Richard Armitage:A Star is Born – TODAY Show Screen Caps

The TODAY show has already posted the interview with the cast from Zealandia on its website, although it appears to be shifting it around.  So, I caught a few screen caps for your viewing pleasure.  All images courtesy of the TODAY Show, NBC.

“The dwarves have gonads made of stone.”


Now look at this –

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Richard Armitage: A Star Is Born – An Englishman in NYC

Richard Armitage models almost-James. Yes, this is the best part. Courtesy of Getty Images.


I’m still tired to the bone.  Sadly the NYC Adventure post isn’t happening tonight.  Trying to keep up with the relentless hype seems to be wearing.  Cannot even begin to imagine how the cast is getting through all this.  Yet, they have 8 days to go.

The NYC premiere was a clearly a low key affair with no live streaming fans could find.  Most news came from our TeamThorin on the scene, tweets from Warner Brothers, and pictures from Getty Images. After four days of steady publicity, the big American premiere was – a bit anemic in comparison with NZ and Japan.  It felt a bit embarrassing actually.  Sheesh, Big Apple.  What happened?

Anyway, I finally got to see a potential new suitor #4, whom I’ve tentatively named James. (Thanks for the help, Twitter!).  I say tentative because I’ve not decided whether James is worthy of my affections.  Don’t get me wrong; the glen plaid tweed is lovely and the cobalt blue tie really brings out RA’s gorgeous eyes.  However, after a diet of superbly fitted suits like George and Fernando (do keep up), this particular English cut was a bit off putting.  IMHO, the jacket style places the waist a bit too high to flatter RA’s longer torso and lower natural waist. It doesn’t accentuate his lean form.  Not to mention the trousers hint at on-coming male camel toe.   Just sayin’.

I was about to include a full portrait of sorta-James but then realized this one is all you need to see.   Am I right?




EDIT: I’ve added a full length shot for more research and analysis.  Of course.  See what I mean?  The waistcoast is nice, but the style does not flatter his build.  And yes, those trousers are too tight honey.  TeamThorin remarked on Twitter that they hugged his rear quite tightly, so I feel vindicated in my observation.  What is male camel toe?  It’s when tight fabric gets really really friendly with a man’s junk.  Should a style like this frame anything like that there?  I think not.

EDIT: His stylist says it’s a Michael Bastian flannel from the Winter 2012 collection.   Well.

Richard Armitage breaks from shooting pheasants to pose at they NYC premiere. Courtesy of WireImage























I say now…


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Richard Armitage: A Star is Born – Oh NO He Didn’t!

Richard Armitage babbles incoherently to GreenDragon. Poor baby.  Courtesy of TORn.

Here I sat piecing together thoughts on the Great NY Adventure, when I suffered a terrifying visual hallucination.  From what I recollect, TORn released its Monday interview of our boy.  They quote RA as saying this:

 “God I can’t wait!  I miss that beard!  It was really weird.  I hated it when I had it, and then when I shaved it off, I was like, ‘Where’s my chin?!’”

I couldn’t believe my eyes.  But after ascertaining I had not suffered a stroke, my outrage turned to TORn.  Slander!  Libel!  They blaspheme!  But reassured that TORn is a reputable outfit which would never misquote RA, I had to turn sadly to the source.  My disappointment has been deep, my conviction shattered.  So after prolonged chanting and centering of my chi, I solemnly compose this letter:

Dear Rich,

WTF is wrong wit choo???!!!  Are you serious?.  Did you forget the itching and scratching involved with growing a beard already?  Your chin is right there on your face, luv.  Right there clearly defined where we can see it, as it is intended.  I know it was nice not shaving every morning, but let’s not go crazy! It hid your chin!  I also realize you find talk about your looks hilarious, but it is what it is, dude.  The last I looked, the Grizzly Adams look is not the thing nor the best look for you.  If anybody tells you otherwise, they are deceived, Rich.  Deceeeeived!  

Just grow the beard for the last bit of filming, shave Fuzzy Wuzzy immediately afterwards, pull up your big boy pants and move on.  That weird feeling too shall pass again.  I’ll just put this down to delirium caused by fatigue along with the reference to being 6 feet 3.5.

No love,


PS: Don’t even think about keeping it!

PPS: Call your stylist!

PPPS: Erm, please.

PPPS: Just wear George, Lex or Fernando again and we can put this behind us.  Scout’s honor.  *


Ahh, I feel better now.  Hopefully, the NYC adventure will be posted Friday or over the weekend.


[*Fake letter is fake, but you knew that already.]





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Judiang Takes a Break to Get Her Mind Back

I’m recovering from a whirlwind trip to NYC accomplised on approximately 3 hours of sleep.  There were ups and downs and moments to contemplate.  I will tell al (confidentiality forms permitting) as soon as my brain informs me what happened. 

In the meantime, Jonia worked her connection magic and now I can fully appreciate suitor #3, Fernando.  The dude in it is fine, too.  My lawyer heart really digs a well done pin-strip.  I just want to put on a suit and melt all over it.  Mmmmm.

Business hottie Fernando breaks onto the scene. Courtesy of GettyImages and

Close-up of Fernando’s pretty.



Richard Armitage: A Star Is Born – Casual Wear Porn

I’m traveling today.  Hopefully with good wi-fi connections, there will be periodic updates here.  If not, watch my space on Twitter under @judiang.

Just so everybody knows, my clothes fetish casts a wider net than just uber-expensive custom-made suits.  I can do casual wear too.   Get a gander of that shirt, vest and tie combination.  I’ve never liked checkered shirts, but I love this one.  Whether it’s red, white and navy, or red, white and black; it doesn’t matter.  The design and smallness of the checks lend quiet sophistication.  I realize expensive doesn’t necessarily mean better, but in this case, it does.  The quality vest and tie finish the top half nicely.  I haven’t seen the bottom half here, but as long as he didn’t wear the pants and sneakers from the ARIAS, I’m sure that was lovely too.

Richard Armitage thinks about the soft bed awaiting him on the plane. Courtesy

STOP THE PRESSES!   I’ve seen suitor #3!!!!

He is called Fernando.  RA modeled him at the Toronto premiere.  He’s a gorgeous blue, delicately pinstriped suit and you can find him here and here.  He is superb and perfectly highlights RA eyes.  Unfortunately, he’s trapped by ginormous watermarks at Getty Images but I’m confident our journalists will remedy that situation.


Are you really feeling the love?

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Richard Armitage: A Star is Born – A Different View of George and Lex

Richard Armitage and “George” together. Courtesy of

While I rhapsodized over George (the Zegna suit) and Lex (the BDSM suit), our irrepressible Jane had different reactions. I was so flabbergasted she didn’t want to marry George, that I dashed off an email asking if she wanted to guest blog a rebuttal.  She replied that she wasn’t sure if she had enough for a post but I could paraphrase her thoughts.   Here is what she thought of my beloved “George”:

“Basically I think it’s boring. It’s the kind of suit I associate with politicians and businessmen if it is expensive, or bank clerks if not so expensive. It’s a requirement for certain jobs or occasions- a uniform. And not one that has anything to do with RA. It is a costume for him. The casual and semi-formal outfits we saw during the last few days are still him, just much better quality and most of the time combined with care. I like seeing him wearing clothes that fit well and are made of high quality materials, because that always shows. But I don’t want him to look like a model. It isn’t that I dislike the suit, it was obviously what was appropriate for the event (some other actors wore something similar) and I’m not opposed to high quality. But it wasn’t a revelation and an indication of a “new Richard.”

Richard Armitage debuts “Lex.” Courtesy of

Jane also has a few things to say about “Lex”: I’m also not too keen on the suit from Tokyo, I think the shiny material looks tacky. It is probably meant to look cool. I really liked some of the three part suits the stylist put Bradley Cooper in and have hoped for something like that. I have no clue for which occasions three piece suits are appropriate; maybe they weren’t right for a daytime premiere.  With a conventional suit, I would have preferred an open collar with no tie (like at the Captain America NY premiere) or at least with a more colourful tie and shirt. I’m glad at least he didn’t wear a skinny suit with a thin tie as many much younger male celebrities with slighter builds do.

Jane feels RA is better served another way: I like an outfit with a little quirk.  I like that his fashion sense is not so well developed after all and that he either doesn’t know better or doesn’t care. I don’t like vain men.  Although a perfectly groomed and dressed man may be attractive, I don’t like the suggestion of vanity behind it.


Richard Armitage rushing casually for his plane connection. Courtesy of

On the other hand, the casual outfits are things we have seen before on him, just a lot better now. I was one of the first to notice that the first airport outfit must have been the product of the stylist, and that he dressed like that for a 24 hour flight because he knew photographers would be there. I totally approved of that outfit. We have seen jeans+suit jacket on him several times, jeans+leather jacket countless times. We have also seen a three-piece pin strip suit with no tie. Those are the clothes he would choose for himself. I can easily see him choosing the Aria outfit you didn’t like for a night out. The mixture of formal jacket and “cool” jeans and trainers feels like him (though the polo shirt is questionable). I remember a suit+trainers pic from an event. Not sure about the vest and chequered shirt, but I liked that as well. But those formal suits are just following a convention of how to dress, even the rock star chic shiny material. It is Lucas North pretending to be Pete the banker. Or RA modelling for Zegna. I didn’t feel Aidan Turner and Dean O’Gorman looked authentic in their suits either, especially given how casually they were dressed in the airport shots, obviously not caring about photos being taken.”

I stopped mentally stroking George and Lex long enough to consider the main thrust of Jane’s contention.  Is RA being styled to look unauthentic?  This is a valid argument.  I have my own opinion, but first I’d like to hear what you think, Dear Reader.  I’ve been joking about falling for his suits, but has this polished transformation overshadowed what some might think of as the real RA?



Richard Armitage: A Star Is Born – The BDSM Suit or 50 Shades of RA?

Richard Armitage channels elegant Sir Guy for the 21 century at the Tokyo Hobbit premiere. Courtesy of

Since our boy probably is resting during his 12 hour flight on the Tokyo to Toronto leg of the great The Hobbit: the Expected PR Megablitz, fandom has time to wedge in Real Life. I rushed out for some unexpected shopping and remembered everybody else is holiday shopping. Who woulda thunk it?

So back to the Tokyo premiere, but first my inner fangurl wishes to say: “RA looked simply divine, relaxed and radiate at the event. His gorgeous eyes simply popped, and made me -” OKAY LUV, that’s enough. I have a reputation to maintain. *Cough.* Let’s get to what everybody has been wondering: RA, were you sporting a LEATHER SUIT?

After finally peeling my eyes from his face as he stood on that stage, I was 50 ways of confused. That couldn’t be the FABULOUS Zegna suit (hereto known as George); it shined too much under the lights. So, was it sharkskin? When he helpfully placed his hands in the trouser pockets, I wondered if the entire suit was the most expensive of supple calfskin leather I’d ever seen. Phwoar! He’s speaking my language again.

Fans tweeted his awesome stylist. Finally she returned the word: the suit isn’t leather. It’s WAXED WOOL.

Yes, this is another exquisitely tailored suit (look at the line of his long legs and the perfect leg breaks) in black waxed wool. I’ve never heard of such a thing, but I love it. It’s funky and daring, while still dapper and elegant. So it has the style of leather without the innate stiffness. Might have to find a name for this baby, too.

Yeah baby, yeah.


Wait, focus here for a moment!


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Richard Armitage: A Star Is Born – Radiance Becomes Him

Richard Armitage sets fans screaming at the Tokyo Hobbit premiere. Screencap Courtesy of






To my delight, ItsJSForMe sacrificed sleep for us and screencapped The Hobbit premiere in Japan.  The pics are blowing me away.  While my snarky half tussles with the gushing fangurl in my next post, let me become totally shallow now and ask:  How is it that he’s more beautiful than he was in New Zealand?  He’s positively glowing.  You’d think it was his wedding or something.

More later.

Richard Armitage: A Star is Born – A Tall Dude at the Japan Presser

Richard Armitage hears that Japanese chicks really dig tall guys at The Hobbit Japan press conference.

The road crew cut the fiber optics supplying my internet access.  I’m working with shaky, intermittent internet and 3G access on my iPhone.  Definitely not a happy camper, but back to the man of the hour.

Live streaming at The Hobbit Japan press conference apparently sucked but I’m hearing the video quality for downloading is much better. Peter Jackson, Martin Freeman and RA held a  love fest, extolling each other’s virtues.  Clearly, the bromances still burn strongly.  Naturally, they would gush like that.  After all what could they say: “gah, I hated his guts,” “he hogged my shot every time,” or “I’ll need therapy for the next 10 years because of him!”   However, they so struck me with their quiet sincerity, that my snarky heart paused to consider: How did RA feel being showered with such praise? Did his Thorin portrayal really shock and awe? What if he turned in a truly Oscar caliber performance worth of Best Supporting Actor his first time out?  Wow.  My fangurl heart fluttered briefly.  I hope not, mainly because winning an Oscar could be a professional kiss of death (Halle Berry any one?). On the other hand, it would be lovely to see him offered quality artistic roles worthy of his skills.  But happily my snarky heart jolted back to life, and I’m just fine now.

I turned my attention to what was really important – his clothes!  Unfortunately, poor screen cap quality makes it difficult to tell if he’d recovered from the ARIAs misstep, but he was rocking another expensively black, casual  jacket, so I’ll give him props for that.

Next up: the Japan Hobbit premiere.  It starts during the middle of the night my time, a mountain that even this intrepid reporter probably won’t climb.  Europeans, take it away!


Hang on now!

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Richard Armitage: A Star is Born – Rocking the Old Hipster

Richard Armitage, Martin Freeman, and Andy Serkis rock the old fart metrosexual. Courtesy of

I was just about to doze off but checked Twitter one last time.  Then this picture caught my eye.  First I noticed RA’s leather trousers (naturally), but then something about the three of them caught my eye and I can’t stop laughing.

There’s Andy Serkis, curls slicked into a mohawk (or is it a greaser?).  Martin Freeman has Austin Powers hair and his “I just don’t give a f**k about the press” shades.  RA has a bit of fluffy spikes going.  But hey, this is the Arias.  They’ve morphed from dapper dandies to (hopefully) together hipsters, just for this event.  So, let’s take a closer look.

Martin Freeman might be channeling Austin Powers on a bad day but it’s his usual hot mess.  Dude, shiny patent leather loafers with once turned up jeans with the hem showing? Green gingham, hot pink paisley and something resembling a jacket.  Alrighty, let’s move swiftly on.

RA starts out promisingly (maybe) at his leather sneakers, moves up to the nice tight leather blue grey pants, and then ruins it with dad’s nice polo shirt and a suit coat. (EDIT: I’ve thrown in the towel on the shoes and leather pants, too. See my verdict in the comments.)  What happened, luv?  And that jacket had better not have come from the $5,000 suit ensemble!  That’s a no-no. (EDIT: I’m reassured it is not).  The outfit works too hard at looking pulled together, but I’m not buying it.  Why do I get the sneaking suspicion RA overruled his stylist and had something to do with this outfit?  Sigh.

Let’s look at Andy.  He’s wearing jeans (twice turned up), two-toned oxfords, a fancy t-shirt with a gold “My Precious” emblem and a suit jacket forgiven by the fact that it has a silky sheen.  They look like what they are: three middle aged men trying to look cool in a venue half their age, and cracking me up, doing it.  They are trying sooooo hard!  Too cute!

I submit, Dear Reader, that if you can get past RA’s leather trousers, you will agree that Andy manages to pull off his look (sans the mohawk) the best, mostly because he’s not trying.  Martin works too hard at being bohemian.  RA?  Well, he’ll have to ask his stylist.


Richard Armitage: A Star Is Born – More Suit Porn

I’ve fallen in love with his suit.  Haven’t been so smitten since getting a gander of Patrick Stewart’s suit in Hamlet.  As I type, our boy is now in Australia as a presenter at the ARIAS.  Don’t think I can hold out to report any more sightings.  My brain threatens to take me out.  But before I go, here’s another pretty, pretty picture.

Richard Armitage struts his stuff at The Hobbit premiere, NZ. Courtesy of not a clue. Please let me know.



Richard Armitage: A Star Is Born – The Morning After

A star pose? Richard Armitage at The Hobbit premiere. Courtesy of the Daily Mail

I’ve had less than four hours of sleep, they forgot the expresso in my latte, and my dog buggered off to bed.  It might not be wise to post now but that’s never stopped me before.  You know, rushing in where angels fear to tread… or something.

So, it finally happened.  After waiting since early 2011, RA made his debut on the world stage.  And what a debutante he was.  His outfit was mahhhvelous.  He was the prettiest one at the ball and everybody was looking at him.  His blushed demurely and becomingly and I’m sure his dance card later was full.  His fans watched, bursting with pride over The Next Big Thing.  There was no untoward drama.  Nobody dragged him into the bushes.  He has been officially launched.  How many producers will come courting remains to be seen.

Just looking at him, my heart filled with loving snark.  My cup truly runneth over.  The festivities should keep me blogging again for months.   I’m grinning from ear to ear, right now, at the very thought.   Yes, sipping coffee and actually sighing contentedly.   My muse is regarding me warily.  It’s all good.

I’m still considering his report card.  But first there are the interviews and the red carpet event to rewatch.  I’ll judge his performance carefully and thoughtfully, but with no handicap.   The world stage doesn’t do handicaps.  You’ll be happy to know, dear reader, that I”ll hold off posting the report card for a few days while everybody enjoys the euphoria.

That will give me enough time to pack my bags and get out of town give it due consideration.

Feel free to influence my review in the comments.  All bribes are welcome.

Oh, I’ve just been offered asylum in Budapest.  Cool!

Stay tuned.


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Message from Richard Armitage – 28th November 2012

Richard Armitage weathering the gauntlet at The Hobbit premiere in Wellington. Courtesy of

RA sent a new message to RichardArmitageOnline.  For those of you too tired to click, here is the message:

“Dear Friends,

So I am sitting in my hotel room from which I can see a very long red carpet and The Embassy Theatre. I am nervous, excited and quite emotional, the day has arrived when we can finally present our work for everyone to hopefully enjoy.

I wanted to say thank you for the continuing support that I receive from everyone who visits Annette’s brilliant site, and those others which have popped up over the last few years and months. It means so much to me to have that support. I truly hope you all enjoy The Hobbit, I tried to respect the responsibility that taking on this role presented to me, my fellow cast members are all spectacular in the story and we send out our work to you in the hope that you can take your friends and family to see a great event in the cinema.

I look forward to saying thank you, at the various premiers over the next few weeks.

See you on the Red Carpet.

Much love

fumblingly sent from my iPad:

Enjoy yourself RA.  Congratulations.

That about wraps it up for the evening, don’t you think?

EDIT: The last line was added later.  Your suppositions are as good as mine, but mine is better: most likely an oversight in posting.

Hang on there, where are you going?

Thorin wants you, too!




Show RA how deeply he touched you with this lovely gesture by Gift Bombing his JustGiving page.   He, and countless others, will love you for it.



Richard Armitage: A Star is Born – Liveblogging Begins!

All times here are Central Standard Time because, you know, that’s the center of the world.  This post will be updated as the evening progresses to make following easier.

The chatroom is open here.


In the last few hours, there’s been a press conference and song sung by Neil Flynn.  Other than that, nobody seems to know what’s going on. Need to dig for pretty pictures.


They are late starting.  Streaming is showing costumed crowds along the long red carpet.. wait, they are finally arriving!!!!!


The reporters are out welcoming the viewers, followed by a long Hobbit trailer to whet the appetite. Sounds like a long voice over by RA and Ian McKellan.


I believe Neil Finn begins with a few songs on a coolly decorated stage.  Have never seen this kind of film premiere before.  Looks like a gorgeous summer afternoon.


Goodness, this is turning into  Crowded House concert. Personally, I prefer that they cut to the chase -the stars of the film.  Not that I’m biased or anything.


I’ve been enlightened this is a mini Neil Finn concert.  Then it REALLY begins.  Can’t wait to see what Cate Blanchett wears.  Yes, I’m lying.


Finn sings Lonely Mountain.  People in chat complain that Richard Armitage, er, the cast could have sung it better.  No bias or anything.  Meanwhile, Gandalf still stands at the hobbit’s door, waiting to knock.  His arm must be getting tired.


Meanwhile over on TORn fans are asking what’s so special about RA.  Oh ho.  Neil Finn was trying to get the crowd to sing.  They seem tired too.


Peter Jackson emerges from his limo to instantly get swept into fan autographs.  The interviewer manages to peel him away.   He waves to the people of Wellington.  They seem to love him.  Aww, they introduce his daughter Katy.


The next limo pulls up and it’s… Phillipa Boyens looking lovely in a black pantsuit.


The next one up is…Martin Freeman, all cleaned up  and actually matching … er… in a black leisure suit with pale pastel teal tie.  Unfortunately he’s kept on his sunglasses.  Hmm.


Up next is….. James Nesbitt with his daughter.  He’s looking fine in a dark suit and tasteful micro checkered tie.  RA is in the background being interviewed by another group.

Richard Armitage debuts on the world stage. Screen cap courtesy of

A wider view of the new movie star. Screen cap courtesy of


RA is there, looking FABULOUS in a dark navy Zegna suit, white shirt, and wine tie with a straight plain gold tie clip.  Hair looks good, mild scruff, twinkling eyes.  He seems to be a bit awed by it all. He saw the film for the first time on Sunday.  Working with the green screen required him to engage the imagination more.  When asked about being one of the “pin-ups”  in the film, he turned it off being a hot dwarf as in being really hot in their costumes.  Funny, dear.  And then he’s released to the crowd.  Was it my imagine or did the female interviewer seem to like him?

And then Andy Serkis and the cutie pie boys, Dean O’Gorman and Aidan Turner appear.  They are also looking quite ’60s in their dark suits and dark slim ties.  They joke about their bromance and fun on the project.  Aidan’s curls are back.  That’s all Aidan fans need to know.  Oh, and Elijah Wood, who loves to dress with like a nerd with the top button done.  And then the kiwi actors and then… oh hell, I’m done.



RA again!  He never thought he would be picked to play a dwarf.  They partied a lot behind the scenes.  Now he makes his way towards the stage.  Oh boy, there’s more after all. Everybody seems to be interviewed every 250 feet. Except for RA.


Finally the official speeches begin with the mayor of Wellington and prime minister of New Zealand kissing major studio ass. Then the heads of MGM studios, who promised to keep it short -but lied. A streaker would have been nice.   I’ve never seen a movie premiere like this that been going for over THREE hours. Goodness.


Sir Peter finally takes the stage, walking through the hobbit door in Bag’s End. Then the introduction of the cast. First the old timers and then the newcomers including you know who.


They all pose in a row for pictures and then – it’s OVAH!  And after that, they have to sit through the movie.  Again.

Now, I have to mull over RA’s report card.  But first, I need to see his other interviews.


Richard Armitage: A Star is Born – Liveblogging Preamble

This is a quick away post and I can’t include fancy stuff like pics and links.  So, bear with me.

Today is the Big Day for Richard Armitage and the cast of The Hobbit in Wellington.  Tweet is jumping with chatter and TOrN is doing an hourly countdown.  Tumblr is going gif-wild.  Blogs are churning the suspense.  The tsunami of RA and TH press is more than making up for the long drought.  I will start liveblogging the event later so watch this space.  The chatroom is open to all for group watching of the festivities starting at 8:00PM CST.  If you’re the first to arrive, no worries.  Just sit tight, and they will come. 

I’m sure that RA is a bit nervous but filled with nothing but happy thoughts today.  Some fans have vocalized  trepidation and protectiveness towards him, but let’s remember that today is his Big Day and think only positive thoughts along with him. 

I suspect he would appreciate that more.

BTW, don’t forget to Gift Bomb his JustGiving page in lieu of flowers and gifts.  You know you want to!


Fan Drive!: The Hobbit Rubbish Gift Bomb of Congratulations

I’ll bah humbug later. Just sayin’.

Servetus had another fantastic idea – donating to RA’s charities in appreciation.  What do you think?  For the next week, why don’t we, as a fandom, GIFT BOMB his JustGiving page?  It would be an early start on the Christmas giving, plus it would be like sending him flowers in congratulations, except better.  Remember the collective  “Just Another Rubbish Richard Armitage” signage he got a kick out of?

How about we each make a donation, not matter how big or small anonymously at JustGiving, and comment: “The Armitage Army Rubbish Gift Bomb of Congratulations, With Love, Us” or some such.  How about it?  If you like the idea, please tweet, Facebook, reblog, and Tumblr.  Remember, the idea is to make a mass congratulatory statement for very worth causes.  (Of course, you can give to other organizations in his name if you so choose).

I think he’d get a kick out of it.




Losing Armitage: Another View

Courtesy of Richard Armitage Confessions

Servetus finished a four-part series answering a sentiment expressed by the confession on the left.  I also felt the confessor’s loss and wondered how the legacy fans will fare with the expected influx of new people after The Hobbit debuts.  Then I read Servetus’s series and her hypothesis that problems in this fandom occurred because it is too small.   I agree, but there’s a corollary: it’s also too callow.

My impression has been that the legacy fans were mostly older, educated, literary women who never experienced any other fandom, and therefore knew nothing about how such dynamics work.  They clamored over an actor relatively late to success who suddenly had fans.  Thrilled over finding each other, RA and his fans commenced a honeymoon, and proceeded to reinvent the wheel, as it were, just like any other new fandom the world over.  Then, Things Happened.  RA learned, like every other crush, that sending frequent missives and closely interacting with fans allowed some people to presuppose they have relationships with him, which created expectations and a certain sense of obligation and possessiveness, both of him and the entire fandom.  The entire fandom became the fans’ identities.  The squabbling and policing began.   So RA distanced himself.  People still point fingers over When RA Got Burned, but actually, it was bound to occur sooner or later.  There is no”if X and Y hadn’t happened, he would still be sending us silly messages.”  Nobody is to blame.  Human nature being what it is, social interactions will develop and evolve until an advantageous point for everybody concerned is reached.  RA had to withdraw to the point where he could maintain his own equanimity and still satisfy his fans.  Although it might feel differently to many here, there’s nothing unique or special about anything that happened then, or that other fans wanted to expanded their boundaries within the fandom now.  This is the common cycle of individual-based fandoms.  The problems have been that many lack perspective and self-awareness of their inexperience, magnified by being such a small group, as Servetus said.  For example, a lot of the extreme vehemence over the real person fiction topic would a) never happened or b) been dismissed, in a huge fandom like the Tolkien universe.  Have a pet peeve or like?; there’s a subset of a subgroup for that.  There’s a lower level of personal identity politics because the universe is so big and diverse.

Having been been a fan for almost two years (I use the term loosely because I’m more an observer) and coming from two major genre fandoms, I’ve sensed wistful longing for the good old days when RA dashed off frequent reports while sweltering in Hungary.  While I understand the sentiment of the confession, “will you look back at us the same way?,” I wonder if the author, as a legacy fan, still has not stopped grieving for the past.  If I read it to mean, “will you still think we (particularly the legacy fans) are special?,”  then generally speaking, I believe RA will always think all of his fans are special. After all, we have the good taste to pick him as a crush and support his career; he will always be grateful.  However, I suspect the confessor is really asking, “will you treat me the way that made me feel special?”  The answer is: no, he can’t because he understands the dangers of cultivating a sense of specialness that closer interaction engenders. I’ve no doubt he’ll think of the first fans fondly and gratefully, but those days are gone. In a way, that Armitage has been lost.   He has moved on to the next level, and so should we.

The influx of new fans from a big old fandom will be a shot in the arm for ArmitageWorld, and I welcome it.  Our little world has reached a point in development when it needs an infusion of new viewpoints and perspectives before it either stalls or squabbles itself to death.  We need new energy and vitality. We need broadening by more viewpoints.  Arguments and flamewars will never cease to exist because the potential for disagreement in groups is always present.  However, the dissension will attract less attention and acquire better perspective in a larger arena.  That’s not to say that a burgeoning fandom won’t bring new challenges.  But if this one is to mature and thrive, we have to let go of the lost Armitage and welcome  the new Armitage as he emerges.  I anticipate some fans will need to carefully assess whether to stay in ArmitageWorld. Maybe the influx of fans will change dynamics and affect personal tastes too much to stay.  Then we must wish them well, let them go and remember that things change.

Servetus ended her series by reminding us not to forget that we share RA as a focus when times get tough.  I would add one more thing: we also need to remember that RA has changed, is changing, and will continue to change as an actor and person.  To be content here, people will have to acknowledge and accept the evolution in both their fandom and their crush.  The confession makes me wonder whether some will find it easier accepting the former, than the latter.




SDCC and RA Report Card; or He’s So Shy

I promised a reaction to Richard Armitage at Comic Con, but hit the wall a bit on the fangurling.  After all, I’m not an ardent fan, just an lecherous old bag admirer.  Maybe I need some assistance.  Hold on…

Stop giggling ladies.  Martin told him what peaches actually means.

Richard Armitage signing autographs at Comic Con 2012 and wondering why these American fangirls like peaches so much.


Ah,  there’s nothing like a visual for inspiration. Where was I?  Oh, yes, RA’s presentation.  I’ll preface by saying that my admirer status allows me to shed my fan cloak and observe him coldly and objectively.  I’ve never had any qualms pointing out that the emperor is wearing no clothes, as it were.  In RA’s case, he’s gotten his wardrobe only half right. (I’d talk about Martin Freeman’s real attire but it makes my brain hurt.)

Before you throw the brickbats, Dear Reader, I’ll use my other crush David Tennant as an example.  I mentioned previously that DT and RA have  similar personalities and rises in fame at relatively older ages.  They are both intelligent, articulate, and witty but basically shy, quiet, well mannered, modest, geeky, and introverted.  When producers cast DT as the 10th Doctor in the UK’s wildly popular sci-fi program Doctor Who, he was thrust into an immense spotlight.  The public attention and scrutiny was huge; DT had to learn quickly as he went.  It was akin to being thrown into a lake, instead of the deep end of the pool, to see if he would sink or swim.  Not only did he swim, he created a modest cult of personality.

Boyishly attractive but not good looking, tall, skinny, lanky, and geeky, he is not the stereotypical leading man material.  He utters face-palming but refreshing remarks (after several celebrities sprouted prentious rubbish over a play by Tom Stoppard, infamous for being annoyingly esoteric, DT stated, “I was afraid I wouldn’t understand it, but it was accessible!”)   He is unself-conscious or apologetic about it, essentially saying, “This is who I am.  Love me or leave me.”  As he has said, “I’ve learned to deal with the yin and yang of that.”  He has turned these weaknesses into strengths, a well buffed public persona of DT, the man.   Sources say he is a quiet shy man in real life.  But before a camera or audience, he turns on the persona.  At times he gets a wicked gleam in his eye, suggesting he enjoys playing this role; it’s like his alter ego, the personality he would have possessed had he not been an introvert.  One of the biggest qualities DT exudes in single or group public situations that draws attention to him is confidence; he appears comfortable in his own skin.  If he isn’t, he does a damn good job not showing it.

So similar they should be BFFs

David Tennant and Richard Armitage. Only two British actors not in The Hollow Crown.

So what does this have to do with RA?

Okay, aside from him *still* having that beard, I found myself a bit ambivalent about his performance.  Don’t get me wrong, he’s made great strides from the nervous, giggly man from the North & South days.  He does seem more composed and confident in one-on-one interviews.  He displayed charm, intelligence, some dry wit (that flew over the heads of a few interviewers), and ease.  However, when it came to the group interviews, his confidence was not as evident.  He knew he did not have to speak unless spoken to, and it showed, especially during the EW interview when he became the most soft-spoken guest.  Even fans in chat remarked, “why’s he talking like that? Speak up!”  During the Hobbit panel, he dutifully answered his question and said nothing more.  It is true that time was tight, and Martin Freeman appeared the designated spokesperson, so RA might not have had the opportunity to engage more.  But what if circumstances had been different and he’d had more time to interact? Would he have used the opportunity to talk?  I don’t think so, and that’s what concerns me.

I understand he’s a shy man who, when he’s not “on,” has a propensity to standing at the ends of lines, hovering in the background of shots, being the only one to pull his chair back at the panel, forever finding some way not to be the focus of attention.  RA is confident about RA, the actor, but not so much about RA, the man, and it shows.  I have to wonder that if I can pick up these nonverbal cues, other people in positions to advance his career can, too.  RA may not want to be a “star,” but he wants to break into Hollywood.  That place is chock full of g00d-looking, talented actors.  He needs to stand out from the pack.  His wallflower tendencies of fading into the background won’t work there; he has to show the same confidence in a group that he does in one-on-one situations.  If he cannot find it within himself, then he must act it. That means putting himself forward (at least not falling back), talking more, interacting more in groups, being a bit more forthcoming.   He’s come along way, but still has a bit to go.

Public persona report card:

Personal dynamics –   A

Group dynamics –        C-



You Decide

This is a serious post.  There is no snark intended.

Snicker’s Mom just posted on her blog fears regarding the FL/KK situation buzzing around fandom for the past week.

As many of you may know, Fedoralady, a  journalist and photographer was set to attend Comic Con 2012,  having been hired for a gig by those associated with it.  Shortly before the convention, she was fired.

The following was posted on the IMBd board, a public forum, by Kiplingkat, who detailed how she contacted the convention people about Fedoralady and her reasons.  I’m offering this screencap without commentary. This is the original post.  Please click on it for a bigger image.  Draw your own conclusions.

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