Armitage DistRAction Challenge #1

Guylty has a new Armitage distraction challenge up on her blog and in these times of home isolation due to the Corona virus I have a little bit of extra time. I started this yesterday evening, work has slowed down a bit today, so, yeah, I can’t resist finishing this post now. Here are the questions…

ADC2020

For a moment there I thought: do these all have to be Armitage related? Because otherwise for question 1 the first answer that pops up in my mind is Anne with an E; I’m still fervently hoping for a renewal there! But yeah, I guess this is an Armitage challenge, so I’ll just stick to Richard. I’ll be doing this in two parts, as most questions aren’t that difficult for me and I can do quite quick answers.


1. Which series would you like to have seen a sequel of?
I think that would be The Vicar of Dibley for me. Harry and Geraldine had such a whirlwind romance and wedding, I so wonder how they would settle in to life together! I’m sure there’s enough comedy to be mined there.


2. Which film/series do you think is underrated?
Hmmm… seriously, I think that would have to be North & South. While it is loved and very popular for many, I don’t think it has become the household period drama name that it should be. For me it should be up there with the legendary 1995 Pride and Prejudice. People in my real life will have heard of Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy but no one I know in real-life has heard of Richard Armitage as John Thornton (except for a few real-life friends & family I have told about Richard and fandom friends).


3. Your current favourite show?
I think I’m still stuck on North and South for this one too. It’s the show that converted me to Richard-ism and while Richard has done some really great things since and I love his acting, I think N&S still remains my fave. Everything came together in that one for me: period drama, social issues, great characters and a heart breaking love story with a wonderful conclusion.


4. What’s your favourite episode of your favourite show?
Episode 4 of North and South. It has everything.


5. Least favourite episode of your favourite show?
I don’t know! Parts of North & South episode 2, possibly, that I sometimes fast forward?


6. Which question would you like RA to answer in a Q&A?
Dear Richard Armitage, how about an off-beat (romantic) comedy for a change with you as a sympathetic lead? I really don’t think you’re too severe/scary for that. Or anything a bit light-hearted, really, that doesn’t involve spying or murder or war (I still mourn the loss of Rockin’ Richard). These moments from Ocean’s 8 convince me you’d do it beautifully:

Yours sincerely, Esther.


7. What’s the best scene ever?
Look back at me… my heart broke and it was that moment when I definitely fell in love.


8. Which audiobook would you like RA to read?
Yeah, I think most readers here will know by now that audiobooks aren’t my thing. It’s great that he does them but, for me, he doesn’t need to and I have no preferences. I do like pictures such as these, though! So, for that alone, he can do all the audiobooks he likes as long as Audible keeps on releasing pictures of Richard reading.


9. Which show did you think you wouldn’t like but you did?
I can’t ever watch it again because it is too bloody and brutal for me, but that would have to be Hannibal. I was surprised at how good I found Richard in that and the story, though gruesome, was good too.


10. Which show did you think you would like but didn’t?
Into the Storm. I kept on comparing it to Twister, which I did like at the time, and Into the Storm just fell short for me. Also, Richard’s American accent really felt off to me.


11. Which episode did you watch more than 5 times?
All North & South episodes, Richard’s Vicar of Dibley episodessome parts of The Hobbit, some of series 1 Strike Back, parts of The Crucible. I think I’d do re-watches of Urban and the Shed Crew as well, if it ever becomes available to the wider public!


12. Favourite kiss?
I think, going by previous answers, you can guess?

But I loved The Crucible kissing too!


13. Favourite season finale?
Sounding like a broken record here, but yeah, North and South. See above, question 4.


Yes, there is a big lack of Robin Hood, Berlin Station and Spooks. None of them were bad (although BS season 3 was), but none of them could ignite my fire either. Also no mention of  The Stranger.  It was a show I liked well enough, more than the other three I just mentioned, but I can’t completely fall in love with it, due to too many red herrings and the ending feeling a little off to me. I am craving something new of Richard’s that I can totally fall for. Urban and the Shed Crew came pretty close (despite imperfections), but I only ever saw that the one time at the Newcastle International Film Festival.

Part two of this challenge will follow in time. 🙂

Richard Armitage in character

So, this blog post by Guylty inspired me to collect some of my own fave in-character photos of Richard Armitage. No screencaps, just photos, and only one per character. This means that I have just spent a lovely 90 minutes or so going through my own saved pictures and pictures on Ali’s excellent Richard Armitage site (that alas seems mostly dormant now).

So, my Richard Armitage fascination started 13 (!!) years ago, when Richard played John Thornton in North & South:

John Thornton

When I met Richard at The Old Vic’s stage door in 2014 he even signed this picture that I have on a little poster I made, which hangs in my bedroom…

John Thornton signed

To this day John Thornton remains an absolute favourite character of mine that Richard has portrayed.

Next up: Harry Kennedy in The Vicar of Dibley. This picture together with Dawn French as Geraldine Granger just makes me feel all kinds of warm and fuzzy inside – that huge smile and that profile! Sigh…

Harry Kennedy & Geraldine

I was never a huge Guy of Gisborne fan, even though Richard was quite magnetic in this Robin Hood adaptation. This following photo of Richard as Guy is heartstopping, though. I’m a sucker for an instense Richard profile picture.

Guy of Gisborne2

Lucas North in Spooks is next. Again, not a favourite but this picture makes me think he could be sitting right next to me at work, and what a joy that would be, right?

Spooks

Strike Back, with Richard as John Porter, was a character I did enjoy. It was a little tough picking a favourite photo, but I settled on this one. I’d let him drive me anywhere…

John Porter3

Richard as Thorin Oakenshield in The Hobbit was another high point for me! I love this picture…

Thorin Oakenshield

And I have to add one more. For the premiere of the final installment, The Battle of the Five Armies in 2014, you could tweet to a certain account and receive an automated digital signed autograph card with your name on it in return. That was a great picture too that I just can’t resist sharing:

Thorin digital signed

Next up is Gary in Into the Storm. Again, not a movie I like very much, but Rich did have a sympathetic role in it (albeit with a bit of a cringey US accent) and was easy on the eyes:

BLACK SKY

And then came another Richard masterpiece: he played John Proctor in The Crucible. My absolute fave photo from that is this following one. I also have it as a poster, it’s an image I can just stare at indefinitely and never get enough of:

John Proctor

I also very much like this picture of Richard as Bernhard Hare in Urban and the Shed Crew. I was lucky to see it last year at the Newcastle Film Festival, but when will it finally be released on DVD? Candida Brady tweeted this picture some years ago, there is something very endearing about this image…

Bernhard Hare CandidaBrady-twitter-26Aug15

When I think of Richard as Francis Dolarhyde in Hannibal, I shudder. He portrayed him absolutely brilliantly but it’s not a role I can revisit, this horror genre is just not my thing. However much I disliked the character, Richard was able to make me feel sorry for Francis to a certain extent, something that I had completely not expected. He showed a new versatility in this role and he used his body so beautifully, right down to his hands…

Francis Dolarhyde

Moving on to Brain on Fire, there was one photo that absolutely warmed my heart – Richard as daddy Tom Cahalan:

Tom Cahalan

This one from Pilgrimage with Richard as Raymond de Merville is really nice too. I liked his look in this movie, it’s such a pity the man he portrayed was so evil:

Raymond de Merville

The final one I’m sharing is one of Richard as Daniel Miller in Berlin Station, season 2. Not a great series by any means, but this picture just somehow grabs me. Again, I think it’s the way he holds his body, combined with that intense look. So nice!

Daniel Miller

So, that’s it! My fave Richard in-character photos that aren’t screenshots. I tend to have a soft spot for profile pictures, also very much noticeable in this selection. 🙂 Anyone else want to join in? I wouldn’t mind seeing more pictures and other people’s choices… And thanks Guylty for this very enjoyable Richarding-evening!

Critic’s Choice award for Richard?

Richard is nominated for a Critic’s Choice Award (Best Guest Actor/Actress in a Drama Series) for his role as Francis Dolarhyde in Hannibal ! I’m so thrilled!

https://twitter.com/RCArmitage/status/676442166776995841

Although I will never be a Hannibal fan, I love what he did with the role of Dolarhyde! He showed new things in his acting in that role that I had never seen before and that amazed me.

RA-FD7-21May15

I’m keeping everything crossed for him to win! The nominees in his category:

BEST GUEST ACTOR/ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Richard Armitage – Hannibal – NBC
Justin Kirk – Manhattan – WGN America
Patti LuPone – Penny Dreadful – Showtime
Margo Martindale – The Good Wife – CBS
Marisa Tomei – Empire – Fox
B.D. Wong – Mr. Robot – USA

I have seen none of the other shows, so I have no idea on what Richard’s chances for winning are. Hugh Dancy is also nominated as Best Actor, by the way. I like Hugh Dancy, hope he wins too!

Awards show will be on January 17th. I hope Richard will be there… Hopefully looking a little more charming than this…

RA Dollarhyde

 

Francis D

Yep, he did it again. Richard Armitage was absolutely spectacular in the role of Francis Dollarhyde! He was mesmerizing.

RA Dollarhyde
Image source: richardarmitagenet.com

Also mesmerizing to me were Rutina Wesley as Reba and Hugh Dancy as Will Graham. Mad Mikkelsen is very chilling as Hannibal but not quite as fascinating as Richard, Rutina and Hugh, maybe because I see no humanity shimmering in his eyes as I do see in the other three.

While I had all the intention of watching all three seasons of Hannibal to start with, I just couldn’t watch anymore after the first two episodes of season 1. It is visually very well made, aesthetic even, but the gore and horror were just too much for me. So, I only watched the season 3 Dollarhyde episodes, because of course I needed to see Richard in action. I had to avert my eyes occasionally but other than that the Dollarhyde storyline was intriguing, gruesome and sad to see. Richard really was able to portray the hurt and humanity that lies at the heart of such a cruel and cold serial killer as Francis Dollarhyde. I had never expected to feel in any way sympathetic towards Dollarhyde but I did and felt sad that no redemption for him was possible anymore. In the end, there was no other way for him but to go and, considering what he had done to others, I was glad he was stopped forever.

There were some drawbacks for me in watching Hannibal (other than the gore). I found the pacing of the episodes somewhat unsteady. I think it was because I got annoyed with the way many spoke in such measured and hushed tones all the time. It felt affectatious to me sometimes and my attention would wane. Then at other times I would be engrossed, especially in the Dollarhyde scenes and the ones that included Reba. Those two were fantastic together.

Francis and Reba
Image source: richardarmitagenet.com

The tragedy of Francis lies in the causes that made him become so twisted and I will forever wonder whether if he had met someone like Reba when he was young, would his life have gone differently and better?

I also really enjoyed watching Hugh Dancy as Will, the struggle within him always apparent. He plays a character to root for and he does it so well. I found the scenes of Will and Hannibal together intriguing and especially at the end of the finale, those two were magic.

vlcsnap-2015-08-30-12h27m04s349

Their interaction, the looks they exchanged, the way it all finally ends… yes, very well done.

So, I come away from this show being reminded again of how good Hugh Dancy is. I have discovered Rutina Wesley who I had never heard of before and she is an amazing actress. And Richard… I swear he gets better and better. I saw him in ways I had never seen him before. Roles like this make him evolve as an actor and I love that he is picking such diverse and challenging projects.

And to end on a shallow note: I watched the Hannibal final post mortem that Servetus posted on her page: https://meandrichard.wordpress.com/2015/08/28/and-heres-the-final-hannibal-post-mortem-3-13/. Besides the fact that I always adore listening to Richard speak of his work, I have to say I also really liked the purple striped socks he was wearing!

RA purple socks

Richard Armitage in China

My favorite picture of Richard’s recent press tour in China:

RA-2015-01-19- China


Source: http://www.corbisimages.com/stock-photo/rights-managed/42-66527321/peter-jackson-promotes-movie-the-hobbit-the?popup=1


I don’t know what it is – the thoughtfulness with a hint of smile, the fingers to the lips like he is going to blow a kiss? In any case, it is my favorite image from this press tour. Can you even imagine him as an ice cold serial killer in Hannibal? I can hardly wait to see the transformation…