RA in Epic Acting Fail! News at 11

I kid you not, Dear Reader. I possess proof positive of Richard Armitage’s acting failure. This little gem was posted by RAnet.com in the Robin Hood S1 update section. It’s a BBC 2006 website interview with the man himself.

[jwplayer config=”myplayer” file=http://www.jagrant.com/My_Videos/RHseries1webint.mov image=http://www.jagrant.com/wp-images/RHseries1webint.JPG]

There I was taking in the pretty and considering dusting off my Wacom drawing tablet when his last sentence hit me. It starts at 3:04:

“I’m really hoping that when people sit and watch this, when Gisborne is trying to win Marian, that they actually squirm in their seats, that their skin is crawling; that’s my aim with this character, to make people absolutely despise him.”

After talking about Guy for eight days straight for FanstRAvaganza, I find this hilarious.  This interview suggests he intended to play the panto baddie; he wanted us to boo and hiss and stamp our feet.  This seems true through about half of S1, notably during Guy’s “torture the villagers” phase.  But did RA’s propensity for finding light in dark characters go too far?  Guy very quietly moved towards becoming a more sympathetic character especially when Marian left him at the altar in the S1 finale and it’s quite evident the writers bought into the kindler gentler Guy philosophy during S2 and S3.

However even when Guy was his sadistic best in S1, I never had a sense of total evil particularly when dealing with Marian.  He could be cruel, calculating, and clueless but underneath lie a growing sense he was pitiable.  So, if RA meant my skin to crawl, he did a poor job.   A really bad job.

Tsk, his “evil” needs more work.

23 thoughts on “RA in Epic Acting Fail! News at 11

  1. The problem is, that in RH1, there was a mesmerising effect of the physical presence. Too catnip for those who grew up on Heathcliff and Byron etc. So, if he really wanted to do the panto/boo hiss thingy, he failed! Leave that to Keith Allen – hiss every time! 😀

    Gisborne? Deep waters there…

    • I was trying to think of a better way to say it, and you did. Yes, he’s too delicious to make my skin crawl. And there you have it – I like this character because I’m shallow. 😉

  2. Join the shallow side of our analytical, objective natures. judi. The Other Side. Despite a small rep as a Connery fan of decades, he didn’t charm me. And I don’t care for being charmed, anyway. That little obsession was easy to see through. (Still like you, SIR SC, despite the knighthood 🙂 , but…

    How much of this devotion to a real actor, who has paid his dues, trained, and apparently read and THOUGHT his roles through, is due to the influence of media? How much is due to the explosion of the Internet/social media/ etc etc… The talent of those who have taken up blogging, vidding, art, and all available means of self-expression? Which feeds the fuels in individual and creative ways?

    I think this is a REALLY good actor, who ought to be an actor (and hopefully, director and beyond that, a producer.

    So, the Internet has its positive aspects, in this context. Only, there could be dragons there…(not perhaps, for Mr. A though)

    • The shallow end is quite nice, hence all the framed beefcake posters you see here. 😉

      Definitely fandom is fueled by explosion of the internet. Without it, RA would still be laboring as a good but obscure actor in the UK. (He’s still relatively unknown but that’s changing fast.) Interviewers tease about his army of fans but producers and casting directors know RA has a burgeoning fan base. We wouldn’t have found each other were it not for the internet. Look how I found you all.

      I’m not sure if RA directly inspires me. Interestingly I’m drawn to your group because it has so many intelligent, critical-thinking (a must for me in today’s anti-intellectual culture), and creative people who spark self-expression. That you all are mature and understand boundaries and that everything has its place is a bonus. It feels like a safe incubator.

      Don’t worry, I think he’s a fine actor. My tongue was firmly planted in cheek … when it’s not hanging out. 😉

  3. Didn’t you see the little smile right at the end there? He’s teasing. There’s a glint in his eye throughout this whole interview, as there is during that joke about smaller guys being better at archery (1.08).

    Thanks for the link back 🙂

    • Hi Ali! I can only hope he’s teasing because I’d have to award him the Razzy (real award for worst acting) I fear. 😉

  4. Definitely a fail! I remember when I first saw that I was like, Huh? Did he say what I thought he said. LOL! I have a theory about all of that, but I’m saving that for later. Muhahahaha. : D

  5. Absolutely, Frenz! Which might account for my personal obsession with re-hashing MI5 8/9. (Trying to find the Good in Writers/Producers?) Should sail to more salubrious shores – N&S? Except I’m underwhelmed by DDA, and people seem to love her… Ah well.

    • It would probably scare you how much research I’ve done on some of these writer/producers in my need to figure out what in hell’s name were they thinking? The obvious answer is that it’s about stringing out a story for x number of episodes and doing that over and over again each year. But I wasn’t satisfied with the obvious answer.


      I’ll give you a heads up before I start, and I disagree with Ali that he was teasing. I really think he meant it. Sorry, Ali. 🙂

      • It was also about desperately doing something “different.” Surely TPTB know it failed if they needed to spin the entire season. Don’t they? And how can they have a finale commentary without the departing actor? They must have been terrified by what he might say.

    • Ugh, you know how I feel about Spooks S9. I’m not one for overheated rhetoric (except when discussing Himself) but even I was deeply annoyed.

      Hmm, you don’t care too much for Guy and DDA underwhelms, so… how about some Monet? Paul’s peaches? Kindly Dr. Track? Maybe you’ll have to hold out for the hairy hobbit. 😉

      • Well, let’s not forget he is going to reprise his role as John Porter…Not sure how much he’ll be in SB2 but that should get us through to Fall at least…I love JP (and Lucas S7-8, even S9 – for his physique and acting skill – but minus the crazy storyline.)

        @Fitzg, I’m with you. DDA underwhelms me quite a bit. I didn’t notice it as much the first time I watched it. But with repeated views (can anyone guess why…) she is starting to grate on my nerves. There are too many moments of vacant expression. Perhaps she was trying to be subtle in her acting, but I think it went too far. There was no life in her eyes. Perhaps she was shell-shocked by Mr. Thornton’s beauty, intensity and overall yumminess?

        • Oh yes, forgot about JP. However since RA’s getting only a months break from the Hobbit, I don’t imagine we will see much JP. But we beggars can’t be choosers.

          I liked DDA although I admit to watching the entire series once. She did have some vacant expressions but I took this as the character not knowing how to react to a world different from her own and that it was considered bad taste for a lady to reveal emotion.

  6. judiang, don’t know about everyone else, but totally beguiled by Guy! (Against better or something judgement) 😀 Obviously, just about all of us are! Don’t quite know why DDA was underwhelming. Fantastic role for a good working actress. Just, something missing. Still trying to analyse reaction; it’s history, done, and a great series/movie…(Well, what else can we do in the Great Drought, but harp on the past?)

    @Frenz, fat chance of getting bored with RA! Even re-hashing 🙂 . Really look forward to your theory. Unleash when you feel the time is right, you tease! 🙂

    • Alright I stand corrected fellow Guy lover. Just watched The Impressionists for the first time. It amazes me how different RA looks from role to role. Don’t think I’ll tire of looking at him any time soon.

  7. Well, I don’t know where I’ve been but I’ve just discovered that there are a few audio commentaries, that include Mr. A, in my RH boxset…. Yay! new RA material….

  8. @Calexora, yes re; DDA, not an overly mobile face? A super role for a good actress, and she was good. Just not -je ne sais quois…no – passion?

    Though Mrs. Gaskill wrote in the age of the Brontes and clearly had immense respect for Currer Bell, her Margaret Hale didn’t leap off the page. However, Mrs. G’s purpose in writing seems not that of the isolated Bronte sisters. From that point of view, DDA’s performance was very good. Print and film are different media, though, and I’m really looking forward to seeing Jane Eyre, with Mia W.

  9. I’ve been thinking the exact same thing. Skin crawl? How? As Robert Lovelace in the radio adaptation of “Clarissa” – YES. There he makes my skin crawl, definitely! But Guy? Nooo, Guy’s just a bit misunderstood is all. 🙂

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