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.
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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.