Thursday, December 12, 2013

Whither Thou Armitage?

Well, from the looks of it, not anywhere.

Is the man enslaved to Peter Jackson's juggernaut? I don't think so. He may be enslaved to his stylist and all I can say is, throw off those shackles of the most prosaic and dull! Let me dress you, because I'd do a way better job.

What has he done lately? I won't answer that because the answer is too stark even for me to bear.

According to this report:

Richard Armitage finds himself in a professional quandary. He is so good at playing Dwarf King Thorin Oakenshield in the Hobbit movies, it's been bad for his career.
 Montreal Gazette

Seriously? Does anyone believe that?  A canard, in my opinion. What happened to your agent? Why are you not stuffed with roles, whether good or bad, rich or poor?  Why are we hearing nothing and more nothing? What is wrong here? You are an eminently and excessively talented actor and yet, in year two, all you're doing is shlepping the latest installment of the fantastical Hobbit franchise.  Does your agent have so little faith in you? Why is the world not knocking at your door? What am I missing here?



61 comments:

  1. What he's "done" lately? He pushed me to thinking about him with irony..and I hate it!:(
    I'm a bad fangirl!

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  2. "To be honest, there’s nothing that could have stopped me from doing Thorin. If I never do another piece of work again after this, I think I’ll be happy, genuinely happy. If feels like an arrival."
    Maybe he meant it.

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    1. Gah! I'm gobsmacked. He's only 42. That's like saying he peaked as John Thornton (a role I still consider superior to anything else he's done).

      He certainly sounds satisfied, rather giddy in fact, and clearly is basking or wallowing in his sense of accomplishment. Geez, it's a sprawling popular fantasy movie. That's his idea of the pinnacle???

      I'm gobsmacked. Maybe once he's off the high he'll get a clue. He still has an entire acting life before him and it looks like he has been doing nothing but schmoozing. Perhaps he is not itching to act. Meanwhile, we, his audience, are all the poorer for it.

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    2. I agree. In this press tour interviews a couple of times a certain anxiety seems to be there, though. The nose job could be an attempt to please Hollywood more (and it broke my heart). I think part of the problem could be this series of mixed messages he’s been giving to the press: Batman and Alexander Payne? Maybe he should focus.
      PS I like your blog.

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    3. What nose job?

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    4. I think the experience of working with PJ in NZ may well really have been the most fulfilling of his life, there no need to be dismissive of that. Spending two years under conditions every actor dreams of is his perspective of things, even if ours is watching three hours of a movie we may find lacking.

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  3. Interesting observation, Pi. It IS a good question.

    Oh well, whatever makes him happy. :)

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  4. Pi, I love your blog and am always happy to see a new posting - an all to rare occurrence. I wonder if Richard is too risk-averse. He tends to join an franchise that has had a good run but is on the wane. Case in point: Spooks and The Hobbit. However, he's a hard worker and will no doubt continue to land roles. I lost interest in his work starting with Strike Back and wonder if I'll ever regain the fervor ignited by North & South and Robin Hood I & II.

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  5. Has it ever occurred you that he may not be getting suitable offers? That Hollywood has not waited for him? The the Hobbit is not enough to get the attention of casting people? And that casting people don't see the extraordinary talent that fans see?

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    1. It has. In fact, I think he has a good, not extraordinary, acting talent (sorry Pi, just my opinion). What makes Richard extraordinary, IMO, is a combination of talent and looks (and voice).
      There is a vast market for actors like him, in which he could excel and give us audience the pleasure of seeing him, from time to time, but it is not the Hollywood blockbusters one. It is the leading man in a TV series (A. Linconl) or medium sized part in movies (think S. Tucci for example).
      I think the real question is (and we’ll never know the answer, but to speculate is part of the fun): is he being offered these and he’s rejecting them, hoping for something bigger? Or he just got the whole auditions thing wrong and Hobbit was just a case of being in the right time at the right place? Or has his head become too big for his hat?
      Last thing: as others have pointed out, this fandom went from three packed years (2007/2010) to three “desolated” ones, interrupted by to big outbursts. A bit of readjustment is inevitable.
      P.S. mmmh, an awful lot of question marks

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  6. I love your blog and wish you posted more. I also wonder about Richard's agent. He is with a big agency, but that doesn't mean his particular agent rep is one of the A list, and I am thinking he isn't. Maybe he is turning down opportunities- but he hasn't done anything new in 3 years while all other cast of the Hobbit are moving on.

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  7. I do remember the hype about LOTR very well. Probably everyone thought the whole cast would make it big in Hollywood. But there is actually only ONE member of the fellowship who has made it - Orlando Bloom and he was not even the main-main character. Chances are high, that Richard won't make it in Tinsletown - which I'm totally fine with bc it means he won't get burnt. He will be on stage tonight in NYC along with AC.

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    1. I have often wondered if the goal here is to make as much money as he can (and quickly) and then just start living a " normal" life. Do you realize that when all is said and done (after the release of the 3rd Hobbit movie),he will have spent a little more than 4 years of his life on this thing ? That is making this trilogy,promoting it and then promoting the DVD releases.Has this worked against him ? On a final note,I have a knowing feeling about that tornado movie......Be well....

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    2. Sorry, the word is gnawing not knowing.....

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    3. I know about that gnawing feeling. Two years (incl shooting) is a long time to release it and never a good sign. Really wonder how he is spending his time right now apart from that Hamlet audiobook and one-time stage performance. Wonder if he's happy right now and choose this slowed down life (as far as we know).

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  8. Pi, your blog is just about the best around. Funny,direct and unsentimental. This is why I dislike a lot of the other bloggers as well as Imdb ( I am not a member but I just read comments and boy do they descend on people when he is being criticized).You seem to tell
    like it is and as you see it. Speaking of our man, he does not seem to be doing too well in Hollywood is he ? What is going on there. What is he doing ? A reading of Proust ? I saw some excerpts on You Tube and thought he was terrible. The Hobbit trilogy seems to be sucking the life out of him... Please post more often !! Take care.

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    1. Never understood why we cannot have a different opinion on RA and still support him. I don't have to kiss the ground he walks on or have to agree on everything he does? My crush on RA doesn't keep me away from having my own opinion, right? So, yes, Pi's blog is very refreshing imho.

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    2. Hi Claudine, it' s to be getting a comment about my comment. I' m always too late for these things ;-). Yes,it is nice to be able to criticize w/o fear. What did you think about the Proust thing ? Saw some bits and pieces on Ytube.The man moves like a cat but boy I did not like his delivery.Wonder if people are so anthralled with looking at him that they do not notice. Maybe I ' m wrong.... As per that Into the storm thing,it was supposed to be released this January but was pushed back to August. Pretty sure I will not see it. Supposedly, January and August are they call "dumping"months for potential "flops".W hat is your opinion on what he is doing or not doing ? I do not think Hollywood cares. Many people think he has missed the boat..... Take care

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    3. I wasn't at the play and only watched once the 13 mins of it. So, I don't have any real opinion, esp since I haven't seen the other actors or the whole play. But I enjoyed every blog story, although I'm not so sure about that "cat moving" comment. *giggles* I understand that he stands out for fans. But I wonder what a non-RA-supporter would think, y'know, a neutral opinion about the play and his performance. Why didn't you like his performance?

      I will def watch Into the Storm - either in theatre or as a stream. I was surprised that the movie came right after The Hobbit. No break, nothing. So, my guess is also he just agreed to the next best thing in the USA bc it seems he never packed his stuff in London but moved to NYC right away?

      I cannot say if or why he missed the boat, if his time hasn't come yet or never will. I have a very uncertain feeling about him being *there*. I haven't figured out yet why or what it is in particular bc I wish him all the best in the world. There is this gut feeling "cobbler, stick to your last" - whatever that means in his case … I was going to say that it might speak volumes that he isn't loaded with new projects. But on the other hand, maybe it is his own choice? We cannot tell what is going on.

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  9. Sorry I did not read my text before publishing... English is not my first language so forgive my spelling.

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  10. But just to be clear on one thing: I really like him and I enjoy him to the fullest. I'm far away from dissing him but try to see him as „neutral“ as possible. I have many opinions or thoughts on my mind about him. And I see the light-hearted side of it – he's just a human, nothing more but also nothing less. :-)

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    1. Hi Claudine !! The cat move meant he is very elegant, he moves well. About what I saw of the play, his delivery did not feel right to me especially when he talks about the woman not being his type..As per the NY move, I feel funny about it also but if you read the NY moves article he says he does not live there all the time. I also remember reading (cannot remember which magazine ) that he was in London (having come back from NZ) and he was still unpacking. I read in the fall and I believe he was in London in late summer.As for missing the boat, I think on some level he missed it 10 years ago after N and South came out.Very strange....Now I think people still have no clue who he his and I do not think the Hobbit will open that many doors for him. Hope I am wrong. I cringe when I see his imdb page.Go see BC's page and you will see what I mean. My name is Chris by the way.

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    2. Hello. About RA's strange line delivery, maybe it has something to do with the trademark Pinter pause? I watched the clip and understood what you meant about that part where he says that the lady was...not...his...type. :-) I have copied and pasted below a paragraph from Wikipedia's "Characteristic of Harold Pinter's works:

      "Actors and directors often find Pinter's "pauses and silences" to be daunting elements of performing his plays, leading to much discussion of them in theatrical and dramatic criticism, and actors who have worked with Pinter in rehearsals have "reported that he regretted ever starting to write 'Pause' as a stage direction, because it often leads to portentous overacting" (Jacobson)"

      So maybe, the strange pauses in RA's lines were part of the script/direction?

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    3. Thanks anon ! That certainly puts things into perspective when it comes to that particular deliver of lines. I know some Proust but nothing about Pinter.Lesson learned for me; Never jump the gun (or try to anyways ;-)) Went on YT to check the excerpts again and must be honest, I am still not crazy about the rest of his performance (not sure why though) . I do understand that it is a small piece of a probably bigger picture...I appreciate your input...Thank you !!

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  11. Hi again !!! As I said, english is not my first language so what does the "cobbler" allusion mean ? Also are there rules about posting w/o the main person participating ? ��

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    1. "cobbler, stick to your last" is a saying. It means, RA should stick to his basic roots. Not seek for Hollywood (block buster movies) but do what he is able to do (stage, tv, whatever), to lower his sights.

      Where do you come from if I may ask?

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  12. Hi Chris, nice to talk to you! :-) I have to giggle about this cat comment every time bc it sounds like fanguuuurling to me. That's all. :-)

    I know what you mean by BC's work - or others like Fassbender; Damian Lewis landed his role in the high end series Homeland. The list goes on. As I stated in January in the same post, I'm strongly reminded on LOTR. Yes, Mortensen, Wood & Co all found their works in smaller, independent movies. But I believe (except for Mortensen) they all had block busters in mind after LOTR - and only Bloom stands out. So, maybe a curse for RA or it's the way he likes it. Our thoughts/hopes are not necessary his thoughts/hopes. On the other hand, RA was in talk as Batman (dunno if that was serious at all) and he stated in an interview he was in conversation with Fast & Furious? So, if both is true what happened (except for the fatal accident of Paul Walker)?

    What I cannot believe is that Hollywood doesn't know RA. The producers/the companies KNOW Peter Jackson, his trilogies and so his cast members. I wonder if RA gets nervous by now or if he really believes in destiny (aka it will come to you when the time is right).

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  13. Hi Claudine !!! Really nice chatting with you !!! Chris here and just to make sure there is no confusion, I am the anonymous that has been chatting with you. I am from Montreal. I am a new fan as of November of last year and had never heard of Ra in my life. Neither has anybody else in my entourage.... So I have been cramming Ra articles and clips since late fall. Would like to know the feeling I get when I read his interviews or listen to him ? Sadness. I get the feeling that as much as he likes acting that he regrets his choice ( I think he has himself said that) I get the feeling he would like to hit " paydirt" as it where and retire behind the scenes.. He emotes something that I cannot quite grasp.Why did his career not take off 10 years ago ? Is it him ? (Chris)

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  14. You shouldn't be sad about him. It's his life and he makes the choices after all. Guess, he's doing just fine. And he's only in his early 40's, so there's enough time!

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  15. Hi !! I am not sad for him, I feel sadness and weariness in him....What is your take on the last 10 years after N&S ?(Chris)

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  16. Oh, I don't think he is sad. There's no reason to be. I think he did great shows, loved Strike Back, Robin Hood kinda grew on me but never really watched Spooks (not even for him, I'm not into the spy thing)...

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  17. Hi Claudine ! I have been re reading exchanges & I wanted To thank you for your patience because my rhythm really sucks !! My head was spinning as I was going down the column. I'll get the hang of it eventually ! I also wanted to reiterate that I am the anonymous from Feb 2nd at 5:18 am on down.I shall post under my name from now on.I think I misunderstood your him being *there* from Feb 26 at 1:22 pm.You meant Hollywood right ? I thought it was NYC... I also feel weird about it as well as NY.I am hoping pi will write something soon.I think she is great fun and irreverent.I have posted on 2 other blogs that I like but the rest.. Oh boy ! Too much drama,nastiness,mothering & possessiveness for me.BTW, if you haven't read all of pi 's blogs,go check the archives. Be well

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    1. Thanks to everyone for keeping this blog alive with comments! Much appreciated, as are the compliments.

      Chris, you said, "Too much drama,nastiness,mothering & possessiveness for me". Oh boy, I think you've nailed it. I recently made rounds of some blogs , especially questioning blogs, and I was disheartened to see the roving spammers flying the flag of Holy Armitage Righteousness. Mean spirited bunch, IMO.

      To all (the hand few, heh): I haven't posted much for 2 reasons:

      1. Real life has been a bear. It largely occupies most of my time.

      2. There is nothing much to say, currently, about The Armitage, since it seems that not much is happening with him acting wise. I did not see the second installment of the Hobbit, because it just does not interest me that much. Beyond that, acting from The Armitage has largely been an dark, empty space, in terms of quantity, for the past 2 years.

      I am interested in his career trajectory because I hope to actually SEE him act on the screen, more than once in a blue moon. So far, I have largely been disappointed, because there has been nothing but a fantasy dwarf to relate to.

      2. To fill that empty space where his acting should be, one could resort to cannibalising Richard Armitage and/or the fandom. Not really interested in that.

      So, if there's nothing to talk about acting wise, and all the interviews and sartorial weirdnesses start to bleed into each other with unrelenting sameness, why say anything? And I'm not especially interested in overseeing or marking his self-development. Not much left, is there? All we have is RELENTLESS PR and how much fun is that, really?

      The commenters here, however, have given me food for thought. Thanks!

      I am hoping we all hear much better news about future roles very soon, because right now, the news is pitiful.

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    2. Hi pi !! Nice to read from you !! Bravo for your writings !!! Indeed sad and pitiful are the words here...I think I have had more "fun" observing the fanndom than actually enjoying
      Mr Armitage ( not that there is much to enjoy right now...).I think I'm a very naive person because I had no clue as to what is out there when it comes to star "worshipping". The lengths people go to for someone they think they know but really don't has really surprised me. I have found some of it sweet & touching and some of it scary & bewildering. I have also discovered new words like manips (really ?),RPF (Yowza !) and shipping (Yowza again !).As per the PR machine, my goodness, is all this really necessary ? I found out about my own comfort level watching these things. One event (in November I think ) I had to stop watching because it made me twitch in my seat.There is also one Australian TV interview (accompanied by a picture that made cringe) that I also had to stop watching. What a circus !!!! And believe me , I would have felt the same way about it had it been some unknown Jo Schmo being put through this.. Anyway be well pi and looking forward to your next blog. Feel free to comment �� Take care.PS If you are so inclined what is your feeling about Tornado movie ?

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  18. Actually pi, you want something to talk about ? Go see the Anglophile award teaser on You tube. I am flabbergasted by what I saw. Truly...

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  19. That question wasn't directed at me but will answer it anyway. I was baffled for the first moment but I like it. I have to wait for the complete interview to put things into context.

    You? Why flabbergasted?

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  20. It feels less than real to me in some moments. Believe me I love when he enjoys himself and I truly believe he is much funnier than he lets on. I think at times he is too shy to let loose. Have you seen some of the Hobbit outtakes where he talks about taking a crap during voiceovers or talking about pre and post coital stuff with Bilbo under the canope ? He is kooky...Obviously when he feels save he lets it all hang out. This Anglophile thing had a different vibe to me....

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    1. I know where you are coming from, I've read the comments under the YT teaser and understand the concerns. But it is only 1:02 min long, so we cannot yet put things into context. We have to wait and see how he is in the interview(s) but like everyone of us he has many layers and maybe he was just showing one of many. *Maybe* he felt that good and he could loosen up - that's just a one possibility. I know he describes himself as a loner, brooder, introverted, serious type of person and all that, and I've seen it, but I believe that it's just some of many things he "really" is - I don't like to judge things too quickly without having the full information. But I agree, it would be interesting to see his "behaviour" on more occasions - when he thinks, he has to "be" a certain way (funny, kooky, naughty and extrovert) to get noticed in Hollywood...THEN I agree he is selling his soul to the devil for the price of fame. Let's talk about that tomorrow/Monday. :-)

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    2. Actually not for the price of fame... Believe me I think he could do without the recognition. Just do the job and go home without being noticed.I think it is the money that he wants. Financial security. Certainly not more notoriety.... I think that pi said it well when she said that she thinks fear is driving him. Maybe also a hint of desperation ?He is not 22 or 32 anymore...

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  21. By the way Claudine, did you see my apologies to you on the 27th ?

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    1. Yes, I saw it - thank you. But there is no need to apologise! :-)

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  22. I agree with about withholding judgment and wait for the full interview. I do believe he is funny,kooky and much naughtier then he lets on. But as you said, it would break my heart if I felt he was pushing too hard to get noticed. I did not mind him kissing the interviewer.I have seen him dip a female interviewer (in Canada during the first Hobbit promotion) I have seen him "jump" on another Canadian interviewer (first Hobbit promotion again- all available on YT if have not seen it)because he was shown a fanvid (sigh I wish theywould not do that to anyone ..)I remember thinking good he his having fun but it felt real to me. This Anglophile segment when he was talking about the buns felt forced.

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  23. You mean the interview by George Stroumboulopoulos? Dunno the vid of the female interviewer tho (how would I find it?). I ***agree*** with you on that embarrassing fan vid! O.O But I'm just not the type of person how would do that.

    The "buns" were funny, I think. The best part was when that guy (Paul Boland?) laughed out loud - I think, a joke/a particular conversation took place right before the comment ... so, I don't see this drastically. But I know what you mean.

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  24. Yeah the George Snuffalapagous interview (really great) He looked like he had fun. I wish they would stop with the fanvids (and the AA and circus comments). The female interviewer is called Marilyn Dennis (very nice).The bun thing, it was his demeanor that threw me off...

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  25. I know about that interview but never watched it tbh.
    The first part is out - what you think? Isn't that bad as expected, is it? I like it!

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  26. I liked it...Wish they could have gotten a British interviewer though. I hope he never gets on Tweeter.. Didn' t he say he did not "get" Tweeter at some point. I truly believe that it is best to keep some distance between yourself and your fans. What is he thinking ? Not too sure.

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  27. Marlise and her husband Paul Boland are producers/editors of The Anglophile Channel and located in LA. It's their online show. I think Marlise did a great and charming job. One has to get with the times, even my office department is on Facebook to be closer to their "customers" - that's just business. I also assume that Richard won't be the one who will tweet - he said "we are thinking" and that usually means someone who will do that stuff for him. I cannot imagine him spending time on that plattform and "doing it" like Greaham or Adam or Dominic (very personal). But I hope he stays away from twitter, that's better for his health.

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  28. She did a good job, I guess my mind set was British interviewer...I hope you are right about Tweeter.. But what is the point for fans if it is not him Tweeting ?

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  29. Had to select anon - because I'm not on other name thingys here. fitzg or Judith. Not much for anon.

    pi does not post regularly, but I am very much in tune with the unsentimental and dispassionate tone of the blog, and with the responses, I am a "fan" of the actor, but I think he has talent. And his looks appeal. I hoped for better things so far. Not being a Tolkien or fantasy fan, still was pleased he won such a role.

    Perhaps Mr. Jackson can suck the soul from some actors. Perhaps Mr. A had to try the U.S. which is a minefield for British actors. Some make it to cream of the milk top. Some might have been far better not to have tried America at this point in career. Until making a far bigger name in Britain. Still, to try (thinking of some of Armitage's former colleagues, Lucy Griffiths - no big splash in N.A., Holliday Grainger, some brief recognition for Lucrezia (not a Hollywood film. Others, Clive Owen has some, but not major recognition...perhaps British/Irish etc. serious actors have to achieve much more before they venture to America. Why not Indie films for a character actor?

    Well, "fans" cannot dictate. Actors must determine their own paths. Much depends on casting luck. And on actor judgement. Hoping for the best. Do not wish to see a talent with other than excellent roles, fulfilling that talent promise.

    And please, the fashion shoots are lovely. BUT. Endless interviews, very nice. But fan-pleasing is old-hat.

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  30. Hi anon ! I was curious as to what you meant about Mr Jackson...It is not the first time I have heard negative comments about him..As per the endless,endless PR, I agree with you.Tiresome

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  31. Hello Chris. After considering that remark about Peter Jackson, I regret it. It reflects a personal preference for character-driven, rather than heavily technology-driven filming. (Also not quite the end of a very long winter - just in a grumpy mood! :) ) It wasn't fair to Sir Peter, who is certainly innovative and most likely caught the essence of Tolkien.

    As for the content of the remark, no doubt PJ demands much of his actors. Certainly Armitage looked dead exhausted in some interviews/promotions. It is possible that he drives himself relentlessly even more Sir PJ expects....

    So, am I backing down a bit? Yes, I think so; looking back, I think it was rather a mean-spirited remark, and driven more from a subjective viewpoint and based on personal preference. Quite pleased you caused me to reflect a bit!

    Judith

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  32. Do not worry about it !! I was just curious. Like I said, I vaguely recall reading something about him but it was a while ago.I do think movies in general are over promoted.They certainly do not lure me into seeing them... A lot of c**p out there. Cinema, especially from the US is dead as far as I am concerned.Movies used to haunt me,move me, make me think,make me sad etc.. Now I am bored.Agree with preference for character- driven and a good script.As for Mr A, cannot believe he has another year of this nonsense to go through.TH should have been at the very least 2 movies (still have not seen TDOS-meh !!) I am really CGIed out. To tell you the truth, I also feel we were bamboozled somehow. LOTR=about 1300 pages =about 9 hour movie.TH=barely 300 pages=about 9 hour movie. Really !!!

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  33. Actually, to be fair to american cinema, there are usually 10 movies a year (how much does Hollywood churn out every year ? 200-250 ?) that I find "worthy " of my time and money.That is not a good average... And most of what I like (from Hollywood) are smaller and\or independent productions ie. Blue Valentine, The Descendants,There will be blood etc...Generally, overall,I find that the rest of the cinematic world produces better quality stuff.Less quantity but better quality.

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  34. CGI is a TOOL, do you think? It is still at infancy stage (and now that I am recovering a bit from too much snow and cold) I cannot fault Sir PG for expanding it to whatever limits. No doubt we would still be in Magic Lantern times, and no-one would have tried "talkies", if everyone were the Luddite I am.

    Now, probably all here know the latest Armitage news. Back in England, shooting a film/TV production in Leeds. Working, not posing. See richardarmitagenet for details. This seems more like the actor we admire.

    Judith

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  35. It is a tool but an overused one as far as I am concerned. I know about the good news. Alleluia !!! Working actor and not a mannequin/model !

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  36. Well Pi, Richard has been cast in a British movie! Check out this news http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/news.html#mar14

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  37. Yes, tool. It not ought to overwhelm the story and characters. It must be "delicately?" managed to work with the elements. I cannot disparage PJ for pushing it to the limit here. But I liked Tintin better - the CGI did not infringe on my love of the stories. (son learned to read on Tintin, bedtime reading nightly, voicing the different characters....) But it is works in progress. Wondering if Sir Peter has the next production in the works/in the mind? Hope the CGI and Prosthetics might be wound down a bit. :)

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  38. Whoops, forgot to add Judith. Not keen on those who comment as Anon....:)

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  39. I, too, was a little dissapointed in The Hobbit. As you said, too much CGI for my taste, and poor rendering in some points. Weta could have it done much better, I think.

    I had a big grin on my face when I was reading the news about Urban and The Shed Crew. Something I can see him in: "ugly", rough, no-hero-type (in a Hollywood way), where he can bite his teeth in (and lose himself, again?). Back to the roots. Looking forward to seeing the movie. And NO Hollywood thing - thank god. It kinda surprised me because I thought he would really go for a Hollywood role as his next project - but maybe he still is and Urban just came across as an interesting role? - Having said that, he always plays close to the chest and I was thinking, maybe *I* should trust him more in what he is doing? ;-D

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  40. I certainly agree to some points that you have discussed on this post. I appreciate that you have shared some reliable tips on this review.

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