July 24, 2011

Just Another Manic Tues + After Glow Monday: Opening Day Boxoffices 2011 - Captain America #1..Harry Potter #2 + New RA Interview in The Scotsman

EXCERPTS from The Scotsman interview:

Quote from RA: "Sometimes you know your villain is doing really terrible deeds but you want him to succeed because he's doing it with such finesse," he says.
"You want to see him get his comeuppance but you also want to see him pull it off. It's a real paradox. Perhaps we like it because we're not allowed to be bad in real life."

..In "real life", Richard Armitage is one of the good guys. Atop Soho House in London on the hottest day of the year so far, on a break from filming The Hobbit in New Zealand, he's looking distinctly relaxed in jeans, wraparound shades and a rather Hobbitesque beard.

Quote: “I'm kind of indulging myself at the moment, doing loads of research, finding stuff that isn't necessarily relevant, but it's a luxury. This question people ask actors - 'are you resting?'. It's such a weird expression. I don't think an actor can ever rest."

..Regardless, he looks fairly rested today. The sun is shining, he's got some colour in his cheeks, he's been using his time off to visit the gym more frequently and looks in great shape.

"With my character in The Hobbit there's this emotional explosion and suppressed anger, and I'm trying to work out whether I have that in me or whether I'm going to have to imagine it. I guess there's a dangerous place, my own darkness, that I don't access in life but have the ability to go 'alright, just for this role, I'll just open this door and have a peek'."

..In wholly occupying a role throughout filming, however, Armitage is throwing that door wide open. He admits to dreaming in character. He is currently, he says, dreaming as Thorin Oakenshield, but it happened most acutely when he was filming a prison break sequence for Strike Back and found himself dreaming each night that he was escaping through underground tunnels.


..He is characteristically positive about his time under the big top. "I was part of a mime troop, I threw batons to acrobats, held the ladders for the guys juggling," he says. "And I did a bit of acrobatics, a bit of clowning. But you know all of it, all of it has been invaluable.
"But most of all working as part of an ensemble. Because when you're responsible for a ladder when there's somebody standing at the top of it, you can't be distracted and walk away because there's no safety net."

..He has taken this lesson to every set he has worked on. His expression is one of incredulity when he recounts that some actors will wait in their trailers and send stand-ins for the lighting tests.

Rather, he insists on embracing the more pedestrian, practical elements of the job, and repeatedly refers to creating a drama as being a team effort, enthusiastically lauding the rarely credited sound and lighting teams, as well as the many other members of a film crew who help to make the magic happen.
As for other performers, he rather likes a no-actor-is-an-island approach, suggesting that often actors tease the best performances out of one other.

--When it comes to his own performances, he likes to push the limits of his comfort zone - then push a little further - and hates to rest on his laurels. Indeed, he was quietly contented when he realised that Peter Jackson was barely familiar with his back catalogue, and had cast him in The Hobbit entirely on his audition.
RA Quote: "The more I talk to him, the more I realise that he's not as familiar with my work as I thought he was," he says.
"That pleases me. Sometimes when you're cast because of what you've done before, you're cast to do the same thing again. The Hobbit for me is stepping outside the box."

..The Hobbit - alongside Captain America - also means stepping further into the limelight. It wasn't a conscious decision. Fame, recognition, and working in LA have never been goals Armitage has pursued. In fact, he had arrived at a point in his career where he was comfortable with the steady stream of television roles he was being offered. He was satisfied.

..Then Hollywood came knocking.
He looks a little bashful[when asked about online fans] He used to read their comments online, but doesn't any more, worrying that he might find himself too influenced by them, trying to please them in his choice of roles. Still, he seems flattered, if somewhat amused, by their attentions.

When pushed further on the subject, he is philosophical about the possible reasons he proves so magnetic to them[online fans], but is too modest to consider, at least out loud, that his smouldering looks might have anything to do with it.

Quote: "North and South was that kind of romantic period drama where love blossoms among so many social restrictions," he says slowly.
"It's what you don't see, what you don't say, that make it incredibly electric. I think that's possibly where all that comes from; a lot of characters I've played have had elements of that idea of love or romance that the character isn't allowed to express."

That, and we all love a bad boy.
Quote: "I enjoy playing the bad guys, probably more so than the floppy-haired would-be heroes," he says with a chuckle. "And I'm not desperate to play a good guy. My 'thing' that I've always really enjoyed doing is when you do get cast as the hero you look for all the flaws, for the dark side to the hero. And then with the bad guy you look for the good side of the bad guy."

..In other words, his characters tend to be more complicated than they initially appear. He has gone looking for the lighter side to Heinz Kruger and is relishing getting his teeth into the complex character of Oakenshield, a role which he has researched extensively.
Quote: "My interest in acting came from reading and books, and my most satisfying parts have always been those that have come from novels," he says.
"Some people like working from a completely blank page so they can create something. That's exciting as well but I'm less confident with that than if I'm given a really good starting point. I love working on a character who comes from a novel because not only have you got what's in that text to work with but you can also look into the writer, and the more you find about that author the more you understand what it is you're working on."

..The Hobbit is a gargantuan undertaking. Split into two films being shot back to back, it's dominating Armitage's schedule for the next 18 months.
That's a long time to immerse oneself in the character of an angry dwarf. Thorin Oakenshield may be something of an unlikely hero, but like all of Armitage's characters, he's got his fair share of darkness in him. Isn't he a little fed up of so much nasty?

Quote: "I've got this theory," he says. "Actors who portray a certain type of nastiness too well, you kind of think 'hmm, do you have that in you?'
So that's why I quite like the broad dramatic strokes of evil rather than anything too domestic because if it's too domestic you think, 'actually do I have the potential to be like that in life?'"

..Does he? He laughs. "Well, you do start to think 'hang on, why are they bringing me in for these darker parts?' Actually, I think I'm quite a nice guy, really …"
Captain America: The First Avenger is on general release from Friday

The Tudors Time...many dresses and jewelry pieces were reused by other characters...
  It didn't seem unusual when jewelry pieces were worn by more than one of Henry's wives.  In fact, he actually requested (it's recorded history) that Katherine of Aragon return the jewels designated 'belonging to the queen of England' when he told her their marriage was null and void, and she was therefore never entitled to wear those jewels in the first place. 
Same tiara worn by Jane Seymour, Katherine Howard and Katherine Parr.

Anne Boleyn & Katherine Howard wear the same mask...

Anne Boleyn & Anne of Cleves...

Same dress on Henry's young daughters, Mary and Elizabeth....apparently all families have children wear hand me downs *winks*

Again - same tiara on Anne of Cleves and Katherine Parr

This is rather macabre..it's the dress worn by Anne Boleyn for her beheading reused on wife #2, Jane Seymour.  That French executioner must've really been as efficient as advertised..:)


alfie said...

Nice pictures. There is a little bit of JT running from the angry mob in the second picture :-)

And the last tux picture: LOOOOOOOVVVEEE it.

Sue said...


I must admit I thought the same when I saw that picture!

Love the piccy of Richard in his tracky bottoms (and top of course). Does he look thinner there than he currently does? His weight seems to yo-yo up and down a bit doesn't it? Do you think we'll get to see a shirtless Thorin too? He has been weight training so perhaps Peter Jackson might just give us ladies something to ogle while the kids are enthralled by Martin Freeman as the hobbit. (By the way how come we are getting lots of info about the dwarves but as yet have heard virtually nothing of the starring character role of the hobbit himself? It's fast becoming the Thorin Oakenshield, King of the Dwarves film! Long may he reign!

RiCrAr said...

Alfie..very happy you enjoyed today's pix. It's great to have new ones..let's hope RA appears at the Liverpool premiere for even more new photos to tide us over during the next Hobbit drought.

Sue, agreed that RA appeared to have gained weight during their hobbit hiatus period. Yes, he does seem to have the weight yo-yo syndrome. His height probably accounts for quick weight loss and when given time to enjoy leisurely meals - bingo! he's back to his ideal weight. Carrying all Thorin's beard and heavy looking costume around during the workday probably causes him to drop many pounds within a short period of time.

Hope springs eternal in the RA ogling females heart ;) but I doubt PJ will include a shirtless scene for his dwarf leader. Will send my first fan letter ever to Sir Peter if he does indeed serve us that delicious treat.

As for the hobbit fast becoming the king of the mountains film, once Thorin in regal royal blue coat was released, I didn't waste anytime dethroning Henry VIII and recently watched The Tudors with my fav king at this point;) Believe handsome Thorin and almost equally handsome Chas Brandon(Henry Cavill) make a stunning team.

Oooooh, wouldn't we love to see RA in that juicy role from the 4 year, 38eps epic drama The Tudors. It required an intelligent, strong actor who could both be convincing as a sex-hungry seducer and equally convincing as a political strategist - international player - balancing the complicated religious situation during that era with his own personal demons. Jonathan Rhys Meyers did a fine job in the role but IMHO - Richard could rock that role even more so with his penchant for morally conflicted characters.

RiCrAr said...

Ooops, that should read "dethroning HenryVIII and replacing him with my fav king"

Sue said...


You mentioned a new series being shown called "Zen". This was shown over here in England not long ago. I'm afraid I didn't much care for it. The producers seemed to have given it a slightly 60's feel to it and it was set in Italy. The characters were constantly chain smoking (not that I'm against smoking it just seemed to dominate the performance). I think others must have felt the same as filming for a second series has been ditched.

I'm not so sure I agree with your theory about why Richard puts on weight. I think when he does, it is usually intentional on his part, as with the dieting for his role in his Lucas North in Spooks. I can't really understand why they just couldn't pad his costume out if Peter Jackson wanted Thorin pleasantly plump. (Me being diplomatic here). Perhaps PJ really does intend to give us a glimpse of those perfectly honed pecs after all. Maybe a fighting scene bare chested or when he's wounded and dying they remove his costume (preferably all of it - well he does die of wounds sustained in action!) I think the fact that PJ gave RA the role as TO purely on his audition proves what a good actor he is. I think most directors like to discount past work when taking into account whether an actor is right for the role or not and some times deliberately ignore it when making up their minds. They want to get an idea of how they will perform as the character they have him in mind for and not be distracted by any past roles an actor has played

I love the Thorin costume. In fact I love all the costumes. You can barely recognise any of the dwarves (you can recognise James Nesbit but only if you study the face really closely). I hope the backroom boys and girls who have worked so hard in creating the costumes and the prosthetics/make-up get an award. They have created a band of dwarves that are truly awesome in every way. Didn't "Precious" lose out in those craft awards given out when filming LOTR? The work gone into creating that character takes some doing and it's easy to trivialise it(wrongly in my view) simply because much of the work is done by computer. That voice is spooky and sends shivers down my spine.(Not in the same way RA does though!)

RiCrAr said...

Sue, about the series Zen, a few RA fans on twitter watched ep 2 last evening - then exchanged tweets about it. Everyone seemed to agree that the fact Sewell didn't even attempt an Italian accent was a bit distracting - especially with so many other cast members speaking English w/their natural Italian accent.

That particular aspect of the show didn't make any difference to me. I found the setting lovely - using the eternal city as a backdrop never hurts any drama. After focusing on that for awhile, finally settled into the story itself, which seemed to be a typical murder mystery 'who dunnit' piece. I found Rufus to be a fine actor, but constantly compared him physically w/RA(99% of the time the other actor loses;) and yes he did 'come up short'(pun intended) both in that way and the fact he voice would be much improved if it was possible to lower it a couple octaves. Otherwise, his performance was o.k., nothing to write home about. There were a couple amusing scenes in ep 2. First was the dialogue between him, his mum & his ex. Next, the fashion show Zen was treated to as he questioned the female who preferred to call herself a 'courtesan'.

I'll watch again next Sun, but believe I'd read at the PBS website that there are only a total 3eps to the entire series. Rufus Sewell is currently filming one of the vampire sagas in New Orleans, usa.

Sue said...


If I'm honest, Zen just seemed to be a little too slick for my taste. I think Rufus was meant to be British wasn't he? I like a show to be more rough and tumble. The character seemed to be one-dimensional I'm afraid, although the writers did their best to give him some mystery, but it just didn't work for me. Sometimes a man can be just too perfect (did I really say that?God I am getting old!) I like a few flaws to work on and get me interested and draw me in. I think it was a pilot show that just didn't work out.

Just been to the RichardArmitageNet website (one of the only other websites I log onto these days - as well as yours of course!)Did you know that there's a page for you to leave a 40th Birthday message for Richard? Left my two penn'orth (what a surprise!)Not that I expect him to read it, but at least it's better than deluging the poor man with unwanted birthday cards.

Sue said...


It's still late Sunday night over here in blighty and I just had to share the information I've just heard about from the BBC here in England but alas I might have known it, you already know! (Great minds think alike). Anyhow it seems that CA has beat Potter into a cocked hat (with a little help from RA of course!). If you haven't already read the BBC report online here it is:


Have a nice day now!

RiCrAr said...

Sue, you're probably right about the character Zen being British. I was under the impression he was playing an Italian detective.

Yes, I included in this post title last night that Capt America had #1 boxoffice this summer, with Harry Potter coming in #2. Thx for the link will read the article.

The reporter in The Scotsman article couldn't resist saying RA is philosophical about it but probably too humble to admit we might be enthusiastic about him due to his 'smouldering' looks. They just love to make it appear we're all silly fangurls without credible reasons for supporting his career. Did it ever enter the writer's head that the guy we started to focus on years ago has indeed made it to the top of his profession. And, as we know, he couldn't do that on looks alone. Not only to they owe RA respect in ascribing reasons for his success, but our fine taste in actors as well. *stepping down from soapbox*

p.s. Took me a little while to decipher "penn'orth." Then it dawned on me -- an abbreviation for penny's worth. Americans say "that's my two cents worth."

Musa said...

Aurelio Zen is an Italian detective, from Venice. But Michael Dibdin, the author of the Zen books, was English. But the mystery/detective series is set in Italy. I've read a few of the Zen books, a while ago though.

Love RA's new interview in The Scotsman, one of his best I think, and for once I didn't mind the circus question since for a change he gave a more detailed answer about his experience there and how it's affected his career, and him personally. I've read the interview twice already and am reading it again!

Thanks for all the tux pics - I love the ones of his back for some reason :)

Sue said...


I was glad at least that they didn't say that he "ran away to the circus" which is the usual load of old tripe they attribute to that particular subject.


I enjoyed the projects of RA's before I became a fan of Richard. I watched N&S because I like period drama (as long as it's not too snotty and upperclass). It wasn't until I was half way through that I noticed how good looking the actor playing JT was. (In an uncoventional kind of way).He looked so severe in all black togs and a top hat. The scene where Margaret passes the cup of tea to JT made me revalue the man himself. (Both the character and the actor).I also watched Sparkhouse because it was the kind of drama I prefer to watch, again hadn's heard of RA then as he was an unknown actor. His performance was compelling and I fell in love with the character John Standring (although I was dismayed to hear Richard describe him as an "old fogey" in a recent interview). No, I was definitely attracted to the acting first and then the actor, who I decided to find out more about. I then discovered the online community and the rest is history as they say - I was hooked. I'm certainly not some daft teenager and if I'd discovered the actor was a smug womaniser who thought the world owed him a living because of his handsome good looks I would have still watched the shows(I deemed worth watching) but not bothered remaining a fan of the actor. I think that's about it, I'll get down from my soap box now!

RiCrAr said...

It's interesting how almost every RA fan can pin point the moment they first took notice of him. For me, it was a scene in RH2 when Guy gazed at Marian petting the horse. Remember saying to myself "his eyes are burning holes through her." Didn't know his name and didn't look it up at that point. Six mos later, couple wks before Christmas - a holiday gift arrives from my older sister(the one who's watched N&S 25 times and still won't admit she's under the RA spell;) After opening the package, I pointed to JT on front and asked hubby "where have we seen him before?" Of course, he didn't remember BUT an image of leather-clad GoG popped into my head. RA was still just another actor to me as we sat down a few nights later to watch N&S.

Believe it was the moment when John Thornton is passing Mgt's house and catches a glimpse of her saying goodbye to Higgins. He stops and with those extremely expressive eyes spoke volumes about his feelings for her - then quickly walked away. That's when my brain transmitted the message:..."soon as this wonderful story is over, get online and find out how this actor has escaped your attention until now."

First article I read described how the initial group of N&S viewers crashed the BBC site after the final ep. Decided they sounded like a fun group of females and as you said, Sue, the rest is history.

After that, I gradually watched every one of RA's projects and read his interviews. Lords of the North was one of my first purchases - have enjoyed listening to Richard's amazing narrated performance at least a half doz times.

I know I'd have lost interest in him as I have just about every other actor if it wasn't for his unique personality for someone in the entertainment industry. So many of them are terribly jaded by celebrity and he seems to deliberately fight that attitude with every drop of his energy. Perhaps we should really attribute his humility primarily to his parents, who raised him to be thankful for life's blessings and considerate of others.

Musa, I'm so happy you're enjoying that duplication pic of RA's back. I recall it was meant to be a joke when fellow fans began the usual mantra "if only there were more than one of him." I'd just started experimenting with the duplication tool - posted the above pic with the message that the formal model was now available for purchase at the newly establied RA Cloning Co:)
*if only there was such an institution*

Sue said...


Like you I usually lose interest in some celebs after a while, but for some reason not so with Richard. I think it's because he seems so nice and does not have that "the world owes him a living" attitude which makes me want him to succeed as an actor. I believe that he will make it to Hollywood. Of course once you get to the top of this pretty slippery profession you have to try and remain there. I think there must be something in his genetic make-up that gives him the ability to be humble and modest and basically down-to-earth in his approach to stardom. I hope he continues to do so as this will make him one of lifes survivors from the pitfalls of Hollywood, as many stars come unstuck by believing all the hype said about and around them. I think he's got his head pretty screwed on.

RiCrAr said...

Is everyone excited at the propsect of RA appearing at CA Liverpool premiere in less than 3hrs? Believe I read it starts at 7pm UK time. Will post asap if there is an RAlert.

RiCrAr said...

p.s. hope everyone has seen the RA clips in latest post. Richard hams it up for the camera - and we enjoy every second of it. Prompted thoughts of the dark, mysterious phantom of the opera. Another RA fan had to inform me that it's Gerard Butler playing the phantom in the above pic. She said the Music of the Night clip prompted her to watch the entire show. Surely Gerard didn't really sing in that role..does anyone know if he's lip syncing?

RiCrAr said...

Well, could blow me over with a feather right now. I just learned from an interview on youtube that Gerard did indeed sing in the Phantom movie. I didn't have any interest in the film when it was first released, but have always enjoyed listening to the lovely music. If anyone doubts it when I say, until RA showed up in N&S, I had ignored all actors for a decade - the fact that I didn't know Butler starred or sang in the film, should prove that's true. :)

Anonymous said...

That's Katherine Howard's execution dress, not Anne's.