Creating A Legend

When I was just beginning my Richard Armitage journey,

the first interview I saw of him was a previous one from the 2012 Comic-Con event.

This short interview really impressed me

and fully opened me up to the notion that this was a man who deserved my attention.

tumblr_mkm8ctEkn01s4mt0ho1_400

The interview opens with acknowledging how Richard’s views of the Hobbit book differed from when he was a child compared to now.

This said to me that Richard Armitage was someone who was open to viewing things in new ways. That he understood that we, as emotional beings, evolve. When he said that the book was read to him when he was seven years old, also let me know that he was probably a book lover himself. And although what was being discussed has been classified by many as a children’s book, Richard recognized the deeper lessons within the story and respected it for that.

ba49f83c-c6a6-4eb0-8435-dd08e8f03ced

Next, Richard talked about putting Thorin’s costume on, talking and walking a certain way, in order to make the character come alive.

Fictional characters often become very real to me, so these words brought forth an image of the mighty warrior jumping off the page to physically stand in front of me, for me to see and smell and touch.

efa947ff-3d9c-4dd6-a6ca-341111af1930

Richard then emphasized the responsibility he felt in trying to do the character justice. To satisfy those who had already read the book and so had a special relationship with the characters and story already, to those who were just being exposed to it for the first time.

That said to me that Richard Armitage had a passion for his work. He not only researched extensively, but believed what he was saying.

9cb0faeb-f49c-4150-aaa0-21826f063dad

This became more apparent to me when he went on to answer the “staying power of myth” question. This man knew his Tolkien! Not just who Tolkien was, but what he was; creator of legend, religion, language. Richard believed in the world that Tolkien had created, and thought it would be a great “tragedy” if something like the Silmarillion was not brought to life on film.

At that time I knew nothing of Richard himself, that he had studied in literature or that he had been professionally trained. From this interview I could start to make a few guesses pointed in that direction though.

tumblr_mjahrsou7K1qan1k9o2_400

Something else that this interview told me, was that Richard Armitage was a modest man; he wasn’t doing this for fame.

The way he bashfully, yet sincerely, accepted the interviewer’s compliment gave me a peek into another layer. It was just a glimpse, but you could see it in his eyes and the tilt of his head.

8fb3bb5a-e41e-4dd4-b8ae-29e902009134

This proved too interesting not to investigate further…

I Must Confess

Before I broke down and forced myself to watch Robin Hood

783bfce4-feb1-4119-8124-0d9d5cf15d2c

I had a hard time grasping why so many Richard Armitage fans went ga-ga over Guy of Gisborne….and so I routinely scrolled past the pictures of him that I encountered daily.

*hangs head in shame*
*hangs head in shame*

The very idea distresses me now.

tumblr_mnwuiewe4H1rgoke8o2_500

I thought the series 3 long hair made Guy seem too feminine (secretly I think I was just jealous of those beautiful curls)

the gang is baffled by my confession

The somewhat plastic-looking black leather of previous series, with all of it’s various metal fastenings and space-aged shoulder ribbing turned me away as well. As did the aptly named guy-liner; never been a fan of it, in general.

yes, I scrolled past this. I think I may need my head examined
yes, I scrolled past this. I think I may need my head examined

*whispers*

and the smirk kind of annoyed me.

take deep breaths, calm down!

Slowly my horizons broadened, once I found out more about Guy and his motivations.

bc76dabb-ee2c-482b-b4b1-f16989d5641e

Thanks, in large part, to the Guy of Gisborne tagged posts on Me+Richard, which highlights particular story-lines and the use of Richard’s microexpressions to dig deeper into Guy’s actions.

the deeper we dig the more disheveled he becomes *runs to find shovel*
the deeper we dig the more disheveled he becomes *runs to find shovel*

Since this post is about a Guy related confession, I thought it only fitting that I include the Guy and Marian Confession fanvid that I’ve been obsessing over lately:

[ETA: this fanvid is no longer on Youtube]

(I love the candle scene where Guy comforts Marian; the chase goes along perfectly with the music!) I think if we, as RA fans,  put ourselves into the place of the confessor in the chorus of the song, it’s easy to recognize the parallels.

 

I feel myself surrender each time I see your face. I am staggered by your beauty, your unassuming grace. And I feel my heart is turning, falling into place. I can’t hide it, now hear my confession.

 

Then and Now: the Glamour photoshoot

After seeing The Hobbit and being haunted by the eyes

I was talking about Thorin but these eyes are good too!

I was curious to see what this actor looked like in real life. I had only seen random pictures of Mr. Thornton, and a few from Richard’s younger years. Then my friend posted the Glamour photo shoot.

At first I didn’t exactly turn into a pile of mush. I wasn’t feeling it. Although I definitely liked the debonair waistcoat and shoes, the style didn’t really seem like him.

no fainting? too bad, I could have helped with that

I feel differently now, of course, I’ve seen the video photoshoot.

So I thought I’d do a little comparison of then vs. now

 

Then: Cary Grant, suave & sophisticated

Now: pretty much the same

 

Then: shadow on face, stiff pose

Now: all I see are legs & boots

(Edit: I now know this pic is from Robert Ashcroft and not the Glamour shoot but I’m keeping it here because: Legs & Boots! )

 

Then: wish I could see more of his hands

Now: unfortunate association of animated dwarf hands from video – positive association of hearing his voice in video

 

Then: forearm, hand, stare

Now: yep, still like this one.

 

All in all this just made me more curious. What type of man was this Richard Armitage? Is this how he normally dresses? What other film work has he done? I loved his accent and voice in The Hobbit, how much of that was his own? Looks like it’s time to IMDb!

IMDb: a fangirl’s best friend!

Little did I know what was about to happen…

me, flattened by Richard’s awesomeness!

 

Not Impressed…yet

It was an online friend from a different fandom who introduced me to Richard Armitage. This friend really liked Mr. Thornton. She didn’t have anyone to gush about him with though, or anyone who had even heard of the actor’s real name.

who’s Mr.Thornton?

When The Hobbit promotions started in December of 2012, my friend thought that maybe now she could finally persuade some of us to join her.

I will bend you to my will

She continued to post various pictures of Mr. Thornton on our community message board, along with a few from Richard’s photo shoots. I initially thought he wasn’t bad looking, he had beautiful eyes and a classic dignified nose.

oh! his eyes are pretty!

But what was this North & South that she kept going on about? Wasn’t that a Civil War saga, starring Patrick Swayze?

Civil War? Patrick Swayze?!

Eh, I wasn’t really in the mood for another period piece at the moment. I think I’ll pass. how enticing can a cravat be, really?

it’s not you, it’s me

My friend then informed me that this unheard of crush of hers was starring in the upcoming Hobbit film. Well, now you’ve got my attention! I was a long time Tolkien fan and had been eagerly awaiting the movie.

I bought this poster when I was in High School. it’s currently hanging in the kid’s playroom. they think it’s creepy.

I didn’t know much about the film itself, preferring to go the wide eyed & innocent route this time around. Which character did you say this guy was playing? Thorin? But he’s old and grumpy!

I’ll just wait here until you get a clue

 

 What were your first thoughts of Richard?

do you think she’s seen the light yet?