Some celebrities can go by one name these days and everyone knows of whom we’re speaking: Sting, Cher, JLo (okay that might be two words), Clooney, Angelina, etc. Then there are some celebrities who have created such a media buzz about themselves, that their moniker implies a certain attitude such as “The Donald”.
But mystique? That essence of mystique intriguingly belongs to one Richard Crispin Armitage [(1) right]–the exquisitely talented British actor and human being. Or, a man whom I will now fondly dub as, “The Armitage”. Though him being thought of as an enigma is perhaps through less intention on his own part, I think–except to maintain some modicum of personal privacy. Mr. Armitage’s real persona is only faintly known to his fans through glimpses of him through his interviews, and even less so through his character portrayals.
I stress that The Armitage’s character portrayals are not a great way to figure out who he is, because he is such a chameleon of an actor–completely immersing himself in his characters. And he has portrayed such disparate roles and distinctive character portrayals–(in no particular order below) Ricky Deeming, John Standring, Sir Guy of Gisborne, John Thornton, Claude Monet, Lucas North, John Porter, and now Thorin Oakenshield to name a few [(2-9) all images below are courtesy of RANet]–as to make his true self unrecognizable to his fans, or at least, to me. Bully for him!
A question we fans often ask ourselves is, what would we say to The Armitage if we were to be so fortunate as to meet him? Of course, we are not thinking in our wildest dreams that we will actually ever meet him. And believe me, those dreams are doozies! But, if we did meet him? Would we fawn over him and his talented storytelling gifts? Would we try to seem erudite by expounding philosophically about his character portrayals? Or would we just fall in a heap at his oh so masculine former dancer’s feet? [(11) right] *swoon* *thud* Ladies, it pays to stay vertical when meeting our heartthrobs–even if our mouths can’t issue forth anything intelligible and not resembling some Middle Earthian language that can only be writ in runes [(12)]. Ha!
I would answer the question above, of what questions I might ask of The Armitage, thusly. Mr. Armitage, might I be so bold as to inquire as to who are you really, Sir? What makes you happy? What are your sorrows? What is your favorite childhood memory? What life lessons have you learned that shape you as a person, and why? Please describe what you hope your future life will be like? Might you enjoy me making you a Cornish Pasty? I had to slip that one in there. Ha! Do you enjoy playing parlor games–cards, board games, charades, etc.–with your friends on occasion? If you have a favorite “haunt” where you can go and relax and just be you–without giving away the establishment’s name–what do you like about it? Since your leisure sports of running and skiing are fast paced, what activities do you engage in that are indeed more leisurely and relaxing? You have mentioned reading as a passion before–even telling us of some of your favorite books. And how about that cello and what are your other musical interests? You see with my arthritis, I am hopelessly slowed down–and I am only recently off of a six week stint on crutches due to my having a trick knee that keeps wanting to pop out of joint. Eventually, I will have knee replacement surgery. So if I am to “catch” you to pose my questions to you, you must be standing still. Ha! But I suspect that The Armitage will listen politely like his Harry Kennedy character [(13) right], and then demure and dissemble to all my questions–as he has to personal questions from media interviewers–because he is ultimately a very private person, and perhaps a little sweetly shy.
Shy?!? You gasp at me. The Armitage is shy? This is a man who has bared his soul through his evocative character portrayals time and again–moving us to tears, joy, love, heartbreak, sorrow, disgust, relief, and respect, etc. The Armitage moves gracefully like a dancer or a panther (per FedoraLady)–smoothly gliding through his performances with elegance and poise, even when his character is evil and despicable, such as the drug dealer John Mulligan [(14) right]. The Armitage is a man who has also bared his impressively muscular arms, chest, and shoulders to convey strength and ambivalence in the face of uncertainty and adversity. And this is a man who has also bared his lovely bum for his art to convey vulnerability, fortitude, and virility. Oh yeah, The Armitage is a “virile sex god” [(15)]! The Brits do so love to get their kits off, don’t’ they? God Bless them! But notice in real life, that The Armitage’s body is always covered–skiing, not swimming in the ocean, being his leisure sport of choice. But then, we always have Hugh Jackman coming to the rescue as Adonis rising out of the sea. Sighhhh! But back to Richard Armitage, he is perhaps at his brooding smouldering sensuous best when playing a bad boy most be-Guy-lingly. Ha!
No, The Armitage does not flaunt his handsome physical attributes and assets in real life. He is circumspect, gentlemanly, and always unfailingly polite–as wells as, him being socially aware and supporting various charitable causes. The Just Giving link (http://www.justgiving.com/Richard-Armitage) that he set up–for fans who requested a way to donate to his chosen charities–is also listed in the right sidebar of this blog under “Actor, Richard Armitage: Official/Semi-Official Sites” for your convenience. The most The Armitage allows us to glimpse behind his actor’s masks are his beautifully expressive face and eyes that sometimes sweetly smile in amusement–and even more rarely breaks out into a full blown head rocking back and clutching his stomach in pain with joyous laughter [(16) right]. Sighhhhh! You see, my dream would be to make Richard Armitage laugh. Okay, he could kiss me on the cheek, too. But since I am very happily married, a kiss on my cheek is as far as you/Richard can get with me. Dang it! Ha!
Perhaps The Armitage bares so much emotion in his character portrayals that he feels that he loses pieces of himself in giving them away. And Richard Armitage has said that as an actor he gets to portray the darker side of emotions–such as with the nuanced complexity that he brought to his role of the tormented Sir Guy of Gisborne in Robin Hood [(17) right]–that one cannot exhibit in everyday life. Unlike the Greeks in film lore, most of us are not breaking our plates and crockery after dinner to vent our emotions–the plates have to be washed. Ha! So, Richard, your mystique suits you. Go for it fella! Besides, RA related essays such as this one–as well as the graphics, videos, stories, etc., that we your fans create–reveal more about us as fans than they do about you as the person we admire.
So, dear Richard, your secret of being a sometimes shy and certainly a very private man [(18) right] is safe with us, your fans. We respect your right to privacy–even as we enjoy sharing with each other our admiration for you. We won’t pry into your private life–or at least, this RA Fangirl won’t. Why? Because you so graciously share with us the gifts of your storytelling and you deserve to have a real life like the rest of us–without worrying if someone is peering over your shoulder. And, because, I am also shy and reserved. Only the anonymity of my blog persona allows me to write such sensuous love stories with you as my muse, to write my love poems, to write humorously engaging fluff essays with humorous graphics, and to write about my general thoughts and feelings in essays. Such as, how I will soon welcome home my hubby from his Saturday morning errands as I write this essay. *wink* And yes Richard, my hubby knows about you–or rather my admiration for you and your talented storytelling gifts–and he’s cool. My hubby says hello, by the way. Ha! But sincerely and truly Richard, I wish for you every happiness that you wish for yourself.
And to close my thoughts on The Armitage Mystique of Richard Armitage [(19) right], here is a lovely video by OlerySt titled “Guy of Gisborne – Confession” (sung by Josh Groban) [(20) below]. The videographer has created the video as if it is between Sir Guy and Lady Marian. But this song also reflects how I, as a fan, genuinely feel about Mr. Richard Crispin Armitage: “I’m on my knees confessing. That I feel myself surrender each time I see your face. I am staggered by your beauty, your unassuming grace. And I feel my heart is turning, falling into place. I can’t hide, now hear my confession.” Well, it is said that “confession is good for the soul.”
P.S. My musings here are perhaps a cathartic exhale of my thoughts after last week’s wonderful FanstRAvanganza 3 Event week that I participated in as a Tag Team Blogger. It was great fun and we had a real sense of community amongst Richard Armitage fans. Kudos again to the F3 organizers and those who participated as Core or Tag Team Bloggers, or who simply read the 135 posts about Richard Armitage from everyone last week. Whew! F3 was completely unofficial–meaning not sanctioned, let alone probably known about by Mr. Armitage. It was just we his community of Fangirls having a little bit of fun indulging in our admiRAtion for the exquisitely talented actor, filmmaker, storyteller, and humanitarian Richard Crispin Armitage. Dear Readers, if you want to go back and revisit some of the many wonderful FanstRAvaganza 3 essays, here is the article index in chronological order of their posting: http://fanstravaganza.rgcwp.com/fanstravaganza/fanstravaganza-2012/
(1) Richard Armitage leaning enigmatically against the wall at his Summer 2011 Recognise Magazine photoshot (unpublished), pix 7 was found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/Richard/Promos/Recognisemag/slides/Recognise-7.html
(2) Richard Armitage portraying renegade biker leader Ricky Deeming in George Gently from 2007 was found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/georgegently/GGPromo/album/slides/GG02.html
(3) Richard Armitage portraying shy but steadfast farmer John Standring in Sparkhouse from 2002 was found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/sparkhouse/album/Episode2/slides/SH2_014.html
(4) Richard Armitage portraying Sir Guy of Gisborne in Robin Hood (2006-2009) series 3, episode 9 (pix 136)–with Holiday Granger portraying Meg–was found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/RobinHood/album/seasonthree/Episodenine/slides/epnine_136.html
(5) Richard Armitage portraying imperious but romantic manufacturer John Thornton in North & South (2004) episode 1 (pix 26) was found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/nands/album/episode1/slides/ns1-026.html
(6) Richard Armitage portraying Claude Monet–and Amanda Root portraying the second Madame Monet–from The Impressionists (2006) promo page was found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/Impressionists/album/TI_Promo/album/slides/TI-Promo09.html
(7) Richard Armitage portraying Lucas North recently released from 8 years in a Russian prison through a spy exchange and now finding out that his now ex wife Elizabeta (portrayed by Paloma Baeza) was a Russian spy, in Spooks Series 7 (2007), Episode 2 (pix 122) was found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/Spooks/album/ep2/slides/cap122.html
(8) Richard Armitage portraying Special Forces Captain John Porter in Chris Ryan’s Strike Back, series 1 (2010), episode 2 (pix 43) was found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/StrikeBack/album/series1/Episode2HD/slides/ep2hd_043.html
(9) Richard Armitage portraying Thorin Oakenshield as seen in The Hobbit movie trailer December 2011 (pix 12) was found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/Hobbit/HobbitTrailer/album/slides/HobbitTrailer12.html
(10) Richard Armitage portraying Thorin Oakenshield as seen in The Hobbit movie trailer December 2011 (pix 6) was found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/Hobbit/HobbitTrailer/album/slides/HobbitTrailer06.html
(11) Richard Armitage’s foot cropped from his 2003 Cold Feet program Promo shot (pix 19) and was found at Joni’as Cut Blog at http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_i6ofJo5WKhA/TUcpGer1N1I/AAAAAAAAAOQ/GLKfRWfOXc4/s1600/feetprn+%25281%2529.jpg
(12) Runes are letters in the Runic alphabet; information was found at Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Runic_script
(13) Richard Armitage portraying accountant and vicar Geraldine’s love interest Harry Kennedy in The Vicar of Dibley: A Wholly Holy Happy Ending (2006), episode 1 (pix 25) was found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/VOD/album/VOD1/slides/vod1-025.html
(14) Richard Armitage portraying smooth operator drug dealer John Mulligan in Moving On: Drowing Not Waving (2009), was found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/MovingOn/album/Moving%20On/slides/MO_036.html
(15) Another article about Richard Armitage the shy man is from the Mail Online by Alison Pearson, “Me a Sex God? That is Spooky”, from October 10, 2009 and was found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/articlescans/mailp1.jpg and http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/articlescans/mailp2.jpg
(16) Richard Armitage rocking his head back in laughter at a costar’s joke on the set of Spooks series 9 was found at RAOnline at http://www.richardarmitageonline.com/articles/WomansOwn20101011.html
(17) Richard Armitage portraying Sir Guy of Gisborne in Robin Hood, series 1 (2006) was found at http://www.richardarmitagecentral.co.uk/v/Main+Gallery/Robin+Hood/Series+1/Brothers+in+Arms/vlcsnap-00696.jpg.html
(18) Richard Armitage attending the Varekai Gala Performance on January 5, 2010 was found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/Richard/EventsandAppearances/VarekaiGalaPerformanceJan2010/album/slides/Varekai2.html
(19) Richard Armitage (pix 07) from his July 2011 Project Magazine Photoshoot (the photographer was Matt Holyoak) was found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/Richard/Promos/ProjectMagJuly2011/album/slides/MattHolyoak-07.html
(20) “Guy of Gisborne – Confession” video by OlerySt (sung by Josh Groban) was found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UEWo0RMnfKw; lyrics found at http://www.lyrics007.com/Josh%20Groban%20Lyrics/My%20Confession%20Lyrics.html