|Promo poster for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey with Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield|
The enormous media coverage has also caused an explosion of the RA fandom. The Armitage Army is no longer some marginal group of people from around the world who follow the career of some English guy that most of their friends and family have never even heard of. Our man is suddenly public property and, although it's exactly what I was expecting, it's still scary. Don't get me wrong, I welcome the change with open arms. It's so wonderful to see that Richard is finally getting the attention and appreciation that he deserves. And the more people know about him, the closer we get to convincing the entire world of Richard's extraordinary talent.
|Richard Armitage in New York, at a photoshoot for Glamour Magazine|
So, I don't mind sharing the fandom with the world, but the fact that the fanbase has grown exponentially has made me re-evaluate the place I want to take up in it. I feel the need to explain myself, to elaborate further on the kind of fan that I am. I don't know if that makes any sense at all, but it feels like the right thing to do. Please keep in mind that you don't have to agree with anything that I say in this blogpost. Actually, I hope you don't. Wouldn't the world be a horribly boring place if we all had similar opinions about everything? But I need to share my own opinions about certain things. I'll start by taking a stand on some of the ideas that have been going around in the fandom lately.
Do I want Richard to play James Bond?
No. Please, no! Not that he wouldn't be a wonderful 007, but he's so much better that that. Stepping into a billion dollar franchise like James Bond would haunt him for the rest of his career. He'd be typecast for all eternity. And the interesting, challenging roles that he so desperately wants to play, would pass him by, because people would not be able to see past a certain spy... Lucas North: yes. James Bond: No.
|To me, this will always be Richard's 'James Bond' picture, simply because of his casual elegance and obvious grace. |
Behind the scenes at the 2009 BAFTA awards
Do I want Richard to star in a romantic comedy?
No. Please, no! Again, I'm sure he'd be wonderful at it, but there are so many more exciting roles waiting for him. Why should he waste his time on cheap, easy, romantic fluff? One book in particular seems to be circulating in the fandom these days: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer. I haven't read it, so I don't mean to judge the book or the author, but if I had anything to say about Richard's career, I would advise him not to be a part of a screen adaptation of the novel. That's just my opinion, feel free to disagree.
Do I want Richard to play Matthew Clairmont?
Honestly, I have no idea who Matthew Clairmont is. I haven't read Deborah Harkness' books and I don't want to pass judgement on them. But I do know that Matthew Clairmont is a vampire. For that simple reason, RA should stay well away from him and leave the vampires to the likes of Robert Pattinson or Stephen Moyer.
Do I want Richard to play Richard III?
Yes. Yes, please. Richard III is such an interesting character to play because there is so much we know about him but there's also so very much we don't know, leaving the details of his character and the truth about his abilities as a monarch open to creative interpretation. Now that his remains have been found and the eyes of the world are on Leicester, the challenge would be to make Richard III a real man, giving equal importance to his many wonderful accomplishments and the horrible dark truths about his reign while giving them the historical context required for us to completely understand their significance. Let me quickly add 2 things:
1. If Richard ever gets to play RichardIII, I can only hope that this film or series also pays tribute to the women in this story: Cecily Neville, Anne Neville, Isabelle Neville, Elizabeth Woodville, Margaret Beauchamp, Marguerite of Anjou, ...the lust goes on and on. Their significance may have been overlooked by the history books, but these women play a vital part in the story of the wars of the roses. Ah, to play Anne or even Cecily - I wouldn't even mind sinking my teeth into such a challenge myself (wishful thinking, I know!)
|A facial reconstruction of Richard III. Does it look like RA? Not necessarily. Is the resemblance enough for RA to be able to play him convincingly? Without a shadow of a doubt!|
2. What if RA decides, as he has often said, that by the time this project actually happens, he will be "too tall and too old" to play the role? Fine by me, as long as he gets to make the decision for himself. He'd be brilliant as Warwick the Kingmaker or even as Richard's father, the Duke of York. Alternatively, he could produce the piece and I'm sure you'll agree that his storytelling abilities would benefit very much from having him in the director's chair. Ah, such a dilemma! (sorry for going on and on about this, I should really do a separate piece about the RIII thing)
OK, enough confessions for today. I didn't mean to just be negative and I promise to also talk about other things that I would love for Richard to get involved in. In the meantime: is there anything you want to ask me? Anything you would like me to share? Please leave a comment and I'll do my very best to answer all of your questions.