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.

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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.

Oh Yeah, It’s Cool

But not for the reasons you may think.

Richard Armitage has managed to impress one of the toughest demographics — fan boys. Okay, it was one guy out of the demographic, but I’m running with it. I have encountered enough fan boys over the years to know how picky they can be. My first encounter taught me. He was into monsters and those monsters had to be just so. The right kind of plastic molded to perfection. He went on to become Ivan Stang. Excuse me that’s Reverend Ivan Stang, founder of the Church of the SubGenius. “Ivan” was going to have things his way. LOL!

So our resident fan boy, Eric Vespe, aka Quint from Ain’t It Cool, gave us his report and saw what so many of us see and rave about. How good it was to hear from someone else — and a hard case to boot:

It’s late in the day and the idea is that this is a suitable place to make camp, but Gandalf wants to push on and seek Elrond’s council at Rivendell.

This scene is all about Thorin and my first real chance at seeing Richard Armitage craft a layered performance with the character. Thorin’s a stubborn dwarf, very much a leader, but is smart enough to heed the council of Gandalf.

He is a man torn in this scene. His deep resentment at the elves (he believes they have betrayed his ancestors by not stepping in when they needed their help) pulls him one way, but his respect for Gandalf pulls him the other.

Sir Ian had to be here for this moment since a full performance was required from both men, so he spent the day as he does most days on this movie: standing on a platform a good 2-3 feet off the ground. Peter was getting mostly medium shots and over the shoulders (or beside the shoulder for the shots from Gandalf to Thorin if you want to be anal about it) so there shouldn’t be any need for digital augmentation here.

Armitage does a great job with Thorin’s inner struggle. The look on his face isn’t someone locked into a decision. Gandalf urges him to seek Elrond’s help, for the good of the quest. Instead of playing it like a stone-faced general, Armitage does weigh his options and mostly in reaction to Gandalf’s words, not in his own dialogue.

Read the rest of the report here

But that’s not all. He saw something that most of us don’t get to see often, Richard Armitage as himself, and I would say this is a glowing report:

Feelin’ the love!

Thank you, Eric. :) and if you read this, I have a question. Is fan boy two words or one?