I.) What made you come out as a fan and participate in the fandom online?
I came into this fandom with the intent to participate. at first I thought that might happen on fan forums but the more I looked around, the more the blogging community appealed to me. it was scary to make those first few comments but once I did, I realized how welcoming the blogs were to newcomers. before long, the itch to open my own blog became almost overwhelming. once I checked into WordPress and saw how user friendly the platform was, I set about brainstorming what kind of blog I wanted to have. I decided to stick to the basics and just tell my own story, how I discovered things within the fandom and what I thought of them. I borrowed the gif caption concept from a Robert Pattinson blog that I used to love reading and the rest I let come naturally. so it wasn’t any one person or any one blog that made me decide ‘hey, I can do that!’ but more just a welcoming community atmosphere. I didn’t befriend other fans and then open a blog, I opened a blog to befriend other fans.
J.) Are you outed as a fan among your family and friends?
yes. my kids, husband, and parents are always pretty much aware of which actor I’m crushing on at the moment. even if I don’t mention the person out loud, my family starts to see a pattern in the movies I’m suddenly watching.
K.) Have you met RA? Where? Have you got a photo to share? And what did you say to him?
no, I haven’t met him. not in the traditional sense, but this blog is filled with my pretend interactions with him…
L.) Dealbreakers- what would make you stop being RA’s fan?
This is a hard one.
Is there anything he could do that would make me stop being a fan completely? because as much as I whine about him changing and not being who I thought he was and not choosing the kinds of projects I want to see and so I went off and found me someone different who could meet my needs…I’m still blogging about him, aren’t I?
I guess the dealbreaker would have to be something in his personality, like he became outspokenly racist or something? I don’t know. if he did suddenly do a complete 180, I’d probably just feel sorry for him and try to figure out what horrible thing happened to him to make him that way. I’m loyal to a fault.
H.) How has your attitude to RA changed over your time as a fan?
I remember loving his eyes from the get go, not just the color but the way he uses them in his acting. Thorin’s eyes are what really drew me to him. that, and his voice. I loved the low, commanding sound of Thorin’s voice, how it combined wisdom and compassion and came out husky but silky? I don’t know how else to describe it. I liked how Richard looked with a beard and how he seemed so well informed in interviews during The Hobbit era. his younger self was more lighthearted but more awkward as well, so although I loved his dorkiness, I preferred the ‘older’ version. I never really liked him clean shaven. it makes his face seem full of sharp edges.
I loved The Crucible- so full of passion and heart wrenching moral dilemmas. and big dusty boots! I enjoyed Hannibal too, even though it was very dark and the red dragon visited me in my nightly dreams in a way that was both terrifying and exhilarating. Richard looked really good as Francis Dolarhyde, like a sculpture of the male form. I didn’t like how his clothing style switched to a younger look during that time. I don’t mind it now but then, it just seemed like too much of a change too quickly. I wanted to like Berlin Station. I wanted to. Daniel didn’t pull me in that first season, and I really needed him to.
The past two years have been rough on me, both mentally and physically. my grandfather’s death brought about changes in my extended family that have been rocky to traverse. then I suddenly became ill with stomach issues that took awhile to diagnose, the solution of which brought about something that was worse than the original ailment! I’m right as rain now (knock on wood) but at the time I needed a distraction, something I could lose myself in to forget all my woes for awhile. I needed someone with a sunny disposition and Richard, bless him, is not that person. I was lured away by another pair of pale blue eyes, someone who checked off those missing boxes of wedding ring and family man as well. in the end, all of that was the impetus, not twitter. twitter is just easier to blame.
Overall, I still admire Richard as an actor. I still respect him as a person. I still enjoy him in interviews. he may not be my main focus anymore but he’s still in focus. and that’s still a good place to be.
E.) Which of RA’s audio chARacters do you think he should play in a film adaptation?
I’m going to skip this question because I’m not a fan of audio books. I liked A Convenient Marriage, Venetia was okay, Lords of The North put me to sleep, and I quit Hamlet 20 minutes in.
F.) Name a play that you wish RA would do.
I’m not a big theatre goer. not that I don’t like plays, I do, I just haven’t had the opportunity to see many. my grand total is 8, most of which were musicals.
G.) How long have you been in the fandom, and how has your attitude to the fandom changed during that time?
The answer to this one is so long winded, it makes up for skipping the previous two!
I started lurking in this fandom in January of 2013, before starting this blog 4 months later. I announced my decision to stop blogging about Richard Armitage in late August of 2016- only to go against that decision and create a temporary blog to work through my confusion. I deleted that blog and moved those posts to my Getting Caught Up In The Mechanism blog, where I now blog about actors and fandom (Richard included). even after I stopped blogging about Richard here, I still kept a toe or two in the fandom by continuing to lurk in a few places. so I’ve been a part of this fandom for 5 years, a ‘superfan’ for 3. truthfully, I started wavering during year two but something kept pulling me back in.
In the beginning, fandom was a dream come true for me because talk centered around one subject above all others and pretty much stuck to that subject throughout. I’ve gotten to know many of you through discussing Richard. sharing our experiences in relation to storylines, character traits, aesthetic preferences, etc. this is how my brain works, I learn through story telling. give me a text book and I will fall asleep after page 2 but give me a movie/book/song that is fiction-based-on-fact, and I will eat it up in record time. I had been a member of 2 small groups in 2 different fandoms before this one, so I just assumed I would do the same within the RA blogging community as well. except the community reached farther than I thought it did. there were more blogs to read and comment on, more content to catch up on, more opportunities to interact with other fans…more frustration when the community became distracted by personal issues, opinions, and opposing methods of dealing with conflict. I didn’t sign up for that. I had a lot of positive experiences within the fandom too but the negativity seemed to dim their light. I am highly sensitive to underlying tension. some fans are able to shake that stuff off, ignore it if it doesn’t touch them directly; I am not one of those fans. I feel it in every wink and eye roll. I try to escape it by finding greener pastures, only to step into it again.
All of this was a constant push and pull to me, then Richard jumped into fandom himself, affecting a significant part of my fandom experience. I struggled with how big of a part that was. fandom was fandom and Richard was Richard and never the two shall meet. when they did meet? I cannot put into words how much that confused me and threw me off kilter. I could no longer separate Richard from fandom. when I finally came to terms with it all, observing from the outside instead of participating from the inside, the good memories overshadowed the bad and I was able to let the bitterness go. but that part of me that was damaged by not being able to separate Richard from his fandom never recovered.
I have such happy memories of my interactions on this blog. the silly captions and all those reaction gifs, the sometimes deep and sometimes shallow but always enjoyable discussions in the comment section, the familiar avatars of my readers and the warm feeling I get when I still see them on Twitter. it’s easier to let the hurt go now that my fangirl heart has fallen for someone else. I don’t regret this blog, I don’t regret the fandom friends I made, I don’t regret falling for Richard. it’s shaped me and helped me grow as a person in ways I didn’t anticipate but greatly value.
and since I live my life in song lyrics, I have a playlist for all of this. it starts with how fandom first felt for me in the beginning as I fell for Richard, moving into the yo-yo of emotions I went through as my feelings for both the fandom and Richard changed. then it touches upon the reluctance I felt when I left and my eyes became focused on someone new, ending with how I opened myself up to a new crush and let myself be happy again. some of these songs were part of my original RA playlist, while the others I turned to often as a reflection of my mood(s).
Selfies. I have a love-hate relationship with them.
Photographs are stories. if all I see is a face making duck lips or blue steel, that is a boring story. it may look nice but it has no depth. on the other hand, if you do show something in the background but you filter the hell out of your own face in the foreground, you’ve killed the story. don’t kill the story!
Of Richard’s selfies, this is my favorite:
I like this one because he’s showing us a Berlin Station ad adorning the top of a cab, and since he’s in Berlin Station, him being in the pic with the ad is cool. layers. if you look at his clothes and the setting of the selfie, you can see that this was most likely a spur of the moment shot. he has his trusty backpack over his shoulder, very casual clothes (love the sweatshirt!), and it’s taken on a city street in traffic. he most likely touched it up a bit with filters and cropping before he posted it but he didn’t have 15 almost identical shots to choose from (I hope) because he wasn’t trying so hard to impress.
I like several of Richard’s selfies, like the birthday cupcake, and the soccer jersey, and the shot of the Eiffel Tower outside the back of the car window but overall, I just don’t get excited by them. show me something or someone that I’ve never seen or am not expecting.
Give me those crinkles! give me your ‘worse’ side! give me the face I might see if I spotted you picking up your dry cleaning or taking a leisurely walk in the park. that’s the you I want to see.
C.) Name a book that you think RA should star in a film in
I’m going to cheat (again) and give a different kind of answer to this question. I tried to think of a book that I would like to see turned into a movie starring Richard but I kept coming up blank. probably because I only read fanfiction…
My mind wandered a bit as I just generally thought of what kind of film I wanted to see him in next, and it got stuck on that Audible advert for ‘Their Lost Daughters’. a salt and pepper Richard on a dreary, windy beach, wearing a pea coat? yes please!
I’ve not read the actual book the advert is for, so I can’t say whether or not the story itself is ‘RA film worthy’, so my answer is just the advert itself. I have a couple of requirements though:
1.) his hair has to be styled like this, not just in the wind but all the time
2.) that sweater looks too itchy. it has to come off
I really like the Audible interview with Richard too:
the neckline of that white shirt
and a return to his lankier frame. pale & skinny is my type.