Down Under Has It — The Lords of the North Winners

A little history before I tell you something about the two winners of The Lords of the North audio books. A few years ago I had a giveaway of this book, and after I announced the contest had begun, the BBC contacted me to ask me if I wanted some more books. I said, “Sure, just let me know how best to order them from you, because it has been a bit difficult.” The woman I spoke with said, “No, we’ll give them to you. Just tell us how many you want and where to send them.” You could have knocked me down with a feather, but I recovered long enough to ask for three books. I wish I had been more on the ball and asked for a dozen. :D I gave away two of the books and planned to give away the other but never got around to it until now.

In the meantime, I found a windfall of books and was able to obtain several others from a dealer for a decent price. I’ve been sitting on those for at least a year. But my friends, life has been chaos at my house, so yeah, this is the first opportunity I’ve really had to do this, and I say that because most of my posts are by the seat of my pants, but a giveaway has to be more planned out. Okay enough of this, onto the winners. (is that a comma splice? I’m never sure. Yes, I suck at grammar).

Because of so much interest in the audio book, I decided to award two winners. The first winner will receive the 10 CD set, and the second winner will receive a 1 CD set. Other copies i have will be awarded another time. Probably later this year.

Being my usual curious self, I wanted to know about these two winners, what there interest was in the book and about being fans of Richard Armitage.

The first winner is Carolyn:

A beautiful beach in Adelaide

A beautiful beach in Adelaide

I have tried everything to get this set and all to no avail – my life is now complete. The only thing to surpass this would be to meet RA, and with Adelaide being a bit of an Australian backwater I don’t hold much hope for this – still I didn’t expect to win this fabulous prize and look what happened!

I’m relatively new to the world of Richard Armitage, although, now that I’m going through a retrospective of his work I realise that I’ve seen him many times over the years as I’m a big fan of BBC drama.

My sister introduced me to him (metaphorically speaking) about 18 months ago and I’ve been in awe ever since of his talent, thoughtfulness, humility and not forgetting his stunning good looks. This ‘introduction’ came at difficult time for me and I found his hard work, good humour and determined attitude quite an inspiration, which encouraged me to take steps to get my own life back on track – a work in progress…

More of Adelaide

More of Adelaide

I think I’ve seen every you-tube compilation, and interview, and if I could, I would have seen him in London in the Crucible, however, I did the second best thing and saw him in the Old Vic Cinemalive, at two of the three screenings here in Adelaide last month. I continue to be amazed by the way he immerses himself in the character and his power in a live performance.

Between my sister and myself I believe we have every DVD he appears in and NOW every audio book. We’ve also seen his big screen movies whenever they are screened (usually more than once) and then get the DVD for the collection.

I’m also part way through the book ‘North & South’, I’ve finished ‘Urban Grimshaw and the Shed Crew’ and I’m waiting with bated breath for the cinema release. I can’t wait to see his portrayal of ‘Chop’.

Now that I will have this set, if there’s something of his I haven’t seen, read or heard it must be very well hidden!

Thank you, thank you, thank you

Carolyn, thank you so much for sharing that and for the lovely photos of Adelaide! Oh, and you do not live in a backwater. I do. LOL! And I just have a feeling you are going to meet up with Richard Armitage. That’s my gut talking to me, and it’s usually right! :D

The next winner is Bluebunny:

I am delighted to have found myself as one of the winners of the competition run by Frenz to have the audiobook The Lords Of The North by Bernard Cornwell read by Richard Armitage. This audiobook will be a valued and rare addition to my vast collection of Richard Armitage works. I wish to thank Frenz and the BBC for this competition. It goes to show that the BBC take notice of fan websites and are checking up on blogs. I am thrilled to have found a website that shares my interest in all things Armitage like this website.

How I came to be a Richard Armitage fan is quite simple, I saw a random episode of Robin Hood in 2009 and thought who is that guy playing Guy of Gisborne? I wasn’t hooked on RA at that moment in time but throughout 2009-2010 was keeping an eye out for what he was acting in every once in a while. From watching Spooks I was hooked on Lucas but actually fell in love with the whole Spooks series from start to finish. When he was cast in The Hobbit I was overjoyed because he was in my part of the world the Southern Hemisphere.

In 2012 I was quite randomly on holiday in New Zealand and was able to go to the Hobbit Premiere in Wellington. I saw Richard Armitage first hand in the flesh and was lucky enough to get an autograph from the man. Anyone who says he can’t get any better looking hasn’t seen him in person. Since Wellington I have become a huge Richard Armitage fan. I have most of Richard Armitage works but my collection is still not complete. I know for me being a RA fan makes me a happier person because the man is well just a man but he has a conscience and seems to be genuine. These days people like him don’t exist. Thanks again for the lovely competition.

Bluebunny, well said. His character is wonderful to observe, and I’m so glad you got to meet him! Maybe you can advise Carolyn? :D

To both of you, thank you so much for sharing, and please know it was my pleasure to give away these books. I hope you enjoy them immensely.

An Audience with Richard Armitage

wondercon 2104
A Guest Post by @peppgrad (aka Lori H)

I have been a “well-wisher” of Richard Armitage since the first season of Robin Hood when my BFF called me and told me to “Watch Robin Hood but forget the Robin Hood guy, check out the actor who’s playing Guy of Gisborne.” Wow. I soon discovered, after watching his prior work, that he was more than just a pretty face. After seeing the work he has accomplished since then, he confirmed in my mind that he is an underrated actor with great range. Let us face it; there are many handsome men in Hollywood who cannot act. Richard is a handsome man who can act!

When I discovered he was going to be at WonderCon on Saturday, April 19, 2014, at the Anaheim Convention Center, I could not believe it. Anaheim, CA, is practically at my back door. I have been to WonderCon there before and been inside the Arena where the Into the Storm (ITS) panel was to be held early on Saturday. He was going to be on my home turf!

Here was another chance to see Richard up close and perhaps even an opportunity for an autograph and picture at a signing. However, in checking the WonderCon schedule and announcements, it became clear the ITS panel would not be doing any signings afterwards. That was disappointing. Three times in the past, I have been within twelve feet of Richard without any opportunity to even say how much I liked his work, much less get a posed picture or an autograph. There was either intense security or just people crowding rudely in between. It was getting pretty frustrating. Especially since all I wanted was even a brief moment to say hello to an actor I admire. He seemed, from all accounts I had read, to be a nice guy.

Anyway, my BFF and I picked up our badges and headed over to the line to get inside the Arena for the panel. Once we were able to get in and be seated, and the panel started, my BFF started taking pictures. I knew at least that I would get copies of the photos she had taken.

As I was sitting there, I decided I was going to go up to the microphone when they opened it for questions (we were seated fairly close to it) and ask Richard a question. At least I would get to speak to him and get an answer! When I saw the first person heading to the mic, I told my friend, “I’m going to the mic to ask Richard a question. I don’t know what I’m going to ask but I’ll think of something intelligent to ask before I get there!”

And there, my friends, was where my adventure REALLY began!

The first three people at the mic all asked questions of Richard. It quickly became clear, and quite humorous, that Richard was going to get the majority of the questions. The fourth person, the one directly in front of me, asked a question she said anyone could answer. When my turn came, I was told I would be the last question.

I had worn my Thorin Oakenshield t-shirt that day. When they put my picture up on the big screen behind the panel, and everyone saw my t-shirt, there was a lot of laughter; Richard obviously was getting the final question, too! I quickly told Steven Quale, the director, thank you for making the movie; I thought it would be really good. Then I said what everybody already knew, “But my question is for Richard.” I asked him if he had written a bio for this character as he had done for his prior characters. I mentioned I had read that he wrote character bios.

As he started to answer, I stepped to the right of the mic about six feet. I was still in the lit area. I suddenly realized he must be able to see me because he quit looking in the direction of the mic and turned his gaze on me where I was now standing! I almost could not focus on what he was saying because I thought, “It is true. He does listen and speaks directly to the person who asks him the question!” It seemed for a second as though no one was in the room but me and him. He answered my question, stating he did indeed create a bio for Gary as his wife had died and left him with two sons so he felt there needed to be more story there. In addition, he mentioned he had met with an American high school teacher to get an understanding of what the job was as well as the Mid-Western culture. In my own mind, it seemed as though he liked the question but that could be just wishful thinking!

As they wrapped up the panel onstage, I had a quick thought. In the past, I had been in the back area of the Convention Center and Arena. I was sure I knew where they would drive out if we could get near there. I told my BFF, “Let’s leave and go outside. I want to go around to the back and see if there is any way to meet Richard.” She was all for it and we quickly left and made our way around to the gate which was wide open. There was a guard there but a couple was walking out in costume, a couple more people were milling around so I said, “Just keep walking in like you know where you’re going.” No one stopped us. I knew it was a long shot to meet Richard but I had to try.

At the first corner, I looked left and there were three black Mercedes down at the end with a couple of men in suits who turned out to be drivers. Some men appeared to be neither security nor drivers and were probably press or industry. We casually began to stroll down that way. We were about a third of the way down when I saw a security guy approaching. I thought “Uh-oh, we’ve been busted.” However, he was incredibly nice. He politely told us to wait where we were and stand to the side; he didn’t want us to get run over. I told him, don’t worry, we don’t want to get run over either! He laughed, said thanks and walked back toward the cars.

We stood there for a few minutes chatting with each other when I looked back at the Mercedes to see Richard standing with his back to us, and I could see the ponytail! In a split second, he turned around and he and a driver got in one of the Mercedes and began heading our way. The windows in the back were so darkly tinted that you could not see in. My BFF said, “Let’s wave just to let him know we’re here to support him.”

As the car came near us, it rolled to a stop. The rear driver’s side window rolled down and there was Richard!

I have no idea whether he recognized me from my asking a question inside the Arena, whether he saw my Thorin Oakenshield t-shirt and my friend’s Hobbit:DoS t-shirt, whether he stopped because we waved or what the reason was that he stopped. I was, as the British say, “Gobsmacked.” I looked around and there was no one else near us. No one else had come to the back. It was just Richard and us (and the driver).

Richard was sitting on the passenger side in the back but quickly scooted over a little, and put his hand out first to shake our hands. We exchanged the “nice to meet yous.” He has, as you know, an amazing voice. He also has a great handshake. Firm, but he was not squeezing too hard. I could not believe I was shaking hands with Richard Armitage! And that he offered to shake hands first! (I had this quick thought at that moment when my hand was in Richard’s that made me laugh quite hard later on. It was a line from “The Big Bang Theory” when Penny gives Sheldon a napkin from the Cheesecake Factory that Leonard Nimoy has wiped his mouth on. Sheldon cries out, “I have a napkin with Leonard Nimoy’s DNA on it. Do you know what this means? I can clone him!”).

My friend told Richard we were big fans of his and he thanked us. I quickly took the opportunity to ask if he would sign a couple of autographs for us. He smiled and said in that smooth voice, “Of course.” Through all of this, I was trying to be as calm and polite as possible. So was my BFF, I could tell. He signed the WonderCon programs for us: Lori, love, Richard Armitage. He signed the same (except for the name of course) for my BFF.

I asked him, as he handed her program back to her, how much longer did he have on the shoot for Urban and the Shed Crew. He told me he had two weeks left. He mentioned he was headed straight to the airport to catch a plane back. I also briefly made some mention about The Crucible (sorry, can’t remember what it was) and he answered back. I noticed during this conversation, he had removed the tie he was wearing earlier and opened his shirt collar but still had on his black leather Diesel jacket.

Realizing we had already had several minutes of his time without ANY interruption, I quickly asked him if he would be kind enough to pose for a picture for us before he had to leave. He said he would be happy to and leaned forward so he was leaning on the edge of the door. (We did not want to be demanding and ask him to get out of the car and pose with each of us since we knew now he had to catch a flight. I thought that would be rather rude and inconsiderate of his time).

However, my BFF had not changed the focus on her camera since she pulled it out earlier when he was down at the end with the Mercedes and looked through it to see down there. Therefore, being a little nervous when she took the picture, it was not in focus. When she checked it, she exclaimed “Oh no, I didn’t change the focus from earlier. All I got was your nose.” He started laughing and told her she could take another picture. This time she got a good picture! At some point, we may share this picture. For the moment though, only we have this private picture of our almost private time with Richard. (Darn driver, LOL!).

We thanked him again for stopping, that it was very nice of him to do that. He looked happy. We wished him a good flight home as he moved back over to the passenger side seat in the back. Then the handsome prince’s driver took him away in his horseless carriage.

As soon as his car turned the corner, my BFF and I high-fived each other! We could contain it no longer! We could not believe we had just had an “audience” with Richard Armitage, uninterrupted, for almost five minutes. Finally, after being so close so many times without meeting him, I met him!

I have to make a comment here about “celebrities.” I have lived all of my life in Southern California within about 25 miles of Los Angeles. I have encountered numerous rock stars, singers, actors, politicians, etc. over the years. Some I wanted to see and some I just encountered some place. Sometimes I just told them I liked their work, sometimes I just ignored them, some I asked to take pictures of, and some I asked for autographs. I have always been polite. I can say some of them were nice, some were jerks and one had a publicist (!) who haughtily told me when I asked her if I could get an autograph from her singer/actor client that “Mr. So-and-So doesn’t do autographs.”

However, Richard Armitage is possibly the nicest public personality I have ever met! How many actors will stop their car to speak several minutes with just two “well-wishers?” He could easily have driven past us with the windows rolled up. Alternatively, he could have just rolled down his window and waved, shouting out the “Sorry, have to go catch a plane” excuse. Instead, he stopped, shook hands, answered questions, signed autographs, posed for a couple of pictures and thanked us for being his fans!

Richard Armitage is as nice and polite as people who have met him say he is. (His mum should be proud.) By the way, he is also criminally handsome in person. If you are fans of his stubble, he was definitely sporting it that morning.

From the start of the ITS panel to the ending outside with Richard being driven away in a black Mercedes, it was an amazing time. I think every year on April 19 my friend and I are going to watch The Hobbit trilogy to remind ourselves of OUR adventure.

RAWonderConbyChristyMcAffee

Note from Frenz: they relented about the picture :D Also, for those who have never been to a fan driven Con, it is entirely the norm for fans to be all over the place including where the stars of the event come and go. The famous who attend know this, and for the most part are gracious. RA especially so in my experience.

I See Fire – The Hobbit Fan Event Recap

First fan account! Leave comments over there. :)

Armitage Agonistes

As promised, a quick and dirty report of  the New York City Hobbit Fan Event  which concluded about 15 minutes from when I started writing this. There might be more typos than usual, but I’ll come in and pretty it up later.

Where to begin? With Richard Armitage, of course. There was no chance to meet him or speak with him, so I never had to face the ultimate decision of what I would do. Once fans were seated in the theater, Anderson Cooper came on stage, entering from the back of the theater and walking down the aisle.

He killed some time getting miked up, having fans who came in costume stand up (there was a really good Gandalf – I mean really.) After checking in with the other locations, first Orlando Bloom, and then directly after, Richard Armitage…

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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.

TI1_037

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.

What a Way To Go!

I told you I was not out of The Hobbit mode, and I’m not. But I’m almost always in Richard Armitage mode, and this account by @kellyduck has thrown me into full throttle:

This post is long overdue, as it’s been nearly 2 months since my trip to beautiful New Zealand for the premiere of The Hobbit. Writing about my Richard Armitage encounter was a lot harder than I ever thought it would be, and I’ve gained a new appreciation for you bloggers that manage to do this on a regular basis. I don’t consider myself a great writer and can tend to be a bit wordy, but I hope you’ll find these ramblings a little entertaining anyway.

As I headed to New Zealand for The Hobbit Premiere festivities, I never truly expected I would actually meet the man himself. Wellington was bound to be packed with visitors and the chances of running into him anywhere seemed pretty impossible. I’d only seen Red Carpet events in pictures or videos, but most seem to be more about the press than the fans, so I wasn’t sure how close we would be able to get to Richard Armitage. I had high hopes of seeing him on the Red Carpet and taking a few quick snaps as he walked by. I even thought maybe, if we were really, really lucky we might even get a quick hello with an autograph, but I tried hard not to set my hopes too high.

So there I was, on a packed Air New Zealand flight about to be bound for Middle-earth itself. Although I was excited, I’d been traveling for much of the day, and by the time I’d reached LAX, I was beginning to feel the weariness that airport travel brings. I wanted to be ready to hit the ground running once I reached New Zealand, and I hoped to get some rest on my flight to Auckland. As I settled into my seat, I could hear the flight crew making some announcements. Over the PA, a flight attendant said something about duty-free merchandise still needing picked up and began going through a list of names…….

“Random person….random person….Richard Armitage…random person….”

Wait…WHAT!? Did she just say what I think she said? No way! Not possible, I told myself. I figured maybe someone was having a laugh, maybe another RA fan on the way to New Zealand even. After all, why would Richard Armitage be on a flight from LA? He’d be coming from London, wouldn’t he?

I managed to mostly brush it off, and settled in for my 11 hour flight to Auckland. There was plenty of Middle-earth entertainment to keep me occupied and our lovely AirNZ Concierge gal even had a Hobbit trivia contest. A few hours into the flight, as dinner service was beginning, I overheard something that nearly stopped my heart. The flight crew were serving meals to the people in the row in front of me, and the flight attendant asked if they’d started their journey on the London leg of the flight.

Wait….WHAT!? The flight I was on had originated in LONDON!? Woah! This possibility had not even crossed my mind. Holy moly! Richard Armitage actually COULD be on my flight! *Begin hyperventilation

Thankfully Air New Zealand serves complimentary wine with dinner because, at that point, I needed something to calm my poor nerves. I tried to brush it off again as best I could. After dinner, Concierge gal announced that if anyone was interested in The Hobbit to contact her (via this really awesome instant message type system, so cool!) and she might stop by their seat with some goodies. Hobbity goodies!? Yes please! :) So I typed a cheeky message about how she should come see me because I was headed all the way to Wellington for the premiere “…and to meet Richard Armitage,” I added. The curiosity was killing me, and I figured this might be my only hope of finding anything out.

About half an hour later Concierge gal did stop by my seat. She brought me some lovely goodies, and an astonishing revelation…..

“I hate to tell you this” she said, “but, that guy you wanted to meet, Richard….what was his name…”

“He’s up there isn’t he?!” I nearly squealed, pointing toward the front of the plane.

“There are several [Hobbit cast members] on the flight actually,” she said grinning. (WHAAAAAT?!!)

Maintaining my composure as best I could, I assured her I had no intention of bothering anyone during the flight, but if she happened to talk to Richard, she could maybe let him know where my seat was ;) (wink, wink)

“Well, you never know, you may run into them in the airport or something,”

Oh crapola! It suddenly occurred to me, I just might!

Well you can imagine how the rest of the flight was for me. Trapped on an airplane knowing that Richard Armitage was merely a few meters/yards away, breathing the same recycled airplane air, it was almost too much. My mind was running wild, but I also knew that being at the far back of the plane (row 58, middle seat) there was very little I could do to investigate without potentially reenacting the scene from Bridesmaids in the First Class Cabin, and probably getting myself detained & deported from New Zealand upon arrival. I wasn’t ready to jeopardize my entire trip just yet.

The hours passed VERY slowly……

Finally, we landed and are getting ready to deplane. I resisted the urge to shove my way through scores of lovely people in order to get off. As I said before, I’m at the very back of the plane, and it starts to sink in that my chances of seeing our man are getting smaller by the minute. Still, as I finally hit the terminal and head towards passport control, my eyes are peeled for any sign of the lovely Mr. Armitage. The passport area at Auckland is much like any other except that, to me it seemed rather dark, as if only half of the lights were on. I was trying desperately to get my paperwork in order while still scanning the room for a glimpse of RA. Where on earth could he be? Everyone goes through passport control, even TDH Brits. Could he have gotten through that quickly? Oh no! This can’t happen! I can’t get this close and then not even see him! I was so shell-shocked and sleep deprived, I thought I just might cry….

but then….

Wait….THERE!! It’s him! Holy moly! It’s dark and he’s on the complete opposite side of the room (VIP lane of course), but that profile is unmistakable. Oh yeah, it’s Richard Armitage.

At this point it was nearly impossible to breathe or maintain any focus on what I was doing. I still had to make it through the passport check, and I was trying to watch my line, but mostly just gawking at Richard and trying desperately to remain in a vertical position. He was wearing boots, a dark jacket, and carrying a backpack. I noticed there was most definitely something stubbly on his chin (squeeeee!) and that he was chatting away with an adorable little blonde (who we later discovered was most likely his lovely publicist, Ruth Bernstein). I took my eyes off of him for a split second and discovered it was my turn at the window. Handing the lady my passport, I make my best attempt to appear calm and rational. This attempt was smashed to bits as I see Richard walk past, directly behind the passport control booth that I was standing in front of. I’m not sure I can describe the myriad of emotions that hit me at that moment, but judging by the look the immigration lady gave me as she handed back my passport, they were written all over my face.

Passport in hand, I bolted forward into the walkway and spotted Richard a few meters ahead of me. It took a lot of willpower and restraint not to burst into a full run down the corridor, but I did however break into a bit of a speed walk/jog. It didn’t seem too out-of-place to be in a hurry in an airport, and I wanted to bridge as much distance as I could before we reached the escalator that was just ahead.

One of the things that I remember distinctly about that day was watching him walking ahead of me for those few moments. I remember the way the tops of his untied boots “flopped” as he walked. I remember there being something different, almost heavy footed, in the way he walked (maybe a remnant of Thorin in his step?) And I remember those jeans… Yeah, they looked pretty great from the front, but from the back…. Well, even his spectacular derriere could not make those jeans (and their giant orange stitched pockets) look good. Oh well, I’m guessing they were comfortable, which is how most people dress for a 24 hour flight. (We won’t even mention how I must have looked.)

My quick stepping landed me only 5 or 6 steps above RA on the escalator, giving me a perfect view of his lovely head. I stared intently as he continued chatting away with the cute blonde. They reached the bottom of the escalator and disappear to the left, into the baggage claim area. I followed close behind, trying not to lose sight of the man for too long. I stopped quickly, as I discovered he has stopped just a few feet ahead of me. His back was to me, and I realized he had just stopped in front of the rest of his traveling group. I stood there wide-eyed and mouth gaping, as I spot Martin Freeman…then Andy Serkis….Elijah Wood….and even little Kiran Shah all standing with Richard Armitage, less than 10 feet in front of me. WHAAAAA!! Holy Moly!

I stood there dumbstruck, for what seemed like days. I was completely frozen in my spot. Martin, who was facing me, was wearing sunglasses and chatting with Kiran, while Elijah and Andy seemed to be politely conversing with a couple of fans. I noticed Richard and the cute blonde began walking over to the other side of the bag carousel, presumably to be in a better position to grab their bags. There was a group of women standing off to the side of where MF, AS, and EW were standing (more publicists) that appeared to be traveling with them. After a few moments, cute blond walked over to chat with these ladies leaving RA standing on his own…..

I realized I’ve been handed a once in a lifetime opportunity! He’s by himself, so if I’m going to talk to him this was the time to do it. Oh my gosh! This was it! It was now or never! I went to New Zealand in the hopes of meeting Richard…and there he was! I knew it would likely be awkward and uncomfortable, but I owed it to myself and every RA admirer I know, not to let this chance pass. I desperately mustered every bit of courage I had, took a deep breath, and walked as calmly as I could toward where he was standing. He was standing right next to a pillar, so I had to walk around behind him to get to where he was. I didn’t know how else to get his attention so I reached up and placed my hand on his left shoulder-blade and said his name. (so bold, I know but, yes friends, I touched the leather!!) As he turned to look at me, I nearly lost the power of speech, and I could feel my body shaking. I apologized for bothering him and said that I was a “fan” of his work and he thanked me, genuinely, and gave me such a sweet smile. It was during his thank you that I remember us making eye contact and, let me tell you this, no photo can capture what it was like to look into those eyes. I don’t remember exactly what was said after that because, well, I was horribly nervous and in a sleep deprived, over caffeinated delirium. I mentioned that I was meeting up with some other fans for the premiere, and he chuckled and said it was going to be an amazing week. He asked how my flight was (sweet man), and I jabbered about the turbulence that made it hard to sleep, and he chuckled about being so sound asleep that he didn’t notice anything.

At this point he turned toward the luggage cart in front of him and (here’s where it got REALLY awkward) started fidgeting with a shopping bag (that mystery Duty Free purchase?) and said something about having trouble with his bag [getting it to stay in the cart?]. It was a strange transition, and I decided to take that as my cue to go before I made a nuisance of myself. I said I didn’t want to keep him any longer and just wanted to say hello. He didn’t look at me or say anything but just kept fidgeting with the shopping bag. It was odd, but it didn’t feel rude or anything. I got the sense that maybe he was a bit nervous too (he kept chuckling and saying “yeah”), as well as being groggy from such a long day of travel. I backed a few feet away from him, and there we stood, waiting for our luggage. His bags (2 large suitcases) came round well before mine, and I watched as he and the others pushed their carts into the next checkpoint area and disappeared.

RichardArmitage_Auckland_Airport_ALK


There was no sign of them by the time I got my bags, and I presumed, at this point, that they were all long gone. As it turns out, I would see them all again, and again, and again. (My poor nerves!) After a coffee and chat with the lovely Anna, who met me at the airport (and a bit of fanning ourselves as well), I boarded a flight to Wellington only to watch RA and the rest of the group board the same plane too. Trapped on an airplane once again. At least this time I could see the back of the man’s head. As I looked toward the front of the plane, I could see dozens of Bilbos staring back at me from the cover of the AirNZ magazine. I wondered what it must be like for Martin to be sitting a few rows ahead and seeing the same thing. I wondered if he and RA had begun to realize the craziness that awaited them over the next weeks to come.

They were just leaving the baggage claim in Wellington by the time I reached the terminal, so I only saw RA walking away. I gathered my bags and headed off to find my shuttle. There was a bit of walkway between the exit and the baggage area and I came upon the group again as I looked for the exit. As I passed the group, I could see in my peripheral vision that Elijah Wood started walking just behind me. I was trying to muster the courage to say hello when he came across someone he knew and stopped to chat.
(*I did get to say Hi to Elijah as he was leaving the Weta Cave the next day but didn’t try to chat; it was obvious he was in a hurry)

And that was how my amazing Hobbity adventure began. The whole New Zealand trip was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. There are so many more stories to tell, but we’ll save those adventures for another day. xx

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Read Anna’s account of the Red Carpet here

Love it, Kelly! But I don’t think you’re getting off the hook so easily in not sharing some more stories. :D

Candid photo of Richard snaffled from @MorrighansMuse

I Can’t Believe It

Our own Judiang has also had an encounter with Richard Armitage. This is almost too much!

Go read it! Here

note: I now have a new tag called “meeting Richard”

Richard Armitage is Not a Movie Star

It’s true. He’s not a movie star yet, and if he never becomes a movie star, he’s already something much better. He’s an excellent person. Do I sound like I have a severe case of CWS? You might get that impression, but I have to say that his grace and aplomb to meet all of these fans while he’s busy working on ‘Black Sky’, and then each of them coming away being enthralled with his character is quite something.

And I just read another account. Yes, that’s what prompted this gushing, and I AM NOT ashamed. :D

August 28, 2012

OMG, I met Richard today!

Third Times the Charm … Squeeeeee!

After 2 failed attempts to meet Richard at the Oakland University site, today was a success. Terry (OH) and I went to downtown Pontiac this morning since I read they were filming Black Sky there and even building their own set on Main Street. After driving around the area, we finally found a friendly guard who told us where they were filming and, incredibly, even where we could park, which was right across the street from the ‘action’ and only 40’ from the actors’ trailers.

read the rest here