time to time, but if I were to give the definition of my political views, they are pretty much libertarian.

I do have an opinion about Richard Armitage getting political. It sends the message he must be feeling comfortable in his success. When someone makes definitive political statements to the point of criticizing a significant portion of potential movie goers, then it means they are feeling it’s not necessary to have those people patronize their movies. Certainly, there are movie goers who can put aside an actor’s politics, but it’s pretty bold for an actor to count on that happening in great numbers unless they are feeling financially insulated from a negative reaction. So yeah, this says more than anything else Richard has said or done that his pocketbook is doing pretty well.

Other than all of that, I hate the potential for his statements to polarize fans, the potential to create an us and them mentality. In other words there will be some fans who more or less think, “We’re the fans who are cool and agree with Richard, and the rest of you are just not quite with it and don’t see things the right way.” This would be true no matter what political views Richard expressed. Such is the problem with doing this.

My unvarnished thoughts about the interview:

1st thought — Richard was passionate about his beliefs, spoke them and damn the consequences — movie goers or no, good paycheck or no.

2nd thought — a small time fashion reporter in NY is giddy at what she’s achieved when really, Richard’s publicist was on vacation.

3rd thought — He was drunk. LOL!

Richard,

I still love you and hope you don’t take me or yourself so seriously.

Signed,
Your crazy fan

P.S. I hope you can say something in future to ensure the fans lighten up.

note: at the time this piece is being published, I have not read any of the fan responses. I have only received email from some fans urging me to read the piece and give an opinion. It will be interesting to see what has happened and will happen.

29 Comments

  1. what does this mean? it means he has a brain and likes to use it. that’s a positive for me, whether or not I happen to agree with his politics :)

  2. Always enjoy your insights into things. But as for how polarizing this can be, I hope that people do understand that this was a question asked to him by the interviewer, who in her writing has shown much of her own opinions. I have done interviews before so I know how the edits can change so much and sometimes didn’t even sound the way I said it, based on the editing. Maybe the interviewer, as a fan and politically active person it seems, just touched slightly on the subject, never meaning to say so much about it..but then ended up directing the interview as she got too excited from the fact that Richard shared her views too. I hope that the questions were not all so political or at least done by someone who sounds neutral enough for me to take everything on the text as it is without wondering how much of it is the edit and how much is just purely Richard. I share his political views so I was glad, but it is a different matter when it sounds too one sided.

  3. I believe the mutual love of RA that we all feel transcends politics. I have some strong political beliefs that probably differ from yours, but I believe politics have no place in the RA fandom. Most of the bloggers I follow, I think, would feel the same way. The bond of Richard is a very strong one.

  4. Exactly true! We fans have different opinions – why should the fact that RA’s opinions are the same/different from ours matter? His opinions are NOT what we love him for!! Right?? Seriously, we need to re-focus on the important things – his work. Right?? RIGHT??

  5. @mistymountain, you could be right. Whatever did happen, the editing on that piece was poor. But that’s another discussion.

    @dennib68, I also believe politics has no place in RA fandom. I hope you’re right that the “bond” transcends politics, but I’m not so optimistic. We’ll see if some smug attitudes come out. I’m not looking forward to that.

    As to my politics, you might be surprised. :D

  6. @Marie, I hope that’s the focus in future.

  7. The interview seemed edited towards the conversation. Even Richard said he’s just an actor who cares (I do). I’m just happy to see something new about him. I think our love for Richard won’t divide us. It might for a time, but not for long.

  8. I am not a Hollywood insider by any means, but I don’t think Richard will lose one fan or potential ticket buyer by expressing,his political views.The general public won’t know or care about his opinions, based on how they react to other actors’ politics.

  9. NO EFFING MENTION OF THE CIRCUS!! Whoo-hoo!!
    I’ve felt horrible all day due to something making me very wobbly and woozy (and no, it’s not Thorin cocktails LOL, something to due with sinuses and possibly inner ear and FMS) . . . I definitely think there was journalistic slant here with the interviewer injecting her own views almost in the manner of an op-ed . . . as to any fallout, oh, I am sure there will be some.Seems almost inevitable. :-/

    As for me, the man has the right to espouse any political views he wishes (I did love that almost apologetic look and self-deprecating comment about actors), Yes, I do believe homeboy is feeling a lot more self-confident and secure–good for him! :D

    Also AGREEEE with a capital “A” that the whole Christian political coalition idea has been detrimental. I no longer think of myself as Democrat or Republican. Sometimes I just get disgusted with all of them and how they are too busy with their own agendas and power struggles to worry about the needs of the people who put them in office.

  10. The whole article is dumb. Did anyone “enjoy” the U.S. government shutdown? Canards about the UK being “too civilized” for something?

    Then RA wades into gun control? Gun control? In the U.S.? Oh wait, maybe he didn’t. That paragraph isn’t in quotes. Does that mean it’s the writer’s opinion, not his? Talk about lousy editing. Or is it lousy copy editing? Or both?

    (Not to be a gotcha, but I did look at other stories before blasting off. The first one I checked, the cover story on Emily Mortimer, was disappointing. Improvised scenes are described as “gorilla”-style film making. Come on, Moves. You’ve got to get these things right to have any credibility.)

    Plus, there’s that grey jacket again, so there’s no win here.

    However…. I think the fandom could be all over that “Make a Thorin cocktail” contest idea. Let’s get it going, team! I say we invite RA to appear in person to judge the results!

  11. Wait, I know what happened! RA saw that Korean news broadcast and thought, “Yeah, I COULD be a politician,” and he’s testing the waters with us.

  12. There’s a lot about the editing here, whether by the writer herself or her copy editor, that has me raising my eyebrows. Even with my brain operating poorly today, I could see it’s disjointed, confusing and doesn’t flow well at all. But at least it didn’t mention the damn circus. Yeah, the cocktail idea has got legs.

  13. I found his responses in the interview simply solidifying in my connection to him, in admiration. I cannot speak for other fans, nor would I ever wish them alienated, ever. I only know how I feel, and it is wonderful. As a liberal, my views on how it will be received by more conservative fans I can only guess, but I hope still it is positive and open-minded with respect to his voicing his own opinion. For me, he was preaching to the choir, although I feel there was no preaching – just opinions and views stated. Just good on him overall.

  14. Isn’t the appropriate, democratic way to respond to someone’s (very insightful, not at all superficial, intelligent) political views to respect and acknowledge them, even if they differ from one’s own? And wouldn’t it be a dangerous sign if people had to self-censor for fear of discrimination? He seems to give these things a lot of thought, and it is his right in any democratic country to speak his mind as he pleases. As is yours and mine. One does not have to agree with these opinions to respect his right to speak them. I prefer this over the brainless blabber from – idk – Paris Hilton or some such anytime.

  15. And to think we feared the dog v. cat debate would divide the fandom…

  16. Get out of my head, Frenz ;) when I read that article, that was my takeaway as well.

  17. I can’t get this to respond to a specific person yet, but I agree with those who have wondered about the interviewer’s own politics and feelings being intermingled with RA’s due to bad editing in the digital version.
    However, as this magazine is *not* an entertainment publication, I don’t think it’s surprising that the conversation took the turn it did.

  18. Not radical enough! Coming from Europe and used to celebrate the May First as the International Workers Day, I asked some American colleagues why the City of Chicago and the US do not commemorate the 1st of May as the Labor Day … especially when the laborers in Chicago were killed on that date in 1886, when fighting for decent work conditions (8 hour workdays). They were not at all happy with the question! But that only reflected their internalized hypocrisy. I wish RA had called for a revolution against the 1 percenters, like Russell Brand did with Bill Paxton and in The Guardian. I was told by knowledgeable people that the US employers who want to deny somebody a workplace would rather accuse him/her of racism, than of communism.

  19. I was not at all surprised by his political views. I always suspected him to be a bit “left” in US terms–a man after my own heart! More than anything, I’m happy to see him speaking comfortably about something other than the circus and dwarf boot camp.

  20. And in response to Armitagebesotted, I immensely enjoyed the government shut down. It was a lot like watching a four year old who is having a temper tantrum say he is going to hold his breath until he dies. A laughable and never successful bullying technique. My only issue was that Congressional representatives should not have been paid one dime of their salaries for that period. If you can’t figure out how to cooperate sufficiently to keep the government running, you shouldn’t get a paycheck. Do any of us have a job where we can blatantly refuse to do our work and still receive a handsome paycheck, fabulous benefits and a good pension?

  21. RA’s views – not understanding the hostility to state provided healthcare; the widespread availability of guns or why any politician would think shutting down their own government is a good plan – are pretty standard for the UK.

  22. Crystalchandlyre, I absolutely agree. I didn’t think it was possible for me to think more of him than I did before, but, yup, this seals the deal!

  23. I am pretty sure Richard’s statements will have NO effect on my seeing his movies. I love him, pure and simple. Everyone has his own opinion. Richard, see you in Erober!

  24. I think he’s off his game, for some reason. It shows in the Cinemax interviews, it showed a bit in the beginning of his answer at the fan event, and it shows in this interview. He’s not being his usual diffident, charming self. That said, the interview was okay; I enjoyed it but thought it was a missed opportunity to talk with him about his move to the US/NYC, what he hopes to accomplish here, his next project or anything about his current life. Plus, the American audience knows so little about him, I don’t like to think how this affect perceptions of him here. (Don’t be so serious. Lighten up, CHARM us!)

  25. I enjoyed hearing his views on things…nice to hear more than just fluff, but it would be a shame if ¨fans¨ hold it against him, everyone has a right to their opinion. Also, as ¨fangirl¨…I am drooling over that profile pic….wow…..he is something special….. ‹3

  26. Preach it, Frenz. ;)

  27. […] point of recapitulating a frequent fan discursive move when we don’t like what Armitage says: blaming the interviewer for either misquoting him or leading him astray, something she denied on Twitter, after which she protected her tweets for a while. I happened to […]

  28. […] — how much Richard Armitage should talk about politics — is familiar terrain for us. Some commentators are generally averse to Armitage making political statements, and others (like me) are more positive about it. Armitage said almost nothing political until […]


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