The RA challenge, part 1

Guylty has set a Richard Armitage challenge, and it’s taken me a bit of time to jump in, but here I am! Like some other fans, I’m answering these in batches instead of one by one. The questions posed by Guylty are these:

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So, here goes, answers to the first 8 questions…

#1 First encounter with RA

I have blogged about this before, how once when I was sick in bed in the spring of 2006, I stuck a DVD of North and South into my computer that I had gotten from my mom months before but had just never gotten around to watching. She had never seen it either, by the way, she just figured that because I like costume drama, I might like this. In this instance she was right!

#2 The moment that made you fall in love with RA

It has got to be this moment that triggered me to find out everything I could about the man behind the John Thornton character…

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I liked him from episode one, but was doing OK not actually falling in love. Then came episode four and ‘Look back at me’ and I felt myself falling down the rabbit hole after all. Really, everything about Richard in that 4th episode of North and South was sucking me in irrevocably. After watching the series (and watching it again and again) I tried to find every interview, every scrap of info I could about the man behind the character. Would I like him? Everything I was finding seemed to suggest I would and then I also saw this interview with him about N&S

At 5 minutes in he is chuffed to be compared to Colin Firth (my then no. 1 crush) as Mr Darcy and very modest about it, at around 7.5 minutes in he mentions “Look back at me” as one of his fave scenes as well and then he has this amused knowing smile about filming the train station scenes with Daniela Denby-Ashe. Yes, I really liked him. Later that year (in 2006) The Vicar of Dibley came around, a comedy that I already very much enjoyed, and it was then that I knew this was not a passing fancy anymore. He was briefly interviewed in the extras on the Dibley DVD (The Story of Dibley) and when I saw him in stitches behind the scenes, I completely lost my heart to him forever (stills source RA Net)…

#3 Favourite piece of fan art

In my North and South craze in 2006 I was hooked on N&S fan fiction (even wrote one myself) but I didn’t document which ones I liked best. I was also hooked on fan videos which were emerging on a then quite young YouTube. I’ve already blogged about which videos I used to love in those early days of Armitage-passion:

Now, in more recent years, I don’t really follow the videos or fan fiction that closely anymore. I see those things, and other creative output such as drawings and paintings and photo edits and plushies and lovely shrines, as they happen upon my path. I truly admire them and love that the fans do this, and sometimes I even covet the art! There is no single piece made by fans that I can really single out but there is one specific piece of art I do love above all others, not made by a fan but by my mother: it’s the watercolour painting she did for me of The Crucible that is now also used as the header of this blog; I even have it as my mobile phone cover!

#4 Something you did because of RA

I travelled to London just for him to see him in The Crucible; I read certain books just because he was going to be in the movie (The Hobbit or Brain on Fire or Summer by Edith Wharton – whatever happened to that project?);  I watched certain shows I otherwise wouldn’t have watched because of him (Hannibal or Spooks); I tried listening to audiobooks because of him (but yeah, failed… audiobooks just aren’t for me); and because, due to my blogging, I am a little more out there in the fandom than I used to be, I have now also even met two fellow Armitage fans in person!

#5 Favourite / Least favourite romance

My favourite romance still has to be John and Margaret in North and South...

But honourable mentions for Harry and Geraldine in The Vicar of Dibley (I mean, come on, that proposal scene was epic!)…

… and, although tragic, the story of John and Elizabeth Proctor in The Crucible really touched me…

My least favourite romance is also part of my least favourite character, see next answer.

#6 Least favourite character

Percy Courtenay in Marie Lloyd. The romance went sour very quickly also due to Percy being such a despicable character. I’ve seen this only once and feel no desire whatsoever to see it ever again.

#7 Something you bought because of RA

Flight tickets to London and theatre tickets for The Crucible (see #4) but also DVD’s, Hobbit soundtracks, posters, cinema tickets. I even bought something for Richard once! I gave him typical Dutch syrup waffles in a Delft-blue pot when I met him at the stage door of The Old Vic, something like this:

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I do wonder whether he himself ever ate any of them and where the pot ended up…

#8 Favourite / least favourite rivalry

Off the top of my head, the one that sticks with me most and that I think is developed very nicely is the rivalry between John Porter (Richard) and Hugh Collinson (Andrew Lincoln) in Strike Back.

Least favourite rivalry is probably Guy of Gisborne and Robin Hood (Jonas Armstrong). Yes, Richard was nice and broody in this, but I could never warm up to the series. I saw most of series one, then gave up, only watched the Richard bits and fast forwarded through the rest.

 

Right, that’s it for now! More to come in the hopefully not too distant future. 🙂

New Richard and Colin trailers!

Thank goodness I have the day off work today or I would never be able to blog this much! Anyway, I’m already late to the game but this past weekend also brought new Richard and Colin trailers. 🙂

First off, a trailer for Richard Armitage’s film Pilgrimage

… with two screen grabs I just took off the trailer (not great quality, sorry!):

At the end of the trailer Richard is billed second but there’s quite little of him in this trailer, which to me suggests a not so large role in the film. Also, he wasn’t present during the whole shoot of the film either, just a few weeks of it, so that in itself suggests a supporting role to me as well. Supporting roles can be pivotal too, so, no matter: this is new Richard material and I’m excited!

Pilgrimage was premiered at the Tribeca film festival in New York this past weekend and Guylty has kindly collected some first responses on her blog. Perry has also been to the movie and has given her impression and Servetus provides a link to a Richard Armitage in Pilgrimage soundbite. I’m sure there’s more info to be found, but even I haven’t read it all yet, I have only skimmed… actual reading and analyzing is something I need to do later. 🙂 What is clear is that Richard is the baddie in this one and he speaks French and English with a French accent. Nice. I hope he’s a good baddie! And I hope we get to see it on screen over here as well soon.

The second trailer is for the second Kingsman movie, which I am sure we will get to see here as well. Colin Firth was in the first one and there was every reason to believe, that would be the only Kingsman movie he’d ever be in. Somehow, however, he’s made it into the second movie as well, and wearing an eye-patch too!

CF Kingsman 2

The trailer also begins with his voice in the voiceover…

Of course Mark Strong (I like him so much!) is back, as well as Taron Edgerton, but there are some nice new co-stars as well, like Jeff Bridges!

I enjoyed the first Kingsman movie, looks like I will enjoy this one too! I’m so curious to see how Colin Firth’s character fits into the whole story this time around…

Pilgrimage and Kingsman 2: bring them on!

 

 

The little shows that could…

You leave town for a few days and all sorts of good things happen! Maybe I need to leave town more often… 😉 This is about two women-centered shows that look really big production-wise, but have been struggling to get continued and financed.

The first piece of good news is that it looks like there really will be a Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries sequel! The show has stopped for now, after 3 seasons (broadcast between 2012 and 2015), but there has always been talk about wanting to continue, about maybe making a Miss Fisher movie. That dream seems to be getting closer to reality now, as announced on their official Facebook page recently:

Miss Fisher Essie Davis Nathan Page

I would so very much welcome this, I love this show! They have a passionate fan following, I hope that helps with getting this thing financed as well.

What passionate fans can do is shown with another Aussie show I love called A Place to Call Home. That show was cancelled after two seasons, but after protests from fans and an action group called “Save A Place to Call Home”, another channel picked up the show after all and two more seasons were made. A fifth season is being filmed now as we speak. And now, this past weekend, the show has won the most important Australian TV award, a Logie, for ‘Most Outstanding Drama’! Such a thrill for a show that has been on the brink. I really liked the acceptance speech given by Noni Hazlehurst, who plays the matriarch on the show:

I am thrilled for the show and that it has become so successful against all odds. They have been nominated last year and this year in other (mostly acting) categories as well, and now this win just tops it all. Personally I would have liked to see Jenni Baird win as well for Outstanding Supporting Actress (she plays the baddie and wore the black dress with flowers at the awards); she is one of the greatest baddies I have ever seen in anything! Alas, the lead actress, Marta Dusseldorp (also nominated!), couldn’t be there…

Marta Dusseldorp

… but the rest of the cast made a very nice-looking group during that awards evening.

Congratulations to the A Place to Call Home team!

More fangirling in London!

Well, not only fangirling, we mostly did touristy stuff… As I already blogged about in my previous post, my 15 year old son and I were in London this past weekend and what a lovely time we had!

We went inside Tower Bridge and walked on the glass floor there, looking down!

My son was fearless about that and while I did do it briefly, I found it scary. But I did it – yay me! We also saw the engine room…

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… and when we finished our tour, we were greeted by a cannon salute across the river!

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OK, so the salute wasn’t for us but for the Queen’s 91st birthday. Still, we felt honoured. 🙂

We passed through Westminster…

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… and went on to Portobello Road in Notting Hill…

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… which was also a bit of fangirling for me as it reminded me of the lovely movie Notting Hill. The Notthing Hill thing was a spontaneous idea; if I had thought of it sooner, I would have researched it better and would have fangirled my way to Hugh Grant’s front door from that movie.

That evening my son and I went to see The Lion King musical, which we both very much enjoyed (we had a good view from the front row of the Grand Circle)…

While we were walking to the theatre, we passed by Covent Garden and walked by a street artist/comedian getting ready to do his thing. The street artist looked straight at my son and in his microphone announced “Ah, there we have Justin Bieber”! I had to laugh and the whole crowd turned to look at my son as we scurried along and my son turned beet-red! He has been compared to a younger Justin Bieber before and he hates it… I know I’m probably an awful mother but I have ribbed him about this incident regularly and in hindsight he now also has started seeing some of the humour in it.  He still insists he looks nothing like Bieber, though. 🙂

We shopped a bit in Oxford Street and also met up with fellow Richard Armitage fan Hariclea from the Opera is Magic blog on Saturday afternoon! We met at “Fortnum and Mason” and had ice cream ‘coupes’ at the ice cream parlour on the first floor! Beautiful, delicious, filled our stomachs right up! So much so, that my son felt a little sick there for a moment! Luckily he recovered quickly. It’s always a delight to see Hari and it was so much fun that I forgot to take pictures of our beautiful ice cream creations! The only picture I took was of two teacups priced at £145,- while waiting for Hari…

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Hari and I may have mentioned Richard Armitage a few times in passing but didn’t get too carried away in the presence of my son. That evening, as Hari went off to the theatre, my son and I went to see the Scarlett Johannson scifi movie Ghost in the Shell in a Leicester Square theatre with a truly huge screen. The movie was not the greatest scifi movie I’d ever seen, but it was quite fun and had nice visual effects.

We spent our Sunday on Hampstead Heath. We walked there for a bit, my son even climbed a tree…

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… we got up to Kenwood House (also a Notting Hill film location, by the way!)…

… and treated ourselves to some delicious scones (this had been something my son had particularly wished for).

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Later that afternoon we made our way back to the airport and flew home again. But I didn’t leave London without some specific fangirl items!

I’ve bought a DVD of a Gregory Peck movie I came across that I have always wanted to see but have never been able to…

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I’m not that much into Westerns but, come on, it’s Gregory Peck, my first real teenage fangirl crush!

At Kenwood House I bought the book Belle that accompanies the excellent movie of the same name, about a black young lady who lived as a lady and not as a servant in Kenwood House in the 18th century. She was also featured in a painting that was painted at the time but alas that painting is not at Kenwood anymore and is now somewhere in Scotland. I had seen the film, I now saw the book and grabbed it for myself…

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And, I did some more Jane Eyre fangirling when, in a bookstore, I happend upon a book with this title…

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I immediately recognized it as the first sentence from the last chapter of Jane Eyre and just had to have it, especially considering we will be visiting writer Charlotte Brontë’s house this coming summer.

Last but not least, there was Audrey Hepburn fangirling as well! I came across this POP doll of Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s  and just couldn’t let it go…

So, yes, London is a great place to fangirl; it makes me feel greedy when I see all these goodies together even though they all didn’t cost that much. London is also a great place to spend time with my son! He picked out pretty much all our activities (Portobello Road and meeing Hari were my picks, the rest were his) and I loved that one-on-one time with him. I think that, except for my snoring at night, he enjoyed his time with me as well. We’ll definitely be back!

Fangirling in London!

My son had a one-day (!!) class trip to London today. They left at midnight last night by bus to Calais, then ferry to Dover, then bus to London. They spent all day traipsing through the city and this evening the class goes back to the Netherlands but my son doesn’t… You see, I flew in to London this afternoon…

Leaving The Netherlands…

Entering England…

… and met my son this evening! While his friends have a long journey back all night, he has the luxury of sleeping in a bed here in my brother’s house. We’re having some mama & son time here in this great city, flying back home again on Sunday!

My visit here started well: I did some fangirling this afternoon while I was on my own – I walked by Emma Thompson’s house! She lives not far from where my brother lives in London and I just couldn’t resist. A nice, unassuming house in the middle of a row of houses. Very quiet street too… and no, Emma Thompson did not magically appear. I didn’t want to linger or stalk or anything, so after a quick look I walked on. It’s just nice to get a quick glimpse of how one of my fave actresses lives!

Some more fangirling when I saw this bag of one of my fave books in a bookstore…

… and this sign made me think of Richard Armitage in North and South when he mentions ‘Arkwright’s invention’

I love fangirling in London!

(This is my first time ever blogging on my phone… fingers crossed…)