This is at the New York premiere of The Hobbit. I'm thinking leprechaun, how about you? The man has been stubbulised in a big way; the Americans got to him. Never underestimate the power of the stylist.
What is the image he is trying to project because I surely don't know. And I am certain his stylist does not know him either. This is Hollywood, people, where a square peg is not pushed into a round hole as much as hypnotised into believing a square peg can be round.
From the article cited above two things are clear: 1. Studios buy stylists for their actors; 2. It doesn't always work.
The GQ article basically asserts that without a stylist, no one will take you very seriously in Hollywood if you are up and coming, that styling makes a major difference to success or failure. I don't think so but it's great snake oil, don't ya think?
It began with the teeth, Hollywood teeth. We should have reckoned the ambition from the teeth. So perfect, these restructured teeth, so white, so luminescent, wishing for something more. Yet, one hopes for something else, that it's not about the teeth. In the end, it is.
This is not a bad thing. Who knows the roots of someone's else aspiration? Your dream may not be my dream, but your dream is still a dream. So, has it been recognised and acknowledged? Has it come true? Only you know because I don't.
The Armitage is an intelligent and thoughtful actor. If you read him here, from The One Ring:
RA: You know, I looked mainly through Tolkien – I looked at all of his work, looked to mainly the dwarves, coz he writes about dwarves in general … In terms of preparation, it kind of happened by accident coz I was doing vocal work, coz I wanted him to sound a certain way. I wanted to pitch my voice lower, I wanted him to be able to speak quietly but resonantly … and I ended up using Henry V, Richard III and Macbeth as soliloquies that I could use to get some vocal production going. But I found in all three of those characters [aspects of Thorin] … the whole idea of the rallying cry of a leader on the battlefield is very much Henry V; the self hating deformity of Richard III was sort of relevant; and also the Macbeth figure when it comes to the gold lust – this man who believes he is doing the right thing and gets corrupted by something which ultimately destroys him … I just felt that those three figures were all going to be pretty useful for me to have in my head.
So, what happened to the gravitas?
The man has been promoted to mannequin, perhaps able for fashion magazines because that is all about the black hole where personality is at best subdued. Here he is all tarted up.
|Here's your pipe and slippers, honey|
|Let me check the meaning of "bland".|
|I'm a lumberjack and I'm okay...just like Thorin.|
|Check out my hot shoes.|
|You know how to whistle...just put your lips together and...blow. My furry lapels will respond.|
|This is me being fastidiously British.|
And then there was you: Let me check the meaning of "babe".
|Not ffffffade away.........|
He's not a mannequin. He doesn't possess the panache to carry off the GQ stuff. He looks like an alien in the actor ensemble pix because he doesn't come across as accessible. He is a working actor (or so I thought), which to me is the sexiest thing you could ever be if you are loaded with talent, and yet, he comes across as a guy wanting to hit the fashion magazines. All talent is suppressed in favour of the image. Is this progress?
I don't think the ideal is to be hot. I do think it helps to be attractive. To take what is really you and unleash it upon the world in a compelling manner. Earlier photos suggest the latter. This recent round of images suggests otherwise. They kill all that is compelling. Whither thou beefcake?
I think that he presents now, thanks to his image mongers, as someone staid and dull, certainly not as someone who is fashion forward, as if that matters.
A far cry from his (handled?) message.
Beyond the image, the litmus test of his handling comes down to this:
So......whither now beefcake writ very large?