I don’t know about y’all, but I could use a little beauty to appreciate at the moment:
Seriously, just look at all the hard work Richard has put into making his body look so amazing! It is simply made to be admired, no? 😉
Somebody got a new computer … 🙂
Yes, yes they did! 🙂
Yes…oh yes 🙂
NTM you are already putting it to VERY good use!! 😉
Thanks, Teuchter! 🙂
Methinks that Richard wouldn’t spend all that time working out if he really didn’t want us to admire his handiwork! He’d just let himself “get old and fat and ugly”. As if he could ever be ugly…even prosthetics can’t completely disguise “the pretty”!! Maybe “Elephant Man” mask??
We can only speculate. That being said, I agree. Most people don’t put that much effort into the way they look without some expectation of being admired. Of course, I do think the level of fitness he maintains is probably helpful in his career. For instance, in carrying around all of that extra padding and costuming as Thorin.
For Thorin it certainly was to be able to cope with they physical side of the role. No shirtless scenes and the shape of Thorin’s body was determined by padding, not by RA’s muscle. He could have been a beanpole underneath. Thankfully not shirtless photoshots either.
Stating that it “certainly was to be able to cope with the physical side of the role,” seems to indicate that there was no personal desire outside of work to stay fit. I would imagine, and again I can only speculate, but most people who maintain such a high level of physical fitness do so in part because they enjoy it. Not only that, but it becomes something of a habit. So while it was necessary for the physical aspects of the role, I don’t think we can discount the possibility that Thorin could have been a couch potato and Richard, in real life, might have continued to work out and maintain his body. Not to mention his statement during The Hobbit press tour about being vain. That admission would also add credence to the idea that it wasn’t necessarily just for the role.
I think he was making fun of himself for caring as much about his appearance as he does.
I don’t think it has to be either / or. We could speculate on a ton of reasons Armitage might have for maintaining a strenuous exercise regime — wanting to look hot, wanting a certain kind of role, wanting ot have the physical capacity to do very strenuous roles, wanting to maintain a certain kind of health … they could all be involved.
Even if he was making fun of himself, I think it does say something about the fact that he does indeed care about his physical appearance.
You make my point, better than I did. I don’t think limiting why he stays in such good shape to one thing is reasonable. He probably has all kinds of reasons, most of which are unknown to us.
I think the fact the guy works so hard—and is constantly globe-trotting to do it– and a lot of the roles do require a considerable amount from him physically, makes maintaining a certain level of fitness desirable. Helps him maintain the energy and stamina to do it all. Don’t we have to work harder at it, too, the older we get?
In terms of how “buff” he feels he must be/is required to be may very well change as the circumstances of his life/career change.
Also he’s got a dancer’s background and the discipline instilled in him from that period in his life must stick with him to some degree.
I agree, it’s likely a combination of factors. Whatever the reasons—I like and appreciate what I see.
I think to a degree he was making fun of himself and exaggerating, yes. I personally admit mixed feelings about the issue. I could do with less pizza and more working out myself, I would be happy to look like I did several years ago, so how could I look down on anyone who enjoys having a beautiful body? And I definetely enjoy looking at his. But I don’t like it if a man cares too much about his appearance. In real life going to the gym regularly would be a put-off. Just like driving an expensive car. I don’t like showing off. I don’t like it if a guy knows what a price he is and it shows.
I think we’ve had this discussion before — I just can’t see that remark as evidence that he is actually “ridiculously vain” on any level. Caring about your appearance is not the same as being vain. It seemed like he didn’t know how much 20 lbs is and Freeman’s remark didn’t clarify. I think the average person in the U.S. would probably be concerned about gaining 20 lbs. even knowing how much it is. Honestly, if he were going to the gym primarily in order to look good topless, I suspect we’d have seen a more sculpted look for both Lucas North and John Porter. There’s a difference between going to have defined muscles that look good on screen, and going so that you look like Mr. Universe. He exercised for Porter to look like someone who did that job; he exercised for Thorin in order to fulfill the challenges of the role. So I don’t think there’s very good evidence for equating his gym activities with obsession with his appearance. (Which doesn’t mean he isn’t — just that I’m saying the evidence that we have for that is really shaky.)
I think there are loads of people who refer to themselves as vain, who really just care about their appearance. I know plenty of people who say, “I’m vain,” when in in reality they just don’t want their hair sticking out at odd angles or lip stick on their teeth.
That said, I still think that most of this discussion is based on things we have know way of knowing the truth about. I do agree that most people would have concerns about gaining 20 pounds and I would imagine for an actor it would have to be one hell of a role to induce them to gain so much. But, everybody is different when it comes to their personal idea of what is attractive. Maybe, Richard’s idea doesn’t lean towards a “more sculpted” look. Very few people I’ve encountered in my life actually find the bulging muscles and popping veins of the Mr. Universe look attractive. Did Richard have to add certain elements to his fitness routine for certain roles? Absolutely, but that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t have continued on with his regular routine, if he has one. I guess I’m just not comfortable saying he “did it for the role,” as though there might not have been any other reasons. That doesn’t mean I’m discounting that it could very well have been just for the role. I don’t think he goes to the gym because he’s obsessed with his appearance, but I think the possibility is there. It seems unlikely to me, but then, I don’t really know the man. For me, it all goes back to the fact that he could have all kinds of reasons for staying fit besides doing so for a role and we just aren’t privy to his reasons or motivations. Or who knows, maybe were it not for his chosen profession, he’d be a total couch potato who lived on junk food and didn’t care if he gained a bunch of weight.
Can you tell I’m kind of in Devil’s Advocate mode? 😉
I think we’re both saying the same thing — that the evidence for all out vanity is not there. But where as I, like many historians read “when no or only poor evidence is there, a conclusion may not be drawn,” you seem to be reading “when no evidence is there, a conclusion may or may not be drawn.” The distinction is rather subtle.
Oh — and I’m going off evidence here as in “things he said.” He said specifically in one interview the point of preparing for Porter with exercise with the SAS guy was to look like Porter would look, *not to have a body that looked like it was sculpted in a gym.* I’ll look for the source if you don’t remember it.
I remember that article. And that he still felt his body didn’t look “hard” enough as a soldier’s (not a body builder’s) should look. He wasn’t aiming to look like Mr. Body Beautiful (although he does have a beautiful body, bless him).
I do remember it. But if he hadn’t been doing that kind of training for Strike Back would he have been going to the gym or out running through the park? *holds hand out for the prof to slap with a ruler* 😉
You know I’m just being a stinker, right? In all honestly I kind of figure that his motivations don’t really matter, at least as they relate to me. It isn’t as if they have an impact on my life.
I actually find it kind of amusing that the discussion has gone this far on a post that was about ogling RA’s hot body. Even when we strip him of his dignity we at least have the good grace to discuss him more deeply. 😉
Gosh, we are such a depthy lot, aren’t we? Even when we are TRYING to be shallow. *smugly pats on back, then giggles*
He probably was exaggerating to a degree, and I agree that there is a difference between working out to look good AND stay healthy and working out just because you want people to look at you with admiration. Normally I just attribute the expensive car thing to most guys, but then I grew up with a brother who had posters of Porsches and Corvettes on his wall. The guys I’ve known who eventually got the fancy car didn’t buy it as a status symbol, but because they could finally afford the fantasy car! Obviously there are men out there who buy expensive cars because they think it makes them look good, luckily I’ve just never met one.
What I meant was, there was no need to look good for shirtless scenes or in a tight costume as Thorin was not only fully dressed, but padded. If RA kept his body fit and beautiful, it wasn’t for the advantage of the audience, but his personal preference. As he’s not pestered by paparazzi on the beach, it couldn’t have been for that either.
Thanks for clarifying your meaning, Jane.
Girls! look at that body! Girls! Look at that body! He-he-he-he works out! 😉
Lookin’ good, Mr. A. You’ve come a long way from the “beanpole with a big nose” geeky teen. And I appreciate it!!
LOL, Angie! That song is perfect!!! Beanpole? I don’t see a beanpole around here, only one mighty fine hunk of a man. 🙂
It would be rude not to! lol
Exactly, Jennie!!! 😉
So beautiful, meant to be admired — thanks for this!
Glad you enjoyed it, Leigh. I agree, he’s definitely meant to be admired.
Sigh … – thanks for this – all itemised 🙂
Hehe, I like that…itemized shirtless shots. 😉
Thanks for the great end to the day.
I’m glad I could help you end the day on a high note, Katie!
I say, get fat, at least a bit. Stop working out. Allow yourself to look middle-aged. Like a guy who spends his time behind a desk, not in the gym.
Given that he recently said he’d pick shaving his head over getting fat for a role, I don’t think that is going to happen anytime soon.
I don’t think so either! 🙂 TBH I have never thought of 40 as middle-aged, more like 50 and the way so many are living to be 100 or more these days I think that is closer to the mark! Anyway, as far as I’m concerned whatever he wants to do to stay fit and healthy is up to him, bless him.
Exactly, Teutcher! If spending hours in the gym and keeping his body is great shape is something he enjoys he should keep doing it. If he really wants to just lay off and put on a few pounds, he should. It’s really about what makes him happiest.
That’s what it keeps coming back to for me. I want Richard to be and to do what makes him happy, brings him satisfaction in life personally and professionally. I do suspect as long as he is playing more of the leading man roles (or roles that demand a certain level of physicality and agility) he’ll keep working out regularly as the role may require. He’s always been one to do “whatever it takes” in terms of his career requirements.
But I definitely have no problem with him kicking back and enjoying extra pizza and less time pumping iron. 😉 More Richard to cuddle. LOL
Well, I still want him to uglify himself to play “real people” and not idealized versions.
I’m glad you are so comfortable admitting that you want him do what would please you. I’ll stick with hoping he makes choices that ultimately make him happy.
I find the idea of him uglifying himself to play “real people” interesting. The entertainment industry’s bread and butter is creating idealized stories. Even when a film is “based on a true story,” the cast is usually more attractive than the real people they are portraying and the harsher aspects of the story are usually smoothed over. That’s just the nature of the business, largely I think, because the majority of movie goers like the idealized version of things. We get enough “real” in our everyday lives. As long as that is the status quo, uglifying himself in hopes of playing so called real people could have a negative impact on his career. Now were he to be cast in a role that demanded he tone down his good looks, that would be a different story.
A la the lovely Charlize Theron in “Monster” playing an unglamorous serial killer. Charlize definitely toned down her natural beauty to play a real-life murderer and won an Academy Award for a strong performance, but she hasn’t permanently uglified herself. And her career seems to be doing fine. 😉
That’s a great example, Angie. Charlize “uglified” herself for a specific role. She didn’t uglify herself for the sake of finding a role. I think when it comes to such roles, the actor’s talent gets them in the door and then they make the necessary adjustments to their physical appearance.
Yeah, I think the talent and versatility come first. It was a great way for Charlize to prove to any doubters she was more than “just a pretty face” with that role. She’s gone on to play characters of varying degrees of “hotness” in terms of her appearance and she seems to be a respected actress in Hollywood today. Richard certainly doesn’t look dwarflike in real life, but they recognized he had the chops to play the part and look what he did with the role!
I think “uglifying” yourself in hopes it will get you a certain type of role would be as futile as “beautifying” yourself with breast implants, nose jobs, etc. in hopes of getting glamour types of roles. Talent and dedication to getting it right from the inside out would surely won out.
In the UK a lot of “real people” (as opposed to idealized superspies and hot fantasy henchmen) are played by actors that look like real people. They even have the bodies of real people and occasionally show them and it is not titillating ( except for their lovers). I remember Anna Maxwell-Martin being rail-thin and naked in a WWII drama and a not exactly gym-fit looking John Simm joining his ageing father in the bath.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not prudish and have no problem whatsoever with the whole “objectification” thing, I feel by not looking like a real person RA’s characters are less truthful and he may miss acting opportunities. It may be different in the US.
Other’s might have a different perspective on this than me, but I would say that it is different in the US. Actors, in lead roles anyway, are expected to be beautiful. If they are not, then they are typically relegated to the “best friend” and “side kick” type roles. If Richard wanted to become more of a character actor as opposed to being a leading man, then he could probably get away with putting on a few pounds. As Angie and I both mentioned, it is more typical in Hollywood for an actor to tone down their good looks once they have been cast in a role that calls for it rather than changing their looks to get such roles. If Richard is hoping to work in Hollywood, which it appears he is, looking like a “real person” probably isn’t the best route for him to go.
Yep, it’s different in the US. Like it or not, fair or not, there are different standards here in terms of television and movies. There are actors and actresses cast in lead roles in Britain that very likely wouldn’t get the same sorts of roles here in the US. They would be relegated to, yeah, best friend, character role, second banana. I mean, “Ugly Betty” was in truth, very attractive, just frumped up a bit.
The lead female character on “Castle” talks about being an ugly duckling teenager at one point and all you can think is. “REALLY? Cause you sure are gorgeous now!!” Sometimes it’s just laughable. But it’s the way things are.
I couldn’t help but notice how scarred the skin was re the lead actor for the original Swedish version of “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” (HD really doesn’t do some people any favors). Good actor, good performance, but I fear he’d have never been cast in such a role in a Hollywood film. The bad guy? Yes.
Look at difference between US and British soaps. US soap actors almost always have perfect skin, teeth, hair, bodies. Not so in UK.
Yep, it’s different.
Honestly, I felt like the minute he got the shiny teeth, he was headed for the U.S. market sooner or later. (Just so you know, my teeth are no paragon of the dental cultivation.) If you watch US TV you think pretty much everyone in the world has the most perfect teeth ever. And when I watch US TV I’m always astounded at the teeth with which British actors run around. Not that it’s bad not to have perfect teeth, just that the cultural standard in the UK apparently permits that …
It was probably around the time he had his teeth done, he started to audition in the US. That was before RH. But even in Spooks they toned down the looks of naturally very attractive newbies Sophia Myles and Max Brown. They didn’t made them ugly, but look real, gave him an unflattering super-short haircut and allowed her a few extra pounds and dark roots. Only RA had to look perfect. Or look at Matthew Macfadyn, he is younger than RA and gets cast in middle-aged character parts. He has a tendency to put on a bit of weight, and that makes him look real.
That is one aspect I like about British TV, their actors don’t *have* to be perfect to be cast on TV, films or on stage, but I have to say I still find their bad teeth somewhat jarring at times. However, younger actors in the UK tend to have better teeth these days which no doubt leads to healthier mouths as well as improving their looks. I don’t for one moment believe Richard thinks of himself as “perfect”, but in something like Spooks, being the “Alpha male”, as it were, he had to look the part, just as Rupert Penry-Jones did before him as Adam Carter. Or take Hermione Norris as a female example. It just wouldn’t have worked for her Ros character if she hadn’t been fit and attractive. I guess what I’m saying is that I don’t think if someone puts on weight or whatever that it makes them more real to me or if they look gorgeous they are somehow less real.
Some roles call for a more polished, attractive look than others. That’s just the way it is.
As for working out, God knows I should do more of it and in the past, I did work out regularly, albeit at home using workout videos rather than going to a gym. Health issues arose that prevented me from keeping up that particular pace.
But I wasn’t doing it trying to be Miss Universal Body but to improve my health and well-being, to look and feel better. I wish I was still able to do so, I really do. Not to blow everyone away with how awesome I look (HA!!), but for my overall well-being.
I think there’s a difference between someone who exercises regularly as a part of trying to live a well-balanced life and someone who is simply obsessed with the way they look to the point of total narcissism. And I really don’t think the latter applies to RA. I think there would be other evidence pointing to it if he were truly Mr. Ultra Vain. The smile crinkles, for example, would surely have “disappeared.”
Thank goodness the eye crinkles have never disapeared!!! They are one of my favorite things when I look at a smiling pic of Richard. 🙂
The smile crinkles give his face more character, more individualism. 😀 Seeing them makes me smile.
We will see. If he still goes for action man roles and isn’t offered middle-aged character roles as an alternative, and finds himself in competition with younger actors, he may consider botoxing. He knows he has to go for middle-aged sooner or later, but he has to lay the foundation now.
Teutcher, thank you for saying that putting on weight doesn’t necessarily make someone less real to you. The “real person” distinction has been bothering me and I couldn’t quite put my finger on why exactly that was. But it really does come down to the fact that a person who might look like what others consider the ideal is still very much a real person.
“don’t hate me because I’m beautiful”
I honestly think sometimes there is a bias against very attractive people. Somehow they can’t be taken as seriously or considered as “real” as someone who is more ordinary in appearance? “Real” people come in all shapes and sizes and degrees of good looks.
I think that’s true, Angie. Even in Hollywood they joke about how women have to get ugly to win awards…think Charlize Theron, Halle Berry and so on. It’s as if once the beauty was gone people could finally see their talent.
When will we learn to stop discriminating against people for ANY reason? Beautiful, homely, skinny, fat, black, white, purple…it just doesn’t matter.
Amen to that jas! If someone is healthy and *they* are happy with the way they look, far be in from me to criticize! It’s an old saying, but beauty is indeed only skin deep. I’m far more concerned by what a person is inside and how they treat others – hence my admiration for Richard! Yes, to me he is beautiful outside, but far more importantly, inside too.
MM as the first Spooks alpha male didn’t look as polished as RPJ and RA. It was only when the show changed focus from personal drama to action that the leads had to look that way. And even HN – she still looks real. Very far from looking like Angelina Jolie.
Perhaps Spooks is a bad example because they have to be physically fit, at least the field officers, no need for Harry or Ruth. And Guy and Thorin would be fit because of their life circumstances as well. But Gary Morris? Unless he’s a sports teacher?
MM doesn’t do action. Neither does JS. Or David Tennant, who is seriously skinny (it works the other way as well). If RA has a tendency to be very skinny without working out, allow yourself to look that way, it would be real as well.
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