As I continued down my Armitage path, I veered off into the print interviews. I had read those from the North & South era, and so slowly I started to venture into Robin Hood and Spooks territory. Then I came upon the Daily Mail Weekend Magazine articles from 2006(parts one & two). The article gave me a lot of personal information about Richard Armitage, maybe even too much. I later learned that Richard wasn’t aware that the whole conversation would be used for the interview, he thought they were off-the-record through much of it.
When the specifics of his past and present love lives were being discussed, I was literally peeking out from behind my hands pleading “stop talking!“
This brings to mind the age old question of how much is too much for us, as fans, to know? Seeing him talk so candidly gave me huge insights into his personal character. It helped me piece things together and gave me a sense of his mindset in relation to his career moves and how he was being affected and influenced. but it also felt too familiar.
This goes hand in hand with a blog post I read earlier this week, concerning the idea of fandoms as cults and the dangers of confusing our realities.
As a general guideline, I try to prevent myself from obsessing* over the details when it comes to the personal lives of the public personalities I follow. I try not to remember the specific names of the educational establishments they have attended, or the order of their various professional projects versus the actual release dates, and the numbered year that coincides with a particular hairstyle or clothing choice, etc.
This can be tricky for someone who is ruled by curiosity, like me. There needs to be a definitive line that distinguishes between acquaintance and stranger. I don’t actually know Richard Armitage, no matter how many personal deductions I’ve made about him from the available public information, and what that may lead me to believe.
When I become fixated on certain aspects of any one thing, I often miss the bigger picture. So when I read things that Richard has said that I can connect with:
“I was told that I had an aloofness about me, and that really bothered me. Because it wasn’t aloofness, it was shyness. It made me realize that what was going on inside of me wasn’t being reflected on the outside.”
or can sympathize with:
“I’ve been this height since I was 14, so I know what it is to feel like a little boy when people are looking to you for strength.
or that I agree with and can learn from:
“I have a very strict moral code. I do believe- whether or not it’s God- that there’s somebody watching me and hoping I can be the best person I can, and that when I stray he’s displeased.”
I must avoid plugging it into a timeline or marking it off a checklist*. I just casually approach it for enjoyment, then continue on my way. If I walk straight down the path, learning all there is to know in one trip, I’ll get to the end…and then what?
but if I wander, backtrack, make loops, and take plenty of time to admire the scenery; I never have to make it to the end, if I don’t want to.
*I am not dismissing anyone who does map out a timeline or keep track of clothes and the like, I benefit from your efforts immensely! It’s just that I must avoid doing so myself, because it will end up consuming me.