Saturday, December 8, 2012

Handled II: The Desexing of Richard Armitage

It began with the teeth and has ended up here:


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:

GD: Characteristics of your Thorin remind me of Shakespearean monarchs; did you look to Shakespeare or other theatre and literature for inspiration?
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.

I'm kinda...erm...American.

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:

Mulubinba's coverage provides something other than hype as does RAFrenzy.

So......whither now beefcake writ very large?







75 comments:

  1. Thanks pi, you're a breath of fresh air.
    Please, write more frequently.

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  2. HAHA! I don't care what the guy wears... I think he's handsome no matter what. He could wear a brown paper sack and I'd think, "Wow, what a hottie!" but then again, I'm an AMERICAN, so what do I know!? ;) (Oh, and I have no fashion sense whatsoever.)

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  3. I have noticed a huge change in Richard Armitage's clothes since he flew to New Zealand for the world premiere. He did not look that snazzy before. Richard has taken himself up a few notches and being very GQ. I happen to like it even though some of the outfits I did not care for. I don't particularly like the leather skinny pants and the suit he wore at the NYC premiere I did care much for either, but to me, no matter what Richard has on he remains extremely handsome. I wonder if he is going to keep this up after the Hobbit hoopla dies down.

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  4. @anonymous

    Thanks. There 's not much to talk about other than the Hollywood machine until the flick comes out. I think the other blogs have the rest covered :).

    @Nat

    I think a paper sack would be an improvement :). In this post, "American" was meant as "Hollywood". What bugs me is that he could look compelling given his build and personality but to me this image does nothing for him because it is not integral to who he is- it's a Hollywood spin out of thin air.

    @collarcitybrownstone,

    We can only hope that after this glut he will go back to what he is- a working actor and not a star. Think that will happen?

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  5. Well, I really thought I was ready for the pr machine, and then I got to NY. All I can say publicly so far: blech.

    Okay, I'll also say that I hated the suit. Love Richard but hated the suit.

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  6. Near as I can tell, Richard Armitage, the Leicester bloke, never came back from New Zealand. And while I will keep Richard Armitage the actor on the list of actors whose films I should see, I have lost all interest in him as person. If there is still a person under the celebrity product.

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    1. Good, move on! There are enough of us that accept him as he chooses to present himself.

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    2. Ah, the empty, abortive ad hominem jibe from another 'fan'. I'm sure Richard Armitage would be so proud.

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    3. I believe Armitage is gay. He will be found out soon, getting too famous and going to his head! He is an OK actor and nice looking, but not that hot. He is selling out fast for the cash. All you fans have the right to like him and I have the right to my opinion also. He is tofu, changes to whatever you need at the time. Gay is not sexy to a straight girl, be real!

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  7. Just saw The Hobbit. He is the hottest thing in it! So sexy.

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  8. OMG, people.. Are you serious at all? Hollywood teeth??? Do you think crooked teeth make people more intelligent, or ‘deeper’ somehow, or kinder or something??? Uhmmm - no, they are just crooked teeth. They simply make other people look at your teeth instead of your eyes, and instead of listening to what you are saying. No self-respecting parent in US, including the ones despising Hollywood, and dreaming of their kids getting Nobel’s in physics, allows a kid to grow up with bad teeth. Doing otherwise (given a reasonable financial situation) is just negligence. Two centuries ago one Slavic genius wrote “One can be a worthwhile man, and still think about the appearance of his fingernails”. He did, by the way, and also cared a great deal about his success with ladies. He is still the most popular poet 200 years later.

    Where his gravitas is? The man is on the promotional tour for the movie. How grave and serious are you expecting him to be? He is not talking about the situation in the Middle East ( thank God). Are you confusing Richard Armitages, by any chance?

    And oh the horror, he got the stylist ( who is doing his job with variable success). The guy is an ACTOR. He needs to be employed. Why exactly having a consistent style is a requirement for him? How would always looking the same help him have a choice of roles?

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    1. @Anonymous of Dec 16th - please allow me to give your comment TWO THUMBS WAY UP!! :)

      I also enjoyed the original post as well, Pi, very much - but wow, Anonymous, this comment was a PLEASURE to read. ;)

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    2. Why don't you ask Sean Penn,Benicio Del Toro,Joaquin Phoenix,DDL,Mark Ruffalo and so on.Do you think they have stylists ? Let me tell some of these guys are pretty disheveled.But they certainly look more " real" to me..

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  9. I am glad you wrote it. I share your view on his styling these days. For a style to work, it has to be integral with who/what the person really is. If you style someone in a manner that is far from his own, he will look dressed up rather than properly dressed, which is has what happened to RA a couple of times recently.
    What do I mean practically? You could dress e.g. M. Freeman in a funky way and he would look ok in such clothes because he is a fashionista in real life, however, for people like RA in my opinion the classic look is safer and a way better than his last one. Classic suits like Welly Zegna or Hugo Boss, black, navy blue, beige on some occassions. He has the body for it, has matching natural colours and would wear them perfectly. I bet he would feel also more comfortable.
    I don't like the shooting stylings, either. Again, clothes from GQ are not real RA.
    At this point I need to say that I like most of his casual clothes these days, in total however, the stylist is not a good one.

    With all this above I wouldn't as of yet be drawing conclusions that he is a different man or lost his soul or the like.

    The most interesting piece of information that I found in GQ interview was that 'he's based in NY area now'. This to me sounds like he has moved to US or is there any other interpretation possible? I am actually surprised that this hasn't got picked up and discussed. How do you interpret this? I would risk the statement that it clearly shows how he sees his career developing,which I hope will work for him but still, that seems to me a rather dramatic change.

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    1. @anonymous,

      Thank you for your considered response. I really haven't been reading much of the PR surrounding the actors, so it's interesting to hear that M Freeman is a fashionista- it does explain why he wears his clothes with panache, something missing from the Armitage's repertoire, IMO.

      You must be my fashion soulmate, because after I posted, I have thought that the Armitage would look devastating in classic style. I mean, why gild the lily? He's got the build and the looks to carry off a suit with fabulous lines and drape. Make it bespoke, and I will be swooning. All of this fussy stuff makes him look like a dandy, IMO. A well cut classic style needs no other embellishments, and presents the man himself, purely, in all his glory.

      As for his words about being based in NY for now....well, you forced me to read the GQ article :). He's rather vague about it. Is he talking about a good placement between NY and LA or between the UK and LA and NY? I think that for his early fans, like you and me, this is, indeed, a drastic change. It brings up all sorts of questions, and I know that I, for one, am a bit bemused by it all and wondering. But the raging ambition is clear to me.

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    2. We most certainly are fashion soulmates because I called him with with his recent look 'a dandy' on another blog and got told off (big grin emoticon).

      I think also Helmut Lang has nice classic suits that would fit Mr Armitage perfectly.

      When you get the options open for you, you may suddenly want more than you thought you wanted before. Maybe he is learning something new about himself? Or maybe those dreams have always been around?.
      Until the Hobbit promo hype I perceived him as someone who knew what he wanted, who was able to keep his life private and present to the public the picture he wanted them to see. That picture felt genuine, though. Now, it's other people creating that picture - there is some scepticism in me but I will wait for further developments before I make more sound conclusions.

      Re. Martin, come on, take a look at some pictures from Comic Con where he is wearing some turquoise jacket, turquoise fedora and sandals - it will freak you out. I like him for that.

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    3. Oh my gosh, yes, Lang would be perfect. Severe minimalism, refined. YES! (I had to look him up). I have always been partial to Armani because with him it's been all about the drape. Don't know now, though. Confession here: my mother was a dressmaker/tailor and I grew up hanging out in the garment district and basically learned by osmosis.

      I still remember how fabulous Sean Connery looked in a Bondish 60's mohair "lounge suit". Sleek and cool. This is what RA can carry off without self- consciousness. It's conservative yet elegant.

      I wonder the same things you do. I have had the thought that perhaps he is finally coming into himself, that he really doesn't want to be that "Leicester bloke" any longer. Meanwhile, for me, as for you, that other picture has been painted by someone other than himself. Perhaps he is trying it on to see if it fits. Perhaps he is still in flux. Or perhaps he lacks confidence. Or perhaps this is who he really is. Like you, I am awaiting further developments.



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  10. Pi, may I ask you what are the rules of your blog? I mean, apart from being respectful to one another, are there any themes we can't discuss? Sorry if I ask you this but it is because recently I've seen on IMDB and other blogs that discussions containing different, unpopular opinions, have been deleted and let’s say that … I don’t like it…lol.
    If people don't want that some topics are discussed on their blogs is absolutely ok to me, as it is the moderation or the closure of comments for discussion on subjects that have gone out of control. But I find the complete cancellation of what has been discussed and posted before, totally disrespectful towards the posters who have alternative views…
    Thanks for your answer and please, forgive me, if I have been too demanding.

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    1. Good questions!This blog is not exactly popular. Heh. I started it because I was silenced elsewhere. Having it is a bit like being a god. I like thoughtful responses, which means backing up your opinion and I don't care if it's different. I did delete a cynical, nihilistic reply because it didn't add to the conversation and frankly irked me. Sarcasm is annoying too but if you back up your points the sarcasm just says more about you than anyone else. Apart from that I don't know what would be verboten. Probably the prurient and trollish.

      I am certainly not protective of RA even though I adore his acting. I am fascinated by the machine he has taken on. If you think about it, how often do you get to see the blatant consensual making of a (potential) Hollywood star?

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  11. I can totally see your point, pi. I would write a longer comment, but I don't know what else to add!

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    1. Traxy, Your response says it all.

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  12. It was to be expected that he would move to the US and NY may suit him better than LA. When should he try to establish himself in Hollywood, if not now? Now is not the time to cancel all PR events and do a highly intellectual play instead (like Ken Stott did). It may very well be that his career takes a turn some may not like. But don't forget that he didn't get the meaty, artistic parts in the past either. Maybe one day a high profile will help him to get a gem.

    If anything had been an indication, it was doing Black Sky immediately after the Hobbit. And of course hiring a stylist. I don't blame him the slightest for that. I like most of her choices of outfits, with one or two exceptions, and I don't think RA looks unauthentic or has sold his soul. Most of the outfits are variations of a style we have seen on him before, just better. Some elements are new, but work well, some are slightly questionable (the shiny leather like material is unnecessary and the NY suit doesn't have a flattering cut but looks still gorgeous in head shots). But I think anyone who dislikes the new look should consider that there are many that like it, so it is really a matter of taste.

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    1. It was expected by whom that he would move to NY? This is news to me! He could have maintained a London base unless he was totally gung ho on being a Hollywood star. This certainly is not in keeping the the 'Leicester bloke" that an anonymous above so insightfully points out has been his projected image until now.

      I don't have a problem with him striking while the iron is hot. The word he uses a lot in his interviews is "crave". He dreams of something, craves something. There is this notion for some UK actors that you haven't made it unless you have made it in Hollywood. Who knows, but you can't rule it out. I am actually stunned at Ken Stott's choices in a very, very good way. I think I might want to follow his career :). I am sure he gets his share of gems, too. Hollywood, IMO, is not the bountiful land of gems. But we can agree to disagree.

      I don't care for the styling. I think he looks less than real. Having said that, who implied he has sold his soul? Don't impute what isn't there. For me, this is a process, and I wonder what his next move will be.

      As for the fact that many like his new look, well.....that's why those blogs are out there and who doesn't know about them.

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    2. Indeed, move to NY (if he really moved out of UK and that was my interpretation of that interview passage although I couldn't believe it), does raise questions because at the moment he's not working in US. That is to say if he hasn't squeezed something in between now and Hobbit 2 shooting in May 2013, not that I heard anything.

      The problem with movies like the Hobbit is that they skyrocket their stars to the level from where there is not really coming back to the simple and safe base. No BBC drama now will come any near to that level of satisfaction, so the only option he has is to push forward. Apparently, that means Hollywood.

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    3. I'm still laughing at your Martin comment!

      He was really vague about the NY move, IMO, not terribly committal. So, I'm still confused about that. Clearly on his IMDB page there is no other work mentioned besides more Hobbit. As I mentioned before, he did talk about theatre in NY. Perhaps that is a wish.

      Do you truly think that is so, that you can't come back to a simple and safe base after something like the Hobbit fireworks? Why would a BBC drama be out of bounds? Unless you are suggesting that that, now, he thinks it is beneath him. I tend not to think so at this point.

      Pass me the popcorn :).

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    4. Well, moving to the US was certainly expected by myself. He isn't the actor who does the high quality artistic stuff and I don't think he aspires to be. He may make remarks in that direction in interviews but his choices speak a different language. With his looks and ability to do action he is a natural choice for a certain type of role and he has never been averse to accepting those roles because they are high-profile and well-paid and it is the reasonable thing to do. I guess he gets artistic satisfaction from applying his usual thoughtful treatment to that characters, not so much from working on a very intellectual project. I fully expect him to do mostly American action movies. Maybe leads in projects like Black Sky and supporting roles or baddies in the really big stuff with a big name as the lead.

      I think what he is doing at the moment, and why as base in the US is useful, is auditioning for many different things and perhaps negotiating the next projects. He may already have signed for something (or several things) but it hasn't been announced yet.

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    5. I agree with most of your comment. It is not unexpected that he would base himself in the US for high profile projects. He must do this while he looks the way he does, as that is not going to last. Back in the 1980's Kenneth Brannagh was the toast of Hollywood, he capitalised on this and is now back on UK TV. It is a rite of passage for most British actors. Once they are established and made their name and are better off in the financial sense, they are able to do more artistic work. RA has said in the past that he has been to LA auditioning, like most of us there are things we would all like to achieve some may be possible some not. I believe he would like all those things, but an actor's greatest fear is not working. I think it was the actress Sinead Cusack, who once said she should have gone to Hollywood while the opportunity was there and then she should have done stage work.

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    6. As this blog's reply area looks like an ANONYMOUS sabbath, I will introduce myself - I am Anna.

      Martin is very consequent in the way he speaks, behaves and dresses. He's crazy and I like him.

      Coming back to BBC drama, it is not impossible but it would be a step back from where he is standing now. I don't think it's beneath him, I firmly believe he's not this kind of man, but his appetite is bigger at the moment.

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    7. Anna to @Jane:

      He gets to choose but from what is available to him. Is it your real opinion that he did all those action hero BBC dramas because it's his favourite genre?

      I, for one, hope that he will NOT BE DOING action movies whilst in Tinsel Town. I appreciate his body but with his darkness, potential of being mysterious and unequivocal and romantic lead inborn quality it would be the hell of a waste if he just went down the action hero road.

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    8. Am I the only one who has read (I don't remember where, sorry) that his next role will be a spy? And I thought it might be something to be shot in LA between January and April. Your thoughts?

      Btw, I am Doni

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    9. I certainly never heard of it. Very interesting if it's true

      Anna

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  13. There is no need to be defensive of RA moving to NY because I was stating the fact rather than critisizing. I am just saying that it is a very clear clue how he wants his career to develop - he is aiming at Hollywood.

    He has every right to decide what he wants and he is not a hostage to our expectations or illusions about him. I do not see him as a Hollywood type of personality and this is a compliment but he has his own agenda and I wish him success.

    I would imagine he must be talking some new projects and would love to see him in a real gem, but these days gems do not get made in Hollywood. Instead, they concentrate on films like Avatar, Avengers, Superman, Batman, etc. Those productions can give you recognition, money and success but not artistic satisfaction if you are a proper actor trained at LAMDA with theatre background.

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    1. Well put, anonymous. I so agree with your last paragraph. That's why I so admire Ken Stott who seems to have a fire in his belly for acting, period. On the other hand, he is so well established in acting circles.

      RA did mention in the GQ article that there was a lot of theatre in NY and he is drawn to it. I guess we can only wait and see what his next move will be.

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    2. Doing theatre on the Broadway would be even better than doing theatre in London, because the fact that he did it would reach more people, and that would help his reputation as a "serious actor". However, I have given up hoping for that a long time ago. He has talked about going back to the theatre since N&S and never did it. I don't expect he will now when Hollywood movies are the alternative. But he may prefer living in NY over LA, because among other things it offers the opportunity to watch a lot of great plays, not being in them.

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    3. Many theatrical productions go from one city to the other and reach many people. It would not matter what city he did a play in. Many people would go based on the fact of The Hobbit. Many years ago I saw the actor Timothy Dalton in a London stage production of Eugene O' Neill's A Touch Of the Poet. This was in between his Bond movies, its possible that iconic roll helped put people in seats.

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    4. I admit I had to google Ken Stott but the moment I saw his picture I remembered seeing him in Messiah. I do not know much about him, though. However, there is a Canadian actor that I like - it's Kris Holdenried. Do you know him pi? What do you think of him? We do not get to see him much, unfortunately.

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    5. I first saw Ken Stott, a Scot, in Rebus, and I was hooked. There was another actor playing Rebus initially and compared to Stott he came across as bloodless. Stott is getting rave reviews from the fans as Balin. All in all, I guess he doesn't need the PR.

      I don't know Kris Holdenried but I will look him up. I rarely watch Canadian tv unless Paul Gross is in it. I highly recommend "Due South" , "Slings and Arrows" and "Gunless". The man has a sense of humour. And for the absolute gorgeous hotness, "Getting Married in Buffalo Jump", only to be found now, I believe, on Netflix. Sigh. Here is an actor, singer, writer, and director largely content to stay in Canada. Not that there's anything wrong with going abroad or American- but he seems to have found artistic satisfaction in Canada. Go figure. :)

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    6. I think Holdenried is also quite attached to Toronto. I don't know anything about him attempting to go for Hollywood, but as I said, information is scarce. He did appear in the Tudors, though.

      All those titles you mention are unknown to me. I will google Gross.

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    7. I actually recognize P. Gross. Back some years ago I saw him in a Canadian series about some mounted police officer. Cannot remember the title, though. I am looking at his filmography and nothing seems to fit.

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    8. "Due South" is about the mountie, @Anna. There's a lot of Canadian in-jokes as well, which makes this Canuck very happy.

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    9. Geez, I did think it was that old.

      I am not sure I understand the part about CA in-jokes and Canuck being made happy. That is, I have no clue.

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    10. The "in-jokes" means that one can understand the allusions to our cultural icons. For example. his wolf, Diefenbaker, is named after a Canadian Prime Minister. There's also the stereotype about Canadians being very polite, which is how the mountie is portrayed. His boss is called "Thatcher", named after a former Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher.

      "Canuck" is slang for "Canadian". I just meant to say the Canadian cultural allusions make this Canadian (me) happy. I hope that makes it clearer!

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    11. It does. I do remember the Husky of strange name. Funny enough, I think Gross played Diefenbaker in another series. I thought they got it mixed up in Wikipedia.

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  14. A very interesting post and comments.

    RA is in the process of promoting The Hobbit. This is a hugh moment in his career, he is striking while the iron is hot. This in turn will make him financially stable and maybe enable him to see his dream projects come true. Actors all have ambition and ego, if they did not the business would crush them.

    Regarding the GQ interview, about being based in in NY it is a halfway point between London and LA. He commented that it was easy to get to both places. Ny probably suits better as a base while working in the US. RA's comment about getting back on stage can equally apply to NY and London, probably means both. In yet another interview for Glamour magazine UK regarding where he is based it was vague neither here nor there, but he expresses a wish to get back to UK TV, so I don't think a quality BBC production is beneath him. Also at the Royal Premiere of the Hobbit
    in a live interview, which can be found on youtube. RA says that this particular premiere was important to him as its London, his home where he trained as an actor. That would suggest he still has his London home. In an aside there is another youtube video of him in the receiving line to meet HRH the Duke of Cambridge, his mother is standing behind him that shows the measure of the man.

    There is also for those who are interested an interview in the Leicester Mercury, where RA tells of coming home and visiting his parents at the time of the excavation of what is hoped after DNA testing the bones of King Richard 111.

    There are links to all this on Richardarmitage.net site.

    As for the outfits I did not like all of them, but he did look more polished and confident which is what he needs to be now.

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    1. Oh, I do think the person underneath is still the Leicestershire lad, and Hollywood won't change that. I guess living in NY is a way to avoid the Hollywood lifestyle and still be easily available in the US. I just think the actor respectively the artist is not quite what some fans still hope for.

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    2. Having respect and love for your parents is one thing. Turning up for events with your mum at the age of 41 allows for many interpretations, not all of them flattering.

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    3. This was a Royal Premiere, this is a hugh event, What better way to honour the parent, that went back to work to support your endeavours.

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    4. I agree with the anon who says that turning up for events with your mum AT THE AGE OF 41 allows many interpretations.

      Doni

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    5. Please read the previous comments. This was a Royal premiere a grand occasion.

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    6. I've read the previous comments and I know it was a Royal première but that doesn't change my mind. I think we should agree to disagree.
      Doni

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    7. Before we agree to disagree. This is the only known time that RA brought his Mother to an event, as I already said this was a big event. The Lady that went back to work to help him with his future career, why should she not be his honoured guest.

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    8. Thank you to all the anony-mouses (heh) who have contributed very thoughtful interpretations and considered opinion. It would be really helpful if you posted under the "name" option in the menu, because at this point, it is all too confusing. Just make up a fake name like I did, you don't have to register.

      I don't think the fact that RA brought his mother to the royal premiere is indicative of anything else. It is not unusual for an actor to bring a loved one to a premiere. If he is a grateful and sweet son, if makes sense that he would bring his mother if he has no significant other, because, honestly, she gets a taste of the glamour, excitement, and to meet royalty. Seriously, I am single now and I would bring my best friend because I know it would be a total thrill for her. And then the gossips would have a field day making something out of our closeness. ;)

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    9. As I said in my previous post, I think we should agree to disagree. But, please, let me clarify one thing: it is not a matter of gossip. Imo, a certain kind of consideration, though intrusive, is necessary to explain RA choices. Why? Because I believe that the explanation for part of what RA is doing (New York, his "not seen coming" love for the theatre, and so on...) lies in “personal reasons” and without taken them into consideration it’s impossible, for me, to make my point of view perfectly clear.
      My guess might be totally wrong, nevertheless it would be my honest opinion on RA behavior, no trolling, no gossiping just for the sake of it.
      But I understand your concern that all this might end up in uncontrolled speculation, so it’s better to let the discussion lie.
      Believe it or not, there are times when I so much wish I was wrong.

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    10. Well, I am not sure what you're getting at. My only point about his mother at the premiere is that as a single example nothing can really be inferred from it. It is unreasonable to extrapolate anything from it alone. Neither have I seen gossip or trolling here. :) So far, all arguments have been well supported.

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    11. Sorry, I missed that option. I thought I would have to provide name AND URL.

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    12. Doni: regarding the theatre, he never really made big in theatre and it's not so easy to get a good part there, either, especially if you're an outsider just willing to come back. That could be the reasons why it has remained in the sphere of dreams.

      I don't know if it is so, just pointing to this possibility.

      I also read (cannot remember where), that A. Capper had a green card and did a lot of theatre in NY. It was just someone who seemed to live in NY posting on some forum, not an article or official piece of information. I didn't pay much attention then and I have no clue whether this is true.

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    13. LAMDA sometimes publishes lists about where former students are now and it said that she did work on stage in NY a few years ago, so there is definetely some truth to it. Last thing I read about her was a play in London in spring this year. Who knows what she does at the moment. But a connection of that kind is just as much speculation as anything else. I am sure Mr. Armitage has many acquaintances we know nothing about. After all there are no reports about how and with whom he spends his time for the vast majority of days of the year.

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    14. I was not implying that he and AC were an item as of now, but if she does work in NY theatre, then she would be a conection as well as an old friend well established there.

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  15. Again I am in agreement with most of your comment. If I was in RA's shoes I would choose NY rather than Hollywood. Nothing is certain in the acting profession. The Leicestershire lad knows this. As we have both more or less said if not now when. What some fans hoped for after North and South was more of the same, there were a few complaints about Robin Hood, Spooks and also Strike Back. As I have said RA has hopes and dreams about his career, he realises that all might not be achieved. There is only a short window of opportunity.

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  16. I don't think anything can be concluded from bring his mother to the premier but a touching love and respect for her, a lack of fear that it might generate gossip and the fact that he is either single or doesn't want to present his current partner to the public during the Hobbit PR campaign. If there are personal reasons to choose NY apart from the obvious professional ones, all the better for him. I certainly hope he has friends in NY.

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  17. Well said Jane. I do recall from an interview he did a few years, at the time of the interview he said he was in NY visiting friends.

    Roisin

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    1. I remember that as well. His connection with NY may not be as recent as it seems.

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    2. Around the time of his birthday, when filming Black Sky, he also visited friends in NY.

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  18. As a recent RA fan, I don't get the big deal about his teeth. Do you all have such bad teeth that someone wanting to fix his own pushes so many buttons in you guys? Is everyone here not really caring about how they look? So he fixed his teeth, big deal. You would, too, if you had the money to do it, and if it meant that it would lead to better roles in your chosen career.

    So he or the studios hired a stylist, big effing deal. When he showed up at ComicCon wearing the dark shirt and jeans, people weren't happy and pointed out why he wore something too tight, had a stain on the leg and whatever. This poor guy can't do anything right. So now he's got a stylist - so what? It's all about the image, which has nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with the man's talent or what lies inside of him.

    As a new fan just a few months old, I liked RA after seeing him in North and South and when I read the messages he wrote to fans from 2004 on, it gave me an insight into who he was inside.

    Then I found the blogs such as these, from people who want to dictate exactly how RA should act because according of them, he would be nothing; who believe that they know the man more than he knows himself, and that they, and only they, can truly know what he needs to make it in the business.

    The man has talent; he has skill; and by god, he has the ambition to make it in his craft, and continually perfect it. That's why he's where he is now. It has nothing whatsoever to do with this Armitage Army, or whatever you guys call yourselves.

    Now when it comes to what we've been hearing and seeing these days for The Hobbit promotions - It's one thing to hear him say something in response to a question live on the telly, another when one just reads it from certain media outlets. Most of the stuff we see these days happened in a span of 7 - 9 days, all across the globe, from NZ, NYC and LDN. That's a whirlwind tour of appearances, editorial shoots, and interviews after interviews.

    The man can make mistakes, he can be misquoted - hell, he can even misquote himself. Doing up to 30 interviews per day or even more can leave one addled, but I'm not here to defend him or what he said or didn't say, or whether he fibbed or not. I'm not here to defend news outlets that may misquote him or edit things out of interviews.

    I just wish that people gave this man a break, not put him under the microscope constantly just because there's nothing else to do in our lives but point out someone else's assets, quibbles, faults and whatnot.

    It's blogs like this and so many more that make me wish RA never send any more messages to ungrateful fans such as you guys, and all this you apparently do in the name of being a "supportive" fan.

    Something there just doesn't sound right.



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    1. It is your right to defend him, although I don't think he needs defense, nor the vehemence.

      I find it interesting that you think "fans" should be grateful.

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    2. I agree with everything that Anonymous wrote and second that motion.

      RA has a right to fix his teeth if he wants to. Many people have their teeth fixed so what is the big deal?

      Why does RA bringing his mother to the London premiere of The Hobbit have to mean anything besides showing love and respect for the woman who brought him into this world and supported his career? I was proud of RA for bringing his Mom. If RA had a girlfriend I am sure that she would have been there with him too.

      Putting RA constantly under the microscope is unfair and silly. Whatever RA does it seems that he is going to be damned by someone. RA is allowed to make mistakes just like the rest of us.

      I see nothing wrong with RA returning to British TV in a quality show. Or appearing on American television in a quality show. That is not lowering yourself. I wish that RA would do a great costume drama of high quality. I LOVED RA in North and South and the BBC made a huge mistake by not promoting that project. When their website crashed after the first part of N&S aired that should have been a clue to them.

      I am glad that RA has based himself in NY. I always figured that NYC was his kind of town. Besides the theater NYC is a cultural mecca. It is a fabulous place to live. RA is just one of many actors and actresses who have made NYC their home base.

      I do hope that RA gets back to doing theater himself. Theater is more challenging though so he would have to choose his next theater project very carefully.

      Having said all that...HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

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  19. I haven't read but maybe two replies on this piece, so I may be repeating. I meant to say earlier, pi, what do you expect GQ to say? I mean really? It's their business. They would be crazy not to say someone needs a stylist.

    I am so not a clothes horse. Never have been although when I did work for someone else, I had quite a hefty sum invested in clothing. When I got out of college (I'll spare you the date), I spent several thousand dollars alone on at one time and kept that up yearly. In those days before the relaxed professional attire you see now, it was a good investment, and I don't regret it. But today? Not necessary for most people. Women in Hollywood? Probably. But a man in Hollywood?! No, not necessary. Take James Franco for example. He's talented, and my 20 something daughters think he is IT. They could not tell you what in hell the guy wears. They don't care. And it's the 20 somethings that count doncha know? :D

    For now I figure this is all part of the promotion for The Hobbit as some others mentioned.

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    1. @Frenz,

      I thought it was self-evident that OF COURSE the article is pushing the desperate need that actors have stylists to succeed. It's part of the "hypnosis".

      The article also mentions that studios will pay, as I believe might be happening with The Hobbit. But even for RA, I imagine it's a business expense and a tax write-off.

      What interests me, and I've said it before is that he seems to be taking the image making route. It is not the only one to choose. He chooses to be handled, for whatever reasons.

      And just because one is intelligent it doesn't mean one is necessarily discriminating. No question for me that RA is finding his way through the hype, there has to be a learning curve. Whatever he wants out of this he wants it bad. He agrees to the handling. He chose it, wanted it, believes it will bring him the 'success' he craves. I don't like the hype and I don't have to like the handling. To me it's not been that effective except that it keeps him in the public eye. Yeah, his face is out there and his sartorial splendour, but so far, that's all it's gotten him. Just like a celebrity.

      It is one way to go. It's not the only way, though. I agree, it was not necessary.

      And are we supposed to believe that all these handlers out there are have his best interests at heart? This is not about him being a victim, it's about questioning the machine and the point of it.

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    2. To clarify: I agree, the styling was not necessary. As I said before it is also gilding the lily.

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    3. The word fan, for me, is the abbreviation of fanatic and allow me to say that I don’t like fanatics in every discussion or sector of our lives; from the very important and serious: religious intolerance for example, to the more light-hearted and entertaining ones, such as the career of an actor.
      What I really love is critical thinking, especially when done with sense of reality, perspective and, when possible, humour. That’s why I like to read this blog: it makes me think and laugh; two of the things I value the most.
      I don’t understand people who label other posters as ungrateful fans or trolls just because they have an unpopular opinion. It’s strange because as a relatively young person (25 year old, next year) I find all this hype and vehemence a bit odd, maybe it’s because I’m pragmatic even when I speak of my boyfriend. LOL

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    4. Ironically James Franco has the same stylist as RA.

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    5. pi, I think RA needs a stylist but a better one. He doesn't have a sense of fashion and someone needs to support him.

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