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-

 

 

SSDC and RA: Aftermath

Your intrepid reporter moved from her armchair and headed in 200% humidity to The Taste.  It’s decimation is a sad affair.  I returned to see the chat is still going strong.  Join us!

I have a confession to make.  Despite the fact that RA still obscures his face with that pelt, I finally saw a beardy picture….yes, have to say it… that I actually APPROVE.  Servetus just had to show me. The beard horde is seriously gloating in the chat room.   Sigh.  The picture is courtesy of GeeksofDoom.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m still chewing on my reaction to RA at ComicCon.  This picture almost makes me want to be sweet.  Yes, I think the weather has gotten to me.  Must have a lie down.

 

SDCC and RA: 8

The Hobbit panel has finally started.  @CruisingCathy and @Arwen on Twitter are live blogging.   They are showing a “Making of” of the production and the last few days of shooting.  I’m thinking DVD extras, don’t you?

The dwarves are getting introduced.  Sir Ian gets a huge ovation.  Sir Peter walks out filming the audience saying hi from ComicCon.

Tweets are a bit sparse or delayed.  No matter.  I’m sure we’re all dying to see the footage in living color.

courtesy of meowmeowpurring on Tumblr

Wait, just realized I’ve forgotten to blog in snark.  What I *meant* to say was “these live-bloggers really s– .”  Oh, Arwen just tweets, “Fantastic footage of the movie has been shown. More details later.” 12 1/2 minutes of new footage had been shown including first looks at Tauriel and Radagast, and the beginning of Riddles in the Dark.

Phillipa talks about bringing back Cate Blanchett as Galadriel to, you know, inject some estrogen into the movie.

Wow, I think RA might successfully NOT speak!  But can he get away with it???

OMG!  He speaks!!  “We went through quite an evolution for the look of Thorin. Working with a prosthetic like that is quite a challenge. By Day 1, I didn’t think I would make it 2 or 3 weeks… by the end, I couldn’t work without it.” “Managing the heat and ‘sweaty dwarf’ was a challenge itself.”

Fine, so he actually spoke.  But will more fans make him… speak AGAIN???

Surprise guest Elijah Wood says he was blown away by the new footage.

Sir Peter goes on about shooting and shooting and the ups and downs of filming.

Andy Serkis talks about starting out as Gollum and ending as an assistant director. Yes, he does The Voice.

And that’s it folks!   RA successfully spoke only once.  I think his maddening reputation as a retiring, unassuming, quiet bloke remains intact.   Suddenly the Pointer Sisters’ “He’s So Shy” plays in my head.  Sigh.

If you want to read the detailed live blogging yourself, click here and here.

Keep a look out for release of any video tomorrow.

 

SDCC and RA: 7

Okay, they are saying the Hobbit panel starts at 4:00PM PDT.  There are 4,000 people waiting to get into Hall H.  A projected 126,000 people are expected to attend SDCC.  From watching TORn’s live feed, it looks like an overcast day in sunny San Diego.

Actually nobody seems very sure when the cast will be on except they are saved for last. If you are on Twitter, check out the live blogging.  I’m hearing there will be no live video from Hall H, only live blogging.  The earliest video will be posted is tomorrow.

In the meantime, read this post by somebody you all know.

 

SSDC and RA: 6

It’s my understanding there will be no live video feed in Hall H, only live blogging.  So I’m taking the opportunity to grab a bite.  Oh wait!

TORn is about to do an interview with the crew.  They have no idea if they will be able to stream the interview.  After the longest walk I’ve ever seen, the TORn crew is trying to get the camera into the press conference.  Aww, he lost connection, just as he feared.  It’s a bit ironic that TORn is live streaming this but loses connection before they can get to the cast.

Anyway, the EW interview is now on YouTube:

Cast of The Hobbit interviewed by Entertainment Weekly Comic Con

For more Richard Armitage check out our unofficial fansite http://richardarmitagecentral.co.uk

 

I’m now hearing, 34 minutes until the panel.

 

 

 

 

SSDC and RA: 5

Tech issues sorted out!  Your armchair reporter is back in business.  If you’re having issues seeing video, be sure you have the latest Adobe Flash 11.3.

Entertainment Weekly is about to interview the Hobbit cast.  Oh, they are running late.  Their handlers are moving them swiftly on but not swiftly enough.

They have arrived: RA, Ian McKellan, Martin Freeman, Peter Jackson, Andy Serkis, and Pippa Boyens. Martin Freeman talks about being part of the production, and working with the age lapse in the film.  RA seems happy to let him do the talking until directly questioned.

Finally, RA explains his role as Thorin and his perspective of the character.  He’s quite soft spoken, actually.  Sir Ian spoke of being back with the Hobbit family.  Pippa talked about dividing the film in half “in the spirit of the book…”     And then — the interview was cut short, probably to rush the cast for their panel in Hall H.

Here is a my screen cap from the EW interview.

Next up: Live blogging the live blogging from Hall H.

SSDC and RA: 3

Media is flying fast and furious.  Fans are assisting your armchair reporter in chat to bring you latest in a semi-coherent fashion.  While TORN sets up to interview RA and Martin Freeman, be sure to stay tuned for the Hobbit panel in the infamous Hall H in a few hours.  RAFrenzy and HeathRA are there working behind the scenes.  Recent tweets report they are properly situated in the line for Hall H and will be able to get in.

Oh wait, RA was just interviewed.  Unfortunately I could not get the TORN video, but some chatters did.  He was dressed in a black buttoned shirt over black T-shirt – very goth one said. Oh, and a necklace.  Basically he talked about reading the books when he was 8 and going back to it when he was 40 and how Tolkien created legends, not myths.  He also mentioned the cast party “… when they party, they party hard.”

While I have a few words with my tech feed, enjoy some pics courtesy of WBpictures and TORN

courtesy of the TORN Twitter feed

 

courtesy of WBPictures

 

Live Blogging of SSDC Live Blogging: 1

Hello, this is your intrepid armchair reporter live blogging all the SDCC media to which she can wonkily connect.  My internet is becoming temperamental even *before* the first raindrop falls.  You’ve just gotta love the features of some ISPs.

Anyway, it’s finally Saturday in sunny San Diego at half past noon.  Actually, I have no idea of the weather there, but let’s assume, shall we, because Richard Armitage is at this moment at ComicCon signing autographs with Martin Freeman and Andy Serkis.   The photographers are on them.

So, the answer to the big question: beard or no beard?  BEARD!  *heartbreak*

RA and The Beard, courtesy of @IWantToBeAPinUp on Twitter

I – I – I need to compose myself.  Watch this space.

BTW, if the beard horde wants to rub it in, click here and come chat.  It’s the place to be!