Paging back through stuff tonight, I realized how little I’ve managed to write about Richard Armitage lately — between various things that were going on. My second biggest problem moved out of the house last night, and it’s time to enjoy it! So, some more gestural contemplation and questions about the role gestures play in his acting.
Don’t we all love to watch the man move?
I noticed this gesture again recently. It’s one of Armitage’s signature moves: the chin move. Now, there are a lot of Armitage chin moves (for instance, the gesture to Maya to come into his house made by Lucas North / John Bateman in Spooks 9.3), but I’m interested specifically in the raise- and then pull-the-chin down move in transitional moments of movement.
For instance, in episode 1 of North & South, after Mr. Thornton tells his mother that Margaret won’t consider him a catch — as he’s grasping his ledger and turns around to face her:
Or in episode 1 of Strike Back, when Porter gives Collinson his weapon:
Or in episode 1.7 of Robin Hood, when Guy is preparing to have the necklace removed from Eleri’s neck for a second time.
In each of these cases, I feel like it’s a very subtle self-steadying move — asserting for himself his authority in each instance — and in the second, particularly, his command of the situation and masculinity.
Have you noticed this move? What do you think?