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!
Ricky Deeming [(2)] John Standring [(3)] Sir Guy of Gisborne & Meg [(4)]
John Thornton [(5)] Claude & Mme Monet [(6)]
Lucas North & ex wife Elizabeta [(7)] John Porter [(8)]
Thorin Oakenshield [(9)] Thorin Oakenshield [(10])
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
This is really good, Grati! Very thoughtful and considered. And sweet.
Thanks for your nice note!
Cheers! Grati ;->
Good morning Grati,
I agree with every word. From my part, I can say that the mystery only increases the fascination. Besides, we can “fill in the blanks” and imagine him as we wish. ;)
What strikes me more about Mr. Armitage is the huge contrast between those brooding, scowling, haughty characters which he can play so believably and his humble, smiling, nice and shy persona in interviews. He seems to be a regular bloke, a very talented one, of course. God bless him!
Good morning, Fabi,
Thanks for your kind note. Yes, Richard Armitage is a lovely man of mystery. Giggles! And I also so love his “everyday” persona of the smiling, kind, bloke that we see in interviews or candid shots. So much so, I did a post about it not too long ago. Here is that link with lovely “bloke” pictures of Mr. Armitage:
In the U.S., we have a phrase called “the boy next door” to indicate someone has admirable qualities that everyone admires. Mr. Armitage fits that description of possessing admirable qualities–although, I would refer to him as “the man next door”.
Cheers! Grati ;->
Is your knee well now?
Thanks for asking. I have been off crutches for about a week now. “Knock wood” that my knee stays stable. Although I became quite adept at navigating on crutches during those six weeks I was using them, it is tiring. And being on crutches was good for my upper body strength–my “girls” are amazing! Ha!
So, now that the nice weather has come out, my hubby and I will have to return to some bad golf soon–with a golf cart, of course. Ha!
Cheers! Grati ;->
A ha! I just noticed another Richard Armitage “gesture pattern”. Look at his leg stance in the first image of him in grayscale. Then look at image 11 of his jeans clad legs and his bare feet–same stance. Hmmmm. *Grati raises her left eyebrow mischievously.* Intriguing.
Okay, I think I now have some experiential sympathy for Richard Armitage wearing his Sir Guy character leathers in the hot Summer filming Robin Hood years ago. It’s 85 degrees outside and our university building and the vents have still been pumping out heat for the past week. It’s been stifling inside our building. And since I dress professionally, that makes it doubly warm–though I am in as light weight a dress today as I have. One of our part time professors who doesn’t teach until this afternoon is walking around in his undershirt. Ha!
But!!!! I just remembered that I have one of my gel cool paks for my knee in our department freezer and I have put it to good use. Sighhhh! Much better. I won’t tell you where I put my cold pak–since I’m moving it around. Ha! But if Mr. Armitage wants to reveal his cold pak placement, I will too. Giggles!
Can you tell that the heat is getting to me? Ha!
Cheers! Grati ;->
Oh yeah, Richard Armitage is an incredibly interesting man. *sigh* Oh, and yes I’d like to know more about him as a person, but I respect the fact that he protects his privacy. So I’ll patiently wait for what he wants to reveal about himself. Nevertheless, I feel that after the premiere of The Hobbit, the interest in him will increase significantly and this could be a really tough time for him.
Thanks for your nice note! Obviously, I agree with you. Whatever RA wants to share, or doesn’t want to share is fine with me. But as Melissa the Mouse said in her poem last week, I hope that RA’s coming fame isn’t too burdensome for him. And I like I said above, the guy (little g) deserves to have a regular life, just like the rest of us.
Besides, there will be a whole new fan audience for him when The Hobbit comes out that won’t have heard what is currently known about him and his work. So, he’s got a lot of professional history that he can “mine” without revealing anything new. Only we, his current fans, will know that it is “old” information. Ha! But he will hopefully share his experiences filming The Hobbit.
And as RA said at The Hobbit press conference in February 2011, “He’s got 40 years to talk about.” Meaning, he’s a grown man. So, I’m guessing that he’ll decide what he wants to share and what he doesn’t. And he should “stick to his guns” as we say in the U.S.–meaning, he should do what feels best to him and not let anyone (PR people) talk him into doing seemingly edgy press for the cache of it. The Recognise Magazine pictures are great, but the article has never come out because of publishing issues. In my humble opinion, RA’s PR people need to keep him doing interviews and photo spreads with the established larger and prestige media outlets in the U.S.–People Magazine, Ellen Degeneres, etc.–and around the world.
Cheers! Grati ;->
P.S. I just came back from a meeting with my doctoral advisor. She is going to a professional conference in New Zealand in a couple of weeks. I am so jealous! Ha!
A thoughtful and lovely tribute Grati, to the man who brought us all together. I must tell you that after my husband saw my coffee mug and finally realized the extent of my “obsession” ,at evening meal he lifted “poor Mr.Armitage” as he put it, up in prayer, and thanked God that the guy was not married for his wife would have quite a time fighting off all us crazed fangurls! Needless to say, my daughter and I had a good laugh as did the Lord :-)
Thanks for visiting and commenting! Giggles about your hubby. And I love your mug! I want one! The mug that is, I have my own hubby. Ha!
However, I think whomever will be Mrs. Richard Armitage will be secure in her husband’s love and he in her love. Making our beloved feel our love everyday is what makes for loving and long lasting marriages. And this RA Fangirl will be delighted for them both. As I said above, RA deserves a regular life like the rest of us. And we his RA fangirls will just have to keep a lid on it. Ha!
And oh my yes, when we say our prayers for friends and family, for those in need or want, and for wisdom in our leaders whose decisions affect all of us, we can also include a prayer for a very nice Leicester Lad and his colleagues as they weave their tale of courage and heart in the face of adversity and incredible odds.
For our cultural myths and stories give us hope. And when we have hope we dare to dream. And when we dream, all things are possible.
Cheers! Grati ;->
Wonderful blog post! I admit that I don’t possess the talent for writing that you, obviously, do possess. Therefore, I’ll just say that I agree with almost everything you wrote. I’m not too keen on referring to Mr. Armitage as “The Armitage” only because it brings to mind “The Donald”, and I don’t much care for the man. That’s just me, though:)
Thanks for your very kind note about my blog post today and my writing. I just share what pops into my head. So I’m glad people are enjoying my musings.
And oops! I guess I should have labeled my reference to Richard Armitage as “The Armitage” with a facetious alert. I’ve noticed that “facetious” sometimes doesn’t always translate well in written form. Basically, my readers are missing my impish grin and playful eyes–well, you’ve seen my FB profile pix, Ha!–let alone my self deprecating vocal inflection.
Not to worry, I don’t plan on referring to Mr. Armitage as “TA” any time soon. See? I won’t even type it any more, Ha! As a well brought up girl from the Midwest, I am also loathe to use such a moniker for someone whom I esteem greatly.
Thanks for visiting commenting! Cheers! Grati ;->
Love that picture of RA doing the full belly laugh! That’s one of several pix I wish would be released full-size and full-resolution. Nice job singling that one out.
I love it, too! And I also wish they would release that pix. It’s rather small at the bottom of an article. Thanks for your nice note!
Cheers! Grati ;->
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