I Have a Smile on My Face

Armitage Besotted called me several nights ago to say, “Get out of your sickbed and look at Marlise Boland’s interview with Richard Armitage!” I could hear a grin in Besotted’s voice, but I couldn’t watch the interview ’cause I was that sick. But the next day I loaded up the two videos, and then sat there with a smile growing on my face while I watched. It seems Marlise has figured out how to get our guy to be very at ease, and I base that on my impressions and some Besotted also pointed out:

  • He accepted her compliments about his performance in The Crucible without protest or deflection: “It’s the moment when you realize that you’re an actor.” “It makes you vibrate, and the audience feels it, too.” “It’s sort of the bit that happens between the writer and the actor channeling it, and it’s sort of somewhere in mid- air between you and the audience, and they catch it. It’s really the ___ (mumbles an indecipherable word).”
  • He spoke on his career and his recent film and theater choices as if he were sitting with a friend: “I’m an ensemble player, and I know it. I’m not a big entertainer, and I’m not somebody who likes to put their head above the parapet, above everybody else.” “I feel quite fulfilled actually.” “I feel like my career’s always been a slow burn. I’m a slow developer. I went to drama school very late. I’m not an impatient person. I’m very, very patient. Id rather have it when it’s right than too soon. As long as I’m fulfilled and it’s inspiring me, I’m very happy.”
  • He made a willing admission that he’s changing his behavior after visiting Brazil: “Show your emotions.” “Show how happy and excited you are.” “Show you have a feeling. I’ve got to say, it felt good.”
  • His voice and expression were soft and incredulous and intimate when he revealed the highlight of his year: “…the opening night of The Crucible.” Pause. “…it’s an amazing feeling when an audience gets to their feet.” (The smile on my face at this point was huge, and it thrilled me Meg was able to in some respects capture his reaction.)
  • He trusted her enough to flirt with her and give her openings:
    A: “Do you think you have one question that no one, no one would have asked?” M: “Thorin: boxers or briefs?” A: “Neither.” Pause, louder: “Neither.” Both giggle.
    A: “Thorin’s Box of Joy — sounds a bit rude,” said with a bit of a leer.

Besotted and I went on to talk about how proud we are of Marlise. Like her we are both women entrepreneurs who have run successful businesses and know how incredibly hard that is. It’s always hard to start with nothing or almost nothing and make something. Then to be out there on your own doing it over and over again without an institution or a machine is one helluva piece of work and requires someone to be sharp almost 24/7. Mostly it requires someone to have a personality that can inspire trust and confidence. I would say Marlise Boland has done that very well with Richard Armitage.

If I’m being really candid, I would say she’s done what some of us have longed to do — sit down and have a chat with Richard and one where he’s not just rattling off the standard responses. Oh sure, some of the things he said in this interview he has said before, but there was an ease and sincerity and a type of intimacy with Marlise that was striking.

And it should come as no surprise that I had a favorable reaction to Marlise’s interview considering what I’ve said earlier.


Thank you, and keep it up. You Go, Girl!

A new fan

P.S. I should have written something about your first interviews with RA which I also liked, and these new ones are even better.

For those who may not know, I call these cyber letters of mine “fake fan letters” because when I write them, I usually have no expectation the addressees will see them. It’s merely another way to express what I’m thinking, and yes, sometimes they’re done for a laugh. This one is very sincere.

Note: very often in this fandom, I have refrained from reading or hearing what others think before I can take my own impressions of something. Of course nothing is ever assessed without any influence from elsewhere in my life, but I try to remain free for a time of other fans’ thoughts. I was tempted to read the take others had on this interview given the angst from quite a few months ago. I even momentarily clicked on some links and then immediately backed out. Now that I’ve said what I think, I will take some time to peruse other posts, and if our group is anything like in the past, I’ll agree with some, disagree with others, but I’m sure all of it will make me think.

I hope all of you are doing well, and I want you to know that I am grateful to those of you who kept reading my neglected blog and to those of you who sent me prayers and words of encouragement. It did encourage me. Thank you again!


For those who haven’t seen the interview, there you go:



  1. I loved this interview. Pleased to see I wasn’t alone :)

  2. These have become my favorite interviews … I hope there will be many more. I could watch them both chatting like friends all day.
    Yes … I’d love to be in that situation where RA felt comfortable with me :)

  3. As a fan, but of someone else, I found the buzz about this interview fascinating. To judge from the reactions I have read, a lot of fans have issues with her. It bothered me a little that she felt free to touch him. On the face no less. That’s a very intimate form of touch and I don’t think it is respectful from either a fan or a journalist. Especially when she has him on camera and he can’t react negatively. True, celebrities understand that people want to touch them, and they get used to it. But I felt she was taking advantage. I have met My Guy and chatted with him 3 times now after shows, and I would never dream of touching him unless he initiated it.
    On the other hand, you are right that RA feels comfortable with her. He doesn’t find her threatening, perhaps because she is not a professional. He looked very relaxed and happy, which made for a great interview. My favorite thing was “Thorin’s Box of Joy,” which shows his wit and naughtiness. At the end there was a hug, which he initiated. But then he said “See you on the red carpet.” To me, it seemed he was putting her back in her place by subtly saying, “I like you, but we are not close friends.”
    A final thought: she deserves praise for her success. I agree 100% with that.

  4. It sounds like you are improving and feeling a bit better, fingers x. If they made you smile and cheer up, that’s good :-) Hope things are on the upward curve and you’ll soon be ok again. Sending best wishes your way and hope you can enjoy the holidays :-)

  5. Dear Frenz,
    Per usual, I feel the same way. I’m happy to are RA relaxed with his new friend, Marlise. Having met Marlise briefly this summer, I can tell you she is the real deal. She is gracious, charming and she is lovely to behold.
    This community of well-wishers comes in all shapes and sizes. It is wonderful to know that we can all come together to support others’ creative efforts as well as charitable causes.
    I say to all, well done. Very well done.
    Much love and healing wishes from this side of this great land of ours. Xo

  6. I’m glad you are back into the land of the living- what a siege you’ve been through. Hope all of your family is improving as well….

    I definitely enjoyed these interviews! And her 1st interviews were one of the very 1st ones I saw when I started looking for info about RA- So I have a bias toward Marlise :) I also agree with a lot of what Linnet had to say too.

    It seems clear that RA likes Marlise, and they have both helped each other in some respects. I haven’t caught up on all the press tour interviews, but I agree with you that a lot of these comments he made to her seem new, at least in tone if not in content (if that makes sense?) I think he can have a higher level of comfort with her because she doesn’t work for someone else as most journalists do. And I in fact see her as more of a fan who is trying to build her web business than as a trained journalist. I also don’t believe for one second that access will somehow be limited to Marlise in the future, as some have concern about- I can’t figure out how that would benefit Richard, so I don’t even see it as a live possibility.

    I just think it’s all good & there’s room at the RA table for all of us :) Happy Saturday! (I’ll also have to read what you wrote in March, I wasn’t here then :)

  7. I’ve already posted some of my thoughts on this topic elsewhere. I just wanted to say I’m so happy to hear from you and and I hope your health is improving.

  8. They were super interviews, Frenz. Perhaps the most relaxed I have seen which to me indicates that he and Marlise have an easy bond with each other.
    I found nothing wrong in 1 or 2. Richard has been around the PR circuit for long enough now to manipulate an interview process the way he might wish for it to proceed and he’s quite capable of keeping interviewers at arm’s length if he wants – with consummate etiquette, of course.
    He and Marlise strike well off each other. She relaxes him (and other talent she has interviewed) and he reacts accordingly.
    She is not alone in her skill, there are many others who interview in just that same way – luminaries like Michael Parkinson for example – but it is an accomplished art form and she has certainly matured in her own manner of delivery.
    The other point is that she is interviewing a man who has little or no ego and self-importance and by golly, it shows! In the end, it was obvious that Marlise really likes him as a fellow human being and that Richard likes her back. The hug from him was spontaneous and I loved his little aside ‘See you on the Red Carpet!’ because to be frank, amongst the crowd of unknown faces and firing flashes, it must be a rock in a stormy sea to see a few faces that one knows and likes!

  9. Speaking of rocks, reading this blog post is like finding a rock of common sense and generosity of spirit in a sea of jealousy and pettiness (aimed not only at Ms. Boland, but at Ms. Dunn). I’m exhausted from fighting the high seas of unnecessary analysis and the battering waves of bitchery. So THANK YOU for this.

    I make no secret that I enjoy the Anglophile interviews. They are really far preferable to the triteness of the interviews on the rest of the press junket and the slightly unpleasant atmosphere of some recent interviews by UK journos.
    They’re a little different from the interviews with greendragon (which also show a great rapport between interviewer and interviewee) or the classic interview at Vulpis Libris, but I prefer these because of the fun that seems to be going on.
    We all need fun, now more than ever and RA is no exception.

  10. In fairness, I should add that you’re not the only island of sane. Here’s another

  11. It is good to know this interview put a smile on your face as it did for many of us who may not have needed a lift quite as much as you. I hope you have more and more to smile about in both an RA and personal context.

  12. I am absolutely speechless. I go off and bake some cookies, throw a pizza party, slap some apple pies together and the whole dang RAfanworld goes nuts. Insane I tell you! This interview was downright fun…as was the first one!! I laughed with them. I blushed. I giggled. And thought, “I would’ve loved to have been a fly on the wall…”! I’d 10 million times rather watch this type interview that the scripted, factory line interviews. Does that make me weird? :) Thanks for the positive vibes.

  13. Thanks for this blogpost! I completely concur with you- loved the interview- a breath of fresh air amongst so many boring interviews.
    One can like this style of interviewing or not, but there’s no reason for such vitriolic criticism. My gut feeling tells me that Richard really enjoyed the informal atmosphere ( but of course I didn’t (over)analyse it in depth ;-) ).
    I wish you and your family a speedy recovery and Merry Christmas!
    Good to have you back!

  14. I’m glad so many enjoyed the interview. It was fun.

    As to differing opinions, it’s part of life. But I did not realize when I posted that the angst of several months ago had intensified. Since Marlise is a big girl, I leave it to her to handle negativity she receives, and if she’s been around, she knows it’s going to happen. Anytime you do something, it’s going to get some negativity. I guess what I don’t get is why it’s so strong against her. That is a bit mystifying, but to be really candid, I have not had time nor inclination to really ponder it much. Oh, I could speculate about it, but to me, it’s not worth it. I have no desire to stir anything up. I’m here for the fun and to enjoy all of you and hopefully bring enjoyment but not to get in a squabble by choosing a side on this.

  15. Common sense and fun – sounds like a good blog for me now to follow and ditch the ones that causes pain last week!

  16. Btw, I’m sure that there are more RA blogs than just two that have received this interview positively, or they haven’t blogged about it so far. I just haven’t found them yet (in my relatively shallow blog-reading), and there’s so much negatively everywhere else in the fandom that I was ecstatic to find these positive posts. I’m glad to hear of any other other happy posts.

  17. Thanks for that, Cill.

    I’d be lyin’ to say I can’t be negative about various and sundry things that sometimes occur in this fandom. I have been at times, but I felt none of that about these interviews.

    BTW, I have no problem with people sharing their thoughts about this situation. I just don’t feel inclined to say much about it. Part of that is that I really don’t have the energy. Part of it is that I’m behind on the Christmas festivities.

  18. Cill, you nailed it on the head! Expressed my thoughts exactly!

  19. Frenz, I am in complete agreement with you! BTW, feel better soon!

  20. I love Marlise. She was incredibly kind the two times that I have met her. I hope she keeps doing these interviews. They are fun and let us see a very relaxed Richard.

  21. You are kind, Rebecca. :). I’ve seen that over and over.

    Before the holiday season really gets into full swing, I wanted to welcome Mary, who I don’t think has ever posted here. If I’m wrong about that, let me know!

    I also want to say Linnett raised some interesting points, but to me, Marlise is like a lot of other entertainment journalists who are not in the usual vein of journalists but more relaxed and playful. Thinking of talk shows. Prue’s example is a great one!

  22. I knew i was going to misspell LInnet’s name! It’s one T. One T. :D

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