We should all do what, in the long run, gives us joy, even if it is only picking grapes or sorting laundry ~E.B.White


When I think of what it is to be a fan of an actor, following their career and taking part in discussions about them and their work, words that come to my mind are things like admiration, gratification, fulfillment, passion, camaraderie, fun. that’s what I feel when I’m admiring on my own or with like minded people but when someone asks me about my hobbies, what I like to do for fun, do I say I like to admire actors and discuss their work online? (oh! that was good phrasing, I need to remember that…) the answer is: no. why? because the words that swirl around my head in those situations are more along the lines of childish, shameful, secretive, stalkerish, judgmental, misunderstood. when I do attempt to explain, people generally think I mean gossip magazines and entertainment news shows, neither of which are really my thing.



my family and close friends know about my “hobby”. I wouldn’t say they’re supportive so much as indifferent. they know I like actors and the movies they star in, I talk about them all the time, but I’m a storyteller so it’s just par for the course when I bring up a character from a movie to illustrate a point. if I went into detail about how I know or why I know, well, that’s when things get tricky. because unless you get paid to be a movie critic or gossip columnist, then you’re just wasting your time on frivolous pursuits. “wow, you really like this guy don’t you? isn’t that a little…obsessive?”



I’m drawn to actors. not musicians, or directors, or professional athletes, but actors. I like acting. the psychology of why I admire the male variety is irrelevant in the grand scheme of things; the lust factor is not as big as people automatically assume. if I were a man, these actors would be my sports heroes. I would rattle off their batting averages and recall specific games in detail, while pondering how their grip on the bat affects their swing. I would vocally admire their impressive knack for reading other players and speculate about their emotional state and how it may be throwing them off balance, or maybe that’s just the cut of the new uniforms. all of that would be considered normal. yet watching all of an actor’s work and recalling the nuances of body language they put into each character, while comparing their real life persona to their acting one, is obsessive. admiring an actor’s craft and the choices that they make, both professionally and personally, and weighing how the way they see the world around them plays into all of that; well, that’s stalking. “you know you can’t have a relationship with them, right? they’re not real”

not real? I was the last time I checked...
‘last time I checked, I was real’

I’ve been admiring actors pretty much all my life. the reasons change, how I go about “admiring” may differ, but it’s always something that I’ve enjoyed. and just as there is skill in sports, a rush of excitement and adrenaline, life lessons to be taken away from the game and applied to real life; I find all of that in acting as well. the drooling over the attractiveness of the players, is just human nature. and the lighthearted, sometimes silly, atmosphere that often infuses the crowd? silly is subjective. next time you go to a professional sporting event, look around you and you’ll see what I mean.

Cosplay? never heard of it.
‘Cosplay? never heard of it’

sports, cars, acting, singing, fashion, fishing; it’s all relative. recognize what brings you joy and embrace it. what we do, as fans, doesn’t have to be hidden in shame. it makes us happy, it connects us to others, it can be a healthy escape from the not-so-fun responsibilities of our every day realities. what’s so wrong with that?



as we so often say in this fandom, every one “fans” differently, there is no right or wrong way to do it. while many of us may follow a similar path in the way we go about things, our personalities and individual situations are reflected in our actions. we have different sensibilities, we get different things out of the experience but the great thing about being a fan online is that it’s all up to us, we can tailor it to fit our needs. my “normal” usually consists of the following: I become aware of an actor and am impressed by one of his performances. I look him up on IMDb to see what other movies/television shows he’s been in. I Google his name and click on a few fan-sites, along with browsing through Google images to get a better feel of him. this usually satisfies my initial curiosity but as the weeks and months go by, I’ll casually investigate more by turning to Youtube for interviews. if I’m lucky, someone will have uploaded some of his older, lesser known work. after watching some of that, I’ll turn back to the fan-sites and find print interviews and articles. I like both video and print interviews because they offer slightly different views on the actor’s personality and work ethic. all of this “research” may take place over several weeks and months, or it may be a crash course that happens over one weekend; I tend to alternate between the two.

Popquiz, hotshot: there's a tornado chasing a bus. if the bus picks up speed your wet shirt will dry, disappointing fangirls everywhere. what do you do? what do you do?!
popquiz, hotshot: there’s a tornado chasing a bus. if the bus picks up speed your wet shirt will dry, disappointing fangirls everywhere. what do you do? what do you do?!

it’s normal for me to not be able to get an actor off my mind. how he moves, how he talks, what I’ve learned about his background and what kind of actor he is. I become enamored with his characters, daydreaming about their stories and struggles, putting myself in their shoes and contemplating what I would have done differently in their situation. by this point I’ve formed some opinions on the actor and his work, and so I might venture out to see what other people think of him. this can be hard at the “puppy love” stage because the internet is a harsh place.


people may say he’s ugly, people may say he seems like a jerk, people may complain that his acting sucks and anyone who doesn’t see it must be blind. this is when I forcefully sit on my hands and resist the (very strong) urge to jump in and say that they’re the crazy ones if they can’t see how talented he is! that I happen to like how he looks and no one is forcing them to like him, so just be quiet!!


but here’s what I always have to remind myself: their words have nothing to do with me. their words don’t change how the actor affects me. their words are just words. in the end, all that really matters is me. I shouldn’t have to defend what makes me happy, I shouldn’t have to justify why it makes me happy or how. I can internally debate those things on my own, but looking to others for approval about what makes me happy is not something I want to spend my time on.

it shows, believe me.
it shows, believe me

I want to fall in love with fictional characters. I want to revel in the way that certain actors bring them to life. I want to learn about the actors that portray those characters, see myself in them and watch them experience things that I never will. I want to see them grow as people and let them continually surprise me with their talent. I want to smile when I hear their voice in interviews, swoon when I see them in photoshoots, laugh and cry and rage and even shiver in fear, as they wreak havoc on my emotions during their performances. I want to celebrate all of the good things about them with fellow fans, and even admit the not-so-good things about them (and consequently, me) with people that I feel safe with. I learn from them, both the actors themselves and the people I discuss them with, in so many different ways.

everyday I'm shufflin
everyday I’m shufflin


“What’s your hobby?”

I like to crush on talented men.



⭐ ⭐ ⭐

and just for the record, I have nothing against sports.

I like sports. a lot.



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.