Richard Armitage is a Grown Ass Man

I’m starting to think that some fans have Richard Armitage on a such a high, precarious pedestal that they are resorting to putting him into the victim category as a means of preserving the godlike idol they have created. Why do I think this? Because I’ve read far too many complaints over the direction his PR handlers are taking him. Or that he’s going to be boxed in to a certain type of role. I even saw some garbage remark over being angry with Fault magazine for their video of his photoshoot.

Frankly, this seems to tell me more about the fans than it does about either Richard Armitage or his PR team. I can think of two reasons for the complaints I’ve seen. First, some fans are seeing something in the man of late that doesn’t jibe with the image they have of him. Therefore, they look for someone else to blame so that they can keep their fantasy of who RA is in tact. Or secondly, they are worried about how they will be perceived as fans, that they will be lumped in with the crowd. So they go to great lengths to set themselves apart from the herd, as though their method of fangirling is somehow superior.

But here is the problem for me. Richard Armitage is a grown man–41 years old to be precise. He can make decisions for himself. Not only that, he can stand up for himself and what he wants. So if he is being marketed as a heartthrob, he is an active participant. At any time the man can pipe up and say, “Hey, this is not the direction I want my image taken.” Has he? I’ll admit I can’t know for sure, but the fact that it continues on makes me think that he’s on board with the current direction.

The Hobbit is a hot commodity and he has to strike while interest is high. He isn’t some naive little boy just getting into the business. He knows what is required to succeed, and if his career trajectory is anything to go by, he’s ambitious. If being a heartthrob is something that he has to do to succeed, he seems to be willing to go there. I don’t think that is pandering to his current fan base. We are already hooked. He is trying to get name and face recognition among the masses who aren’t already invested in his career.

There also seems to be this idea floating about that he can’t be taken seriously if he is seen as a heartthrob. Really? How about Gary Cooper, Cary Grant, Rock Hudson, and to go more recently George Clooney and Denzel Washington? These men are all critically acclaimed actors. Award winners. But the fact remains that a large part of their appeal is in their looks. The entertainment industry deals in the business of fantasy. We don’t want to see Joe Shmoe on the big screen. So playing up the “hot factor” is a smart move. Have the men mentioned above played their fair share of romantic leads? Sure, but they also starred in more serious fair. Being seen as a heartthrob does not somehow exclude one from also being taken serious as an actor.

As for bitching about a magazine–once again I feel the need to point out that Richard Armitage isn’t a newbie. He’s been in this business for a long time. He’s done his fair share of photoshoots. If he didn’t know there would be a video, he should have, as it seems to be common practice for the mag in question to post videos with clips of their celeb shoots. He seemed to be doing his job, taking direction from the photographer. Yes, that video provided fans who still like to squee with the opportunity, but it also provided a glimpse into the behind the scenes process.

So seriously, looking for scapegoats has got to stop. Richard Armitage is a grown ass man. He can makes his own decisions. Don’t like something he does? That’s totally fine. But take your idol off of his pedestal and recognize that he’s not just a puppet. He isn’t a victim.

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159 thoughts on “Richard Armitage is a Grown Ass Man

  1. kathryngaul

    Hear, hear!

  2. I think you hit the nails on the head. Excellent post.

    • Thank you Judiang. The more I think about this, there are more reasons that I find the whole blame game disturbing.

  3. Teuchter

    Amen to that! Very well said!

  4. THANK YOU. I am currently at my sister’s house, unable to sleep, FMS pain and spasms numbed slightly by muscle relaxers. I attempted to draft my own post earlier re this very subject but had trouble collecting thoughts. But very much in the vein of what you’ve written, my dear. BRAVA. You’ve done my work for me and I shall blithely reblog with great satisfaction and a sigh of relief someone else wishes to stop this madness. THANK YOU.

    • I’m glad this voiced your thoughts as well, Angie. There is a flip side to the “RA as victim” thing that really bugs me. If RA is a victim, then people who are just doing their jobs–PR people, photographers, magazine editors, interviewers–are the ones victimizing him. So in order to keep him on his pedestal, hard working people are being demonized. I think that is wrong, and an issue that some haven’t even considered.

      I hope you get to feeling better.

      • Thanks, Jas, when we got home I heated up my rice packs and took a nap. Definitely helped. Just have days when I feel much older than I actually am. *sigh*

        I was so troubled by all this brouhaha I was trying to respond last night, but as I said, brain wasn’t at optimum power. 😉 Excellent point about demonizing all the people involved in this type of project. Just because you don’t like it for some reason?

        It’s one thing to say you find the video awkward (remember, however you are looking at this behind the scenes and not as the finished product on a magazine page) or it doesn’t appeal to you in an aesthetic sense; quite another to wholly condemn the entire photoshoot and indirectly all involved.

        (And I believe it would be better if some people did less drinking and more thinking before they tweet.) 😉

        Merry Christmas to all! 😀

  5. Reblogged this on the armitage effect and commented:
    What Jas says. Amen! My thoughts exactly.

  6. obscura

    I was thinking this very thing all evening…ultimately, it is in his power to say NO to any of it. Might there be consequences? Of course, but as you say, he’s not an ingenue.

    • Jane

      There was little chance to say no to doing all those video interviews and press conferences and attend the premiers, I suppose. But getting himself a stylist and a ton of stylish clothes and doing interviews and photoshots for Glamour, GQ and Fault was most likely his own decision and an attempt for self promotion in the wake of the Hobbit PR. He has to get name and face recognition, as Jas said. There is nothing wrong with that and I think it was well done. Much better than previous attempts.

      • obscura

        I should have been more specific. I agree, The Hobbit press junket was likely at least partially contractual, but I think you are correct that he certainly has control of things like sylist and wardrobe that people are concerned with. I tend to think he knows what he’s doing too. As JAS says, he’s full grown 🙂

  7. He is extremely intelligent, knows exactly what he wants and is willing to do what it takes to reach his goals. I fully agree with you. He is not perfect, he is not a god (though he looks like one!) and he most certainly is not a pushover. Wake up and smell reality, Army. He is not a baby, nor do we need to protect him.

    • Someone suggested the FAULT video was “disrespectful” to or of RA. ?? I’d say it’s disrespectful to this intelligent, grounded, capable grown man to assume he’s somehow being taken advantage of and exploited by doing this photoshoot. Let’s not treat me as if he’s some naive and rather simple-minded teenager who just doesn’t know any better.

      I don’t know what day of the week he was born on, but it wasn’t last week. Get a clue, people, Get a clue.

    • Berta, I agree with both you and Angie. The complaints I’ve read seem to indicate that some fans don’t actually believe he’s an intelligent man who can make appropriate decisions for himself or that he’s somehow a pushover. Blah! Maybe they want him to need us. I just don’t get it.

      • “Maybe they want him to need us.” I think you may have hit upon something there. If Richard is somehow a bit helpless and hapless, then he still needs us to defend him, to protect him, to keep him on that precarious pedestal I don’t think for one minute the man ever wanted. He’s a grown-up and yes, Jas, responsible for his own choices, good or bad. We can’t, we shouldn’t try to make or influence those decisions for him. But call me crazy, I have confidence Mr. A is going to do just fine.

  8. “Let’s not treat him” Sorry folks, the pain meds are fuzzing me a bit.

  9. Ditto 🙂

  10. Paula

    I couldn’t of put it better myself, so I’m glad you did! It really annoys me, he is as you said more than capable of speaking up for himself, he is an intelligent grown man who can stand on his own two feet and I’m pretty sure he’s not going to let his PR people take him down any road he doesn’t feel comfortable.

    • Thank you, Paula. I also tend to think that, being a grown man, if he allows his PR people to lead him down a path he’s uncomfortable with, that is also a decision HE is responsible for. Maybe that is cold hearted of me, but still true. He holds the reins and can say stop.

  11. bollyknickers

    I’m genuinely perplexed. Whilst i have seen comments from people saying they don’t like the video for various reasons ( i’m one of them ) i haven’t seen anyone casting RA as a poor hapless victim. I have a bad feeling i’m missing something and there is a whole raft of posters out there wringing their hands and going into protection mode. If so, could someone nudge me in the right direction so i can go and look?

  12. Joanna

    Exactly Jas! …Still it’s fascinating for me, so many people from all of the world, from different cultures and they all are concerned about his well-being.

    • I think there is something very generous about so many people caring for his wellbeing. What concerns me, is when that concern calls RA’s integrity and the integrity of those in his camp anyone who’s been associated with him in a work capacity into question. That’s APM at its worst.

  13. I love this post and it says exactly what I have been thinking and feeling for a long time. Richard is no push over and is a willing participant in his own self promotion. Richard willingly chose a career that puts him in the spotlight so just how shy and demure do you think he could possibly be? What most seem to see as shy and demure, to me is simply his English gentleman upbringing. Richard can take care of himself and knows what he is doing.
    I reblogged and comment on http://www.collarcitybrownstone.com/2012/12/richard-armitage-is-grown-ass-man.html

    • I’m glad I’m not the only one of this mind set, Xenia. I think there is a lot of projecting going on that is unfair to Richard and those whom he’s worked with. He chooses to do this stuff. If it is really abhorrent to him, he could quit. Let’s all recognize him for the intelligent man he is. One who isn’t a spineless wimp.

  14. Bollyknickers, from the time I became one of Richard’s fans earlier this year, I have read many posts from women who have painted RA as a very talented actor who at the same time does not care for attention and would really prefer to remain in the background. That is to me absurd when you think about what RA has been doing as his life’s work for nearly twenty years and putting his ALL into being successful at it.

    • Jane

      I beg to differ, performing in character is different from performing as oneself. I do think that he is naturally reserved as a person and prefers to stay in the background and he has acted upon it the past. He could have become a celebrity due to his TV fame in the UK and actively avoided that. And I doubt he will become a celebrity now, in fact it seems he has fallen off the radar again the moment he left the royal premier in London. But he has learned to perform the role of Richard Armitage in public superbly and I also do think that he enjoyed at least part of it, maybe against his own exceptions. I think he loves the work he has done and is proud of it and enjoys talking about it. I also think he got a kick from being on the red carpet and writing autographs for people that were there for him, in spite of having said I the past that he hates the red carpet.

      • Yes, performing in character is different from performing as oneself, but I am not convinced that Richard dislikes that either since he willingly does those photo shoots. I am sure that he much more prefers acting though.

        I do not agree that Richard actively avoided becoming a celebrity in the UK. Richard did many appearances on UK morning shows and other types of interviews throughout his time on British TV. Richard will become a celebrity if he hasn’t already. It is also too early to tell if he is now off the radar since the London premiere. You cannot possibly expect him to be in the news every day.

        I have to agree that he enjoys the red carpet even though he says that he doesn’t. He always looks very happy and appears to be having great fun.

      • Jane

        He only ever did what was required to promote his shows. He didn’t refuse to do PR (like some others) but didn’t do more than that either. Articles (and photoshots accompanying those articles) were always related to the release of a new project, just like it is the case now. Only it was a just one press day in a whole year, not two weeks. Public appearance were confined to award shows when he was a presenter, usually not more often than once a year either, never just to be seen. He could easily have done a lot more to keep himself in the public eye. It was also quite apparent that he felt uncomfortable on the red carpet and when doing photoshots. That is why many of us that have followed his career for years are pleasantly surprised to see he handles his public appearances with ease now and looks more relaxed when photographed. I’m pretty sure he had media training, but playing a king for eighteen months probably has helped as well.

      • Jane, I think the difference in the red carpet experience this time might have been because the work was so very hard and The Hobbit red carpets seemed more about celebration as well as sharing with the fans and promoting the film. The Hobbit red carpets were a bit more like a party with friends, as opposed to sauntering down a red carpet you have been invited to in an effort to promote the film and hoping there might be a fan response (like Captain America). THIS time – a large amount of fans were there for HIM, as well as them all. Much more rewarding.

  15. bollyknickers

    So nothing specific has been said in recent days?

  16. Jane

    Completely agree. He has the chance of a lifetime and does what has to be done. I think his image has been handled in a professional and tasteful manner and he did actively participate in it because he’s okay with it.

    He was a young and naive actor objectified in a dreadful photoshot when he did those open shirt pics for Cold Feet ten years ago. Not when he posed with a thoughtful expression in designer clothes for Fault magazine. Promoting him as a sex object not to be taken seriously was a thousand times worse when he was still working for the BBC, posing as Lucas half naked and talking about scenes involving sex on a kitchen table to cheap women’s mags. Or posing for those dreadful Radio Times poster dressed as Guy hanging from a tree. And he did participate in that as well, whether he liked it or not.

    • Er…Richard was posing half naked and talking of sex scenes on a kitchen table for a cheap women’s magazine.

      • Jane

        Yes, for Spooks. There were a few shirtless publicity pics that showed off the tattoos. And like all actors that do sex or nude scenes he had to talk about that in interviews, to make sure the audience knows. Not that those scenes were very steamy.

    • I LOVE the FAULT video and the photo shoot!!! Good for you Richard!

    • Tina

      “posing for those dreadful Radio Times poster dressed as Guy hanging from a tree”

      Actually, it was the picture of Guy hanging from a tree that sent me to read about Guy of Gisborne, the real one from the 12th century. That way of portraying Gisborne is the most true to the ballad – read the Number 118 in Francis James Child’s collection of popular English ballads from 1888, Guy is waiting for Robin in the forest, leaning on a tree:
      “There were the ware of [a] wight yeoman, His body leaned to a tree.
      A sword and a dagger he wore by his side, Had beene many a mans bane,
      And he was cladd in his capull-hyde, Topp, and tayle, and mayne.”

      He was leaning to a tree and he was dressed completely in a horse skin! What an intriguing character! And the costume designers have already a “look” written in the legend.

      Being a foreigner, I never learnt in school English literature, Robin Hood as a person from the legend is an absolute stranger for me, because we learn our own ballads here, we don’t have time to teach children other peoples’ ballads. If you Anglo-American people have studied RH in school, I understand why you are so complacent about the whole thing, but for some foreigners everything is new and fresh.

      And look, the anonymous creator/menestrel talks about Guy’s body importance from the first verse. 🙂

      (Oh, and hello everybody.)

  17. Hey Jas –

    Just wanted to add Ben Affleck to your list of former action / romantic leading men who have taken the film industry by storm via their independent film projects. I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews for Argo – a movie in which Mr. Affleck is BOTH director and lead actor – so action / romantic lead roles aren’t at all confining for actors, as long as they are committed to pursuing their other film interests seriously.

    • Jane

      I keep wondering if it might be easier for good looking actors to be taken seriously in the US?

      • obscura

        I think it may have more to do with serious acting ability..what I mean is, there are plenty of gorgeous American actors of mediocre talent who may have decent careers in a limited genre, but who will probably never break into other areas, because a “pretty face” will only take them so far. I don’t believe RA to be one of these. He has the acting chops, and I don’t think being good looking makes him less credible as a serious actor in Hollywood – does it in Europe?

      • Jane

        Having talent is one thing, make producers and directors realise you have talent and are more than a pretty face is another. I feel in the UK that was RA’s main problem. There were many roles he didn’t get. But almost every role he got took advantage of his good looks, so yes, I think he did get cast for his looks a lot and acting ability was only an added bonus. I think in the UK they tend to cast ordinary looking actors for the more serious projects, because they look like real people.

      • obscura

        My husband and I were just discussing this. There does seem to be something of a “British Invasion” of exceptionally attractive British actors in American TV and film at the moment – Daniel Craig did a joke about it in his opening monologue on Saturday Night Live a few weeks ago. Perhaps and exodus for better roles and bigger budgets? IDK There has been a long line of very attractive actors who have gone on to win critical acclaim in Hollywood though, going back decades. I hope that RA will join the party 🙂 (If that is what he is looking to do anyway)

    • Hey, UK! I actually intended to include Ben Affleck and then left him out. He is possibly one of the best examples of what I’m saying in regard to the whole heartthrob thing. Yes, he won an Oscar very early on for writing Good Will Hunting, but then he went on to do big action blockbusters and romantic comedies. His greatest films though seems to be more recently with Gone Baby Gone, The Town and Argo–which he directed!

  18. Kity

    Spot on! It would be foolish of anyone in possession of such heartthrobness not to use it to his benefit.

    • Thank you Kitty. Yes, I think people use what they’ve got, and one of the things Richard Armitage definitely has is good looks to take advantage of.

  19. Agree

  20. I really hope that this silly nonsense does not get back to Richard. The man is not guilty of anything wrong the way I see it and neither is FAULT magazine. I appreciate Richard so much and hope that he doesn’t start thinking that we are a bunch of nuts.

    • Snickers' Mom

      I agree. Some people make us fans look like a bunch of nuts. I think some people are either petty or are so self-absorbed they will say anything to get attention and comments on their blogs. I’m glad Jas posted this in response to the pettiness.

  21. Wow. I am stunned. All this from that? Wow.

    • Snickers' Mom

      Thank you for sharing your insightful comment.

    • The Queen, you are more than welcome to leave comments, but I have to question why you bothered with something that added absolutely nothing to the discussion.

      • I just don’t get any of this overreaction. Honestly Jas, I guess I don’t see how an opinion piece merits this kind of disdain. This fandom is falling to pieces and I think it’s really sad. It’s stunning and pretty much leaves me speechless. But you have your opinions too. I have a feeling that anything I might add to the discussion at this point would not be welcome so I’ll just leave it at that. Please omit this comment if it offends you or others.

        • Your opinion doesn’t offend me, nor would I delete it if it did. However, I will say that calling the opinions of others an overreaction is unfair. Clearly I’m not alone in my reaction to some of what has been said and we are entitled to feel how we feel, think what we think and voice the opinions that we have, just like those with whom we disagree.

          I also am willing to hear your point of view, although I may not agree. So please don’t cast aspersions on my character or the character of those who comment here by suggesting “that anything you might add to the discussion at this point would not be welcome.”

          You say that you don’t understand how an opinion piece merits this kind of disdain. Firstly, that is making an assumption that this is based purely on one piece written my one person. That isn’t the case. I’m certain I know which piece you are discussing and I won’t deny it played into the writing of this post. But there have been other things said/written that are along the same lines. The second issue, is that people (or to be fair one person) condemning Fault Magazine for the video photoshoot is unacceptable to me. Disliking it is one thing, but to suggest that they were somehow wrong at the very least implies that those involved with the photoshoot and video did their job poorly. That calls people’s integrity, work ethic/practices and various other things into question. So, again, I don’t think I or anyone else who was bothered is overreacting.

          As far as this fandom falling to pieces, I don’t think that is true, unless we’re all supposed to agree on everything. We are growing and more fans are coming into the fold. To me this means that there will be more fans and more perspectives. Everyone will be able to find a place to fit, and maybe it will make it easier to avoid the things we dislike. That can only be a good thing in my book.

          • Glad to see your response to The Queen’s “fandom falling to pieces” Jas. I can’t imagine where that came from? I hope Richard didn’t see that. But I’m also glad that here it is 6 months after that statement, and I can only hope she has seen the likes of Tumblr and the plethora of new fans there. So many discussing, in great detail, the nuances Richard’s work based on their recent viewings for the very first time. That’s 8+ years of his work seen – for the first time, right now – by an intelligent, appreciative young audience. And, like we do, they can’t get enough and want more. That is not “falling to pieces”. That is fan-base growth of the best kind.

  22. Snickers' Mom

    Well thought out piece. I must say, some people seem to have an extra large glass of hater-ade and then run to wordpress to blog.

    • LOL! I love that you always manage to say what you think but add a touch of humor. It is much appreciated. And yeah, I don’t think it is just WP though. They seem to be branching out to Twitter and Tumblr as well.

  23. Mezz

    *applauds*

  24. Servetus

    I think one can not especially like the vid that started all of this (my position) — I can think of many reasons not to like it — and still applaud what’s happening in general in Armitage’s career, the doors that are opening to him now and so on, and the fact that no matter how he feels about it all personally, he has started to learn to master much more effectively the media setting that perforce surrounds the tv / film world. Just like one can not like a particular outfit he has on but in general think that he did well not only to find a stylist, but one who’s obviously got a good idea of how to reconcile the competing demands of style trends, his unique body, and his sense of himself.

    What I don’t understand is the impulse that says, after so many years of waiting for him to be a success in the great big world (as opposed to in the eyes of himself or his family or friends, or in smaller settings), that he is now doing it wrong. It jars all of my perceptive capacity that there has been more media output in the last month, approximately, than in all of the rest of his career put together, and we’re saying he’s doing it wrong? (Well, I’m not.) Obviously he’s done something right — quite a few things, in fact. He got cast in a major project, he worked hard on it, he turned in a solid performance, the media are eager to speak to him, he looks the part of a star, and he’s speaking to the media with a new poise and confidence. I feel like the big picture is being lost here and I would be curious to know why.

    As to the fandom falling apart, I’m not sure what that means, given that this fandom was fractured along particular lines since well before I joined it, but the notion seems a bit silly to me. I was also charged in the last day or so with “overreacting,” and the second someone says that, it signals to me that they are not listening to me anymore. Saying that is an inherent delegitimation strategy that’s much more destructive to discourse than simply disagreeing with someone, because it questions not the opinion of the speaker, but the capacity of the speaker to speak at all. I don’t think that one can claim simultaneously that (a) speech is meaningful and ideas are worth writing down because they say something about oneself or to others AND (b) that what is said is “only” an opinion and doesn’t matter enough to merit people’s frustration with what is being said. That just doesn’t make sense.

  25. Cindy

    First off, merry Christmas to all who celebrate!

    I will stress that this is just my personal opinion, but I loved the video I got no vibe of exploitation from it. RA did look hot, but then he always looks hot. I guess I’m not quite understanding the objections to it. I found it interesting to get a peek at the behind the scenes stuff

    Also, I completely agree with your post, jas. RA is an adult and is perfectly capable of making his own choices. He has handled himself beautifully during the hobbit press stuff, and seems to have a good team advising him.

    In fact, it has seemed over the past month or so that more of RA’s true personality has been revealed. ( I’m specifically thinking of the remark in the Cinemax video about him being vain, but there are other examples as well). At the end of the day, I have revised my impressions of RA as a person and it’s been interesting to see another side of him being presented

    • Merry belated Christmas, Cindy!

      I am in agreement with you about seeing more sides of RA of late. The comment about being vain was something I would never have expected him to admit to, but seems honest and very much in line with his line of work. My impression of him has been altered slightly after all of this blitz, but I see that as only natural. It isn’t as if we know the man, and what we do know is not necessarily true and is certainly not a full picture of who he is as a person.

      Oh, and yeah, RA definitely has a nice ass! 😉

  26. Cindy

    Oh yeah I forgot to add that not only is RA a grown ass man, he’s also a man with a really great ass

    Done being shallow now

    • I totally agree, Miz Rob. Let’s celebrate Mr. Armitage’s rising star and incredible performance in TH and be joyous for him and his family. Merry Christmas to all!

  27. @Rob

    It looked to me in the video that they had decided on a “tone” of the photo shoot. It looked like he was acting. Like he was working hard. He has worked very hard and seems to be enjoying it. Can’t we all just take a step back and be happy for him? Happy Holidays?

  28. Absolutely Rob! Christmas blessings to you all!

  29. P.

    I totally agree with you that this 41-year-old man certainly isn’t the helpless puppy a lot of (no offence, but older) female fans make him out to be. I strongly feel that those fans are of a certain type, the type that swoons with Colin Firth Mr. Darcy as well, that is over, say, 45 and projecting their perfect (grand)son on him. These Armitage Army ladies, though I share their admiration, need to chill down seriously… RA can come across as shy and a bit awkward in interviews, but that does not mean he should be protected or can’t stand up for himself but is helplessly carted around by Evil press people. That’s ridiculous. In a few interviews he has made clear, in his own respectful way though, that he felt a question or remark was intrusive or uncalled for.

    So, he certainly does not stike me as a man who is some victim of the press or who let’s them trample all over him. I do however feel that, while he obviously is happy that his career has had an enormous boost internationally with The Hobbit, he is still uneasy with all the attention he now gets to him as a person. He has said (and if you watch only a few interviews his bodylanguage does all the talking too) that he is a shy person. I am amazed that so many fans seem to think this is impossible, considering the fact he is an actor in front of audiences/cameras. Don’t they know that it’s very common for actors, even well-known ones, to be shy personally, I mean outside of when they’re immersed in a role? I have read so often about actors and actresses talking about how theatre helped them deal with shyness, by being able to completely disappear into another character for a time. It’s one of the attractions of acting, leaving behind oneself for a time. Even RA himself stated that he’s best in playing parts that he feels are far removed from his real self, than parts that are close to who he is as a real person. So yes I do think he’s shy. That does not mean he can’t enjoy acting, quite the oppostie in fact.

    I also think many people here seem to forget that actors on huge budget movies like The Hobbit are contractually obliged to do any promotional work within reasonal limits. Including promo photoshoots, press junkets (where the cast sits through a zillion little interviews with press from around the world. Many of those are on Youtube) tv/radio interviews etc. He is definitely not in a position to refuse that, their contracts are very strict and specific about that (I know somebody who works in the film industry, not in any major way or anything, but trust me, anything and everything is covered in actors’ contracts well before filming even starts). So I do feel that certain promo events, like that FAULT photoshoot for instance, are not something he particularly enjoys doing. But a film needs promoting in order to make money, so it’s an if needs must thing. It’s just part of the job, but not one he very much seems to enjoy. I find it refreshing he stays true to his identity even now fame has hit worldwide, and hasn’t morphed into some “presswise” movie star who knows exactly what will promote his precious star image. The fact that he still does interviews in his boring grey cardigans, beige college professor jackets and same old leather jacket tells me he still doesn’t care a lot about his image 🙂 I just hope he stays true to himself and doesn’t let fame carry him away. He has had to become a bit more aware about the self-promoting thing though, obviously.

    For now thankfully he’s still his grounded self, and when he has to go along with all the hysterical Hobbit promo stuff, he does so in a respecful, kind and patient manner as much as he can. I can only applaud him for that, as I would have rolled my eyes and gnashed my teeth with every new interviewer asking if I could name all the dwarves or did I really work in a circus… :-p

    • Welcome, P. I feel the need to take a moment to defend the older fans. At least a few of the people who commented on this very post fall into the “older” category. This is only my opinion, but the issue tends to be more about religious views than age. The people who most often feel the need to protect Richard Armitage or maintain a specific illusion about who he is are almost always devout Christians. I’m in no way saying that all of the devout Christians in the fandom are like this. But there seems to be a small group that occasionally feels the need to push their worldview onto both RA and the rest of the fandom.

      I don’t think people are forgetting that actors are contractually obligated to promote their movies. What most of us seem to be saying is that RA signed those contracts. He knew all of the promotion was part of the job and he agreed to do it anyway. Like you, I imagine doing some of the photoshoots is not his favorite thing to do. But it is his job. I defy anyone to show me a person who loves every single aspect of their job! That seems to be what some people forget in my opinion. Richard isn’t somehow exempt from the less desirable parts of his work just because he’s good looking and talented.

      It really is amazing to me how he’s able to be polite and kind throughout the interview process. As sick as we all are of hearing about the circus, it must be worse for him!

      • Servetus

        I had a really thought-provoking conversation with a fellow fan recently that prompts me to thank you for this defense of older fans, Jas. I really wish we could all learn to be as protective of our fellow fans as we are of Mr. Armitage. (And that includes me. I wish I could learn to control my reactions to fellow fans better, not to be instinctively hurt by things people say that annoy me.)

        The original discussion your post referred to was about the whole “desire” question and whether certain kinds of projects would lead to typecasting, etc. Obviously the implication of him doing that kind of project has different resonance for the devoutly religious than it might have for others. And it’s a key facet of fandom that we need the crush to be producing certain kinds of feelings for us. When he’s not doing that, and we’re so heavily committed, it hurts (no matter the actual content of the statement or action at hand).

      • P.

        I agree with you, the promo stuff is just a side of the job. Acting, as glamorous as it might seem to us, is still just a job after all. An to get the good part, playing Thorin, he has to agree to the not so fun part. Of course he did that willingly. And nobody has to defend him, I agree with what you wrote. He agreed to all that, but that doesn’t lessen him as a great actor or person. He is just another guy who has to do what he has to do to get a great job.

        As for the hardcore, pretty agresive fans not being older ladies (again, I meant no offense, but I did get a strong feeling that these strong sentiments where more prevalent among a certain age group within the fanbase) but rather being devout Christians (again, I don’tt want to offend anyone out there!), that’s new to me. But I can sort of see how such fans would have a rather prude, old-fashioned picture of him in their minds that they wish to defend.

        I love R but I’m not one to go fangirl all over the fansites to be honest. I usually stick to Youtube and just visit some sites to get hold of new articles. This really is the first time I joined any discussion on a RA based forum, and I just sumbled upon this when I was googling for some info. To be honest, I think most of us (including myself at times) are putting WAY too much thought into all this, we should just relax, and enjoy his work 🙂

        • Servetus

          I think each of us should do what’s best for each of us, because each of us derives enjoyment differently. Some need to watch Armitage to relax [you?]. Others [me] need to think about Armitage to focus. Nothing wrong with either of those things because neither is harmful. What is harmful is when we end up disciplining each other over our needs and visions of Armitage. This has been a hard lesson to learn (for a lot of us and for me).

          • P.

            To relax, to enjoy seeing a good actor at work, or to learn (that series The Impressionists gave me a whole new appreciation for their art, for instance). Many reasons to watch his work. But I’ve read all of this here on this blog today, and I can’t help but think, if he’s not aware of any of this very deep thought (and sadly, even arguments) that we fans seem to put into him as a subject of our desire/thoughts/whatever, why would we make such a huge deal of it? I do agre with you that we should all respect each others opinions. Richard seems the last person to want a fanbase that is hurting each other over him.

            • Servetus

              We make a big deal because we care. That (and the reasons we care) are our responsibility. Richard Armitage is not our deity; he doesn’t determine what we talk or don’t talk about. Saying, “don’t spend so much time on this” is a way of delegitimating the (fan) speaker as opposed to actually engaging in discussion. If you don’t want to talk about things in this depth — don’t do it! 🙂

          • P.

            as for me, I certainly won’t be disciplining anybody over him. That would go against everything I (and I get a strong feeling RA as well) stands for. I probably won’t even be here tomorrow, as I get an unfomfortable feeling whith all this intense nitpicking of his character traits etc. to be honest…. I don’t wat to offend anyone by saying this, but I don’t think he ever intended or wanted anybody to put this much time and thought into little tiny parts of his personal life. Let alone start arguments about him.

            • P, it is time to stop. By suggesting Richard wouldn’t have wanted fans to do such and such you are, even in a mild form, policing what other fans do. Putting thoughts and words into his mouth is inappropriate (at least on my blog). I appreciate that you have your own opinions, but to suggest that other fans are thinking too much, or nitpicking is in fact trying to tell others what behavior is or is not appropriate. That isn’t acceptable here.

              • Servetus

                yeah, pretty much the only things Armitage has ever asked fans to do are sending gifts to charities instead of to him, and to watch out — for each other.

  30. P.

    btw that Cinemax 60 seconds remark where he said he was “incredibly vain” was obviously not meant literally! How can people not see that? Just listen to the tone in which he said it, he was joking (plus, the context was chosing between being bold or fat, not vanity in general)). That whole interview (and the other one where they switched parts) was very light-hearted and joking in tone. I’m amazed how many times I’ve read fans referring to that single little interview to state he’s not shy, but actually, a vain person. Really? Have you seen him in interviews? Does that quiet, soft-spoken man, who looks down and fumbles like a schoolboy whenever his fame or fanbase or good looks are mentioned, strike you as VAIN?

    • Hmm. While I don’t think Richard is actually “incredibly vain,” I do think he cares about his looks. I’ve said elsewhere on the blog that I know people who refer to themselves as vain, when they really mean they just want to look nice. That being said, I don’t think his comment about vanity can just be thrown out because the Cinemax interview was lighthearted. I’ve not read many, if any comments where people said they don’t believe he is shy just because he described himself as vain. The two have nothing to do with each other. If in fact Richard is vain (again, I don’t think so), that doesn’t mean he can’t also be shy.

  31. P.

    and just a little quote here for those who keep saying he’s vain and not shy at all because he’s an actor and that doesn’t gell with being shy. It’s from the Popcorn Taxi thing he did this month:

    I don’t believe I have to be a dwarf who gets dragon sickness to play Thorin Oakenshield. But I’m fascinated to see what his world looks like or what the world looks like through his eyes. And it does give you courage to do that because you get given a bunch of lines to say that I would never say. It’s liberating. And then you take it off at the end of the day and I slump around the streets with my shoulders hunched, back to boring old me. It’s great!

    • For me, I interpret this quote as being less about his vanity, care for his good looks, or shyness than it is about him being a self-deprecating kind of person. I could easily be projecting here, but I’m the kind of person who finds it flattering when someone says they like my new haircut or the outfit I’m wearing or whatever. Yet at the same time I also blush and try to play it down because part of me is embarrassed by the praise/attention. It has a lot to do with how one was raised and I get the impression that RA might be similar.

      • Servetus

        and his tendency toward self-deprecation is heavily overdetermined. Many decisive elements in his background would push him to talk about himself in this way.

        • P.

          Would you care to explain that comment a bit further? I’m not sure I get what you mean….

          • Servetus

            I’ve written about this extensively before, so please forgive me the arrogance of quoting myself:

            http://meandrichard.wordpress.com/2012/12/22/my-richard-armitage-an-interpretation-an-excursus-on-identity-and-personality-in-2004/

            “Putting aside for a few paragraphs the question about the substance of Armitage’s personality and how well it conformed to its early public appearance, it is hard to imagine that Armitage could have been much different once he emerged into public view, simply because of these things: upbringing in a national and class culture that looks negatively on self-aggrandizement and blatant expression of pride and ambition, and in which manners are still very much taken not only as the measure of a man but also as a sign of one’s social place; his parents’ background and values; a conservative mood in the family and in his raising; education in a vocational school that emphasized cooperation, manners, pushing oneself, and pursuing every opportunity; participation during adolescence in informal and formal work settings in which he was required to behave maturely; a career training that required self-restraint, a high level of discipline, and constant cooperation; and the long delay in the arrival of recognition. Unless he had been more seriously inclined to rebellion than surviving evidence suggests, with this background, he could hardly have been loud, disorderly, immodest, rude, boastful, or one of those personalities that seeks to take up large amounts of space for itself with feigned self-assurance. This is not to suggest that the young Armitage was never secretly or publicly mischievous, or even potentially immature or prankish (he referred to clowning around with a tree with unanticipated consequences while in drama school, for instance) — or that he had no ego — but the factors mentioned would have cloaked any features like these. All of the elements we are aware of in his personal history would have combined in favor of a characteristic public self-presentation for a man in his early thirties as mature, disciplined, and sober. That the public Richard Armitage would present as self-deprecating and modest, deflect praise, and refuse with humor to take himself too seriously, at least when asked to do so in public, was in that sense overdetermined, even if he at times would take the latter strategy so far that he failed to realize or refused to accept that his constant self-deprecation verged on self-undermining.”

          • Servetus

            and I would add, based on some stuff that I read yesterday — the elements of his self presentation that I think influenced heavily by a basically British self-deprecation in his quote is read by at least some American readers as a sign of poor self-esteem and brutal self-assessment.

            • P.

              Pfew, you have been putting a lot of thought into this man haven’t you? 😉 I can see what you meant now. I’m Dutch, and this tendency to downplay any praise, even if you’re worthy of it, is very very prevalent in my culture as well (I guess it’s our Protestant streak). I had given some thought to the fact that this amount of self-deprecation must seem odd to Americans, given that their (your?) culture seems to favour and encourage being open about one’s personal achievements a lot more than most European cultures. He does indeed seem to take self-deprecating a bit far sometimes. I guess that would be a mix of his cultural and family background and his own personal introvert and humble character. He seems to have no problem with the film in general being praised btw. You can tell he’s so happy and proud that the film was received so well. It’s just when it get personal that he seems very uncomfortable with it.

              • Servetus

                yeah, I’m from the U.S. And I see him from two sides in this regard b/c while I grew up Protestant (and totally have all that baggage about not being praised personally in my psyche) I converted to Judaism, and Jews in the US are much more open about stating their achievements. There are also regional differences in the US, Midwesterners would read this really differently than people from NYC, etc.

                and yeah, I’ve put a lot of thought into this, because I’m one of those people who was hit really hard by this and am trying to figure out what it means. Which is fine. It’s also fine if you’re into him “only because” _______ (fill in the reason). Fandom can be a lot of things for a lot of people.

                I agree that he has no problem being proud of the film and its reception (perhaps not least because it’s the project of many, many people and not just his own efforts, so that accepting praise for the film is also accepting praise for others).

                • P.

                  I’m Dutch and an atheist all my life, so I guess we see this from different angles. I come from a country that has a strong protestant traition as well as a catholic one, so this strong self-deprecation is not unknown to me. Even as an atheist I have that tendency too, being Dutch. Not as much as he has though obviously I don’t know how I would react to so much praise in public.

                  I just appreciate this particular man for his good character, honesty, integrity, intelligence, humble and quiet nature and his looks. But I’m pretty down to earth about it. He’s not some demi-god to me, or someone standing on a high pedestal of purity and goodness. Bet even he is frumpy looking and bad-tempered in the morning 🙂

                  • And I think the last thing he wants is to be put on a pedestal as some sort of plaster saint or demi-god. He’s a lovely guy inside and out and a good example of a person making great use out of the gifts and talents with which he’s been blessed, while keeping himself firmly grounded. I admire and respect RA for the man he is, warts and all. 😉 Although I don’t really think he has any warts LOL

              • I notice he’s always very quick to praise those he works with, whether director, fellow actors, makeup and prosthetics, stunt people–but when he’s the one being praised, yeah, he’s clearly still a bit uncomfortable with it. Thinking of what Peter and Martin had to say about RA during the Japan press conference in December. Eyes go to feet, that little wriggle, a faint, slightly embarrassed smile. Endearing.

                As for the contingent of fans who have objected to certain things, it’s definitely less about age (I have blog readers in their 60s and 70s who shamelessly ogle Mr. A and discuss it) than background–often seated in very conservative Christian upbringings, it seems–and dare I say, nationality? A lot of those who raise the most hue and cry have been fellow Americans. Is our Puritan past a part of that? Could be.

                • P.

                  again, this hadn’t even entered my mind, but it’s an interesting new point of view. I just noticed many hardcore fans being of a certain age and type. He did too, he mentioned it a few times.

            • P.

              and like I said, I don’t generally read RA forum stuff so by all means, quote yourself, it saves me a lot of time trying to find old posts 🙂

      • P.

        I can see what you mean. But “vain” to me is a purely negative character treat. It doesn’t mean liking that someone compliments you on your new blouse or haircut (or secretly liking it but being shy about it, I’m also like that btw), but wanting people to look at you because you think a lot of yourself. It means a big Ego to me, craving attention (as a person, not as an actor I mean), and he certainly hasn’t got that. I always regard him as a big man with a small ego, instead of how he described Thorin “a big ego in a small body” 🙂 Plus, he doesn’t dress himself in a way that signals “I want to look nice” to me. To be honest, he seems very regular. Just a guy, with some jeans an a shirt or a jacket, someone who wouldn’t really stand out in a crowd (at least, not over here, as Dutch men tend to be very tall, lol) despite his good looks. And I get a strong feeling he sees himself as a very average bloke as well. He doesn;t seem to think he’s special, nor does he like to dress to impress, so to me, he’s not vain.

        • Servetus

          The thing is any statement we make about the meaning of the remark is contingent on our construction of a particular Richard Armitage. “Vain means X to me” doesn’t mean “vain means x to Richard Armitage.” This isn’t a criticism of your position as much as pointing out that we are all reading based on ourselves and our reactions. We add data to that (history, context, etc.), and some readings are more plausible than others, but in the end it comes down to what we “need” him to be saying.

          • P.

            True. He is a different man to all of his fans, and a whole other man to himself, one we sadly won’t ever know. I do still think we put far too much thought into all this though. I wonder what he would think if he read all this pondering about him and tiny little aspects of his life, character, etc…. Already I feel like I m taking this too far. I think I;ll just go and enjoy The Impressionists now, and stop pondering his vanity/shyness 🙂

        • I think you misunderstood me, because I was pointing out that I know people who use the word vain incorrectly. They refer to themselves as vain when in reality they just want to look nice. I think that could be something RA had done here. Are you aware that he has a stylist? I ask because some of the pieces of clothing you mentioned, such as jackets, cardigans and even jeans were in fact picked out by Ilaria Urbinati. In his every day life I’m sure he just dresses however he wants. But as far as being in the public goes, he has made an effort that indicates a desire to look nice/appropriate.

          • P.

            O dear, you mean those old-fashioned clothes he wears are in fact, chosen by a stylist? You just made my day here, that is so funny, as to me, many of those items (the cardigans in particular) are a sign of a man who doesn’t particularly know or care how to dress! :-p He does dress the same in photos where he’s just out on the street, or doing something that I’m sure he doesn’t call his stylist for (like a radio interview). Just casual, jeans, shirt, jacket in plain colours. I thought only the suits, ties etc. he wore at premieres and press do’s were picked out by a stylist. Not the more boring, casual stuff in dark tones he seems to like to wear. Hmm, he obviously told his stylist to go for black and grey then 🙂

            btw, I’m still convinced not everything he wears is picked out by a stylist. Can’t be. Like that black hoodie and sneakers he is wearing in the pic on the left here? (I even think he said that’s what he wore without a stylist in that Cinemax interview, the hoodie at least).

            • The hoodie and leather jacket were indeed choices by Ilaria. All the clothes he appeared in for press interviews, talk shows, red carpet, etc. during TH promo were chosen by his stylist. He said he’d rather leave the clothing choices to a stylist in that Cinemax interview, actually. 😉

              • P.

                I was just typing that in my reply 🙂 You’remright, the hoodie and jacket was the “shit” (his words) he would wear without a stylist 🙂 Personally, I like him better in a hoodie and leather jacket than sme grandpa grey cardigan or 3-piece grey suit with horrendous checker print, but o well.

              • P.

                No wait… that hoodie and jacket surely were what HE would wear WITHOUT a stylist. That’s what he said. Something along the lines of “I’d rather let someone else worry about it” and then he pointed out he was wearing shit that day, meaning “this is what happens without my stylist”.

                • No, sorry. Ilaria is on my Tweetline and she always posts when she dresses a celeb and they are seen out and about doing press or at red carpets, usually mentions who the designers are. I watched him on the Today Show here in the US that morning of the day he did the Cinemax interview. He was “working” that day and definitely not wearing just any old thing. He was indicating that she had chosen the clothes he was wearing—I think you simply misread his gestures there.

                • He said, “Hence, the shit I’m wearing today.” I could be wrong, but I took that to mean he just threw on what the stylist told him to wear. Many fans follow Illaria on Twitter. She usually tweets what the individual pieces of clothing are, so she may have tweeted about the hoodie/leather jacket outfit.

                  • Yeah, I am pretty sure she did tweet, Jas. But there was so much going on during that manic time I can’t recall who designed the hoodie and jacket (the jacket reappeared on other media occasions, too).

                  • P.

                    I really interpreted that very differently. I honestly don’t think he would call the items another person took the effort of picking out for him “shit” like that… . But then again, what do I know about styling celebs. Nothing. It’s just, in photoshoots he’s clearly styled up, all suave and cool, even with PINK shirts. Obviously a stylist at work. But a black hoodie and jacket? I don’t see it. He wears that stuff on photos where he leaves work, and in fanpics taken randomly, so it’s his own style as well.

                    But no need to fight about it. He dresses plainly and whether that’s his stylist or his own style, or a mix of both (probably), who cares. He’d look good in a paper sack 🙂

                    • There’s a big difference between styling for a photoshoot and for going out and doing interviews. For the interviews the stylist that he has hired puts him in high end clothes that look approachable, something that anyone could get their hands on and wear. For the photoshoots, at least for the fashion mags anyway, he’s going into a situation where they provide a rack of clothes and their own stylist.

                      No one is fighting. We’re just pointing out documented fact when it comes to a specific outfit. I’m sure he does have some say in what the stylist chooses. She probably has a general idea of what he’s comfortable with and he can turn down outfits if he doesn’t like them. I have to agree about the paper sack though, especially since we already know he looks good in a burlap sack.

                    • Ilaria has said in the past she tries to give all the clients options for outfits and does keep in mind what they will be comfortable in. She obviously tapped into RA’s love for leather jackets and boots.

                      As Thorin, RA is downright gorgeous in that burlap bag! LOL But I always knew he would be, anyway.

            • Servetus

              No, she tweets when he’s wearing her choices, and she was doing that all through the Hobbit press tour. Part of what’s so great about Ilaria as a stylist is that she obviously figured out some things about his own personal preferences.

            • Servetus

              Cardigans and vests were high style in NYC among thirty somethings the last two years.

          • P.

            and I did misunderstand you. I agree, he probably meant that he cares at least a bit about looking at least presentable, and not fat (which was what the original question was about). That’s a normal amount of “vanity” to me, and I wouldn’t use that word for it. And even if you use the term like that, he doesn’t seem to have a lot of interest in it (he clearly stated he’d rather let some stylist worry about his looks). But sure, if you’re going to be on tv, you make at least some effort. Who wouldn’t (apart from Peter Jackson, lol). For interviews on well-known talkshows etc. I think it’s usual to have somebody behind the scenes picking an outfit for you, do your hair etc., isn’t it?

  32. P.

    ……….ok this is taking it way too far, but I’m checking photos now and he seems to be wearing the same stuff in random snapshots of him out and about, coming out of work, or other occasions where he wouldn’t have called for a stylist. He seems to be wearing the same stuff all the time to be honest, black leather jackets, regular shirts in muted tones, and dark jeans and shoes. He just dresses very plainly. Which to me fits his humble nature very much. I always feel he’s a bit too dressed-up in premiere photos where he’s wearing fancy suits and ties (like that awful suit he wore at the Tokyo premiere, that blue one that looked like it was all wet…or am I the only one hating that?). I guess the stylist respects his taste and own humble style and tries to find items that match that.

    • Fedoralady can correct me if I’m wrong. But, I believe that the stylist came into the picture around the time of the NZ premiere. So in November of 2012. Prior to that RA was often photographed in clothes that he wore for the role of Lucas North.

      • Absolutely correct Jas, about when Ilaria came on board. And as you can see in my last post, I made note of the fact a lot of his wardrobe comes from his three seasons on Spooks. Obviously the RH costumes wouldn’t *quite* work for everyday wear. 😉

    • Probably should point out most of those photos “going in and out” are to and from media events. He isn’t somebody who gets photos taken of him going out to dinner or the grocery store, etc. Tends to fly below the radar as he prefers it. So if those pictures were taken over the last few months, in most of them he’s wearing what the stylist chose. Also his wardrobe before getting a stylist was largely made up of clothes he got from his work wardrobe on Spooks. 😉 Which was dark jackets, blue, black shirts and jeans, to a great extent.

      • P.

        I did get a feeling he “stole” some of Lucas’ wardrobe in older pre-NZ photos. Then again, it’s not like Lucas dressed to impress 🙂 I don’t think he’d would have a personal stylist prior to the whole Hobbit craze. He was a regular actor then, who only appeared in talkshows to promote a new series like twice a year or something. And he indeed looked like he just nicked something from the Spooks set for those occasions 🙂 In even earlier stuff he seems to be wearing mainly black. Which, again, seems to fit his humble nature. He sure doesn’t like to stand out in what he’s wearing.

  33. P.

    Now I wonder if he got to keep Lucas’ wardrobe after finishing on Spooks. You see, this is why I avoid fansites, I really don’t want to spent this amount of time thinking about RA’s shirts…. 🙂

    • I would imagine that he did get to keep them, otherwise it would be kind of odd for him to be going to interviews and such in Lucas’ clothing. As for not wanting to spent this much time thinking about RA’s clothing, you are free to walk away from the discussion at any point. Although I do realize sometimes these things can suck you in.

      • Servetus

        In that interview where he said he had no sense of style or lost it if he had it, he said something explicitly about wearing Lucas’ clothes.

        • I knew at some point he had mentioned wearing Lucas’ clothes, but couldn’t remember where exactly it was. It seemed to indicate that he kept the clothing for personal use, correct?

          • Servetus

            I’d have to find it, but I remember thinking that it implied but did not state that he was wearing his costumes outside of work. You could have concluded either that he took those costumes home with him, or that he was buying the same clothes as Lucas wore to wear himself.

  34. Servetus

    Here it is: “nearly all my other clothes are Lucas’ from Spooks.” The easiest intelligible meaning of that statement is that he simply took home Lucas’ clothes, but that’s not a necessary interpretation of it.

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/richard-armitage-i-was-a-beanpole-with-a-nose-224186

    • Thanks! The most straightforward answer does seem to be that he actually kept Lucas’ clothes. And if he really does hate shopping–which I have no reason to doubt–it would make sense.

      • Keeping his wardrobe AND depending on a stylist both make perfect sense for a guy who hates shopping and doubts his own fashion sense. As busy as Mr. A is and in the high-profile profession he has chosen, having one less thing to worry about has to be a relief.

        • Yeah, I agree. If looking a certain way is beneficial for your profession, you hate shopping, and you’ve got the funds it makes perfect sense to take advantage of both the Lucas’ wardrobe and a stylist. If I could afford it I would totally hire a stylist and never go shopping again! 😉

  35. Servetus

    oh: and he also says “I can’t bear shopping.” I’d forgotten that. Probably makes having a stylist a good thing.

  36. P.

    I see I sucked you into this little side path as well 🙂 He does strike me as a guy who doesn’t care about clothes or shopping for them (name the guy who does :-). Unlike, for instance, Martin Freeman!

  37. P.

    I kind of assumed he was wearing Lucas’ clothes to some interviews like the Lorraine show that is early in the morning, because he either popped in from work or went to set to film straight after the interview. It being weekdays and all. Didn’t seem that odd to me. Plus, Lucas clothes aren’t that original so I was thinking he might just have a similar style himself. Or indeed “nicked” some 🙂

    • Servetus

      We just lack data to make a really clear pronouncement about what his personal preferences might be. There are very few pictures of him available from before 2004 that aren’t official (from a program or production or obvious photoshoot); in most of the ones we have seen he has jeans on.To say he likes jeans, however, doesn’t differentiate himself from 90 percent of the male and female population of the west, for instance. It’s a question of which jeans he likes. During the Spooks years he was mostly wearing Lucas’ jeans, which meant, in series 8 and 9, Replay. It became clear during the filming of TH that he also wore Balmain privately. Since November 2012 he’s been wearing the jeans the stylist chose in official settings and jeans we can’t identify in more informal ones (like the ones he wore when fans met him on set in summer 2012). In settings like that, he’s mostly been photographed wearing tshirts or casual shirts and jeans — but again, we don’t really know if that’s just what he puts on for non-costume work when he’s working, or it it’s what he really wears in his free time, because we almost never see pictures of him in his free time.

  38. P.

    Still doesn’t explain why he called the outfit he wore in the Cinemax interview “this shit I’m wearing today”. He doesn’t swear often it seems, nor does he use language like that often to spice his answers up (again, unlike Martin Freeman! :-)), so it seemed like he was genuinely referring to that outfit as, well, a bit crap. At least to me. Guess we’ll never know.

    (and now I’m thinking that posting more than 1 post in a row probably goes against some unwritten forum rule or another…)

    • Servetus

      I would question that interpretation for various reasons, but I don’t want to be accused of taking him too seriously. 🙂

    • Servetus

      oh — and just so you know — this isn’t a forum :). It’s a blog. The rules are different. Most of this discussion would probably not be allowed on a moderated forum in the first place. Unmoderated forums are a different story.

    • Servetus

      Oh, and since it didn’t come up earlier — that “shit” he was wearing in the Cinemaxx interview — the leather jacket? Todd Snyder. Retails iirc for something like $1500 for the cheaper stuff, if you’re paying rack rate. I assume that the association with Urbinati gets him some kind of discount.

      • P.

        ok now I finally believe you that it was indeed an outfit from his stylist! Would never have guessed it though. That’s the thing with designer clothes, you can’t always tell. Let’s just say I wouldn’t pay 1500+ dollars for that jacket (and I suspect he wouldn’t either, it probably was given to him, good promotion if Thorin wears your stuff!).

        but please, don’t let this take you away from my previous post that isn’t about his clothes 😉

        • Servetus

          He’s worn a lot of high end outerwear over the years — Burberry and Belstaff as well. I assume no one in that position pays full price. But of course, in the U.S., if he was given the stuff to wear for promotional purposes he would also pay taxes on it as it would count as income.

        • Servetus

          oh — and he’s worn that jacket an awful lot if it’s something he doesn’t like. In addition to the NY appearances where we saw it the first time, he wore it in London in December, and then again in April in NY, and in Sydney two weeks ago.

  39. P.

    True, I’m just not used to posting this much on one forum/blog so I thought I’d ask.

    That interview where he said something about Lucas’ clothes is very interesting btw, hadn’t read it before. I laughed out loud when I read the title, as that is exactly what I thought he would have looked like when he was young; a very tall, gawky kid with a giant nose 🙂 I personally don’t find him particularly attractive or noticable before, say, 2005 or so (don’t hate me here, I just think he looks just that little bit too young and naieve, that’s just not my type). I can see how he has grown up with, and lived with an image of himself as a regular bloke, albeit a tall one. He had very crooked bottom teeth as well before he had them fixed (I thought it was cute, but I can see why they would annoy him, as they were very noticable whenever he spoke).

    I just mean, I always had the feeling he doesn’t feel like a very good-looking man, that that isn’t his self-image. Not even now, when obviously many fans think he is and he’s cast as a muscular hero. Self-image builds from a very early age, and I think it crystallizes into it’s definite form around puberty or even your 20’s (read that somewhere). It can change over time, obviously, but there seems to be a basic picture of oneself that everyone has in their minds. His is not very “alpha” as he said, or that he is particularly beautiful. So when he’s being self-deprecating when his looks are mentioned, I do believe it’s partly because he really doesn’t see it.

    (this is me not so subtle trying to move away from the clothes thing 🙂

    • Servetus

      I’m fairly certain that no one in this entire strand was a fan before 2005. We really don’t care what you or anyone else thinks about Richard Armitage all that much. We care that we care about him, find him fascinating for various reasons, and enjoy talking about him in detail — which we have a lot of fun doing 🙂

      The question of how he sees himself is a huge topic — but if you read through old interviews and press he says a fair amount about his perception of his appearance and himself during his youth. In case you’re not already familiar with it, I really recommend reading through the collection of articles at Richard Armitage Online — it is nearly comprehensive and very well documented before November of 2012. That way you don’t have to rely on your feelings about things that have to do with him — you can discuss actual data. Much more interesting IMO.

  40. P.

    I do look up articles on that site sometimes, but I sort of resist ploughing through all of them as there’s so much I’d keep reading for two days and not sleep 🙂 And I do appreciate his earlier work, I just don’t find him hugely attractive there. He does have that certain “something” there already though. It just needed a bit of stubble haha.

    Funny how “does he have a girlfriend” and “is he straight/gay/whatever” pop up quite a lot online, when in this interview (from I guess March or so 2010) he is pretty open about all of that. More so than in other interviews I’d say. I sort of like that he’s not settled down yet. I haven’t (I’m not his age but not that much younger either), and sometimes I feel weird and unusual about it. It makes me feel more ok about it knowing even he hasn’t found the right person yet. Though I don’t have the excuse of travelling across the globe for most of my recent life! 🙂

    Fun thing is, the more I read/see, the more it collides with the image I already had in my mind of him. No real shockers yet. Apart from one hideously expensive designer outfit I thought was some random crap he pulled out of his own closet 🙂

    • P.

      I might sound pretty new to this, but I’ve been a follower for about a year or so now. Through Spooks actually, which I used to love, then forgot all about when Tom Quinn left (never cared much for Adam/RPJ), and then picked up again. I was pretty smitten with Lucas straight away when I came to series 7. That collided nicely with all the press attention for the 2012 release of The Hobbit, so that was handy 🙂 I just don’t do forums really, I fangirl in silence :-p

      • Servetus

        yeah, you’re definitely not using “collide” in the sense that a native speaker of English would.

        it’s fine to fangirl in silence. Each of us is only doing what pleases us in our fangirling and we want to protect the rights of others to do that as well.

        • P.

          I know, I do know the word collide means something else, got confused there for a moment. Should be sleeping. See, this is why I tend to avoid forums/blogs. I get sucked in very easily… 🙂

          • Servetus

            You should go to bed. Guess what, this web page will still be here tomorrow, and the next day, and the next … 🙂

      • I think the perception of you as a newbie stems from your persistence in certain views. For instance, it took three people reaffirming multiple times that RA’s outfit in the Cinemax clip was picked by a stylist for you to “finally believe.” That indicates for at least some of us a lack of knowledge on your part about the subject and also an unwillingness to believe facts that don’t coincide with your view of things. We’re all entitled to our opinions, but some things are not actually up for debate.

        • P.

          ……ok…. and “a lack of knowledge about the subject” sounds overly serious and like he’s some sort of study object in a university lab and the FACTS have to be right or you get an F…. I simply interpreted what he said about that particular outfit in a very different way, plus it didn’t look very designer to me, so that was why I wasn’t convinced it was indeed picked by some stylist. I was wrong. Big deal. This is why I tend to avoid fan forums, because if you get “it” wrong, they will let you know in, let’s call it, a certain way. I stand corrected there, no need to get prickly about it. It is, after all, still just a hoodie and a jacket we were talking about. We weren’t disputing the existence of gravity.

          • Servetus

            But you came here in the first place because it was apparently important for you to say something about a particular issue in a place where you thought you’d find a sympathetic listener — and then you think it’s inappropriate for us to care enough about a particular issue to make sure the facts are straight?

            It’s like the second you find out you didn’t have your facts straight, you turn around and say, oh, well, it’s not that important any way. You kind of can’t have it both ways. Either it’s important, so we should get it right, or it’s not, so why bother to raise the issue? If it’s not that important, why are you here? That’s a genuine question.

          • P, if you tell us one more time that we are thinking too deeply about something or being overly serious you will be banned from the blog. Not to mention the suggestion that I was picking a fight or getting prickly because we disagreed. I’ve never had to ban anyone before, but this is supposed to be fun, and today you have robbed my blog of that.

            We are not in college, that is correct. But this is a blog about Richard Armitage, and on occasion we do discuss things fairly deeply. You don’t get to dismiss that as wrong or unimportant, especially as you contributed 30+ comments to the conversation. I used the word facts and I stand by that. It is a fact that Richard was dressed by a stylist. Is that important in the grand scheme of things? No. But what do you expect us to discuss on a blog about Richard Armitage? You were politely corrected by a couple of people. And yes they corrected you, not because we desire to be right, but because most of us assume that people would rather be informed about the truth–FACTS–rather than believe something false. You mentioned that you thought you seemed new to the fandom and I gave you a reason why I think that is, a reason I stand by. If you don’t enjoy these kinds of discussions–ones where people actually care about facts when they are available–then I would suggest staying away in future.

            • Teuchter

              BRAVO Jas!! Yes, that was meant to be loud as that is exactly how I felt – R.O.B.B.E.D! One of the best things about your blog for me has been how much fun we have together. Tonight I feel like a wrung out rag – something I have not encountered here before. Thank you for your patience and courage! I for one am right behind you.

              NB my initial comment back on December 23, 2012. It still stands!

              • Thank you, Teuchter. At some point we all just get to the point where enough is enough. Clearly I reached that point. 😉

            • P.

              O dear. I stumbled upon this blog and read your post, and I agreed with you on your point of view that RA isn’t some victim of the press. That’s why I joined in. Then the discussion went into other directions, and yes I enjoyed that as well. Talking about RA like this is new to me, like I said I’m not one to join in fan forum discussions normally. This said, I did get a feeling of unease last night that there was an extraordinary amount of importance being placed on, to me, very small details. And while it’s certainly fun to discuss said details with fellow fans (like we did), there seemed to be an undertone of “you better read up on your facts pronto, or hold your tongue”.To me, that’s taking things a bit too seriously. And by that I mean a bit too far (as you know by now English isn’t my first language and I find I struggle a bit to express myself correctly right now..). Facts are facts, I get that, but the huge amount of emphasis placed on that, while the facts in question were of no real importance other than a little innocent chat about his wardrobe, didn’t sit well wih me. I used the word prickly because I, whether you intended this or not, felt an undertone in your message that I perceived as irritated or annoyed at least. So not just a mere stating of facts. I never accused you of picking a fight, if it came across that way, that was certainly never my intention. Anyway I have felt this undertone before when reading stuff posted by RA fans, mainly the hardcore ones that consider themselves part of the Army. It sets my teeth on edge, so that’s why I don’t join in fan forum discussions. RA fans in particular seem very protective of “their” subject matter in a “you better get it right” kind of way. It also struck me that you clearly attack a certain type of over-protective, religiously devout fan in your original post (as you make it very clear that their behaviour of being overprotective of RA and angry towards the press should stop), yet when I said that people in general should take their fangirling a bit less seriously, I get accused of telling other fans what to do? That doesn’t seem fair to me.

              Let’s just say, I did enjoy discussing RA with you, but the pretty intense undertone that seems to be prevalent on RA fan discussions obviously doesn’t agree with me, so I think I’ll leave you to your pondering of the facts. I never wanted to hurt anybody’s feelings, and if I did, then I’m sorry. But I don’t feel free to say what I think or feel here anymore, and while that made me just the tiniest little bit sad yesterday, it’s not the end of the world. No harm done I hope, and I wish you all the best. This just isn’t my thing, and I’m going to enjoy the fact that there’s such a wonderfully talented man around in the way I did before I came upon this blog. With people who enjoy watching his work with me, but who couldn’t care less if I get the designer of a particular outfit wrong, or any other RA fact. Or write fan fiction about his parents (which falls exactly into that “taking things way too far” category for me)… RA fangirling is not a science, and if it’s no longer fun, it should stop (to quote RA). So, this stops here for me.

              • I don’t see the point of addressing most of this comment. You clearly are unwilling or unable to see why you have caused offense. What I will say is that firstly, I will be blocking you immediately in case you should decide to come back. Secondly, thanks for the laugh. Really, a fic about Richard Armitage’s parents? It’s a North & South fanfic.

  41. Servetus

    Like I said, you can like or not like his earlier work — it’s no skin off our noses. There’s no minimum requirement for joining the “I like Richard Armitage” club.

    I think a lot of people find his singlehood (or official singlehood, anyway) attractive for all kinds of reasons.

    I’m not sure if you’re using “collide” here in the sense your sentence seems to mean. Your sentence seems to imply that instead of “collide,” you mean “coincide,” i.e., your image of him coincides with what you read about him. This is, incidentally, an effect of fandom. Most fans tend to read articles and nod at stuff they recognize and ignore data they don’t. That doesn’t mean there’s no data to contradict our images of him — just that we minimize that in favor of hearing what we want to hear. But most fans at this site have read all of that stuff and more — so if you make assertions that contradicts the body of documented information available to us, you should be prepared to be corrected 🙂

    If you really mean “collide,” however, you’ll have to explain what you mean.

  42. P.

    It’s good to hear there’s no minimum requirement for being a fan 🙂 And I did mean coincide, but as it’s past midnight here I’m not awake enough to produce correct English anymore 🙂

  43. P.

    and I don’t mind being “corrected” at all (though it does sound a bit harsh, does it involve any corporate punishment? Just joking here, English isn’t my first language so sometimes words can get across wrong). And I am well aware that there’s very likely to be stuff out there that contradicts the image I have of him. That’s fine too. It’s not an exact science this, is it 🙂

    • Servetus

      No, it’s not exact. But there are a lot of people who show up in places like this to express opinions about fellow fans who they think are “doing it wrong” and that was kind of where your comments started (“why don’t people understand that he really meant …”). Perhaps because of the basic demographics of the early stages of this fandom, it’s been hit hard by disagreements stemming from that sort of statement / attitude. So we try very hard now to prevent any kind of flame occurring over something like that.

      • P.

        well, the original post clearly is about a certain type of devout Christian and/or over-protective fan and that their behaviour towards the press is frowned upon by the owner of this blog, and at least by a few others here (including me, as I happen to agreee with the oroginal post). Yet it is not ok when I say “please, why not take this a bit less seriously”? You seem very aware that thensions can arise, yet you also seem rather intolerant here yourselves. Anyway, I wrote a reply to all this hoopla already, I said what I wanted to say, and that I never wanted to hurt anyone, and to me that’s that. I’m certainly not going to walk a tightrope every time I want to have an innocent chat about RA. So, no more fanforums for me.

  44. P.

    I’ll keep that in mind, there’s certainly no need for his fans to fall out amongst themselves or be insulting to other fans in any way Not sure even if I’m going to keep this posting up though, I already find that it eats away my time like even the Youtube Vortex can’t….

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