The RA challenge, part 3

Continuing on from here and here, now part 3 of Guylty’s RA challenge! Questions 17 to 24…

2017-ra-fandom-challenge#17 The Character You Love to Hate

Hmm… a love-hate relationship with one of RA’s characters… Had to think on that for a while but then I came up with Gary Fuller from Into the Storm. He’s not a baddie but the hero of the story and yet I could never warm up to him. I’m OK with Richard playing a somewhat one-dimensional character in an action flick but what really bothered me was that I literally cringed every time he spoke! His accent felt so wrong to me and I’m still not sure whether it’s because the accent was badly done or because I find it difficult to hear Richard not speak British-English (FYI, his American-English in Berlin Station doesn’t bother me nearly as much). In any case, I couldn’t bear to hear him talk, or even watch him talk for that matter. The way he moves his mouth when he speaks looks forced to me and he just never felt real. But… he did look like someone I could know in real life, and he wore glasses, and he was a vice-principal, and he is a good man; many things there I could potentially totally love about him!

RA Into the Storm breakfast

So, while I find Gary cringe-worthy, I still occasionally like to go back and take a peek at him.

#18 The Top Three Things on Your To-Do List if You Suddenly Found Yourself face to face with RA

I have already interacted with the man when I expected to see him (at the stage door) and I was all jittery from just those few moments. What I would do if I bumped into him accidentally in the street, I don’t know. I wonder if I could even do anything coherent! I’m not sure I’d be any good at any sort of fleeting contact. However, maybe if I bumped into him in a less fleeting situation… Say that, for argument’s sake, I was by chance seated next to him on a plane or something. I hope that, after the first shock, I would…

  1. Stop my cheeks from burning bright red, breathe and then say hi.
  2. Then hopefully interact with him on a slightly more meaningful level. I’d have to mention I’m a fan, I don’t think I could hide that (I could maybe downplay it a little), but I’d hope to then ignore that and go on to talk with him about movies, books, current affairs, maybe a little personal history, and music, while we each sip our glasses of red wine.
  3. At the end of our conversation we’d arrange to go see Muse live in concert together because we both love the band so much!

#19 A “Ship” in the Fandom You Can’t Stand (canon or non-canon; of characters or RP)

You know what? I don’t follow ships that closely. Bagginshield or RichLee or Guy & Marian or John & Margaret are the ones I am most aware of and there are others that I also come across occasionally. I just don’t do much RA fan fiction these days, I’ve never been big on Tumblr, I don’t do Reddit and I never get on C19 anymore, so I’m missing a lot of these ships now, I think. Of the four I mentioned here, I think Guy & Marian least interests me because those characters are just not that appealing to me…

#20 The Best Fanfic You’ve Ever Read involving RA or Characters

When I first fell in love with RA, I was reading all sorts of North & South fan fiction, mostly on a special website that closed (I can’t recall the name anymore – I think it may have had ‘yellow rose’ in the title? Or maybe that was a fan video site? I just don’t remember…), and I read fan fic on the C19 message board. Was obsessed, it was all I read for quite a while.

After that Richard didn’t do many roles I cared to read fan fiction for, so I pretty much quit reading then and haven’t read much since. I had an interest in Real Person Fiction (RPF) for a bit but I never found one I really liked so I gave up on that as well.

From the old N&S days I remember reading a John & Margaret one set in modern times. I think it was set around a building/project development company in the US. I don’t remember much about it except that it stuck in my mind as the one fic I had enjoyed the most. If anyone knows the one I mean, feel free to point me towards it! I have no idea where I read it, so I’m sorry I can’t link to it. I didn’t think of documenting anything in those days, I was just consuming like someone posessed.

#21 On a Scale from Secret Admirer to Panty Sniffer, How Obessed Are You with RA?

I’m not a secret admirer – at the very latest when I went to see Richard in The Crucible did the people in my life realize how much I like the man. My husband was aware from the beginning. However, I don’t wear a ‘I 💕 Richard’ t-shirt (don’t own one) and while I have some fan items (and Richard is prominently featured on my phone) my house isn’t covered in them. I am not obsessed enough to go ferreting out news actively and when new interviews come out during press tours I admit that after seeing about 5 of them, I tend to not bother with the rest of them. But I do follow certain sites and Twitter feeds for news and as soon as there is some substantial news to be found, I do tend to go into panting mode. I want to see everything he acts in but I don’t listen to his audiobooks (even though I do have a few of them). I have written some of my own, personal, Richard fan fiction that will never see the light of day but which gave me enjoyment. Oh, and I blog about him quite regularly. So, where am I on that fan obsession scale? Not in panty-sniffing mode but I certainly am in quite-preoccupied mode. Why else would I be doing this challenge? 😉

#22 The Character You’d Want as a Drinking Partner

The obvious answer would be Thorin Oakenshield, I think. Dwarves, after all, are known for their fondness of drinking. However, I think Thorin is a little too aloof to let himself go into full-out party mode. I think Claude Monet in The Impressionists knew how to party, so it would probably be him!

Monet Armitage bottle

#23 The Character You’d Want as a Fuck Buddy

John Porter from Strike Back. He was just finding himself again and was a little obsessed with sex after going without for a while. I think he’d make a most ardent (and physically fit) lover…

john-porter-kiss

#24 The Character You Find Most Relatable

That would be Harry Kennedy. I mean, I know it may be unlikely that a guy like him would fall for someone like Geraldine but I like to think that it could happen. He’s just a regular guy and I wish they could have given him more to do on The Vicar of Dibley. Even with the unlikeliness of the love story (it all went so fast too!), I still find him very relatable. It’s like I could know him in real life and share a glass of wine with him while he does my taxes.

P.S. I just adore that little headshake in the gif on the left. Richard does that in I think pretty much all his roles. For me it’s one of his signature moves and I look out for it every time I see him do something new. 🙂

The final questions to this challenge will be answered next week… off to research. 😉

Advertisements

The RA challenge, part 2

Continuing the Richard Armitage challenge from here that Guylty has set; questions 9 to 16…

2017-ra-fandom-challenge

#9 Funniest moment you have seen RA in

There are many, small, funny moments and I especially love it when Richard giggles or he is in stitches. In the acting department, I loved seeing him on The Vicar of Dibley. His role was pretty straight compared to the other characters there and not really ‘deep’ but the show makes me laugh so very hard, I was just thrilled he was a part of that. I absolutely adored the proposal scene! Alas, I can’t find a clip of that scene online, but I could just watch it forever!

Harry Geraldine kiss

I also laughed so very hard at this little Strike Back scene:

There are many priceless (behind-the-scenes) moments and interviews but the first thing that springs to mind of real-life Richard are the two Cinemax interviews where Martin Freeman interviews Richard and vice versa.

#10 Saddest moment you have seen RA in

Thorin’s death in the last Hobbit movie. I know Richard has died often enough in other things, but this one really tugged at me. Powerful, heartbreaking scene that made me cry and still gets to me when I watch it again…

#11 Something you wish hadn’t happened in context with RA

I don’t really have many things I wish he hadn’t done. I may not agree with all he does but usually I can let the more bothersome things slide. Live and let live and all that. Having said that, I do get annoyed with his tweeting and deleting. I know it’s his Twitter and his right and all, but it’s annoying and confusing when it happens so much and I really don’t like it.

The other thing that comes to mind is that second Anglophile Channel interview he did. I enjoyed the first one (plenty of adorable giggles in it!) but that second one, the interviewer made me cringe so very much, I just wished he hadn’t done it… Not linking to it here, I just can’t watch it…

#12 Something you wish would happen

I don’t have the need to see Richard do any specific kind of role, he has challenged me with some roles he has chosen and I like that! Of course, I wouldn’t mind another romantic hero but no, my wishes are not for certain roles. What I do wish for fervently is that Sleepwalker, Urban and the Shed Crew, Brain on Fire and Pilgrimage would become widely available to audiences everywhere so that I too can see them! For Pilgrimage I have hopes of a wider release and Brain on Fire is supposed to go to Netflix, but where is it already? Basically I hate when my fave actor makes things that I can’t see. I also wish Love, Love, Love had been filmed and I wish for him to return to the London stage! Oh, and he’s always welcome to come spend a weekend at my house! 🙂

#13 A song that reminds you of RA

I have 3 songs that immediately spring to mind! The first one is Justin Timberlake’s Sexy Back due to a fan video I saw way back when in my early fan days that became very popular! I didn’t know this song before I saw that video and I immediately found it very fitting; the video made me laugh. I always loved the first one most, maybe because it’s the first one I saw, but HeathDances later made two more Sexy Back videos, which are also good.

Also, songs used for other fan videos (see my #3 answer in my previous RA challenge post) always make me think of Richard as well.

The second song I want to mention is the Misty Mountains song that Richard himself sang in the first Hobbit movie. Still gives me goosebumps when Richard starts singing… I had it as my phone ringtone for a while but even at its loudest I wouldn’t always hear it properly when the phone was in my bag, so I recently changed the ringtone again. Nevertheless, I love hearing Richard sing this!

And the third song is Muse’s Starlight. Richard referenced my fave band Muse in his birthday tweet last year and I was incredibly stoked when he did. Now, when I listen to Starlight (or to Butterflies and Hurricanes which he referenced a few months later in an interview), I have the added bonus that it now also reminds me of Richard!

#14 Favourite Villain

Surprisingly Francis Dolarhyde!! I do not to horror well at all, avoid it all cost if I can. So, when Richard got this horror-part, I wasn’t sure I could deal with it. I was always going to watch it but I was determined to feel no sympathy whatsoever for such an evil serial killer. And then Richard pulled off the impossible – he made me feel sympathy for Francis! Very well done, Richard!

#15 A character everybody else loves that you hate

I don’t know about everybody but Guy of Gisborne is quite popular and I just don’t… *ducks behind counch – don’t shoot me*…

Guy Richard

I mean, Richard did good, I really do think that, and I don’t hate Guy, but he just doesn’t do that much for me… Maybe it was the guy-liner that was too distracting?

#16 A character everbody else hates that you love

I’m racking my brain here. Richard has played some hateful characters and I can’t say I love any of them. Maybe the answer to this is Francis Dolarhyde? He’s a difficult one to watch and I know there are fans out there who have never been able to even attempt watching him, which I can totally understand. While I can not love Francis Dolarhyde by any stretch of the imagination, he is the one that surprised me and unexpectedly made me feel sympathy (as I already mentioned above). So, I guess that would be my answer to this.

That’s it! More next week, hopefully!

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:

2017-ra-fandom-challenge

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…

john-look-back-at-me-gif2

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:

stroopwafels

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. 🙂

Easter Bunny

I have not had any inspiration for the latest Mach’ was Easter Bunny challenge. Easter bunnies have never really been on my radar, not even in my childhood. So, I was going to skip this challenge, but then I saw something on my Twitter timeline and although it’s not much, I figured it’s at least something!

Even before Harry Kennedy (Richard Armitage) became the man of Geraldine Granger’s (Dawn French) heart in The Vicar of Dibley, I used to really enjoy watching the show! And yes… I’ll just share some gifs of them here (nothing to do with Easter, just for my own viewing pleasure…)

Geraldine yells at HarryHarry Geraldine kissHarry leans behind GeraldineHarry Geraldine hand kiss

Well, in the first season of The Vicar of Dibley, way before there was even any thought of Harry, there was an episode about Easter in which Dawn French dressed up as the Easter Bunny! She went out at night to hide Easter eggs around the village and I saw this fun little gif of that on my Twitter timeline. 🙂

Dawn French Easter Bunny.gif

So, there you have it, that’s it from me for this challenge: Dawn French as the Easter Bunny!

Geraldine Easter Bunny

Have a Happy Easter everyone!

I love glasses!

I wear glasses, have worn them ever since I was 11. I always refused to get lenses, that always looked like too much trouble and work, and glasses are easy. You wipe them clean and put them on your nose and you’re done. Yeah, there are down sides, like when you go to a swimming pool, or when you bike in the rain, but mostly I like them… no… I actually love a nice pair of glasses on a woman or a man! For me personally I feel bare and less attractive without glasses than with them. I have always refused to accept that anyone could be deemed less attractive just because they wear glasses. I hate these makeover movies where a girl with glasses gets made over without glasses and suddenly she is beautiful. One of the reasons why I liked one of my fave Hallmark movies Cloudy with a Chance of Love is that the heroine starts out with glasses, gets made over without glasses to look ‘more beautiful’ but in the end returns back to glasses again and that the guy actually prefers her that way!

I have multifocals now and two years ago my husband started wearing glasses as well… we’re in our forties, it happens. He doesn’t need his all the time but wears them often enough and I just love it.

So, with my soft spot for glasses, I was thrilled when earlier this week somewhat blurry pictures appeared of Richard Armitage wearing them too! He too is in his forties and for him too this happens. I’ve loved seeing him wear glasses on The Vicar of Dibley, even though it was only briefly…

… I didn’t really like Into the Storm that much but I admit to watching the beginning of the movie over and over again when he briefly wears glasses as well…

Of course we have seen Richard in sunglasses often enough…

… but to know that he needs them (for reading at least) in real life really thrills me in a way! I find it sexy. Alas the pictures of him wearing them at the Berlin Station read-through aren’t that clear (I cropped the pictures here)…

… so I am hoping that in the future we will get more and better Richard Armitage wearing glasses pictures! Maybe he can re-enact this cool one of Gregory Peck… yeah, these are not ‘real’ glasses but sunglasses, but still I just love this picture!

peck2