A Kindred Spirit

I just made a friend on Twitter, and yes, I’m using the term loosely, but this person and I share something dear in common, and no, it’s not just a liking for John Thornton. We both appreciate something real that shines out at us and edifies us. I was reading a guest blog post of hers, and she sums up in a small comment what has me so fascinated with Richard Armitage’s performances.

This comment is the key to why I am blogging. Yes, I know, you just thought it was the snark. That’s fun, but I don’t think snark would have facilitated all of this. I really was inspired by Richard Armitage the same way I’ve been inspired by anything artistic that tries to portray truth. It’s as if something like this is diving him:

…if only a man knew how to choose among what he calls his experiences that which is really his experience, and how to record truth truly.– Ralph Waldo Emerson

One of the most stunning scenes from North and South and a moment that I became choked just like John Thornton because he managed to take something potentially melodramatic and hollow and make it real:

[click to enlarge]

Yep, that kind of intense truth might make someone have an orgasm. :D

Screencap of the end of Episode 2 is courtesy of RichardArmitageNet.Com.

The First Love

I was looking at the ‘North and South’ promotional photos which were just uploaded to RichardArmitageNet.Com, and I realized how much I’ve neglected John Thornton…

Few times in my life have I been so struck by something that it resounded for years, but this obviously continues. Ironically, I wasn’t too enthralled with my first sight of him:

It took a few scenes later to begin to suck me in:

By the tea scene, I was entranced enough that here I am almost four years later still talking about the abilities of Richard Armitage. This sustained interest has had me often wondering if I were just a shallow person masquerading as someone with some depth or if there really is something intriguing about his ability to engage the audience. If I were to receive the theory posited by Skully, this fervor is mostly compelled by his very effective display of adoration for an object of affection. There is something to that thinking, but I’m hard pressed to think I would be enthralled by that for almost four years’ time. If I were looking for an ideal man or fantasizing about an ideal man, then maybe I could see her point. But frankly, I’m married to an ideal man — great weaknesses and all. He is masculine and yet artistic. He has a spark that draws many others, and he also has a bullshit detector the likes of which I’ve never encountered and an ability to articulate his impressions that makes people think as well as laugh at times. He’s been that way since I met him, and he only gets more interesting, and by some quirk of fate, he’s in love with me. So it’s hard to think I have some need to fixate on Richard Armitage for this. And to be clear, I’m not trying to characterize anyone as lesser who has that need. I’m trying to explain where I’m coming from.

But there is something in Richard’s abilities to pull me into his characters that has me continually asking how he does it! This is akin to my reaction to The Sun Also Rises the first time I read it. Jake’s scene in the church made me cry, and even today, it can still make me cry. Hemingway captured something real, and it was like a warm wave. I went on to read all of his works, and I am not obsessed with all of them, but the few that I am eclipse any shortcomings in the rest. The Nick Adams Stories in particular are a prized part of my library. I have numerous copies and loan or give them away frequently. I’ve also read any biography I could find on Hemingway in order to conclude how he approached his craft. I think I understand it now even if I do not quite have the ability to articulate it. I’m working on that. LOL! Same thing with Richard Armitage. I’m working on what exactly it is that has me firmly attached. At this point, it’s fairly clear it’s his ability to tap into the reality of emotion that Hemingway did, and candidly, I want to do that myself. It has definitely inspired me to try to articulate something I’ve adored since I was a child — truth.

Note: promotional stills #7, #8 and #13 are new to the N&S promo gallery on RichardArmitageNet.Com