Monday, October 25, 2010

The Fear Factor

This post was inspired by comments from all over the net and especially at Nat's marvellous site.

Some admirers of the Armitage have expressed a certain ambivalence and anxiety about what the future holds for him once Hollywood is in the mix.  Many of us see him as someone we can relate to.  No doubt he is a private person and not remotely enamoured of himself, unlike many of his fans who love him to bits.  That just adds to his mystique.

I think some of us (and that includes myself) see the Armitage as a beacon of light and decency in a progressively artificial, utilitarian and soulless world. His gifts are divine, to be treasured, not simply exploited or utilised.  He seems a decent human being. He is friendly with and grateful for his admirers.  It, therefore, would be a shame for his light to dim in some manner, a manner we fear but can't articulate. He, in a way, is us.

Unfortunately, we don't know how his mind works when it comes to motives and personal goals, so that creates some anxiety. I think he will manage better than we.

My fear is that any genuine responses from him will fade over time and be taken over by a certain glibness. Whether protective or not, I would find that dismaying.  Further, will his self-admitted people pleasing get him into trouble, dampen his interface with the world?

Will Hollywood's gain be our loss?  Will he end up like Stephen Moyer in a gratuitous soft porn flick like True Blood, or like Colin Firth,  basking in Academy Award potential with his latest, The King's Speech? 

It's always wonderful to have something to believe in.  To believe that virtue triumphs over the not so virtuous.  To believe that someone's talent will be discovered and given its due, with great respect.  To believe that there are human beings on this earth who can withstand success and not be corrupted by it, and who can resist having their talents despoiled. That integrity trumps everything.

Hollywood can highlight some things, but can diminish even the greatest of gifts.  Hollywood demands conformity.  I think a lot depends on how canny he is, and how grounded.  To me, his is an unknown quantity in that department when push comes to shove.

He is us.  He has been the underdog for so long and we have rooted for him and larger recognition. Well, it's here.  Amazingly. And we are ecstatic, a little pixillated, bemused, and a touch worried.

We will get to see him on our screens for the rest of our lives- that is a surety now.  That's what we as the audience are guaranteed to get.  It's a double-edged sword, though.  Perhaps one day he will no longer be us.


  1. This is how it feels for me as well. It really is a double-edged sword, him being cast in such a high-profile movie. Thank you for wording it in such a clear way that makes my own feelings about it clearer (I have been grappling with it so far, and none too succesfully).

  2. Well said Pi! I definitely fall into the mix feelings category. What you said about "rooting for the underdog" so resonated with me. That has been a big reason why I love him, I think. I just hope he always maintains that "underdog" feel to him, you know?

    BTW, I love how you refer to him as "the Armitage," LOL!

    And yeah, I'm hoping he doesn't go the way of Stephen Moyer.

  3. "He, in a way, is us." I think you're on to something there. And also, it echoes Robin Hood rather well - "We are Robin Hood!" - well, in a way, I suppose, "we are Richard Armitage".

    At the same time, it's really strange to feel "ecstatic, a little pixillated, bemused, and a touch worried" (well put!) about someone we don't even know personally. Yes, he sounds like the kind of guy I'd love to be friends with in real life, and ... well, he's a gentleman, and nowadays, those are very hard to come by.

    Maybe I'm just being territorial. "Our Richard" won't just be ours come a year or two. He'll suddenly be "everybody's Richard", and if he's everybody's, then there isn't really that special kind of connection anymore. Then he might just be like any other big name actor. I hope he stays true to his roots. Maybe his mum'll keep him grounded and box his ears if she thinks he's getting those Hollywood airs! :)

  4. @Traxy, I totally agree with everything you said! Soooo well put!

  5. I'm still dubious about this role changing RA. Not sure why ..... maybe it is because it won't be released for another 2 years and there is a lot of time for him to sort out what he wants out of his career. I suspect it might give him the means to make RIII ..... Time will tell...

    As for the fanbase, how many of us can honestly say we will still be blogging about him in two years from now? We won't see much of him onscreen while he spends his time in NZ so will the forums and blogs find much to write about? One things for certain, the next year and more will be a time of change. I'm not sure if I am ready to embrace that change however :)

  6. Thorin's is a nice meaty role. Given Mr. A's track record, no doubt he'll create another unforgettable character, and come to the attention of the wider world. Yes, the conformity imposed by L.A. and Hollywood is a caution. But he is not Hugh Grant; chances are the reception will be on a different level.

    And the salaries from Captain America (YEESH) AND LOTR will perhaps help fund a Richard III minseries.

    After all, even Olivier hawked himself all over the movie world and happily hammed it up, to fund his dream...(though I don't see Armitage hamming!)