The Reality of Richard Armitage Rephrased

Esquire-Dec2013-3Despite how my post of the other day sounded, I believe Richard Armitage is an introvert, and in my opinion, most rabid fans are introverts as well. We love his ability to use his solitude to create these characters who touch us so deeply, and who make many of us get alone with ourselves and ask ourselves questions about why we may or may not do certain things in our lives. For me it was the creative urge which I had squelched for a long time.

But sadly there is confusion about the definition of introvert, and the Internet doesn’t help. Here’s what you get when you Google the word:


This one little slice of data has the ability to create so many misunderstandings and should be a lesson that when the Internet is wrong, it can be really wrong.

So what is an introvert?

A good definition and a little history of personality theories can be found here.

Obviously the most significant misconception is that introverts are shy. I am an introvert, and I’m married to an introvert, yet it’s been a long time since anyone accused us of being shy. SO and I are often in social settings due to his profession. and when we’re in that setting, we can almost look like the quintessential extraverts because we aren’t shy. However, we both desperately need alone time. and this can often be mistaken for selfishness. Whatever someone wants to think, I cannot always be in the presence of people or even mostly in the presence of people and neither can SO. Some of our closest friends have shaken their heads at how we are about getting alone, which means not only removing ourselves from the stimulation of other people but sometimes from each other. This allows each of us to process life. I call it stepping out of the fray. Frankly, if we had not both been introverts, I don’t think our marriage would have survived.

Given all of that, how am I surmising Richard Armitage is an introvert? He’s told us he is. Maybe he hasn’t said those words (or maybe he has and I missed it), but he’s made it plain that he spends copious amounts of time reading and more important, processing. Then there are his latent writer tendencies with the back stories for his characters. Add to that his own admission of sequestering himself at times from his cast mates. He’s also said he hates things like the red capret, and yet when you meet him one-on-one, he’s very at ease and charming. Introverts can much more easily handle an intimate meeting than a big crowd, which means it’s better to meet him one-on-one. I’ve observed him both ways and much prefer the latter. I’m not sure that can be said for most actors. Once the mask is off and no words are written for them, it seems most are a little dull.

It should be noted that someone’s degree of introversion is on a continuum, so that we’re not all the same.

For further information and a celebration of introverts, a great Ted Talk from Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

note: when I was younger and aggressively trying to make a mark in my profession, I was given the Myers-Briggs test. Actually, it was administered twice over the course of my tenure with a particular company, and I was an ENTJ both times. Years later I took the test again and was an INTJ, which I believe is closer to my true personality.

edit: I was actually an ENTJ and then an ENTP years ago. I think I knew at the time that I needed to be an extravert to get ahead where I was working, but I was NEVER comfortable with that. And yes, I’m curious about what personality Richard Armitage may be. I can speculate, but obviously I can’t fully know.

note: if you like the photo above of Richard Armitage, then buy the individual issue of Esquire UK that has the original, or better yet, subscribe to the magazine.

Another Reaction to the Hobbit Fan Event

I’m enjoying these fan reactions. Whether they paint a complete picture of Richard Armitage or not, they’re still interesting, and in the interest of a little diversity (especially in light of the recent Esquire Magazine release), below is Armitagebesotted’s unabashed reaction to seeing internet crush Richard Armitage for the first time live (at the Hobbit fan event in New York). If you’re prone to Armitage Protection Mode, you may want to think twice about reading this. Why? Because you need to read the whole thing and not trip and then quit reading after the opening paragraph.

He’s just a guy — who looked anxious, and uncomfortable, and squirmed like a bug being examined under glass. He’s clearly an introvert (not shy, Google the difference) who hates these things. He picked at his cuticles,wriggled in his seat and ducked his head self-consciously to the point that I actually felt guilty for participating in making him miserable by being an audience member.

But that didn’t stop me from staring. Steadily. For 45 minutes. (I missed a lot of the movie stuff and totally tuned out Anderson Cooper.)

I’m sorry, Richard. Please forgive me my obsession. I’m besotted, and I can’t help myself.

Others have written good descriptions of the lines, security, etc., so I’ll skip that. These are my further impressions:

Meeting fellow fangirls was the best, but I found the fan event presentation itself a little…underwhelming. It was disorganized and unrehearsed, and that was painfully obvious. All three “talents” (Bloom, Armitage and Cooper) looked like they desperately would have liked some direction, but they made the best of it.

RA’s introduction was buried in clapping for Bloom (RA deserved a solo entrance!), and there was no “ending.” Bloom, Armitage and Cooper just popped off their chairs as the sneak peeks started and slunk out of the theater in the dark — all three of them. We didn’t get to clap goodbye.

But we clapped, hooted and hollered the whole time they were on stage, so really, what did they miss?

There was a substantial amount of dead air. Several times, while waiting for the images from the other cities to appear on screen and to sync up, we in the audience were entertained by the crawl of Twitter messages at the bottom of the screen, including our own. I prodded my seat mates to put something out so we would see how long they took to appear (only a few minutes.)

My favorite was: “LOOK my tweet is on the big screen!!!” Janine Pineo’s tweet got a major rush of recognition, causing the three on stage to look up like, “Huh? What are they clapping for?”

There’s a story in there about the existentialism of supplementing the actual “event” (live people on stage in front of you) with your own stage-ignoring activity (fumbling with a gadget) in order to “participate” in the event. Or does that mean WE were the event? I will leave that to others to analyze.

Often, the theater was kind of quiet while Cooper listened to whatever was coming through his earphone and Bloom and Armitage squirmed. I was thinking it would be entertaining to give Armitage a phone book and ask him to read out loud to us. Or a Chinese restaurant menu. Too bad I didn’t have the guts to yell that out. Instead, I’m lamely putting it out now, as if I actually pulled off a good joke.

Speaking of yelling, people were heckling Anderson Cooper — Anderson Cooper, I tell you! Out of over-excitement, boredom or antsy-ness, I’m not sure which.

Bloom and Armitage spent most of their time looking down at their monitor, which was below the stage, in front of us, so that provided another weird disconnect. We’re right in front of them, and they weren’t looking at us.

We were looking at them, though. Non-stop. With comments. Bloom loved it. Armitage hated it.

Richard only got to speak once, but, of course, he made the most of it and was wonderful.

He’s very thin again. Thinner than last month in LA. Lucas North thin. His jeans were loose. I thought he looked tired and, dare I say it, frail.

The images of Richard on screen, on the other hand, were fabulous — and drew cheers from our crowd repeatedly. He and Orlando stood in the back during the trailer that opened the show and today I read that they watched the scenes from the movie which closed the show from the back, also. RA had to be gratified to hear us scream wildly every time he appeared. Bloom got his clapping, too, but there was no mistaking that this was a Richard Armitage audience. The roar each time Thorin appeared was LOUD.

Gripe, gripe, gripe. Having unloaded all my complaints, I will also throw in a few compliments. I can’t imagine, but do appreciate, the technology and technical support behind pulling off this event. Actually, we got one clue; there were four semis with satellite dishes on their roofs outside our theater in New York.

The 20 minutes of footage from the not-yet-released film which Peter Jackson wrangled out of Warner Brothers was a true gift to the fans. I do like to see anyone best entertainment conglomerates, so “Go, Peter!” Please continue to prove that the “creatives” who invent the “content” are in charge, not the financiers and the promoters.

Ooops, is my snarky, skeptical side showing? The marketing element of this “event” was inescapable. We all signed waivers….

The best part of the experience was meeting other fans and connecting on-screen fake names with real people and real names (which will not be revealed here.) This fandom’s dedication is mighty impressive. When I found myself between a woman who had driven overnight from Michigan and two who had flown from Chicago and Idaho, respectively, I decided to keep to myself how disgruntled I was when my train ran slowly from Times Square to 68th Street, making my trip from Brooklyn take a whole hour.

Frenz’s reaction: Maybe a little APM kicked in on me. LOL!

Dear Rich,

What a pain in the ass to be present at an event that is not well planned and have a bunch of people watching me like a hawk. I probably would have picked my cuticles too and squirmed and just generally wondered when can I get out of here!

But no worries that we don’t love you as you can see how we completely take the organizers to task and never you. :D

The particulars of the event aside, it should be obvious that we all just like to see you in person. Mostly I think because some of us have a hard time believing you’re real and must see for ourselves that you are. You’re like a dream, Man. And if I stop long enough to really think about that, it makes me feel bad for you. That’s a helluva persona to carry around. Who could do that non-stop? Even your toilet joke doesn’t seem to detract from it.

I’ve said enough. Just know I still love you even if you do pick your cuticles.

A crazy fan — of yours. A crazy fan of yours.

P.S. You do have some really wonderful fans. I thank you personally for that! I just hate I didn’t get to see any of them this time around.

Like Armitagebesotted, I appreciate the technology of the event and also the dynamics “the powers that be” were trying to accomplish. Maybe it was just too ambitious with not enough time to pull it off. If this is done again, I would bet it will be much better organized. Looking forward to that.

I feel a letter to Sir Peter coming on, so I’ll stop with that line of thinking, or this post will take forever to load!

Before I go, Armitagebesotted and I want to once again thank Library Girl for her graciousness and let her know we both feel ANYTIME we get a chance to see Richard Armitage in the flesh, is a good time!

I understand RA Central has more media and lots of it!

And I’m looking forward to TheQueen’s take on things. No pressure though, Queen, no pressure. :D

Now I’m really done.

The Reality of Richard Armitage

The Hobbit event today will give another wave of adoring fans the chance to see Richard Armitage in the flesh for the first time, and I eagerly await their reactions. I always eagerly await a fan’s reaction to seeing Richard for the first time, because no matter the thought of him, the reality is different. Certainly, this is the case with most celebrities, and usually, it means they are not quite as dazzling in real life. They are just people after all.

This is not the case with Richard Armitage. Oh sure, he’s a person with foibles like the rest of us, but also does have that curious blend of grace and brawn we all love as well as a gracious demeanor and gorgeous eyes. And before I was actually confronted with him at no more than a foot away, I was wondering how much of that could be attributed to camera angles, editing of film clips, etc. I’m a skeptic by nature borne out of my many experiences meeting the famous as a child and young adult. Those experiences were never fan driven but rather as a result of my father’s occupation. I have no idea how many celebrities, whether sports heroes or dignitaries or Hollywood types, that I’ve met. It wasn’t unusual for my parents to have the famous at our dinner table, and so I had plenty of time to observe these people in a more natural setting, which taught me very quickly not to be dazzled. People are people, and I still believe that.

But all of the wonderful assets of Richard Armitage are not only present, they may be present exponentially and especially his kindness. I don’t think someone can fake the kindness he exudes. It is palpable, but not an obsequious sort of kindness that seeks to send the tacit message, “Look at how kind I’m being to you.” It’s more a confident, comfortable in his skin kindness that says, “I like people. I like you, and this is a pleasant interlude.” In fact, his serene demeanor is stunning. He is an unflappable individual. Certainly he has his moments of temper out of control, but for the most part, I get the impression he’s a happy individual. Either that or he was on drugs when I saw him. :D

If I had to pick a character whom he most resembles in look and actions, it would be Monet.


And the most shocking thing about seeing him in person? His nose is not prominent. It just looks like a man’s nose and not the distracting proboscis the photos often convey. His nose is beautiful, and he is beautiful, and I rarely use a word like that to describe an individual much less a man.

Is There an Elephant in the Room?

January 13, 2012

Friggatriskaidekaphobia or “Fear of Friday the 13th” is with us again. This year will be especially bad. Occurrences of Friday the 13th from year to year vary from one to three, but in 2012 there will be five at 13 week intervals. Even if nothing happens, the possibilities must be terrific for those who are superstitious. Personally, I’ve only thought about the number 13 with fondness, and more especially when it’s on Friday as my father was born on Friday the 13th. He was a happy man most of his life and encouraged me to laugh at things like superstition, but unfortunately, he also encouraged me to avoid disappointment, which I often manifested as superstition. For too many years of my life I did everything I could to keep from being disappointed to the degree I didn’t talk about anything that really excited me. People had to pay close attention to figure out what I was passionate about. I believed that if I expressed my excitement overtly, it would be a jinx. So I kept my mouth shut about anything I really loved except for my children. They were too overwhelming for me to remain silent and withdrawn. In every other area I was on guard about ever feeling a tinge of let down and yet was continually let down. The thing I was trying to avoid I was wallowing in daily.

So what does all of this have to do with Richard Armitage? Well, he will be one of thirteen “dwarves” and the second Hobbit movie will come out on December 13, 2013 which is a Friday. Horrors! ;=) That aside, this fear of disappointment does factor into the dynamic his current fans are experiencing with his coming performance in ‘The Hobbit’. Some are afraid to let themselves get pumped up. The Frenz of old would have certainly been too cool to ever get caught up in the excitement and would have expressed caution to others. Thank God the old Frenz is on the wane, and the new one is having a blast feeling the thrill. And of course the question is out there, oh yeah, it’s still out there: couldn’t RA disappoint the public and me as well? Yes, he could, but I’m not going to dwell on that especially since it may not even happen. If it does, I’ll deal with it. And superstition can take its fat, capricious self back to the corner and stay there.

Once again I’ve mixed metaphors or bordered on it. I’m glad I haven’t let my fear of doing that, of not getting things perfect or darn near (how arrogant to think I could), stop me from writing this blog.

I Know You’re All Waiting

…Waiting for Richard Armitage to give us a message. I still think it would be cool if he did a verbal, and no, I won’t be disappointed if he doesn’t. But wouldn’t that be cool? Seriously? Oh well, maybe next year. :D

A picture for your trouble in coming over here. It just never gets old, and as usual you can click to enlarge:

Screencap from my stash

edit: if you’re new to Richard Armitage, I hope that photo might somehow inspire you to stop and consider what’s going on in New Zealand and give them some help.