Ohmygod, Ohmygod, Ohmygod

Oh brother. :D I can’t help snickering a bit at the rippling going on in the RA fandom. All over this picture:


It came from this tweet:

flor tweet for ohmygod rafrenzy

The timing of this is fascinating. I have all kinds of thoughts about that, but I’m working so don’t really have time to wax on about it at present. Just know that this frau is not upset, still likes Richard Armitage, and personally thinks it’s absurd that someone can sit on a park bench with someone and somehow we know their sex life. Wow. None of that is to say that Richard Armitage and Lee Pace are not a couple but merely to say that those whose fascination with Richard is predicated on their fantasies don’t need much to get them going or not going — whichever the case may be. :D

Meanwhile, I keep chuckling at the rippling because you would think the damn world stopped.

On a serious note, I wonder how many fangirls this picture will lose for him and potentially affect what he does. If he hasn’t put all of his hopes on heartthrob, then it should’t be too much of a problem. Glad he’s been getting out of that box. May he continue.


Okay, I have a few more minutes before I really, really have to get back to work!

The body language cracks me up. It seems to say: Yeah, we’re sitting here, f*ckers; make something of it.

second edit:

I have to be done with this in like three minutes when I have a teleconference scheduled.

Cynical Frenz about to weigh in.

If Richard Armitage were really worried about rumors, he wouldn’t be sitting so prominently on a park bench with a well known actor who is likely to be photographed and especially one that he’s often linked to romantically. So, part of me thinks a) he’s in the glass closet, b) he doesn’t give a damn what others think and is tired of the rhetoric, so there take that! or c) (and this is the one I tend to lean toward), hell, look at how much buzz this is going to get on the web. Not so much because of Richard but because of Lee. Sorry I can’t help this, but my bullshit detector is starting to react. No, I haven’t fully thought this out. There may be logical reasons why I’m wrong, but something seems fishy.


  1. Things haven’t been this crazy since the domlijahs.
    The thing is, they didn’t lose fangirls over this stuff afaik.
    It’s sad. What kind of idiot looks at a photo of two people on a park bench, or two people posing separately with a child actor, and decides it’s a reason to “unfan” someone or even talk about asking for your ticket money back?

    BTW, everything going on now is practically incident for incident from the playbook of those original lotr loonies: clothing shoutouts, obsessive posting of private and semi-private photos, manipping, loud cries of homophobia, yadda yadda.

  2. This photo was posted in another blog and all we could talk about was their ugly shoes…LOL Sounds like the woman who took this pic wasn’t aware who was with Lee. Love how the both of them are sitting on the bench with their arms crossed.

  3. BTW, wasn’t Lee without a beard at Comic Con?

  4. I can’t begin to tell you how many views I got on this in a very short time. Makes me wonder whether to bother writing. For every fan girl he loses, maybe he’ll get a fan guy ( if they weren’t there before).

  5. I’ve gotten a good chuckle off of the comments I’ve seen on FB. Friends hang out together all the time. Does that mean they’re lovers? (Not talking about Richard & Lee, just friends in general.) Not nescessarily; just means they like to hang out together. And besides, their private lives are really none of our business. As for me, neither Richard nor Lee has lost me as a fan.

  6. Sometimes I get the feeling I’m missing a lot by not being on twitter etc.


  7. Oh, hedgehogess, I know you’re teasing, but you are so missing out. :D

  8. Perry, I can just imagine. I heard about this on another forum, and someone sent me the tweet, and then I got dms and emails about your posts and of course it was already in my in-box, but I hadn’t had time to look at it. Phew. LOL!

  9. I say good riddance of any “fangirl” that he loses over THIS (or any of his private choices). Apparently there have been people (women) nagging the Old Vic to take back their Crucible tickets if it should turn out that Richard is gay. Excuse me, what?? The sense of entitlement some people have…

  10. I spend far too much time on-line anyway, so no twitter etc. für me, thank you. :-P

    But I love it when bits and pieces find their way to blogs so I can read hints about what is going on. Second-hand embarrassment can be so much fun (in a strange way)!

    Yes, I’m nuts. Didn’t you know?


    Oh, just to make that clear: The “second-hand embarrassment” wasn’t directed at your blog or any of the comments above.

  11. The funniest thing is that the 2 argentinian friends who took the picture arrived in NY after “5 cancelled flights and a night in Toronto”. Serendipity! Or as in a proverb in my native language “you might be simple, but it doesn’t matter, if you are lucky”. LOL.
    see msmysticfalls/status/495656210893656065

    Also, if you followed L, he was very sad in the last public showings and pictures at events, perhaps feels a bit … overshadowed?…

  12. I have to check out for about 15-30 minutes, but I am curious what others think, and I have updated my piece with some unvarnished thoughts.

  13. Cill, I like what you said!

  14. I’ll be back! :D

  15. Good grief. I go and make more petals and try out some wood and the world goes nuts. Back to the rolling pin…you people are crazy. :)

  16. I heard about all the craziness with people asking for their money back, etc. etc. through Judit, but I really don’t spend much time at Twitter these days for multiple reasons (busy in RL/battling with nerve pain in wrist/just ain’t got time for that s***t). Honestly, some people need to GET A LIFE and stop thinking they can/should run someone else’s. I am and shall always be a fan of Richard and of Lee,no matter what. In fact, I predicted the two would get along famously back before the films came out. See, I was right! ;)

  17. And Richard is a superb actor and a versatile one—he definitely does not need to rely on “romantic hetero heartthrob” to have a continued successful career.

  18. That’s a lot of cynicism out of one photo, Frenz. A lot of this reminds me of the domlijahs (as I said) but the difference between now and 10 years ago is back then is that there was more talk of “evil pr” oppression and body language.
    The whole lot of lotr actors always behaved as if they didn’t give a flying f*ck what anyone thought. It’s probably the best way to go, if you want to keep your sanity.

  19. Not sure what you’re saying in the last bit there, Frenz — someone is trying to create buzz? If so, who? One of the guys? the person who took the pic? Me personally, I really don’t give a damn — if it’s a ‘thing’,then I couldn’t be happier for them, but if it’s just two buds hanging out, then I STILL couldn’t be happier for them. Either way, I got no more right to pry into their lives than they have to pry into mine.

  20. I just think it’s always interesting “when” pics like this are released. RA and LP had to know someone was going to snap their pic, so why did they make it so easy? I hope it’s because they are living their lives and to hell with what other people think. I really hope that’s the reason.

  21. I’m with @fedoralady. But I wonder if the immediate reaction to RA being gay depends on how layered one’s admiration is for him.

    I can only speak for myself. The projection I put on to him, my personal fantasies, and ways he inspires me, isn’t affected by which way his sexual orientation swings. If he was just my husband/lover fantasy, maybe finding out he was gay would deflate my crush. If it did, it would only last 5 minutes. RA has this genuine masculine energy and presence that is special thing to witness. It’s the biggest physical and emotional turn on and not many men–straight or gay–has that strong masculine presence. Depending where I stand, I would turn gay or straight for him any day.

  22. Well said!

  23. I can’t believe people are seriously trying to get their tickets refunded over this…. that is so stupid on so many levels.
    Also find Cill’s comments about Domlijah interesting as I had zero awareness of that at that time, and not much now.
    And regardless of whether this photo proves or even implies they are more than friends, I suspect both of them are expressing mostly attitude b). I agree, Frenz, that c) is not normally RA’s style, but being in Proctor mode does seem to bring different things out in him, and LP also seems a little more inclined to push that envelope….being 1) younger, 2) American (yes, it’s a stereotype, but I think it’s relevant), and 3) now on Twitter.

  24. Based on my previous experience of these fandom hysterias, and their basis in reality, I think at this point it’s still more of an ‘immediate reaction to the possibility of RA being gay’.

    No matter how convinced any individual is about the sexuality of another person, it is ridiculous to think that you can make any definitive statement about it *either way*. I’ve seen people be mistaken one way or the other often enough in real life, with colleagues, friends and family.
    If that person’s a stranger, likelihood of accurate assessment goes down. If that person is a celebrity with whom we have at best a parasocial relationship, then likelihood of accuracy in the absence of a definitive statement, is even lower.

  25. Oh, thank you for supporting my wild thought. They do look like they have attitude going on. LOL!

  26. Cill, you are so right. It’s impossible to know and he has stated he will not address it. I just can’t imagine being that emotionally invested in the orientation of someone with whom I have no actual relationship of any sort. The merits of the play have not changed a bit!

  27. @SH: I can’t express how embarrassing this stupidity is for me as an RA fan. After all the crap that’s said about RA fans, especially the ‘older’, long-term fans, the only bright spot was that the idiots wanting money back were saying things like ‘o think that I wasted 6 months of my life on Richard Armitage! 火冒三丈 !!!’. Noobs. And noobs that not even a mother__ could love.

  28. Cill, I agree. I do not know how people can make these definitive statements. It’s one thing to think something or even say it to a confidante. But to adamantly stand by a position publicly makes no sense when we do not know this person.

  29. Yes, it’s one thing if you are actually involved in an actual relationship with someone and then discover they “play for the other team”—quite another if this is someone you only admire from afar. As for me, what led me to initially become a fan was his amazing performance as Guy, the way he brought so many layers to what could have been a cardboard cut-out of a character. Oh, yes, he looked great, too, still does—but it’s his personality, his character, his PRESENCE, combined with that wonderful, versatile talent of his, that captured me and kept me as a true-blue Armitage fan. His sexuality is his business and I don’t need to know what that precisely is to know I like, respect and admire this man.

  30. I recall from my teaching days when some of the students were talking about another student and insisting he was gay. One of the teachers said, “Really? Has he told you he’s gay? Have you actually witnessed an incident or have some sort of first-hand knowledge of his sexuality, or are you just gossiping and making assumptions . . .” They got quiet.

  31. “Noobs that not even a mother__ could love.” ROTFL!

    It looks like we’re all of one mind here :)
    I guess I’ve only been a fan around~6 months myself…. and while it’s been a unique experience that I’ve been surprised to find myself in the middle of – I guess I really DIDN’T lose my freaking mind – ! (Thank the Lord :) Perspective….. the gift that would keep on giving (if only more people could find it). Nothing’s changed about our lives, his life or what’s important in any of it <3

    Loving the shots from the premiere btw!

  32. People can have all kinds of investment in the sexuality of others, no matter what they want it to be. Sometimes all people want is to have their preconceptions validated; makes their worldview stable and secure.
    Otoh, sometimes the motives are personal; they want someone to be accessible to them in fantasy or reality. Or inaccessible to others.

  33. FL, I still have to get around to watching Guy! (I know :/ am still watching 2-3 MI-5 eps / week as I get time…) I discovered him through Thornton on one of those abysmal snow days this winter. I agree, he is such a unique “complete package”. I can understand someone being affected by such a scenario with a family member or even a personal friend, because you will continue to relate to them. “Relate” is the key word, and much as we “love” RA, we really don’t have that relationship with him, and I’m glad to realize I still know the difference!

  34. Cill, I’m sure you’re right…. I guess for me a celeb “crush” seems to be so clearly a recreation, an “escape” vs. a means for meeting actual needs. But I guess in different life situations, an “escape” can have much different meaning. Maybe a motivation for real solutions can come through realizing the only life we can control is our own – even including our “actual” loved ones & family!

  35. How wonderful that you still have projects that are new to you to experience! I’m so glad to know I have a new role to see him in in just a few days, and then the final Hobbit film in December, and Urban whenever it comes out—and who knows what else? For so long there during the Hobbit filming when we saw so very little of him—that drought was hard to take.

    I think keeping things in their proper perspective, and remembering that, although I am as proud of him and pleased for him as if he were related to me or was a close friend—I’m not. And for gosh sakes, I am so tired of that small but noisy band of fans who think the man “owes” them something. *I* am the one who owes *him* a debt for all the creative inspiration, the food for thought, the fun and the friendship being his fan has brought to me.

  36. I’ve read that there were many lean months for real news, interviews, pics or even new things to watch…. suppose many folks had opportunity to go back and catch up on things from early days etc. I may NEVER get a chance to see everything! :/ but it’s all good …. it does seem at least “odd” for fans to be selfish toward him when he himself is so often quite thoughtful and UNselfish toward us.

  37. In a way, those lean months were good for the fans, @SH. People looked at work they mightn’t otherwise have checked out.

    Celeb crushes serve different needs for different people, and I try not to condemn anyone for those needs. Sometimes a celeb crush or fantasy is *all* that someone has to get them through some rough patches. For those of us fan for whom this has been true, I think there’s realization of where the debt lies.

    There’s an element of selfishness and entitlement in it for some fans. As @FL said, there are fans who think he owes *them*. And not just in his career, but in his personal life and choices.

  38. I have a theory that a few fans forget RA is an actual, real, live human being and start thinking he’s actually John Thornton, or Standring, or Harry Kennedy, Porter, and so forth. The line between fantasy and reality becomes somewhat blurred and it’s as if they need to retaliate for this “plaster saint” they’ve created in their mind not living up to their expectations. It’s a whole lot more about them than it is about Richard, or Richard and Lee.

  39. More like plastic blow-up dolls sometimes, FL. The net effect is the same tho.

  40. Angie, that is well stated, and really it’s kind of sad. That’s how I feel about it once I get over the humor of it. It’s silly and sad.

  41. @Cill – re; celeb crushes, I think you expressed that beautifully. I was kind of working through to that point of understanding in this, and yes, clearly it can be that one person’s best of times is another’s worst of times…. and something seemingly small can become something really important and meaningful, even just for a season of time. That’s real, and I believe everything happens for a reason.

    And FL’s statement about fans who think he owes THEM was indeed striking to me. If we can’t even set strangers free from those kind of expectations that can’t really be met, what will we be imposing on those we actually DO have relationship with? Just thought-provoking to me anyway…..

  42. It’s one of those situations that makes part of me want to laugh over the sheer absurdity of it all—and part of me want to cry because there is a definite sadness to it. Very mixed emotions.

  43. Angie, I think you must be right, that definitely happens to soap opera actors, for one, like all those Susan Lucci / Erica Kane stories….. it is just a little scary and as Frenz said, pretty sad too.

  44. It could be fishy or it could be real (whatever “real is). Both men possess similar good qualities and seem to be all around nice guys. I think that attracts fans more than anything else. Both of them have many fans – female and male. If RA loses a few fan girls (or guys) it doesn’t matter because he has millions more. From what I’ve read the last few years the consensus among RA fans is they don’t care if he’s gay. They want him to be happy and have love in his life. I don’t understand this whole industry prejudice that a gay man can’t play leading roles. Its called ACTING for a reason. It’s not real life. The idea that people would ask for their Crucible money back is idiotic. Do they think John Proctor is suddenly going to say he’s homosexual on stage? What a script that would make. I apologize for rambling – I forgot my original point. I had oral surgery this morning and I’m still on drugs. Since I am an elderly fan-oldlady could someone please tell me what a “noob” is? Thanks so much. Frenz, you are always entertaining, thought-provoking and sometimes heart-wrenching. Thank you and all your followers for giving me new insight and perspective on many things. I wish I could meet you.
    PS I’m thinking of giving up Twitter. At first it was fun, now it gives me migraines. I hate to unfollow people. It feels rude somehow.
    PPS Maybe they are “beards” for each other. LOL

  45. Seriously since when did two guys sitting on a park bench automatically equal a gay romance? Some people need to expand their horizon just a bit.

  46. LOL!

  47. Love it! Where can I find a park bench to sit on sandwiched between Richard Armitage and Lee Pace? Purrrrr! Gosh! Add Graham McTavish to the mix and you will have a Grati trifecta of actors I’m crushing on. Ha!

    And to think all those years I remained a virgin before I married–and I sat on park benches. I was really a wanton woman because I must have been doing the nasty with the fellas on the other end of the bench. *wink* Oh If I had only known. Sighhhh! But I categorically deny that fluffy brown squirrel and I were romantically involved. That would just be too “nutty”. Ha!

  48. I can’t really believe that anyone could be so shallow that they would actually give up their Crucible tickets. I’m going again tomorrow for the 2nd time – I just love Richard and his work. I respect him too and his private life has nothing to do with me …. I only have a say in his amazing characters!

  49. Now if it had been RA and Sarah Wayne Callies or LP and Karen Gillan on that bench, my bullshit detector would go off. What’s the point in creating “buzz” of that kind when both of them are in movies mostly aimed at the young male “target audience”.

  50. Mr. Armitage will remain a Beautiful Man and talented actor no matter what his sexual orientation may be. Having said that, these folks ought to look at the body language. To me it says “straight guys sitting together on a park bench.”

  51. Jane,

    I don’t know. I just don’t think the picture was an accident. Washington Sq., Park is a very heavily traveled park. It’s sort of a thruway and not out of the way. So for whatever other reasons there may be for them sitting there, I do believe they wanted their picture taken.

  52. Oh I remember the fuss around LotR and it is the same now. At one point you almost needed at whiteboard to keep track of who was with who according to the rumours and the photos (that proved absolutely nothing at all other than they were friends and comfortable in each others company).
    The level of silliness will never stop to amuse, annoy and surprise me

  53. Well, maybe they are provoking pics like this because it is time people get used to it? Though I very much doubt we will ever PDA, even if they should get married (to each other).

  54. Jane, that was one of the possibilities I posited in my piece. A big part of me thinks that’s what it is. I take that from the body language. I just don’t get the timing before the premiere.

  55. Why? LP has been seen and photographed around the Old Vic quite a bit. It was bound to happen that sooner or later both would be in a pic.

  56. There’s some huge leaps of logic: from sitting on a park bench or going to someone’s play to getting married to each other.

    @purplepk: an official definition from dictionary.com :-D

    NOOB noun Slang: Usually Disparaging.
    ‘a newbie, especially a person who is new to an online community and whose online participation and interactions display a lack of skill or knowledge’
    Also, n00b.
    Origin: shortening and alteration of newbie
    ‘ a person who is inexperienced in a particular sphere or activity, especially computing or the use of the Internet’

  57. So- if we’re comfortable discussing this- what’s the range of opinion re: the body language in this particular shot? (Frenz, edit me if not.)

    To me, I agree it mostly suggests “straight guys sitting together on a park bench” …. granted, they could be sitting further apart – but if the other 2 people were there first, there you are. The folded arms are SO straight to me. (I do feel borderline ridiculous about this, but humor me, I LOVE body language.)

    On the other hand, sheer frequency of “LP sightings” requires, to me, some openness to the possibility of a deeper relationship. But once again, based on what RA has said (and pretty definitively to the Telegraph), doubt we’ll know any time soon. And those of you who remember the domlijah/LOTR stuff may have a different perspective.

  58. Grati – ROFL!

  59. Getting another good chuckle this morning from all this, it seems! I have to agree with SH about the “straight guys sitting together on a park bench” thing. Maybe they’ve become best friends and best friends do sometimes sit close together. For example, one of my best friends is a male (and not my hubby – yes, I’m married) and he & I sometimes sit shoulder to shoulder when we have lunch together. Does that mean he’s my lover? Definitely not – just one of my closest friends and the other chairs were taken (besides, my bestie is very much gay). I have someone else who most often stands with his arms around me when we talk; he also isn’t my lover, but he IS someone I feel that comfortable with. Maybe that’s the way with RA & LP.

  60. LadyGrayse- See, your post illustrates how much temperament and culture are involved in all this, as well as nature of the relationship. The fact that being gay is more “mainstream” as of last few years changes many previous assumptions about if people “are or aren’t” imho. And I too have personal friends of both sexes with whom I have identical comfort level who are equally touchy-feely toward me! And having been married for many years, I read that as personality rather than sexuality. Too many variables! But fun to discuss :)

  61. I’d love to think this is a ‘fuck you, think what you want’ moment from both of them, whatever the relationship is. It just reaffirms the new attitude Richard seems to have adopted of allowing himself to be ‘large and in charge’, not being afraid to take up space on the planet, and saying what he thinks. And I am so very happy about that new outlook from him. Bless them both.

  62. You know the last joke, ” two men sat down on a bench, you would
    have thought they were gay. “

  63. Not intending to offend, but I think women often have a weird idea about the men and their personal space. In some places men don’t ever even hug or touch each other. In others, the y kiss. Obviously some of this is cutural, and things have really changed in the past few decades. My parents’ generation were very uncomfortable with touchy-feely stuff between people of the same *or* opposite sex.

    At other times the issue of personal space is very individual. Everyone needs different amounts of personal space with different people.

    So, are these old men lovers? http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-b2wT8bZoTqw/T-UdKSxsnnI/AAAAAAAABdM/d0fPuJfZ-fU/s1600/old+guys.jpg
    What about these two?

    or these? http://www.davejordano.com/data/photos/3394_1two_men_sitting_a_park_bench__detroit_1972_1_17_3.jpg
    We don’t have a context for their relationships, but I don’t know that we really have any more in the case we are discussing here.
    I think trying to analyze the relationship between two strangers (even when we think we know them from rumours or gossip or watching their interviews) from the distance between them is tricky.

  64. Having said that, I wonder:
    what would people’s reactions be to photos of Dean O’Gorman and Aidan Turner sitting together in those same exact poses, and the same distance apart? Or Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman?

  65. So much of the time in life it’s all about how we as individuals interpret words and images. We may see and hear and read the same things, yet we don’t see, hear and read them the same way. We all have our own bag of preconceptions, misconceptions, prejudices, hopes and desires that we bring to the table. Good grief, look at how often the expert witnesses at a trial, one for the defense and one for the prosecution, can evaluate the same evidence and even use the same methodology, and come up with diametrically opposed conclusions . . . That being said, I do think RA has grown in confidence and in being comfortable in his own beautiful skin and I am thrilled about that. He should never feel enslaved by a small mouthy minority who wants to dictate how he lives his life. I think Lee is a great guy who shares many of the qualities I find so appealing in RA, and whatever the nature of their relationship, may it flourish.

  66. Cill, those pictures are dynamite…. I’m fascinated that they involve different levels of (apparent) engagement with each other and awareness of the audience/camera, as well as personal space….I’ll dare say the reaction to any of the celebs in identical poses would likely be different from reaction to these.
    Brings to mind a … critique of sorts I’ve heard before, that gay rumors tend to center on the young, hot, and beautiful – rather than the old and not-so-hot. How true it actually is, I really can’t say.

  67. Angie, I completely agree. It’s less about what we actually see than what we perceive – which won’t be the same between any 2 people.

    I haven’t really followed Lee, but from watching his new Twitter feed, he seems down to earth like Richard…. and also warm and kind to his fans like Richard. I’m not surprised they’re friends.
    (He has amazing eyebrows too! He and Lady Mary Crawley i.e. Michelle Dockery should work together sometime, that would be eyebrow heaven! Richard speaks with his as well, but Lee’s are just incredibly distinctive :)

  68. Cill, not sure what’s been said of Dean & Aiden, but I’ve heard some of the stuff on FB regarding Martin & Benedict, not to mention Hiddleston & Hemsworth (and we all know Hemsworth is married with kiddoes). And Martin has a very lovely lady he shares his life with. I say, “to each his own.” Love is love.

  69. I first recall seeing Lee in “Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day,” a charming periodic comedy, and he was equally charming as a British musician in love with a flighty American actress played by Amy Adams. Supposedly Adams found him so dashing in his tuxedo he was distracting her from saying her lines properly. The performance that really bowled me over, however, was his role as a transgender nightclub performer in “Soldier’s Girl,” based on a real-life story. It is an incredibly nuanced performance. I also love him in “The Fall,” which is one of the most visually stunning films I have ever seen. So I was pleased when he was cast in The Hobbit trilogy, and even wrote a blog post introducing him to my readers.

    One of them took my advice and started watching his stuff and now she’s seen more of his work than I have LOL Everything that I have seen and read about him indicates he is very down-to-earth, likeable guy, appreciative of his fans, with a strong work ethic and well regarded by those with whom he works. Sound like anybody you know?? I have said those eyebrows deserve their own zip code.

  70. @SH I just googled “two guys on a park bench” in “images” and picked a couple that were similar in degree of distance between the bodies to Lee and Richard in this photo, and one where the men are interacting with each other. I did not select for older men, but that’s how it came out.

    @LadyGrayse: I’m not sure what’s said on fb about them, but afaik, MF and BC are both in long term relationships with women. MF has kids with Amanda Abbington and she took a lot of flack from fans for commenting about privacy and real person shipping. (Despite claims to the contrary, I think that MF is unimpressed by the claims/fan shipping about himself and BC).

  71. Sorry I’m late to the party here. I’m surprised not much has been said about Richard’s ubiquitous backpack which is placed between him and the girl to his right. (Which causes less space between him and Lee.). Why carry a backpack if you are with your “overnight companion”? You don’t. You carry a backpack because you have something to show someone (who wasn’t in your house beforehand), you are carrying headphones to occupy you on your solo walk to and from said meeting place, you have a script or book you will be looking at while you wait for your companion (or after said companion leaves), or similar items one carries when you expect to be alone at some point. I’m not a fan of public speculation about private lives, but if there are those who examine ordinary t-shirts and tie clips for “clues”, then why has the backpack been overlooked? Does it not send the desired “message” for these intrepid Internet detective of forbidden love? This is just all so silly.

  72. For your information, I carry a bag that contains everything I need for survival whenever I leave the house. Not a backpack these days, but it used to be one.

  73. I guess I really didn’t notice the backpack, nor was I certain it was his rather than hers…. I agree that since he is basically on a quick turnaround from London to NY and soon back again, I wouldn’t want to rule out his carrying a bag just for scheduling reasons.

    A few people have questioned the legitimacy of this photo (see Perry’s site: http://armitageagonistes.wordpress.com/2014/08/04/the-duo-spotted-in-washington-square-really-bad-shoes/ )
    I’m still not sure what to think, but I do find useful to hear out people qualified to determine photoshop or other manip…. at this point, I still stand by my earlier statement above from 8/5, 8:46 a.m., with my personal jury still “way out” (probably in more ways than one, but that’s another story :)

  74. It’s very easy to determine whether this photo has been altered. In fact, I’ll go look at it in photoshop now and tell you in a few seconds if it is.

  75. Nope, not photoshopped. If it is, then it’s a damn good job.

  76. The thought it was PSed never even entered my mind. Of course, I have seen the obvious manips of the two of them together but I always thought this particular pic was legit. Gosh, why do people work themselves into a tizzy over all of this? Makes my head hurt.

  77. I have a name for this, and it includes trying to pin down times and places and whether or not there were gunshot residue on the gun. Recent residue that is. :D

  78. LOL Well, I *do* like the Investigation Discovery Channel . . .

  79. @llm17 I didn’t even notice the backpack. However, whether it’s RA’s or the girl’s, its presence on the bench explains why he and Lee would be sitting “close together”.

  80. Thanks for checking on that Frenz!
    It’s nice to know (and to have friends who are smart about this stuff like you and FL :) It seems a little odd to me for someone to state a photo “appears to be photoshopped” if they aren’t qualified to know or even check that out- but perhaps that’s just me….

  81. Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our fandom lives . . .

  82. Conversely, @SH, people who work for gossip and news sites should have be able to tell when something is shopped. (She said, just having encountered some gossip sites posting shopped photos as ‘proof’).

  83. FL – LOL! The plot continually thickens…. :)

    Cill- absolutely! It should cut both ways, but I guess boosting hit count is more important, or whatever other personal agenda one might have. I’ve never been able to comprehend knowingly promoting falsehood, I guess I’ll never be a politician (whew! :)

  84. There is still a lot of room between RA and the girl and I’m sure the backpack isn’t so delicate that he couldn’t put in on the ground if he couldn’t stand sitting close to Lee. But if he couldn’t stand his company he would hardly spend the few hours he had in NY with him.

  85. Suppose it was the girl’s backpack and not his, he wasn’t about to do that, was he? And whoever said that RA “couldn’t stand sitting close to Lee”. No one on either side of this argument.
    Some people felt it needed explanation, but I posted a bunch of photos which showed men of different ethnicities and backgrounds sitting side by side, as an argument that sitting together side by side is not in itself a deeply significant action.

  86. Oh, I completely agree that sitting on a bench is not significant and neither is the backpack or whether their arms are folded or not. They could just as well had been photographed walking or drinking coffee.

  87. It’s really not about this picture, wich says nothing just two friends sitting on a bench. But about al the other evidence that makes me think they could be a couple. And mainly too it’s not like Richard seems to have had a girlfriend atleast not in the past 10 years.

    By the way Benedict Cumberbatch is not in a long term relationship, he’s still single as far as I know, I follow him rather closely as a fan of him too.

  88. A lot of the other ‘evidence’ is pretty coincidental, where it is not actually made up. I’ve recently seen a couple of photoshopped red carpet pics being passed off as ‘evidence’ or even showing up in gossip items being promoted by people who ship Richard and Lee.
    Another part of it is that some people dismiss every mention of a girlfriend by Richard in interviews (and there are probably at least a dozen of them) as lies in order to promote an agenda. I’m glad that at least some of those who are doing this aren’t trying to pass themselves off as fans of RA.

  89. Benedict Cumberbatch had a twelve year relationship with a woman before he shot to fame and at least one confirmed relationship after that. It is hard if not impossible to find another actor whose private life is as much a mystery as RA’s. Not even Lee Pace.

  90. Yeah but the thing is just we’ve never seen a whif of a girlfriend al these years we have followed him. I’m sure he probably has had relationships with women in his earlier years so don’t mean I think he’s lying about that.

    And I ment to say Benedict Cumberbatch is not in a long term relationship now because someone said he is but single but he has been.

  91. A dozen mentions of girlfriends = more than ‘a whif’, unless one assumes that all the mentions are lies. That is logically dubious, as well as dubious behaviour from people who purport to be admirers of someone.

    As one of my archaeology profs always said: “absence of evidence is not evidence of absence”.

  92. You beat me to it, Cill. It’s called argument from ignorance or appeal to ignorance, and it’s a logical fallacy.

    Having said that, I don’t care what the answer is to the argument about whether or not RA has/had girlfriends or boyfriends. I’m just pointing out that the appeal to ignorance should carry no weight or very little.

  93. Cill, I’m admittedly a noob, but I know there was the article back during RH days where he was very transparent about being eager to see his girlfriend again after long absence, and about other past relationships too. I’m not sure if that’s “the one” that shut him down from discussing relationships again (per the impression I’ve gotten that he got severely burned at some point by the media) and I know that’s been a while too. But I think he was more ingenuous / awkward then and would not have been throwing out red herrings to distract….. I think he’s capable of doing it now, if he wanted to, but don’t remember that happening in last few years.

    But I just keep coming back to nonverbal (as I do in real life! it’s 90% of communication!) and I’ve seen him virtually salivate over women, some of them quite recently (hint hint), whether it’s women he’s worked with, or those interviewing him. Just saying, if I had seen him doing this with men I’d say so…. I have nothing to lose here, I have my own man. And I certainly could be missing something too, I get that “he’s an actor”. (Sorry that was long! :/ I really try to think about this evenhandedly and am very open to new facts.)

  94. It’s fine to be long. Most will want to read it. For those who don’t, no one is holding a gun to their heads.

  95. @Frenz – I was going to call it argumentum ad ignorantiam, but that sounded too theoretical for a pots and pollens, stones and bones student of archaeology like meself. I like my evidence material, but textual evidence is more than acceptable, and there is plenty of that for RA relationships up to about 2010.

    There is one other thing to remember: Except for current alleged ship, there isn’t any ‘real’ evidence of RA having a boyfriend either. (anonymous gossip, Innuendo and blind items count for diddly with me). Why do people who promote the current ship never take into account that there’s not evidence of RA with a male partner?

    @SH – I think that the article you are thinking of was one where RA talked also about losing his virginity. There was one article where he said that he had a gf and ‘thought’ he was in love (yah, that’s what a girl likes to hear *rolls eyes*) and was talking about being single in interviews a few months later. I think that there was mention of living with more than one of the girlfriends.

  96. That’s what I tried to tell one of my readers who is recounting her Crucible experience—go ahead, make it long, peeps want the deets—and no one is forcing anybody to read it, right? Re some “fans’” determination to create/ share information of somewhat dubious origin and post manips purporting to be factual photos as evidence of whatever they are determined to prove, and my gosh, there are some real conspiracy theories out there!—I tried to speak out against this once before and got flamed on my own blog, and by some people I thought were sort of, kind of friends. I finally gave up and closed comments. In the words of Danny Glover, “I’m too old for this s**t.”

  97. I remember @fedoralady. I got burned too. :-/ Time has proven you right. What’s happened at the latest bit of gossip passed on by shippers is that manips are in fact being taken at face value. Not just one manip, but apparently several, because the gossip piece references several shots on the red carpet together as part of the proof, but all the known ones are manips. (To list the ones I know of: there’s 1 purporting to be at AUJ NYC premiere with RA in the tux he wore in London and Lee in a dark tux; another one based on the ARIA awards red carpet photo of RA, Martin and Andy Serkis, with Martin replaced by Lee in some suit from a premiere of his own; one with RA from Strikeback premiere with Andrew Lincoln, only AL has been replaced by LP).

  98. No doubt there are people out there desperate to prove their point. I have seen posters that commented on articles insisting that AC said in an interview that she still loves RA very much.

  99. Cill give me examples about some girlfriends he has been linked to, I can’t find any. The only evidencce is that he has said he has had girlfriends or girlfriend. And I don’t think he is lying I’m sure he has had like 10 years ago but I’ve read interviews, articles, looked for pictures, never any girlfriends. Of course I thought earlier he was asexual or something but that’s so unusual so I’m thinking he could be gay because most evidence is of him being with Lee. I’m just saying might, I don’t know if he is of course he could be straight too aswell and him and Lee just good friends anyway they seem rather similar people. Then earlier I thought the rumours about Lee beign gay was just bullshit too. I’m just saying there is a strong possibility that he is gay or bisexual. I’m thinking at his interview too where he has that his sexuality is irrelevant for his acting.

  100. It is always a good idea to look at the bigger picture and connect the dots and form an opinion based on several pieces of information from different sources instead of focusing on one bit that might mean nothing in itself or might even be fake like the obvious manips.

  101. Then I remember that interview when he lost his virginity haha poor guy sounded like it wasn’t that good experience.

  102. That’s right, Cill, you got it, too. :-/ Sadly, some people will actually believe anything, or virtually anything, they see/read on the internet as being the gospel truth, regardless of who posted it and their intentions in doing so. Which leads to a whole lot of misinformation and confusion. I’ve seen some of those manips you mentioned floating about. Generally, when I see a manip, even if it’s just RA’s head stuck on Hugh Jackman’s body, for example, I will mention, “Hey, you all do know this is Photoshopped” but I really don’t like getting into arguments . . . it’s that Libra thing, you know.

  103. There are also manips floating around of RA with actresses he has probably never met. I have seen people requesting them on tumblr. And I don’t see anyone getting worked up about them because they are misleading. Also also don’t see anyone having a problem with the original pics that show RA posing with Andy Serkis and Andrew Lincoln at events (both married with kids).

  104. For the record, I don’t like any manips that attempt to put any two people together (regardless of their sex or sexuality) into the same frame when they didn’t even attend same event/appear in same production. It’s no longer an accurate document of an event; it’s now moved into a different tier altogether.

    Now, that being said, if it’s clearly a piece of fan art being done for a comical or satiric effect and that is made evident, OK.

    But obviously we have people who are manipulating photos in an attempt to “pull one over” on less observant/knowledgeable folks who will fall for anything. Frankly, I don’t care what RA’s sexuality is or isn’t. Or Lee’s. I like them both enormously as actors and simply as fellow human beings. Whether or not they are good friends or something more has no impact on my daily life, frankly. I’d just like them both to be happy and content in their professional and personal lives.

  105. What kind of ‘proof’ do you want? The mentions of girlfriends in interviews are good enough for me. Celebrities do not have to produce photographic proof of existence of relationships for me to believe that that they have them. They have absolutely no obligation to produce photographic proof or anyone.
    Not all celebrities are famewhores. Has Richard or his family ever produced a photo of him as a child? There are a few photos of him with friends as a teen, but they seem all to come from people who are not that close to him, or from programs of musicals or plays he was in and have been dug up by fans. RA is obviously very private and does not share even professional photos from his youth. Why should we expect photographs of relationships?

    The other problem is that sometimes fans want ‘proof’ of a kind that is not going to be available, or if it is, shippers will tear it apart.
    I remember someone trying to claim Orlando was gay because when he mentioned losing his virginity in a Rolling Stone piece in about 2003, he didn’t name the girl, or refusing to believe that he had a girlfriend with him in New Zealand during some of the shooting of lotr because although he mentioned her and so did Ian McKellen, there were no photos. They insisted he was with Viggo. And we can see how that worked out.

    The domlijah shippers did the same thing with Elijah, even claiming that the girl he *was* photographed in New Zealand with was a lie. When he dated Franka Potente, they tore that apart too and claimed that she was getting a green card in return for her ‘services’. (They were so frigging clueless about how things work that they didn’t realize she would have gotten one anyhow for working on the movie).

  106. Yep, the only photos of RA when he was younger that have shown up have been some school group photos and those from productions he was in—I don’t think he/his family have ever shared such images. He’s a private person and dang it, why can’t people respect that? What’s so wrong with wanting to focus on your work? There are WAY too many performers who end up being better known for tumultuous personal lives than for their actual talents.

    As you say, Cill, not everyone who falls into the celeb category wants to share every little detail of their personal lives. Or post endless selfies of their (likely fake) asses (yeah, I’m talkin’ about you, KK).

  107. Thanks to everyone for pointing out some of the fake manips – no matter who’s been pasted in- man or woman- if it’s presented as historical by someone who knows it’s not, there’s just no good excuse for it.

  108. It’s fun. It’s fanart. When those manips appear on tumblr they are clearly marked as such. It is unfortuntate that some gossip sites did pick them up, but no-one who has followed this saga bases the idea that they could be a couple on the manips. Though some people are very eager to declare everything a manip, like the pic above, because that would solve the problem.

  109. Fans are also guilty of snaffling things and not bothering to share that clarification of “fanart” status when they post them places other than tumblr. Generally, it’s pretty easy to tell the manips from the real thing if you have any knowledge of Photoshop or you are very familiar with RA’s career, photo shoots and event appearances, but some people obviously are not. Or they just flat out do not care. Sometimes, people see what they want to see, hear what they want to hear, and read between the lines to take away whatever it is they are personally seeking. And I guess it will always be that way. History keeps on repeating itself.

  110. Jane – Yeah, I think anybody should know within 20 minutes on tumblr that it’s manip world, that’s what it’s for….. I’m saying that gossip or “news” sites should not be posting THOSE pics to promote their “breaking news” b/c they know better. I’m saying it’s about nothing but hit count with them, which is no surprise I suppose. People who aren’t very bright about evaluating sources go to the 1st 5 on Google and just run with it. I’ve already criticized people claiming manip when they have no basis to know. And Frenz and FL have also stated that they have no reason to believe this shot is faked.

  111. I would bet very good money this is not a fake. That’s how strongly I feel it’s real.

  112. But this being a real pic cannot necessarily be extrapolated into these two guys being in a sexual relationship. They may well be. I just can’t say that definitively.

  113. @Jane; It’s disingenuous to compare a genuine photo of RA with Martin Freeman and Andy Serkis at the ARIAs with a manip showing him and Lee at the event (which Lee never attended). No one is seriously claiming that AS or MF and RA are a ‘secret gay power couple’.
    I’ve never seen the manips with actresses, unless you count some RH fanart where RA is in character. I’d appreciate a link. Is anyone shipping RA with those actresses?

    FTR, when I speak of manips, I mean shopped photos like the red carpet one at the most recent ridiculously badly written gossip piece,
    Not everyone knows that the manips are not real, hence the problem. At least one manip was linked as genuine on datalounge forum a couple of years ago. Someone told me that the manip of RA on the ARIAS red carpet was produced as genuine on imdb recently. Maybe it’s not coincidental that it showed up at the gossip site. A lot of this gossip stuff comes from tip offs from ‘fans’.

    I’ve never claimed that the photo in the park was a manip. It just isn’t Deeply Significant.

  114. Like you, Cill, I’ve never seen manips of RA with actresses unless he was in character. There’s a good bit of that on YouTube. I would sincerely love to see where these manips are of him as himself and an actress as herself.

  115. What is sometimes amusing are people who have a dog in this “fight” and are determined to prove their point when there is no substantial evidence to support either position.. If people want to say, “I think this or it seems that way, or I speculate this,” or at least make it clear that they are speculating and going with their gut based on what they’ve seen (as I have done countless times on this site), or playing devil’s advocate, then yeah, that’s understandable. We all have thoughts. We all speculate. We all sometimes take exception to something we see or hear, and to say we never do any of this is a bit mendacious. But this digging heels into a position and taking a holier-than-thou demeanor about it is a bit comical and frankly, says quite a bit about the person who does this.

    This comment is not about anyone here. I’m just giving my thoughts on what I’ve seen over a several year period.

    And I still think the Camella treatise on the subject is one of the best perspectives on activity of wondering about RA’s personal life besides being insanely funny.

  116. For the uninitiated, here’s where Camella gets started on “her” experience, Be sure to read PapaRatzy above her comment. A complete scream. ROFLOL! I really did just laugh ’cause I read this again a few minutes ago and it’s still great.

    There’s more here. But read the first link before you read this one.

    I have wondered at times if Richard Armitage or a friend of his posted these pieces. Whoever did it and whatever the case, you will never look at this discussion the same way after reading those posts. Or maybe it’s just me who finds it comical.

  117. To quote ‘finally some posts with “meat” on them!’ (and maybe a little mint sauce or jelly). :-d
    (But biting the top off a man’s walnut whip is just cruel).

  118. :D

  119. RAFrenzy – just went & read the stuff on Topix — wayyyy too funny!

    All kidding aside, whether he is or he isn’t, doesn’t matter to me (and it really shouldn’t matter to any of us). I still love him & will still watch whatever he decides to act in.

  120. I feel that way too and have for a long, long time. Anyone who has been a fan for a long time knows this issue has been around. Look at the dates on that site — 2009. And it was talked about in 2008 as well. Interestingly enough for me, I never even thought about his possibly being gay until someone else brought it up. It just never occurred to me until it was suggested. I’m not one to look for those things although I am a bit jaded about life.

  121. “I would bet very good money this is not a fake. That’s how strongly I feel it’s real.”
    That is certainly good enough for me, girlfriend! And I completely agree with your next statement as well.

  122. Cill & Frenz, the two of you are voices of reason crying in the wilderness as far as I can tell …… I will have to read the links later, and I appreciate all the understanding you both have. You took words out of my mouth Frenz re: admitting when we’re just speculating.

    Since I just started fanning this year, I bumped into these rumors almost immediately (i.e. Sir Ian’s German interview), but at the time even most shippers admitted they had nothing really conclusive. And on that score, I agree completely with Lady Grayse that RA is an amazing actor and person, no matter who he sleeps with or doesn’t.

  123. Thanks for the kind words @SH – but don’t forget FL. She’s crying with us. (There are actually quite a few voices of reason, but a lot of them are afraid to speak out or have been driven out of the places they used to post).

  124. OH, I could NEVER (and SHOULD never) forget FL! She’s amazing and I LOVE her RA photo edits! They always put me in a good mood! <> :) Gonna check out these links now….

  125. Thanks, Cill. I am almost afraid to say too much myself, not knowing how someone might react. But as long as I am not personally attacking anybody and just standing my ground and saying let’s be reasonable about this, I reckon it’s OK. Ain’t never gonna make everybody happy.

  126. That’s the thing — being reasonable.

  127. Hilarious! That Camella is quite a woman…er….animal!

  128. I think Camella’s account ought to be ballyhooed throughout the fandom. I’ve thought about reprinting it here because I found it one of the funniest things I’ve read by an RA fan.

  129. Camella’s theme song


    Maybe “she” can have the dignified version?

  131. And for the readers who have never seen it, the original video:

  132. Warning about the Humps videos: it will kill some brain cells as you watch. How many I’m afraid to guess. But if you get past the “milky, milky cocoa puff” comment, be afraid.

  133. Alanis!! I bow to your superior knowledge of music.

  134. No matter how many times I watch the Morissette version, I laugh my ass off.

  135. I posted the lyrics because it’s less objectionable than the video, but I had never seen Alanis. She redeems that song for me. It’s brilliant.

  136. OT: I’ve been to countless high school state track and cross country meets, and usually they have music blaring on large speakers. I normally don’t have a problem with this as I love music! But one year my husband and I were walking around and what comes on? Humps! Maybe I’m just old fashioned, but that was completely inappropriate for a school sponsored event. Pure trashiness and it can still make me mad if I think about it long enough.

  137. Well, it could have been ‘It’s getting hot in here’

  138. There is a Camella right here in Butler County looking for love . . . ;)

    Camella is such a sweet and loving young lady. She is approximately 5 months old and looking for a forever home or a rescue commitment. She has been neglected for far to long and its her time to shine and be showed the love she deserves. — with Rebecca Hogue Harshman.

  139. Awww, FL…..RA might really want to rescue THAT Camella! (Though his schedule is probably too unpredictable, seriously.) She does look like a sweet girl.

  140. I missed this comment, Angie. What a sweet looking dog. I don’t have a dog right now, but we have been talking about getting another one. If we do, it will be a rescued dog.

  141. We always say, Frenz, “Don’t shop, adopt!” Sadly, we still have a serious pet overpopulation problem down here. Our humane society runs a no-kill shelter in conjunction with the city/county shelter (which does euthanize)—we funnel as many of the stray and abandoned animals who are viable for adoption to rescues in other states. Not as far out as you live but we have had them go all the way up to Maine from Alabama! They get to fly! Many go south to Florida.

  142. This is a post about another fandom that’s been making the rounds of boards private and public, but I think it has relevance here http://otfivedirection.tumblr.com/post/66904037146/further-thoughts-on-tinhatting-and-fannish-history
    ‘the term “tinhat” was coined back in the days of Domlijah (that is, Dominic Monaghan and Elijah Wood from the Lord of the Rings movies were together).
    … back in the days of Domlijah, and to a lesser extent J2, that Secret Club mentality was very widespread.
    Fast forward: With much greater access to celebrities, the focus of tinhatting has shifted in a HUGE way:
    It’s not about being in the Secret Club, it’s become the baying of the tabloid journalist believing they have a “right” to the intimate details of people’s lives. Consent is utterly irrelevant.’

    The post also talks about ‘power plays’ (both fan on fan and fan on celebrity) which are being created by this new access. The background to the blog post is apparently that some fans have begun harassing the family members of 1Direction members.’their partners, anyone who’s breathed in the same space as them’ to demand that the shipped members ‘come out’.
    You can see something similar developing in the gross invasion of privacy of Lee Pace’s family, with intimate family photos dating back 4 years or more showing up on fb. *Those* photos are getting the play that this one has because they do not relate to a ship that is being ruthlessly and relentlessly promoted. (I say ‘ruthlessly’ because the degree of viciousness and deviousness displayed by some people both against Lee’s family and friends and other fans is truly sickening).

  143. I’m just so sad that everyone is talking more about them … instead of their work. They have both said that it is their work that they want people to focus on.
    I guess human nature being what it is … everyone thinks it’s their right to invade their privacy, How sad for them and their families.

    I’m hoping that Richard can go on and land some even greater movie roles and that his fabulous talent can be the thing everyone wants to talk about.

  144. I think it’s totally human nature to wonder about this, so I don’t feel bad wondering about this. Especially when I consider the circumstances and the mystery that has indeed been created. Where I draw the line is invasion of privacy.

  145. Cill, I for one really appreciate the broader / historical perspective that you offer. Interesting quote from your link:

    “The fact that there’s enough material to create a tinhat conspiracy …. argues against the existence of such a conspiracy in the first place! The PR Devils can’t simultaneously be an all-seeing all-knowing all-powerful tentacled monstrosity of big brother-style evil and ALSO be so completely incompetent at their jobs that randoms on the Internet can ~learn the truth.”

    It’s disturbing that people who are famous simply because they are using their God-given talents are held to the same standard as someone like an elected public servant – or perhaps even higher, if they are being dogged to reveal information that’s not already clearly out there. As Frenz alludes to, the actual invasion of privacy.

  146. And just to clarify, not that I think elected public servants owe us an open door into their souls, either. I think prying into their family life and ancient history is part of why a lot of good people won’t run. I was thinking more of the kind of accountability involved with being paid through / working with public monies.

  147. This is hilarious. I can’t read all the comments but Americans should be reminded that the rest of the world, and especially the acting world, is far less homophobic than us, and therefore do not scrutinize their every posture based on their sexual preference. They just hang out with their bros. They might even *gasp* HUG! And this is so benign that ideas that it confirms a sexual relationship are silly.
    This is why I never followed RA gossip, fan pages, etc. It just gets stupid.

  148. … and soooo boring :(

  149. Richard Armitage is a fabulously talented actor and quite frankly I could care less I’d he sleeps with women, men, cats, or dogs. I expect a great performance and no more or less. I love his work and will support it regardless of his personal life choices. Life is short, be happy and screw anyone who cannot open their minds to support you! You don’t need them anyway. Live your life, maximize your craft, and make yourself happy. If anyone says they are your fan, they owe you awe and unconditional support. Do what makes you happy and worry not, your true fans will follow you regardless of anything!

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