What’s So Amazing That Keeps Us Stargazing?

What is it about certain actors that cause me to pursue them and follow their careers, while others pass me by or get left along the roadside? this is something I think about from time to time because the actors I follow do tend to have certain things in common, yet they can be very different at the same time.

if you even breathe the word "Circus", I will leave you here!
‘if you even breathe the word “Circus”, I will leave you here!’

the way I initially become interested in an actor can differ. I may take notice of them after several projects or it may only be one that causes me to want to know more about them. in the case of Richard it was the latter, when I saw him in The Hobbit: an unexpected journey. it was his expressive eyes, his commanding stance, his soothing voice, and how he made me pay more attention to what was going on inside the character, that reeled me in to him.

and his sword. it is the biggest...
and his sword. it is the biggest…

sometimes it’s the depiction of a true story, or a certain period of history, career, geographical location, etc. that peaks my interest and sends me off to find out more. the behind-the-scenes features and promotional interviews are vastly interesting to me and helpful in this regard. through the viewing of these, I might find something about the actors themselves that sparks my interest, whether that be personality traits, knowledge about the subject, or just general “off-screen” appearance. then it becomes a dual interest that sends me off in all different directions!

off-screen appearance: hot mess
off-screen appearance: hot mess

that’s what happened to me this past week with the movie Unbroken and it’s lead actor, Jack O’Connell. I have a fondness for movies that center around hope and the human spirit. this true story definitely fit the bill for that, along with it’s subjects of World War II (which I’ve always had a fascination with) and the sport of running (which my son is currently involved in). I was particularly impressed with Jack’s mastery of an American accent and the respect he held for the story itself, as well as the art of acting in general.

soulful eyes? check.
soulful eyes? check.

several years ago when I first watched the movie Atonement with James McAvoy, I followed a similar path. I became curious about the battle of Dunkirk, which played a part in the story, along with James himself. I found his general demeanor very likable, so I followed his career for awhile. I still enjoy James when I see him in movies but I never quite reached that level of curiosity that caused me to delve into the man behind the actor; he doesn’t have that special something, the umf! that reaches out and grabs me. no offense to James, of course. there have been many that I’ve taken an interest in that didn’t end up panning out in the end: Bradley Cooper, Gerard Butler, Sam Heughan, Peter Facinelli, Eddie Redmayne, just to name a few.


My WWII interest started at the age of 13, when I first became aware of Christian Bale in the drama Empire of the Sun. this led to another WWII related movie of his, Swing Kids, that introduced me to that era’s music as well. I love when movies spark my interest in a subject I’d never paid much attention to before, the trickle-down effect of books, music, etc. that following actors and their fandoms can bring. 

P-51 Mustang, "Cadillac of the Skies"
P-51 Mustang, Cadillac of the Skies

I’ve always enjoyed war/military movies in general. Richard doesn’t share the WWII aspect specifically, but John Porter fits the military connection. Thorin embodies the “when the going gets tough, the tough get going” attitude rather well too. I used to think that redemption was the theme that ran through my interest in Richard’s characters, but lately I’ve pondered whether it’s not the act of lying instead- lying to others, lying to ourselves.

liar, liar, pants on fire
liar, liar, pants on fire!

what first impressed me about Richard in the promotional interviews for AUJ was his grasp of the subject matter. he was very well versed in Tolkien lore and the ramifications that surrounded that character. an actor that takes the time to research his role and really tries to understand it, will always impress me. the more I watched/read about Richard, the more I noticed how different from the character of Thorin he was off-screen. I think that’s the thing that intrigues me the most, when I’m able to see the depth an actor gives his characters through details of voice, body language,etc. in comparison to their real life self. Richard Armitage isn’t actually a serial killer and neither is Christian Bale, or Jamie Dornan for that matter…uh oh, I hope “serial killer” is not an emerging theme of my admiration. someone put Richard in a bomber jacket, quick!

close enough, for now

what connections can you make between Richard and your other interests? if you follow the careers of other actors, what do they share in common with Richard?

bonus pic:

for reasons.
for reasons.


6 thoughts on “What’s So Amazing That Keeps Us Stargazing?

  1. I’ve had a few crushes in the past (I think that’s probably the best word for them!) but the only ones that lasted any length of time were when I really respected the talent of the person (for example, the baritone Simon Keenleyside, the musician Neil Hannon) and currently the actors Mark Rylance and Michael Fassbender (pace, Guylty!). Handsomeness alone is a small part of the picture. Having said that virtually every picture of RA that I see blows me away. He’s just got that irresistible something that I can’t even put my finger on 😉


    1. I think once you get to know more about a person, grow to respect them & really appreciate certain parts of their personality, you’re able to see *them* in their photographs in a way that you couldn’t before.

      I enjoy Michael Fassbender in the X-men movies but I’ve not really seen him in anything else that I know of. I hear so much about him, that I should remedy that! he’s not hard to look at 😉


      1. No he isn’t, and he is an astonishing actor. (*cough* have a look at the film Shame… For reasons)

        The funny thing about RA is that most of the parts he has played are SO far from his real persona – and even the delicious photo shoots don’t really give a hint of the lovely geek 😉


  2. I saw this title and had to laugh — I accompanied a group of fellow students who sang “The Rainbow Connection” in 7th grade on the piano — and then I had the song in my mind all day.

    Now I see what you meant about that GIF. There’s something about the fact that they are not super tight jeans, too. Just sloppy guy jeans.

    I wish I could tell you what it was about Armitage (as on the whole, actors haven’t fascinated me). There’s a saying in philosophy, “The owl of Minerva flies only at dusk,” which means, more or less, that you only figure out what’s going on just as it’s over. I enjoyed reading your ruminations, though!


    1. sloppy guy jeans are the best kind of jeans!

      actors as a whole fascinate me but not all of them “stick”. my type seems to consist of those who are passionate and respectful of the craft itself, along with an approachable down-to-earth mindset that fame hasn’t chipped away; “the lovers, the dreamers, and me”.

      …and they always seem to be British! it’s funny b/c when I was watching that “unbroken” movie I found myself really liking the main characters voice, his particular way of talking. it was an American accent and at no time did I suspect that it was not natural, but then I look up the actor and find out he’s British! I just can’t stay away from them, it seems 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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