More, more, more! How d’you like it?

More Richard goodies today and this old disco song springs to mind…

There really is a song for everything, isn’t there?

Anyway, the morning in Richard-news started out nicely with fellow fan Young Veloce translating a Korean article where the South-Korean director Jo Sung-hee speaks about Richard who filmed with him last year.

Yes, this very much sounds like the Richard we have come to know. And best thing yet? Young-Veloce got a shout out from The Armitage himself for this! I bet she’s really excited about that. 😊

Next up, Servetus referenced an interview with Ciaran Hinds about Uncle Vanya here. I took screenshots of the section where he speaks about the play. It does pique my curiosity and I’m really excited that Hinds and Toby Jones are in this play as well.

CH interview 01CH interview 02CH interview 03CH interview 04

Servetus also dug up an interview with Conor McPherson, the paywright who has adapted Uncle Vanya. Again, I made screenshots of where Vanya is referenced:

The Stage UV 01The Stage UV 02

I suppose the adaptation won’t stray too much from the original but I have never seen the original (and can barely remember reading it), so I have nothing to compare it to.

And last, but not least, Amazing Grace on Twitter unearted another interview, this time in a publication called “Psychologies Magazine”.

Richard lives on a monthly cycle? Is that why so many women feel an affinitity with him? πŸ˜‰ Sorry to relate this to Anne with an E again, but it makes me think of when Anne gets her first period and her freaking out over her cycle (the funniest bit and the part I thought of starts at 1 minute 30 seconds into this video)…

Guess cycles are not just a female thing anymore. Or maybe he’s secretly a werewolf? Hmm, now that is an intriguing thought… Ties back nicely to his Wolverine audioplays (which I still haven’t listened to).

RA Wolverine

I also get that Richard is all about peace and love and ‘let’s just get along’. So am I, I totally am a peacemaker type and a see-all-sides-to-everything kind of person, but goodness, does he come off a bit wishy-washy and preachy here, or is it just me? Maybe that has something to do with the type of magazine (it’s a mindfulness magazine, after all) and the kind of interview this was?Β  Oh well, at least we learned about the cycle thing and what he thinks about damaging truths. Knowing that makes me curious about what he’d think of the movie The Farewell, which I thought was really good when I saw it a while back. It’s all about not telling someone a damaging truth…

Is Richard Armitage secretly Chinese? I wonder…

Richard on a Monday morning…

I’m working from home today but it’s not that busy and I came across this article published today in The Telegraph that I just had to link to here. If you register you can read one article per week for free, so I registered and read the article. I liked it far more than the one from yesterday because it gave me quite some new information. Yay! I took screenshots, so I’ll just copy and paste the article here:

RA Telegraph 01RA Telegraph 02RA Telegraph 03RA Telegraph 04RA Telegraph 05RA Telegraph 06RA Telegraph 07RA Telegraph 08RA Telegraph 09RA Telegraph 10

Of course, there is the mandatory beefcake reference but there’s much more too, like how he uses his body to fit his roles (contradicting being ‘way past taking his shirt off’ with examples of how he still does take his shirt off – LOL!), talking about Uncle Vanya coming at the right time when he too is in a mid-life crisis, referencing a relationship he’s in and that’s it’s a good one which makes me very happy for him (I suspected as much after seeing this photo, although he doesn’t mention who he’s in a relationship with), and I was surprised that he’s been ‘based’ in a hotel for the past 5 years when I thought he had bought an apartment in New York. Also, he mentions optioning the Joy Ellis novels and working on a pilot for The Taking of Annie Thorne. I don’t know in what capacity he’s working on the projects but it’s interesting nonetheless. And reading his description of what The Stranger is about makes me more curious to watch it than I was before, it sounds quite good! Yes, this article is a nice mix of not so new and new information and I like it.

I just now saw a tweet from Richard referencing the article and finding the title misleading…

I think he may regret talking private life now, and creep back into his shell, but I kinda like getting that little glimpse in. This new year is starting well with all the Richard-content we are getting. πŸ™‚

Richard on a Sunday morning

Richard Armitage in today’s Sunday Times:

2020-0105 RA Sunday Times

Is it me or is something off with this image? Richard looks a bit uncomfortable to me and something is off with his face, a little too smooth or too light or something? In any case, I do reallly dig the long hair and beard. πŸ™‚

The article is behind a paywall, but if you have an account you can read an article for free every once in a while, which is what I did. I was going to screenshot it, but Servetus has already done that so nicely here.

Gotta say, I get a bit tired of reporters leading off with or emphasizing the “male totty, heartthrob” thing so much. Says more about the reporter than the actor, I feel. I’d never deny that Richard’s a heartthrob, I wouldn’t have been a fan for close to 14 years if I didn’t think he was a bit of a heartthrob, but I couldn’t love someone for so long just because he has a nice face. There are so many other tall, dark and handsome actors out there to love and yet he is the one I fangirl over. The man brings other qualities to his “male totty” moniker, qualities I still fail to understand completely myself, which is what keeps him interesting to me even when he does projects I don’t much enjoy. I wish that were more of a focus in articles, trying to understand what is beneath the surface that makes him so appealing. I guess this article is not that.

Other than that little gripe, I did enjoy reading this. There was a lot of not so new content, I felt, as we all know how he loves finding darkness in light and light in darkness and inhabiting flawed characters. I identify with the outsider-feeling and him enjoying his me-time, even though I already knew that about him. It was interesting to read that his grief informed his acting in My Zoe, and that apparently he has no designs anymore on Hollywood? For a little while there I felt like he did but his work seems to be taking him elsewhere and I really like that. Oh, and it’s sweet to read that he still seems to fanboy over Cate Blanchett.

My favourite part of the article is when he talks about playing Astrov in Uncle Vanya and doing theatre work, especially this part:

“Now I understand that people aren’t here to see their favourite actor doing something, showing off. That isn’t the point of it. The point is, I am there to help them feel something, so it’s all about them, not me. That makes it so much easier.”

I agree and disagree with that. I am, after all, solely traveling to London to see my favourite actor doing something! However, it is indeed not about the showing off for me, it is because he really is able to touch my soul and make me feel something. So, yes, fair point that he thinks it’s all about the audience but maybe he also needs to acknowledge that it is also about what he as a person brings to a performance. It’d be so interesting to delve into this more deeply with him.

Anyway, this Sunday is getting away from me and I have stuff to do! So, let me just end by saying I’m so glad to see some real Armitage content as that has been sparse of late. Here’s hoping Uncle Vanya will spark more!

If only…

… I had been the Esther lucky enough to interview Richard for this article

Or maybe it would’ve been more fun to be this Esther with Richard in Berlin Station

In any case, I’m liking the Richard-Esther links that are showing up – maybe the universe is starting to tell me something? πŸ˜‰

A whole new world… and freedom of speech

I started my blog a while ago but only recently have I decided to go more public with it. I’m tentative that way… I love to write but am afraid to share it with anyone else. Do I really want to put myself out there with what I really think and feel? I decided to just take the plunge and see where it leads me, so here I am…

I blog about things I love and one of the things I love is Richard Armitage (although he won’t be the only subject I blog about!). I have loved his work for 9 years now, have followed all he does online through C19 and RichardArmitageNet and more recently through some blogs that I enjoy (Me+Richard Armitage foremost) and I thank these bloggers (although they don’t know it!) for giving me the courage to start this adventure…

Bilbo going on an adventureWithin the first days of my blog going public I saw a whole controversy erupt over the interviews of Marlise Boland from the Anglophile Channel with Richard Armitage! “Oh my goodness, what is happening?” I thought. I follow some more blogs now than I did before so I got to see more of the controversy going on than I maybe wished for. Like watching a train wreck but not being able to tear your eyes away. “I also have my thoughts about these interviews that I was going to share,” I thought, “but I don’t want to get caught up in any controversy!” And so I decided to keep out of it, just read what others said and wanted to move on. But blogging is about writing about something that moves you and it turns out that this controversy somehow moves me. And so I write after all…

So, to start off this topic: let me complicate things more and bring religion into it. I am a pastor’s daughter but the daughter of a critical pastor who has faith but has always always remained critical but also very open at the same time. This critical mindset is probably what caused all of his children to either become non-religious (like me) or become Jewish (like my brother and sister) while he remains Christian. What I have learned from him and from my mother is that tolerance and compassion for others is key to anything you do! So, what I truly hate HATE in religion is when people of one faith try to convert others to their way of thinking and to their own faiths. Yes, I welcome open discussion. In fact, I love discussing religion and trying to understand what the other believes and feels to be true to their core. In return, I would like to openly be able to say what I believe and feel to be true in my core and we each need to respect the other for their own beliefs. Through open discourse you can truly learn from the other and who knows, maybe learn something for yourself along the way. You can talk and critique but still be respectful but when something goes to the core of what you love, like in religion, it is hard to stay objective. Hence all the wars over religion.

The Richard Armitage fan world is a religion of sorts, I am finding. Well, any fan world is, really. Come to think of it, I guess Christianity grew out of a Jesus Christ fandom… In Christianity there are sooooooooooo many different ways of believing and in comparison there are soooooo many ways to be a Richard Armitage fan or well-wisher or whatever. There is no one single kind of fan but the one thing we do have in common: we love the man. To make the comparison to religion even stronger: I have even heard the word “gospel” referenced to in relation to Richard Armitage! Not in a serious way, but still… One blogger (I apologize, I can’t remember who!) even referenced “The Life of Brian” (one of my all time favourite films) stating how people give meaning to Richard’s comments just as the throw-away shoe gains importance for the people who decided Brian should be followed. Brian was just a man who found himself in a public position, Richard is just such a man too.Β  No more, no less. What we learn from The Life of Brian is that we remain critical, that we not get carried away and that we don’t take things too seriously. Free speech and free will matter!

I’m trying to make a point here. The question is whether I am getting to it…So, in the interest of free speech and room for open discussion….(deep deep deep breath!)…. the Boland interviews… my two cents….

I thoroughly enjoyed the first interview in, what was it, February? Richard seemed very relaxed, he was very humorous and while I don’t think it gave us that many new insights into Richard Armitage it did show us his fun side. I am not a huge Marlise Boland fan, I found, even in that first interview. She was too flirty for my liking and quite self obsessed but that had it’s positives too: I felt that the drawing attention to herself and away from him made Richard relax in a way I have rarely see him relax before in interviews. Apparently her flirty and self centered style did bring out Richard’s flirty side, which, admit it, we all like to see. πŸ˜‰ So, I thoroughly enjoyed Richard in these videos and didn’t pay too much attention to Marlise and yes, hoped she would be able to do more interviews with him in time. And then this new interview appeared last week. In honesty, Marlise Boland seemed even more touchy feely and flirty than she did in the first interview and it did make me cringe. But again, she brought out his playful, relaxed side and we saw more of him than we usually do in the 4 or 5 minutes we get in all these press junket interviews. So, while I sometimes cringed over Marlise, I enjoyed watching The Armitage in action and he seemed relaxed. He indeed adapted to the interviewer who was ‘light’ and so he was ‘light’ as well.

Will Marlise ever be a hard-hitting journalist? I don’t think so. She is a fan of all things British (and now also of all things Armitage) and has been able to make a living as journalist of sorts out of it. Good for her! It is always wonderful if someone can make a living out of their passions! And that’s just the way I see Marlise – as a fan trying to earn a living by doing something she loves and hopefully learning more about professional journalism as she goes along. Do I prefer to learn something new with each interview? Sure! Is that realistic? No. If you really want a hard-hitting interview, the Anglophile Channel isn’t the place to be.

The one recent interview that really told me something new about Richard was this one from the Wall Street Journal: http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2014/12/19/how-richard-armitage-let-thorin-become-unhinged-in-the-hobbit/. The interviewer really listens to what Richard has to say and when she hears something interesting tries to explore it deeper and she gets new answers! Or at least answers I had never heard before.The father-grandfather question and the following questions about family illustrate perfectly that the interviewer was listening and truly curious to delve deeper. I missed that in the Boland interview (and in MANY other interviews I have seen as well, by the way!). Marlise Boland missed a few opportunities to delve deeper into something Richard Armitage was saying. There were several times when I thought “ooh, ask him more about what he’s saying now!” and she didn’t. A great pity, but, again, that is not what I expect from her. I expect her to stick to the lighter side, just like a late night chat show host, and that is what she gets: the lighter side of Armitage and I enjoy the interviews because of it. You don’t expect in depth interviews on those late night talk shows. You expect fun and those shows are fun to watch. I love watching Graham Norton, for instance! Now there’s a show I’d really like to see Richard on… πŸ™‚

Anyway…. I read with great interest the blogs that addressed this fan versus journalist discussion. Marlise in my eyes isn’t a great journalist but she does bring out fun Armitage, so I concentrate on watching that and the interviewer just becomes something on the side (even if she is very present). If I commented on every annoying journalist I have seen these past few weeks I could write a book! So, what makes Marlise Boland special in that she needs to be singled out and critiqued? It probably is the way she presents herself so publicly as an Armitage fan and the way in which she presents herself speaking for fans. Because of this she draws attention from the Armitage fans in a way no other interviewer I know of does and so she also draws comments. In that first interview Armitage said something like “She is the best interviewer ever” and (to come back to the religious aspect), his word has become gospel so it seems: many fans agree and Marlise Boland is flattered and has become even more emboldened in how she approaches Richard Armitage like an old friend. And that is totally fine! To each their own and I mean that from the bottom of my heart. Richard is a grown man and can handle himself and everyone has a right to like or dislike, agree or disagree.

So, in the midst of all of this approval of the Anglophile Channel interviews I have to say it was a breath of fresh air to read some points of critique as well! And while I don’t agree with all the points made I do agree with many of them and I thought it couldn’t hurt to discuss it. Just as I was thinking of jumping in and discussing (as a new blogger you have to jump in somewhere, n’est-ce pas?) this turned into one big controversy and I totally shied away. I was amazed at the harsh retaliation by The Anglophile Channel. Aren’t communities allowed to discuss points of critique? What happened to freedom of speech and professing a critical opinion? Suddenly bloggers were hiding behind ‘anonymous blogs’ and being negative and irresponsible? An unnecessary over-the-top reaction, I felt, and of course an uproar followed! People were touched to their cores and to reiterate what I said earlier: when something goes to the core of what you love it is hard to stay objective.Β  And so now it seems like two camps have formed: pro-Boland and anti-Boland and there is no more room left for true and open discussion so that we can learn from each other and learn to understand the other and accept a differing view. We do not have to agree with each other, but we can respect the other’s opinions. And we can try to explain what we like or don’t like about a certain issue and then remain friends and each go our own way. Right? I hope we can. I don’t want to get caught up in any sort of Armitage religion where one side tries to convert the other side or vice versa. I hope room remains for open and honest discussion and then you agree or agree to disagree and move on.

A whole new world is opening up to me in this first week of being a blogger. Secretly, I think more than enough has been said about this whole interview business and that includes my sermon here. In the whole scheme of things it isn’t that important. What is important, however, is that such a controversy should not keep me from saying what I feel. I want to feel free to speak of matters that catch my interest! So, I have now addressed what I wanted to say but had shied away from due to the blow up and I feel better now for being brave and speaking my mind. πŸ™‚

I hope to move on to more joyful blogging times now. I would like for this new blogging world to bring me the fun, tolerance and open exchange that I hope for.Β  I am a little afraid now (controversy really isn’t my thing!) but I will boldly say that I am still looking forward to this blog-ride.

I have a busy few days ahead so doubt I will be online much but let me leave you by wishing you all happy, peaceful and stress-free holidays and in the wise words Eric Idle: “Always look on the bright side of life!”

XO

Esther