Tuesday, March 13, 2012


If you go to the Armitage's IMDB page you will notice that he not only has an agent, but a publicist, or PR team. I find this interesting.  Because for an actor who seems modest and shy, he has decided to hire a publicity rep whose only drive in life is to handle his image.

Did we know that the Armitage cared about image?  It's a first for me. But clearly one can only assume that he does want to finesse the way in which he is presented.

Lately, we have had this massive, longstanding drought of Armitage images and communication.  Since he is working on The Hobbit, all publicity seems largely constrained by the Peter Jackson machine. The Hobbit is taking two years for completion, an eternity for fanland. Especially when there is a dearth of information. But, it seems, that the Armitage is content with this.

This is how I imagine the Armitage at this time: totally revelling in a milieu that is top drawer, top of the line; immersed in an acting bonanza, a cornucopia of the imaginative and creative; hanging with acting buds, soaking up the excitement; sitting on a goldmine, both creatively and in relation to the future, callooh, callay (he chortled in his joy); Far, far, far away from the maddening crowds, and maddening expectations. Far, far away from the crazy public. What a relief! Able to live a largely interior life and a life of exploring.

So what has his PR team achieved? The "Armitage Army" provides a powerful hook, and certainly a foundation, the mighty engine that thrust him into the limelight.  And yet, at the same time, it seems that fans, "Army" or not, are a bit of an albatross for his aspirations. So, it's all right to mention the "Army" in passing as the seminal and critical factor in his coming to public consciousness, but at the same time, one wants to diminish the influence of all those crazy women in the present.

In other words, the "Army" is still useful as a publicity oddity/marvel, but needs to be put in its place, that is, the fans (not this "Army" crap), currently, need to be put in their place. Hence, the publicity moratorium, the withdrawal of all personal communication, (albeit, considering the true crazies, it's partly understandable). Meanwhile,  mention of the "Army" maintains practical publicity purposes.

Ultimately, what is the greater goal here?  To be a Hollywood star?  To get the really good parts? To have the power/the power of choice? It still amazes me that anyone would think that Hollywood is the wished for consummation. Is it the money?  And if, indeed, any of the latter is true, what does that tell us about the Armitage?

Towards some mysterious end, there is a whole load of handling going on, I'm thinking. 

This week is FanstRAvaganza3 week!  It's all about bloggers blogging about RA. Join in the conversation! March 12-18

Core Bloggers:
An RA Viewer’s Perspective From…”The Other Side Of The Planet” (Mulubinba)
BccMee’s Richard Armitage Vids and Graphics (bccmee)
CDoart (CDoart)
Confessions of a Watcher (Judiang)
DistRActed musings of one ReAlity (Fanny/iz4blue)
Jonia’s Cut (Jonia)
RA Frenzy
Me + Richard Armitage (Servetus)
Richard Armitage Fan Blog (Nat)
The Squeee (Traxy)

Tagteam Bloggers (I have no idea what this means):
A is for Armitage
And I was going to have (y que iba yo a contar)
Crispin’s eclipse
Do I Have A Blog?
Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Country Life
Fly High!
I Want to be a Pinup
Just Another RA Fan
La Loba
Me, My Thoughts, and Richard Armitage
Melanie’s Musings
Mr. John Thornton
Musings and Other Enigmas
Phylly’s Faves
Searching for MY Mr. Darcy
Something About Love (A)
The Armitage Effect
White Rose: Sincere and Simple Thoughts
(list borrowed from RA Frenzy's blog )


  1. Glad to see you posting again, pi. It's an intriguing question and I think you and I have talked about it before.

  2. He has had a publicist for some time now, at least one or two years and it would very much surprise me, if an actor who appears in big Hollywood movies wouldn't have a PR person. To date I haven't seen his publicist publishing anything and I very much doubt that their only purpose in life in handling his (fake??) image. I guess he is with a PR firm that has many clients. No doubt they will have more to do once the campaign for the Hobbit starts.

    I don't see it as a bad thing if he takes professional advise with regards to PR, on the contrary, it is a good thing if he is prepared how to handle certain questions and situations and maybe they can negotiate conditions for interviews as well, for example which topics will be touched and which not. It is not a good thing to be unprepared and at the mercy of a journalist.

    With regards to the army, it is a touchy subject and I'm convinced that frequent mentions of crazy fans can put off people that read articles and prevent them from taking him seriously - so I consider it a good thing if his publicist takes care of the subject. I would be happy if the Hobbit PR would not mention the Army at all.

  3. Hi jazzbaby! (*waves*) Good to see you here! Yes, we have discussed :).


    Thanks for your thoughtful comment. Well, not all actors have publicists. I just looked up Daniel Day Lewis and he doesn't have one. As well as other actors. So, it means something, that's all I'm saying. It is a signpost to understanding the Armitage.

    As for a publicist devoting their lives to a single client, come on, we know that's not a fact and I did not state that. All I was saying is that a publicist is, indeed, devoted to the image, what is sold. It is a manipulation as well as a protection.

    As for the "Army", the fact is that it is useful. The fact that it seems to also be an embarrassment is unconscionable, in my opinion. It is, indeed, a double edged sword. But I don't think trying to erase the Armitage's history does anyone any favours except for perhaps new fans and the client. I wasn't part of the Army, don't consider myself part of it, but I still am awed by its passion and give it its due at every turn.

    The point is that everything is being handled now, that is all. So that raises a lot of questions for me because I am a curious sort :).

  4. Re Your reply to Jane's comment. I'm not sure what you mean by Richard's Publicist erasing his history. I would be interested to know why you think any pr person, no matter how good could erase anyone's history in this day and age with the internet its all out there.

  5. Hey, Pi!
    Your posts are always interesting and I enjoy reading them. :)

    I wonder what RA thinks of the Armitage BLOGGING Army? (If he is even aware one exists now.) I'm guessing he'd be flattered, yet a bit embarrassed by all the fuss... but then again, I don't know the guy personally, I just like to drool over him. Whether other fans want to admit it or not, I agree that "THE Army" is a double-edged sword, but I'd hope he'll always remember who supported him from Day 1 and not do/say anything in the future to belittle them, especially when his popularity explodes after "The Hobbit" is released.

  6. Thanks for the link love!

    I felt like his last Xmas "msg" (hate that word, makes it sound like a sermon to me) was a lot friendlier to fans than he had been in a while -- no admonitions, and nothing like the previous year where he had said essentially that he was enjoying being more unconnected in the past. We could speculate as to the reasons for that, of course.

    I can't imagine he's not aware of the blogging army, but I desperately hope he isn't paying close attention to it.

  7. It doesn't really matter what he thinks about the Army organised in message boards or the blogging army, one day journalists may discover us plus lots of people that goggle him. And everything we say is out in the open. Journalists have quoted stuff written on fan sites before and it can become very embarrassing. Actually embarrassment is not the point, embarrassment doesn't harm anyone, but if he's ridiculed by the press and it is not balanced by critical acclaim, it can become harmful for his reputation.

  8. From the moment I started to read about Richard Armitage on the web, I've felt he was "handled" I came right at the time the spontaneity of the "messages" was drying up, so I guess it's never really been an issue for me.

    Mostly the Armitage Army thing is something to make hay of; I'm talking about me making hay of it. I've had a blast with that crap, and the moment I take it too seriously is the moment I need to step away. Still want to meet that husband who supposedly hung that moniker on all of us. : D

  9. This is a great discussion. I have actually wondered if he was aware of the blogs and what he thought about them. Personally, I have inferred that journalists poke fun at the "army" and he says he appreciates it but at the same time I infer a dismissive tone on his part. It is like he does not want to be ridiculed for it. I do not know this for a fact, it is simply what I read into it.

    He IS sitting on an amazing opportunity and I imagine an onslaught of publicity will follow. His image can contribut to the success of his career, he is afterall in a public domaine, so I think he needs to protect that in order to have the choices and opportunities he may wish for in his work. Just my two cents.....

    Great post. I appreciate the discussion.

  10. Hi Pi,
    If Mr. Armitage is being "handled", I hope that they handle him into more film roles and a variety of film roles. RA dedicating two years of his professional life to The Hobbit is an amazing experience for him. I just hope that it will lead to enhanced artistic opportunities for him.

    Although, would it kill his publicists to get RA even a radio interview by satellite hookup? It would be lovely to at least hear RA's thoughts and musings "live". A monthly dash of RA in the media would be a welcome lead up to what will no doubt be the Fall's big Hobbit advertising splash--including RA as Thorin.

    And as to the "Army" moniker for RA fans? I'm only a two year RA Fan, so I missed the initial draft and basic tRAining camp for RA admiration. Ha! But I'm definitely in the militia now.

    Wasn't the term "Army" coined by a slightly put out hubby? Ha!
    Well I'm here to say that "my" hubby is cool with my RA admiration. The smart hubby/spouse/partner knows the benefits derived from happy SO's. *wink* And my hubby regularly asks me to say hi to my wonderful RA fangirl friends/ladies/gals/girls when I'm online chatting with them. Giggles!

    Cheers! Grati ;->

  11. Still catching up on F3. Good to see pi back.

    Had assumed that Armitage signed with an agency quite a while ago. Par for the course in the business. Perhaps there is a paid publicist devoted to the A. Probably not. He's not that big yet. So, probably more a case of helping,advising, as mutual time frames allow. And image development is probably as much down to the advice as to how Mr.handles himself.


  12. Interesting discussion. You're all women, I suppose. And you all adore him. Tell me, are you the kind of fans who sigh how talented, generous, brilliant, modest, gentle etc. etc. he is, when you just mean to say he's hot? Why do fans always seem to think that an actor who appears on screen, owes the people who like to watch him something?
    What is an actor? It's someone who helps telling a story in images by the use of his face, voice and body. And that is all there should be. What the actor himself thinks, or how he chooses to live his life, shouldn't matter. Someone like Gary Oldman handles this very well. Unfortunately, when an actor is really goodlooking, fans like you people come into the equation. The ones that start fantasizing about him, that want his attention or a personal message. That want to know everything and all things personal, simply because you're his devoted fans, and he owes you for "supporting him from the start."
    I can imagine why he holds your kind off. Following him around to every interview is already fanatic. Get a life. An actor needs publicity advice, simply because he has to deal with unreasonable, "devoted" fans. For the record, I'm also a woman, but with common sense.

  13. Aelia,

    Thanks for commenting!

    Ad hominem attacks sadly degrade your arguments. All I can say is, party pooper. I guess common sense smacked the fun out of you. Come to the dark side! :)

  14. Dear pi,

    your posts are always very interesting, thought-provoking and original. May I ask you: why do you post so little?