The Mind

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Richard Armitage is the epitome of tall, dark and handsome. Probably most reading this heartily agree, and some who have no clue about him would agree if they watched him. What did the interview referenced in my last FanstRA piece say?

He is tall (tick), dark (tick) and handsome (tick), with piercing blue eyes (double tick). Ladies, your swoons have not been wasted.

Oh, I know they’re well placed, but not for the obvious reasons. There are so many good looking actors to swoon over. Legions whose looks are worthy of the description above. Take a trip to Hollywood and you will literally see them everywhere you go. But they’re visual cotton candy. There is nothing that inspires beyond a few moments because beautiful as they are, they never get beyond the viscera of your thinking. Even many of the thoughtful actors rarely get much beyond it. Or maybe that’s just me. Maybe it’s just me who seldom repeatedly examines even an actor’s great performances beyond the event in order to mine something more profound. Sometimes I might examine the lighting or the body language or any number of practical aspects to determine what it was that was effective in conveying the message, and I might relive the performance repeatedly in my imagination in order to feel the thrill of it again. But to find the message enigmatic and compelling because of the actor’s portrayal and forcing me to go beyond the obvious to try to root out what is deeply embedded in my brain? To make me examine something about myself and why I was really so struck by it? No, that seldom happens with performances. Maybe with books, but usually with performances I know why I’m affected. I know immediately and can often verbalize it.

And then there’s the actor himself. Very few when interviewed or when speaking for any length of time really hold my interest. It’s almost always a let down. But enter Richard Armitage, who has made me question countless things with his portrayals, and I can’t stop doing it. The fact I’ve done this has puzzled me to no end. Yes, I’m still puzzled, but I love this. I love being puzzled, being in a continual state of curiosity, and the irony of him is that the more he speaks, the more I’m curious. Wow. I think of the artists who are generally considered enigmatic, and much of it was effected by the fact they weren’t talking. They only let their art do the talking, and probably wisely kept their mouths shut to maintain the mystique. But let this guy talk, and he becomes more interesting and makes me wonder what I’ve been missing. Case in point:

I have not been a fan of fantasy although I’ve read some science fiction and some classical fantasy novels. Mostly done to ensure my education was not lacking. But I am rethinking that interest and was rethinking it long before I knew Richard Armitage would be in ‘The Hobbit.’ It’s been coming to me for a long time now that I almost killed my imagination in the pursuit of control. I’m so sorry about that, but I’m not dead, so it’s not too late for me to regain what was such a rich part of my childhood. Richard Amitage has definitely been inspirational. I’ve also always loved words but was never encouraged to really play with them or learn how to shape things with them. My talents so obviously lay in another area, and that is where I was continually directed, but it never satisfied. Armitage gets credit for rekindling my interest in words to the degree that I’m now doing something about it! I mean how can I listen to something like this on the heels of listening to his audio books and not be inspired?

I said in one of my diary entries that a beautiful voice is not enough. The person must have something interesting to say. That’s where writers come in. But with Richard Armitage, he brings something to it I’ve rarely witnessed. He has a rich mind, keeps it well nourished and applies it to his craft. That is a great part of his ability to hold us all in thrall even if only using his voice. Much more than a pretty boy. He’s a thinker and we benefit from it.

And one of my favorite thinkers shares her reactions to his performances:

Servetus and I have had many discussions offline that have been such an enjoyment and encouragement to me. Although we bring our own observations and don’t always agree, we do have some things in common and have a mutual respect.

Photo courtesy of the Russian Richard Armitage Fan site. You can check out the rest by clicking on the photo.