F. Name a play that you wish RA would do?
No preference for a play, just any good one will do! I was blown away by him in The Crucible and I still hate that I wasn’t able to see Love Love Love, showing so far away in New York. I don’t have a preference for a play but I do have a preference for a location: London, please! That’s relatively easy for me to travel to… 🙂
G. How long have you been in the fandom, and how has your attitude to the fandom changed during that time?
I have always been a solitary fan, whether I loved Gregory Peck in my early teens, David Bowie in my later teens/early twenties or Colin Firth from my mid-twenties on. I never was in any of it for the community, I just loved these guys…
And so it has also been for my Richard Armitage fan-experience as well. The difference with Richard, however, is that the internet was more established and around when I fell in love with him so that, unlike with the other guys, I have been more aware of a fandom surrounding him. I became a fan of Richard’s 12 years ago after seeing North & South. I went on a mad hunt for information, found a few good websites and most of all the C19 message board. I used an alias to become a member there and for a long time I lurked and soaked up all I could. After a while, not being able to resist the enthusiasm, I did participate there for a bit, but I never completely immersed myself (just didn’t have the time as a mum of young kids) and didn’t stay that long. As long as I can remember, there have been factions and disagreements in the fandom, and I just don’t want to waste my time on all that drama. I also don’t want to adhere to other people’s fandom rules and I don’t want to walk on egg-shells, I just want to enjoy Richard in my own way! Also, I don’t do well with absolute Richard hero-worship and taking every word he says as gospel. So, I have been withdrawn from interacting in the fandom world until… I started blogging almost four years ago! With my blog I have created my own little corner for my own way of fangirling and addressing fan issues if I choose to. This is the place where I can control my fan experience and keep it good for me. Interaction with other fans through my blog has been fun and through this blog I have also for the first time met a few fellow-fans in real life, which has also been great fun!
I don’t immerse myself fully into the fandom and I don’t feel the need to have an opinion on or a reaction to everything. I engage where I like and cherry-pick what I like and meet who I want to and so far that’s been working for me. 🙂
H. How has your attitude to RA changed over your time as a fan?
When I first saw N&S, I became Richard-obsessed, hungry for every morsel of information on him. I wrote fan fiction, was introduced to the world of YouTube fan videos and eager to know every project he was doing and everything about him. I tried to get my hands on his backlog of work and I saw most of that. The Vicar of Dibley happened around that time, which made me very happy, I also liked The Impressionists. But then came Guy of Gisborne and after that Lucas North and I have to say my attention wavered, as both those characters could not hold my attention. I really disliked the Robin Hood series, couldn’t even watch it for Richard, and Lucas North really did absolutely nothing for me. I wavered in my Richard-love at the time and wondered whether it was only John Thornton or Harry Kennedy that I had fallen in love with. My interest remained, I read any Richard news that came my way, but I didn’t actively peruse the sites and discussion boards anymore. That lull lasted, oh, 2-3 years and then Strike Back happened and I was back! That was followed by Thorin Oakenshield and really, I haven’t looked back since.
I do admit that the first rush of new love is over, and I don’t constantly re-watch his work anymore, he has become a permanent fixture now. I do still get a little giddy over new work (unless it’s audiobooks! Kudos to him for those, but I don’t do audiobooks) but even his newer work I have not been able to re-watch that much. I mean, he did a great job as Francis Dolarhyde or Raymond de Merville, but they just aren’t enjoyable characters to watch again and again. Richard will always have a very warm place in my heart and for now (as in the past 12 years) he remains my favourite actor. I continue to hope for different, good and challenging roles for him that I can enjoy!
I. What made you come out as a fan and participate in the fandom online?
I always wanted to blog and started this blog not for Richard-reasons but because I wanted to write about things I loved (and Richard is one of them). Reading other blogs I liked, like Servetus’s, Guylty’s or Herba’s blog, in addition to not being able to contain myself after seeing Richard live on stage in The Crucible, motivated me to take the plunge and start this blog for real.
Once I started writing about Richard, and Servetus picked up on that and linked here, I started attracting Richard fans to my blog and thus slowly got sucked into the fandom. As I can be a fan on my own terms here and reactions have been positive, it’s been a lot of fun so far!
J. Are you outed as a fan among your family and friends?
My husband and kids certainly know and especially my husband is very supportive. He took these pictures, for instance…
My mother and brothers and sisters know I love this actor and that he’s on my phone case, but they never seem to be able to remember his name. A few friends know and if people ask me, like my new co-workers, I’ll tell them who my fave actor is and that I’m a fan, but they don’t know about this blog. Especially at work I don’t need them to know, I prefer to keep my professional life separate from the fan world. The only ‘real people’ who know about this blog are Mr Esther, my kids and two friends of mine with whom I have fangirled over other stuff besides Richard as well.