A Hole in the Ground

How is it that a person who a little more than a year ago was holding a LEGO in his hands…

200px-thOrinlego

…is now the lead in a history play which is a veiled reference to the hysteria in America during the 50s? Ahh yes, I get it. Ask and ye shall receive. I said Daniel Day-Lewis one too many times. ;-)

Daniel Day-Lewis in The Cruible

Go ahead and click on that photo. You get to see a pretty good “love” scene and back when people still knew the name Winona Ryder. Whatever happened to her anyway? Yeah, I know she had sticky fingers, but what happened to her after that? No, don’t answer. It will just take us off of this serious topic. Other than that, DAMN! that Daniel was hot. He’s still hot in my opinion.

Wait! I just realized there will be no screencaps like this from Richard Armitage’s performance at The Old Vic. Help! I’m already starting to have withdrawal!

Seriously, I understand this move. It is how a person washes the taste of Hobbits out of his psyche.

And that’s my H entry for this April challenge thingy.

There Will Be Pictures or Aspiring Armitage Part II ?

December 24, 2013

Richard Armitage YowzaA 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 realist and figured if I didn’t want to just dig my heels in about my opinion, I could have some fun with this. Obviously, I chose the latter, and I’m probably always going to choose the latter, and when I don’t choose the latter, it would be just one continuous bitch session. That’s no fun.

But while I’m on this subject, I think I will vent just a wee bit.

I hope after four years (January 2011 to December 2014) of his life being invested in The Hobbit, that Richard Armitage gets some really fine roles. I long to see him in roles like Daniel Day-Lewis plays or Russell Crowe plays or roles that any number of actors of that caliber often play. Yes, I’ve said this before, but I’m compelled to say it again. This means I welcome him playing ugly and damaged characters, and he could shave his head and truthfully, it wouldn’t make me drink. I think it would some fans, and I understand that. When I was first a fan (too long ago to admit at the moment), I didn’t want to see him like that either although Sparkhouse was the role that sold me as a fan for life, and honestly, they could have ditched the makeover and it would have been a better show. Anyway, I’m long past needing to see the heartthrob, and I’m in the minority. But I can’t change the fact I’m ready for him getting down and dirty in some roles about the human condition.

In the meantime, I’ve decided to laugh and have fun with the plastic period and hope that he’s still in the mode of thoughtfully assessing what to do next.

And yes, I’ve wondered at times if Richard Armitage really is about 10 years or more behind in terms of life’s experiences. It’s hard to believe that, but sometimes I do think he’s naive and is more like a 20 something coming into notoriety instead of a man in his early 40s. That is not a criticism of him. Not at all. It’s merely an assessment, and most of the time he is so level headed. I guess I just really do hate to see him succumbing to something much younger actors succumb to and then have to work their way out of — the marketing of shallowness that others seem eager to foist on us.

If I had wanted to just be a fan of someone who had some really fine beefcake, or who was drop dead gorgeous, there was plenty to choose from. Plenty. I don’t see him that way or rather that’s not all there is to him, and it’s not the best part, but it seems to be mostly what we’re seeing lately. To his credit, he does try to elevate most discussion. I realize that and do give him tons of credit. I just hate like hell he has to go through the Hollywood machine to find great roles. Does it have to be that way? I really wonder.

edit: I started to call this “Becoming Jane.” :D No offense, Jane. I’m just teasing, but I also feel more as you do as I go on.

I will try to limit my criticism of the marketing ’cause I really do know it’s not fun to read this.

I Think Therefore I Am a Great Actor

Continuing on with my contribution to FanstRAvaganza 3:

I’m not going to pretend I understand all there is to know about Richard Armitage. Someone said earlier it would take at least a “40 parter” for that. May I suggest the parts would be infinite. I believe that’s the case for all of us. We are all complex. Some just make themselves look simple and in the doing of that lose our interest. Just know that this series is my attempt to shed a little light on what I’ve learned about this fascination with Richard and his characters. Also, there is no way I can do justice to Constantin Stanislavski, Bertold Brecht or Edward Gordon Craig within the confines of a blog post nor even a week of blogging on them. But I can highlight some salient points with respect to our guy.

When I first became aware of Richard Armitage, I just let myself enjoy the sensations his performances created in me. My greed for those feelings had me watching some of his shows over and over and over, and it wasn’t uncommon for me to feel like I was taking a drug. I’m fairly sure I appeared slack jawed to anyone who might have observed me in the process or shortly thereafter. And each time I came down from the high, I would intensely question myself about it. A common question was: how old am I? Never mind. :D The point is that I was old enough to know better than to be silly about some actor.

After I passed the initial euphoria, I had to explain (at least to myself) what had created it. A good looking guy with a great voice in a romantic role? That was it? I’m not quite so air headed or needy for male affirmation that it would generate this reaction. So I went in search of others who had a similar reaction. I lurked the forums for months, and there were some wonderful fan writings about the impressions Richard Armitage had made. Many others were overwhelmed by what they were seeing, but none of them (at least that I read) captured what was niggling in my brain, and candidly, I became frustrated by some of the rhapsodizing. I wanted it to answer me, and it just seemed like some were the same things said about every other good looking or compelling actor. I did watch other actors I appreciate for comparison — Edward Norton in ‘American History X,’ Gary Oldman in ‘My Immortal Beloved,’ Sean Penn in ‘Dead Man Walking,’ Russell Crow in ‘The Insider,’ Daniel Day-Lewis in ‘My Left Foot,’ ‘The Unbearable Lightness of Being,’ and ‘In the Name of the Father’ and even Jimmy Stewart in ‘It’s a Wonderful Life.’ All great performances, but it was abundantly clear they all had great writing and/or stories to propel them. Even with that, none of them had quite the same effect on me as Richard Armitage in much lesser roles and with less adept writing.

And what was the effect? An identification with something so real it made me feel I was there with the character and seeing the situation through his eyes. Some of those roles above had moments of that, but none were able to make me almost continuously see the story through their eyes — feeling their pain or frustration or joy or elation — as I have watching Richard Armitage. The only thing that has frequently had this effect on me is reading a well crafted book where a character or a scene has gotten inside my head, and I’m with them and in them, and sometimes I have to read books or parts of books again and again to experience the thrill of that moment of connection.

The scene in The Sun Also Rises where Jake is in the church trying to pray and then steps out into the sunlight is one of them. If there was ever a scene that I consider orgasmic, it’s that one. It nearly took my head off. There are others which come close, but that one I can barely speak of without almost having a meltdown, and I even got misty eyed typing these last few sentences. But with Richard Armitage, I was taken to that place of connection with almost no words. It was in his action:

Action or rather movement was integral to Craig, “theatre has sprung from movement.” Notice he doesn’t say words were the impetus. He does give deference to writing as the body of a play but movement was so important that he suggested the need for an Uber Marionette (sometimes described as inhuman) as the perfect actor who could be controlled by the director of a piece in order to achieve its vision. Richard Armitage has spoken several times of the importance of movement and his body to his craft, and he’s even spoken of smoldering with his back. Anyone who has seen the first episode of Robin Hood Series 3 knows how effectively he can use it:

But it is Stanislavski who explains how he is able to use his body to such great effect:

“if actors really mean to hold the attention of a large audience they must make every effort to maintain an uninterrupted exchange of feelings, thoughts, and actions among themselves. And the inner material for this exchange should be sufficiently interesting to hold spectators. The exceptional importance of this process makes me urge you to devote special attention to it and to study with care its various outstanding phases.”

Through Tortsov the Director he goes onto explain about self-communion, which is a way of facilitating intercourse within yourself and specifically between your brain and feelings, and communion between individuals, which requires you to first seek out the other person’s soul and inner world. At the train station when John Thornton looked at Margaret Hale, I felt he was looking at her soul, her inner world, and mine too. He was getting in my head.

I’m tired, and I’ve still got more to say, but I bid you adieu for now. More of this later. And hey, I got some pictures in this one. :D

Today’s Conversation found here.

edit: the thoughts in this post continue here.

Diary of an RA Fan — Part 14 Mr. Embouchure and the Black Hole

See Diary Part 13 here, or to access all entries, hit “The Diary” tab above.

Entry — a couple of years ago (2008) minus a few months:

I’m now the proud owner of a multi-region DVD player. $89 and a little shipping, and it’s sitting in the entertainment cabinet. And why? Because I wanted to watch something else with Richard Armitage and it wouldn’t play on a Region 1 DVD player. I tried to get it some other way, but noooo, it wasn’t available. Did that stop me? Certainly not. I got so excited I ordered it before I left mom’s house and it beat me home. Not a good move as it only created a lot of curiosity in the house. We already have a DVD player. Why didn’t I just hack the damn thing? So that makes a grand total of at least 300 bucks I’ve spent on Richard Armitage, and no one’s ever heard of him! Well, a few people on YouTube and IMDb and yeah, some people in England.

That night:

SO and the little SOs are gone for the evening. I’m so past them watching anything with Richard Armitage. I could care less if they watch him, but I’m ready to watch “Sparkhouse.” Part of me cannot believe I’m doing this. I really did hate Wuthering Heights. Plus, SO made a joke about me watching. Of course it’s a joke. Everything’s a joke, and I always laugh. I can’t help it. He’s funny. Then there’s his obsession with changing up names. So Richard Armitage got a new one. The day SO says Richard Armitage’s name correctly will be the day I probably need to quit watching his stuff. But for now SO made another crack as he was going out the door, “I hope you and Mr. Embouchure have a good time.” Oh we will. I think. Not sure. But with $89+shipping and $30+shipping for the video, it better be worth it. That makes over a 100 bucks to watch the guy in one movie. No matter how much I like Mr. Embouchure, that’s an expensive night at the movies. I salve my conscience with the fact I’ve rarely bought anything for myself — at least in the last several years.

A few hours later:

WHO is this guy?! Ewan MacGregor has a chameleon quality, and yeah, Russell Crowe can change himself quite a bit. But sometimes I can’t forget who they are. I didn’t even recognize Richard Armitage as the same actor. I knew going into this he was going to be different. I kept hearing on IMDb that this character looked almost nothing like him. But I still wasn’t prepared. I saw John Standring, and there was no thought of anyone else even after his transformation. Armitage becomes his characters more than any actor I’ve ever seen. Can I really make that grandiose statement about some obscure actor from England? But John Thornton was a force to be reckoned with. After watching him, I didn’t think Richard Armitage could be someone else so completely. Then he was Harry, and John Thornton was not even a thought in my head while I was watching him. Of course there was Guy, who was also a force and brooded so beautifully, but it wasn’t John Thornton’s brooding, and now another John, who really is another John and not just John Thornton with shaggy hair and dowdy clothes. Even after his haircut and change of clothes, the man, John Standring was still there only better looking. Wow. Why is this guy almost completely unknown? Is there that much of a barrier between here and England?

I wish SO would watch something more than Vicar of Dibley. That didn’t have nearly enough Richard Armitage to show his abilities. SO loves characters and stories so much he would love the acting this guy does. But he’s consigned Richard Armitage to nothing more than a Brad Pitt type of fascination for me. He’s so wrong. Brad Pitt never made me feel I’d been sucked into a black hole. Daniel Day-Lewis came close playing Gerry Conlon, but nothing like this.

John Standring has made this more than just a passing phase.

See Diary Part 15 here.

Screencaps courtesy of my stash.

Ahem

June 21, 2010

Well, I’ve pondered the weekend activities, which consisted of reading some non-graphic real fic about Richard Armitage, and have decided that yes, I am a bit uncomfortable with examining Richard Armitage quite so much when it’s not obviously humorous hence my post of yesterday. I guess that’s the reason I put up that post. Whether any of you were uncomfortable with the real fic, I was. I would hate it if someone examined me that closely, and sadly, some people have tried. But I will not be examined like that unless I deign to drop my proverbial pants and bend over, which I probably am not going to do in this lifetime. And I’m not sure Rich’s real pants dropping qualifies as an invitation to exam him with such scrutiny, and even if I could rationalize that it does, I don’t want to take him up on it. Sometimes people think they want to almost completely expose themselves in the quest to be understood, but really, that’s not the best way, so I won’t be going down that path in trying to understand Richard Armitage, or candidly, I’ll try not to go there.

Oh, hey, I’ve probably had all kinds of thoughts about him like I read this weekend and more besides, but I’m not so sure I want to go there so deeply with this blog. Go there? Yes, I will go there, but not smacking quite so much of reality. This is supposed to be fluff with only a little serious thrown in. I keep telling myself it’s only fluff with a little serious thrown in. Check. I think I’ve got it.

So I might touch on some serious things here, but I spend plenty of time examining serious things to the nth degree in my real life (I don’t like that term “real life” because I consider messing about on the internet as part of my real life. I haven’t quite compartmentalized it to the point I can call it an alternate reality, not seriously anyway. I’ve got to change “real life” to something else; hmmm. “offline life”? no, that sounds dead, and that life is teeming with so many wonderful and yes, sometimes terrible things that would never allow it to be called dead. I will have to think about a good term since I just don’t have one this morning. My clever machine is on the fritz right now. I’ve been reading too much German, which is quite a feat since I don’t really understand much of it. Is there any wonder why my brain is fried? And isn’t this a helluva parenthetical statement? I’ve just placed it here to see how long I could make it. Of course I’m doing it for that reason), I don’t need to do that here. Having given you this sort of diatribe, I’d like to go back to my insane self even though it’s not an alternate reality. I really am partially insane in my “real life.” Besides, the insane me is much more fun. Trust me it’s more fun.

Before I get off of this, I have to say: People, you are nosey! I put up an article about RA, in the comments section no less, and my hit count goes nuts. Yes, I know it’s due to the article. I can see what you’re doing. MUHAHAHAHA. No, I can’t see that much of what you’re doing only some keys you might hit. Yes, I’m nosey too — mostly about this RA thing — and it’s such a puzzle to me. I ask myself why a lot, and I have no good answer except that shallowly, yes, I’m shallow, very shallow at times I’m afraid, I like looking at those pictures of RA in his articles, and like the rest of the drooling masses who hang on his words, I want to hear what he thinks.

This is what confounds me, and yes, it’s one of the big reasons I’m anonymous. It’s embarrassing for someone as circumspect as I am. I’m dripping with circumspection, and for most of my life, I haven’t given a rat’s ass about what a celebrity/actor thought. Not even John Lennon. Well maybe a little and maybe I did care a little about what Kurt Cobain thought and sometimes what Daniel Day-Lewis thought and yes, a little bit of Kevin Spacey. But with John Lennon I heard so much about what he thought that I didn’t have a chance to get curious. Oh, well, I’ll never know now, and truthfully, although I love biographies and absolutely love to hear what people think and why, I guess I’ve consigned most (not all but most) actors to the stupid file so they rarely merit much attention beyond their performances. I have done this because most of the time they say stupid things to the public, and no, I don’t think RA is stupid. For cryin’ out loud, isn’t it apparent from this blog that I don’t think that? If not, then I really am a horrible writer.

Certainly, I am curious about what he is going to do next in terms of roles and even more what makes him choose those roles. See I can’t help it. He really does fascinate me and especially his chameleon quality. He’s kind of a male Meryl Streep only better looking and certainly sexier because I have never been attracted to Meryl Streep. Oh, I love her as an actress and think she is the best female actor (no question in my mind about that!), but she’s not my type.

Note:

After successively posting two pieces alternating between bravado and self-consciousness (on several levels), I need a damn good picture, but I’m not sure which one would be better than in yesterday’s post or even equal it. That is still my favorite RA picture. PHWOAR! Can any top it?

Need to get back to my Diary because I really do think it will help me figure out what the hell has happened to me, and no, I don’t consider it dropping my pants. Hey, my fascination with Richard Armitage is just a small portion of my messed up thinking. Did I just admit it’s messed up thinking to be this fascinated with a celebrity? ;-)