Admiring Richard Armitage Some More, 10/12/11 GratianaDS90 (Post #31)

I continually marvel at the friendships I’ve developed through our mutual  interest in Richard Crispin Armitage.  Some refer to it as “fangirling”.    For me, it is wonderful to meet other ladies whom I can intelligently discuss the stories, plots, characters, and symbolism within Mr. Armitage’s many roles and films/ programs.    And/or I read their blogs with their critiques and opinions about Mr. Armitage’s artistic projects and character portrayals.  A fun way to look at a few of Mr. Armitage’s many roles is the following video–and this was one of the very first fan videos that I watched, and it clued me in to other roles of his:

Radar Richard Armitage Video by spikesbint

With regard to symbolism, cotton manufacturing is central to the conflict in the 2004 BBC production of North & South–the schism of cultures and values between the industrial North and the bucolic South of England.  Yet John Thornton [(1) John Thornton]  from the North and Margaret Hale from the South eventually develop an understanding and sympathy for each other.  And the symbolism of cotton pervades the art direction of the production–from cotton shirts worn by John and the cotton dresses worn by Margaret, to the linens that John’s sister Fanny purchases before her wedding, to the wisps of cotton particles floating in the air at the mill.  Cotton is what drives John Thornton’s fortune and empire–and it is the means by which Margaret’s friends the workers earn their living.  Fitzg had an interesting essay on cotton via a guest blog post on Judiang’s Watching blog on Monday (http://www.jagrant.com/watcher/fitzgs-journey-bless-his-cotton-socks ).

For an example of subtle symbolism in North & South, look for the mise en scene of bales of cotton that can be seen through the train window behind John Thornton when Margaret Hale walks over to him to head back to Milton with him and he sees her reflection in the train window and turns around to face her (at 2:46 in the North & South closing train station kissing scene from episode 4 excerpted in this You Tube video):


North & South ending / train station scene by darcywil

Okay, I know, any excuse to see the train station kissing scene.  Ha!  But hey, the man–that is Mr. Armitage portraying John Thornton–kisses Daniella Denby-Ashe portraying Margaret Hale so tenderly, then lovingly, then passionately that you know John and Margaret’s will be a true love match.  Sighhhhh!  This scene is the most romantic love scene ever filmed in my eyes.

In the interview of Mr. Armitage on the North & South dvd, he smiled and lowered his eyes saying that filming that kissing scene over and over again, “was a very nice way to spend the afternoon”.  Indeed.  Here are Mr. Armitage’s thoughts about the North and South production–with his quote about the kissing scene coming at 1:58 in this You Tube video:

North & South Special Features: Richard Armitage Interview Pt 2 by nelsonwilby

And I say again, I was astonished that the man being interviewed about portraying the character of John Thornton–the “role of a lifetime”–was the actor who portrayed him.  Mr. Armitage’s slightly shy–slouched in his chair, barely looking at the camera–but articulate interview persona was a far cry from the in command and regal John Thornton.  I knew then and there how amazingly brilliant an actor Richard Armitage was and is.

But it’s also fun to be able to giggle like school girls again with my RA Fangirl friends about our admiration for Richard Armitage’s exquisite acting talent and his drop dead gorgeous looks.  In the talent department, witness some pictures of a few of his other Lead Male roles that Mr. Armitage is best known for as he conveys the emotional essence of the characters at a particularly difficult moment in time for each of the characters:

                          
John Standring (2)    Sir Guy of Gisborne (3)   Lucas North (4)         John Porter (5)

And on the talented and handsome end of the equation?  Richard fella, you are.  Just embrace it–we do.  Ha!  Judiang has a continuing Foolish Friday series about Mr. Armitage’s handsomeness on her blog Confessions of a Watcher (http://www.jagrant.com/watcher/foolish-friday-put-your-head-on-my-shoulder/ ).    And, oh yeah, he is.  Let’s look at these same character portrayals when they are in a more upbeat and positive mode–and note the transformation that Richard Armitage effects in these characters’ physicality as being emblematic of their positive inner psychological states (these versions of the characters ooze confidence–which is very becoming):

                                 
John Standring (6)      Sir Guy of Gisborne (7)       Lucas North (9)      John Porter (10)

But, the bottom line is that Richard Armitage and his searing character portrayals have sincerely melted our hearts.  Mr. Armitage is a master storyteller, and exquisite actor, and gentleman.  What is not to like?   Between or within his character portrayals, Richard Armitage reinvents himself and his characters time and again–giving them layers of complexities and shadings of nuances that create an authentic persona in that character portrayal.

This complexity of character and subtle shading is especially true when Mr. Armitage is playing a villain, he finds the humanity in the character such that we as his audience see that humanity, too.  Never was this revealed humanity more evident than in the transformation Mr. Armitage gave to Sir Guy of Gisborne over the three series of the Robin Hood tv show.  Sir Guy went from evil henchman, to hopeful lover of Lady Marian, to tormented soul for killing his love Lady Marian, to a man redeemed in his death by fighting for Lady Marian’s cause.  So, here is one last video by Veritas which sums up how many of us feel about Mr. Armitage in the role of Sir Guy of Gisborne–no matter what time zone, continent, or country we’re in:

RA/Guy You’ve Stolen Our Hearts by Veritas (July 2009)

And my RA Fangirl friends come from around the world–nearly every continent–North and South America, Europe, Russia, Asia, and Australia, etc.–and dozens of countries   The countries that I’m aware of are:  U.S., Canada, Mexico, Brazill, England, Portugal, Spain, China, Switzerland, etc.  I thought about listing an A to Z of their names and let them fill in their countries.  But, wanting to respect their privacy, I’ll let them comment if they wish to on this post and share where they’re from and their take on Richard Armitage’s talent, gorgeousness, and such.

Image References

(1)     North & South (2004)–promo picture of Margaret Hale and John Thornton with wisps of cotton and bales of cotton surrounding them.
http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/nands/album/NandSPromo/album/slides/NandSPromo6.html

(2)    Sparkhouse (2002), episode 3–John Standring is worried that Carol Bolton will make a fool of him, taking his money and not being a real wife to him–heartbreaking.
http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/sparkhouse/album/Episode3/slides/SH3_104.html

(3)    Robin Hood series 3 (2009), episode 1–Sir Guy of Gisborne begging for death at Robin’s hand, because as Guy says “I live in hell” for killing Marian, the love of his life.
http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/RobinHood/album/seasonthree/Episodeone/slides/1_222.html

(4)    Spooks series 7 (2008), episode 1–Lucas North returns to England and MI-5 after 8 years in Russian prison.  He is gaunt, cautious, and uncertain about his future and whether he can reclaim his old life–or some semblance of it.
http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/Spooks/album/ep1/slides/spooks701_066.html

(5)    Strike Back series 1 (2010), episode 1–John Porter has languished for seven years after being blamed for the deaths of his comrades on a military mission.  He works as a lowly garage security guard with no prospects for turning his life around.
http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/StrikeBack/album/series1/Episode1HD/slides/ep1hd_061.html

(6)    Sparkhouse (2002), episode3–John Standring and Carol Bolton have just been married.  One of her secrets has been revealed–that her sister Lisa is really her daughter, conceived after being sexually abused by her father.  John caringly tells Carol that she can confide in him.
http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/sparkhouse/album/Episode3/slides/SH3_145.html

(7)    Robin Hood series 3 (2009), episode 5–Sir Guy of Gisborne returns from months with the Prince Regent–commanding an elite army and provided with a “secret” weapon.  Sir Guy is no longer beholden to the evil Sherif Vasy.  The confidence and contentment in Sir Guy’s face is quite evident:
http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/RobinHood/album/seasonthree/Episodefive/slides/5_084.html

(8)    Spooks series 8 (2009), episode 8–Lucas North analyzing data.
http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/Spooks/spooks8/album/Episode8/slides/ep8_069.html

(9)    Strike Back series 1 (2010), episode 1–John Porter convinces his former comrades that he can help save a journalist’s life.  This picture is just before he leaves on his mission.
http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/StrikeBack/album/series1/Episode1HD/slides/ep1hd_083.html

About Gratiana Lovelace

Gratiana Lovelace is my nom de plume for my creative writing and blogging. I write romantic stories in different sub genres. The stories just tumble out of me. My resurgence in creative writing occurred when I viewed the BBC miniseries of Elizabeth Gaskell's novel North & South in February 2010. The exquisitely talented British actor portraying the male lead John Thornton in North & South--Richard Crispin Armitage--became my unofficial muse. I have written over 50 script stories about love--some are fan fiction, but most are original stories--that I am just beginning to share with others on private writer sites, and here on my blog. And as you know, my blog here is also relatively new--since August 2011. But, I'm having fun and I hope you enjoy reading my blog essays and my stories. Cheers! Grati ;-> upd 12/18/11
This entry was posted in AttRAction, Lucas, North & South, Richard Armitage, Robin Hood, Sparkhouse, Spooks, Strike Back and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Admiring Richard Armitage Some More, 10/12/11 GratianaDS90 (Post #31)

  1. Great Blog Gratia. Informative and insightful. You have the perfrct subject to work with:-))

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  2. GratianaDS90 says:

    Thanks Jeannie!
    I appreciate your kind remarks. RA character portrayals are fun to look at again–especially as they relate to Richard Armitage’s brilliant acting and storytelling.
    Cheers! Grati ;->

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  3. JasminaNinde says:

    I adore Richard. And love his actor work every day all stronger :-):-):-) And I am very glad, that than farther he has more admirers and fan of his talent :)

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    • GratianaDS90 says:

      Hi Jasmina!

      Yes, Richard Armitage has fans across the globe–as you and I are two examples of. Ha! With his lead role in The Hobbit as Thorin Oakenshield, I can only imagine that he will garner even more international fans.

      Of course, ensuring an increase to Mr. Armitage’s fan base requires that his agents/publicists start scheduling him for more mainstream tv and print interviews and appearances “now” and monthly so that people who don’t know him yet can get to know him and his brilliant acting and storytelling.

      Richard Armitage getting out there in the media is especially important because with The Hobbit film shooting schedule commandeering all of Mr. Armitage’s time for the better part of a year, he won’t have an opportunity to do other acting projects–unless they go to him.

      Thanks for visiting and commenting. Cheers! Grati ;->

      P.S. Oh and by the way “Richard”, I offer myself as a focus group of 1 for your agents/publicists as they strategize your media presence. Not to mention, I have some lovely romantic comedy scripts that I’ve written especially for you should you wish to fly me down to NZ to discuss these projects with you. Ha!

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  4. fabi says:

    Hi Grati, I think you know me already: I’m from Brazil. :)
    One year has gone since I laid my eyes on RA for the first time (N&S), and fascination shows no signs of decreasing – on the contrary! I never had felt like this about an actor before, not so deeply. (Maybe middle-age crushes are more intense.;)) Would be his heavenly blue eyes, which can penetrate one’s soul with anger or tenderness reflected on them? Or his velvety, deep, chocolatey voice sending shivers through my spine? His detailed, subtle, chamaleonic performances amazing me every time I watched them? Perhaps his dedication, humbleness, hard-work, gentlemanliness and shy attitude? All alternatives, of course: he’s such a treasure!
    I have to add how wonderful is RA fan community, it’s a joy to be a part of it.
    Thank you, Grati, for being so friendly and receptive. God bless your life!
    P.S.: About Richard’s acting skills, I was looking at the pics you chose and remembering how this big, tall man seems to shrink and shorten when the character is insecure or self-conscious. He really acts with his whole body!

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    • GratianaDS90 says:

      Dear Fabi,
      Thanks for your kind remarks. The Richard Armitage fan community is a very friendly one. And I feel blessed to meet new friends through it–such as yourself. And, Brazil seem to be where several of my RA fan friends are from. I wonder if you have a fan group formed there? I know that Spain has a Richard Armitage Forum called Foro Richard Armitage on Facebook. I haven’t found a particularly formed U.S. fan group–although there are other fans here whom I am friends with. Hence the international nature of RA fan friends that I am and you are a part of.

      Mr. Armitage is an exquisite actor and a brilliant storyteller! And that is what draws us in. If he were merely a handsome man, I don’t think that his fans would be as drawn to him as we are. And the fact that Mr. Armitage so transforms his physicality and voice when he portrays a particular role–and often within that role as he transforms that character (as witnessed above with the examples I gave–I often don’t recognize him right away. I know that may sound odd, but as we both point out, he is such a chameleon.

      I hope to do a blog post soon devoted to Mr. Armitage’s voice in his various character portrayals and other work–audio books, advertisments, etc. It’s percolating. In the meantime, you could view the video I created In Memoriam for 9/11 (Post # 12) found at

      http://vimeo.com/28874132

      In this video there are only three benign background images and I selected three poems that Mr. Armitage voices to reflect: 1) the devastation, the 2) loss of life from the perspective of those who lost their lives, and 3) rebuilding community. Though these poems were written in other eras about different events, they spoke to me within the context of 9/11. And Mr. Armitage’s powerful performances were very moving.

      Thanks so much for your continuing presence in visiting and commenting to my little blog here.

      Cheers! Grati ;->

      Like

  5. fabi says:

    I almost forgot: he’s gorgeous as a modern greek god. I would like to carve him in marble…

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  6. fabi says:

    Yes, there is a Brazilian Forum of RA fans in Facebook, but I don’t know its name – oddly I don’t have a Facebook account (have resisted to). I haven’t seen your video yet, will do it soon. Looking forward to your post about Richard’s voice, one of his most appealing features. Now I have to go to bed, it’s almost midnight here. See you later!

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    • GratianaDS90 says:

      Hi again Fabi,
      For a less somber video/slideshow that I created, you could also view “The Time of My Life” video I made. It’s kind of a “scrapbook” of the amazing year Richard Armitage had from September 2010 through August 2011. It is found at:

      Enjoy! Grati ;->

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      • fabi says:

        Incredibly, I never had heard Mr. A performing any poem before – what I have missed! His voice is like an musical instrument, he really knows how to take advantage of it.
        It was a very touching homage to all those who lost so much that tragic day.
        The 2nd is the kind of video which always give me a big, silly grin when I watch it. Beloved Richard – the last twelve months are being so thrilling to us fans, I can hardly imagine what they are being to him! It’ so true, the time of his life is only beginning. ;)
        THX for the links.

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