Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch’intrate

Richard Armitage at press conference for “The Hobbit,” Wellington, New Zealand, February 11, 2011. Source: Richard Armitage Net. (Thanks to Ann Marie for forwarding when it was still February 10th my time. Not sure what I’d have done if I’d have seen this tomorrow, as you’ll probably notice tomorrow. Would have been too much. More pictures have floated into my mail in the fifteen minutes since this one arrived. Also link to the conference on youtube. Step away from the screen, Servetus. Step away from the screen.)

Brown hair, full beard, and with all that brown and the dark background his eyes almost look brown. And those open, friendly, smiles and mischievous glances. I’ll write about this more later, but it’s going to be extremely hard after having seen this picture to restrain myself from entertaining sexual, and much worse, romantic, fantasies about the man himself.

Wanted to mark this moment because honestly, until now I always thought that despite my feelings of compulsion, I could make myself walk away, but now, I’m afraid, my goose may be cooked.

Tears in my eyes.

~ by Servetus on February 10, 2011.

208 Responses to “Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch’intrate”

  1. He is lovely and all man….fantasize away…sigh..sharing this was the best thing I’ve done today!

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  2. Several? thousand gooses have come to boiling point. The fragrance of bubbling geese permeates the continents…

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  3. Should we thank you, Ann Marie and servetus, for ensuring MORE cooked geese? Quelle photo!! πŸ˜€

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  4. See also:

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  5. Two more photos have also appeared at C19, courtesy of HeathRA, I believe. I don’t know whether I have permission to publish those, but head over there to check them out. Link to C19 in sidebar.

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  6. I’ve had a silly grin on my face from the first moment I saw this. I am envisioning him with his Ricky Deeming plaid shirt with the sleeves rolled up, wielding that hammer on an anvil, or an axe on a fallen tree, or . . . putting up bookshelves. Your Bearded Boy Next Door, Servetus. Ann Marie, sweetie, thanks for getting the ball rolling and Servetus, for further sharing the goodness!!! And yes, as I mentioned in an earlier email, talk about MANLY!! Whoa, Nelly . . .

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    • Yeah, my reaction to that beard really frightened me. Too bad they’re not filming in my city, he might have moved into the apartment next door, it’s vacant πŸ™‚

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      • I hope you wouldn’t have minded a sudden visit from your dear friend from LA if such a thing had happened, Prof.:D

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        • well, he seems shy, so I’d have to take it slow, but of course not, Angie πŸ™‚

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          • His shyness is also one of the things which so endears him to me. My Benny is a shy guy, too. Took him forever to get up the nerve to kiss me the first time (but he made up for it afterwards). I promise I wouldn’t pounce on the Dear Man right away; I’d be soft-spoken and mannerly. At least I think I would. πŸ˜€

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            • I’m sure you’d at least try to be but one never knows πŸ˜‰

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              • Actually, I would probably turn into that massive puddle of goo some have mentioned. *rolls eyes*

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                • Seriously, if he moved in next door, my obstinate nature would probably force me to ignore him or duck my head every time I saw him for at least nine months. He’d think I hated him.

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  7. Love that rainbows are dancing in his hair. How adorable.

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  8. GULP! Thanks gals! This is really real now.

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    • One imagines that he was gulping too. He was very quiet.

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      • I wonder if inside he was thinking, “I can’t believe I’m finally HERE at a press conference for TH–it’s finally happening!” with a little leap of joy inside, tempered by nerves. This is certainly THE biggest thing he has ever been imvolved in (well, that goes for them all, I guess, except those who were in LOTR) and it has to create all sorts of feelings surely–euphoria, anxiety, excitement . . .

        Oh, I am so glad things seem to be going well. I know I already said that, but I am sayin’ it again!! Just getting this report made me feel a bit like a parent must feel if their child has been far away from home for the first time (I think of my sister going away for six weeks to Europe at 15) and how relieved to know that child is safe and sound and having a good time. πŸ˜€

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        • probably also a little bit of “I have to prove myself”, too.

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          • Oh, yeah, absolutely. As I said over at RAF’s blog, here he is, one of the stars of what will likely be the two most expensive movies ever made and certainly a highly anticipated project–and folks have been quibbling about whether or not he can pull off the role–I think he very much wanted to make a statement in the way he behaved, the manner in which he spoke as well as what he actually said.

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  9. See also: http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/4641995/Live-coverage-The-Hobbit-press-conference

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  10. Now it isn’t so hard to imagine the bearded dwarf πŸ˜€ Wish they could just leave the hair as it is as he looks just so, so….. I’m speechless!!

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    • If they left his hair and beard as it is, Teuchter, he would certainly end up being the hottie dwarf some have feared LOL

      It’s just so grand to see him looking so well and fit and really happy (and to finally get some images from NZ!!)

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      • Na, not the hair. Everyone in middle earth as long hair, except hobbits. Leaving the beard like this would be very dangerous.

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        • For all kinds of reasons.

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        • Let’s see Jane – the beard he has now, long hair like Gizzy in RH 3…mmmm? I think I like it πŸ™‚

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          • Musa,

            I keep thinking of Guy in the forest with Robin when Robin’s creepy dad shows up . . . he had a pretty heavy beard growth then, and I thought he looked dead sexy. So I suspect while Guy is hanving out in my den in Sloth Fiction, he will also be growing a beard, as requested by his friend, Lady Writer. I am sure Thorin’s beard will be much longer, but a girl can have her little fantasies . . . πŸ˜‰

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      • Agree on all counts. He looks to be in good shape, to be comfortable, and his hair is looking bushier again.

        I was kind of surprised that these were the first photos we’ve seen so far. They must really have an effective cordon sanitaire around the production.

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        • Seriously! These folks are on top of their game, it seems. Which makes me feel they will also continue to be very good about looking after their actors.

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  11. Ay Dios Mio! I think Valentine’s Day came early in the form of Richard Armitage and a full beard. Yes, doesn’t he look gorgeous! I think I’m going to faint seeing him in 3D, but what a way to go! (Must also mention his fellow hot dwarves, Aidan turner and Robert Kazinsky!). Hope this is only the start of more press conferences and updates. I’m so very happy for him.
    I know you’ve all seen this quote from one of the articles out there about Richard, but I just love it and its worth repeating: “…he had a notably deep voice, exactly right for Thorin, and real gravitas. He walked into the conference with a kind of testosterone charged lope.”

    Enjoy Servetus! I know I will.

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  12. That photo has displaced all others as my #1. (Well, almost all displaced, stubble is nice, too) I really do like beards, and Mr. Armitage was born to wear one.

    But, as the dwarves appear to be growing beards, does this mean beard hair extensions as well? Would that be more uncomfortable than the pate hair extensions for RH2?

    Getting incoherent here. Must calm my inner goose….

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    • It is now my laptop background, @fitzg. I had Mr. A looking alluring in his tux from one of the BAFTAs but decided Bearded Beauty must take precedent over it. He really does have the perfect facial structure and growth pattern to wear a beard. Now that’s the way you do it, fellas!!

      I have wondered about the dwarf beards–in some of the illustrations they are really long and even plaited into braids in some images–and as mentioned elsewhere, I sort of expect his hair to be grey or grey-streaked for the role as he is the elder statesmen of dwarves, as it were. I don’t think extensions are uncomfortable as much as they are very time-consuming to have put in. And he does hate having to sit in the makeup chair too long, I believe he has said.

      On a purely shallow note, did anyone who watched the press conference vids–particularly the more close-up ones–notice how delightfully snug that shirt was? Almost straining across the chest. And his arms . . . Thorin is going to be one fit dwarf, I do believe. But he is a warrior, after all . . .

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    • @fitg.: Like you and Servetus, I count myself as a devoted lover of (well-kept) facial hair on the male of our species and this is the perfect beard on the perfect specimen! His natural hair is glossy and it looks as though he’s giving it a good rest from the dye. It’s as though our thoughts on hair colour have been telepathically conveyed to NZ *teehee*. Looking very good, Richard A.!

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      • When I saw the photo before going out to work this morning I questioned whether I would be able to stand in front two assemblies of school children without melting. I am a very keen fan of bearded men, I’ve mentioned before that I’ve never seen hubby without his and I had always thought Richard as Angus in the RSC Macbeth was deeply sexy but boy, oh boy…

        Slightly concerned that he is fixating about a certain birthday coming up in August – ‘middle-aged’! Richard darling, we are so not interested in boys, we only want one particular man, mature and (if it can be possible) more gorgeous with every day that passes.

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      • Someone described his hair as “Mahogany” in color, which is pretty apt. And the rainbows just set it off! πŸ˜€

        It’s a very becoming shade on him and he does seem to have gotten a bit of color in his complexion from outdoor activities. Put it all together with that fit physique of his and that is one fine specimen of manhood. I disagree with what someone said about him “looking like all the other guys” with the beard–that smile, those eyes, that nose, that physique still stand out for me.

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  13. @Musa. Thank you so much for the quote from the article re the “deep voice” and the “testosterone charged lope”!!!! Be still my beating heart!! Well it IS still beating at the moment but if we see or read much more of all this gorgeousness – well – cardiac arrest may be on the cards!! Not sure if applying a picture of Richard with a beard would work in the resuscitation process this time!! By the way where did you find that article? I think I missed it!

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  14. Thanks girls for these links. The author’s comment, “I don’t think he’ll have any trouble holding the audience’s attention” elicited from me an “Are you kidding me?????????????” He has OUR attention (and has had for years in some cases) and the film hasn’t even been made yet!! But some of the comments about how famous these guys are going to be thrilled me to the core. Finally our dear man is getting the attention he has deserved for so long!!

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    • We have to remember everyone out there hasn’t yet felt the full impact of the Armitage Effect. They Will Believe. πŸ˜€

      And yes, the attention and recognition he so richly deserves certainly seems to be forthcoming. Keep your eyes on the quiet, beautiful dark horse (with gravitas!) ladies and gents. He’s a winner!!

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  15. Still cruising on overheatd Toshi and this SHITE keyboad. ARGGHH.

    Naturally I had to watch the whole thing because the drool is knee deep in here. πŸ˜‰ Impressions:

    1) Guess I’m just not into beards although RA is rocking his. He has the face for it. Don’t want to scream OMG SHAVE like I have for other actor. Wouldn’t kick him out of bed, no sireee. I just think his lovely features should be obscured in any way.

    2) We got a glimpse of his shy/reserved nature. Notice how he didn’t speak unless addressed and how he hung back during the photo op. He wa quite unassuming.

    3) On the subjec of speaking, his voice was almost rumbling. Is he learning to pitch his voice lower as dwarf leader? Now I have to fan myself.

    4) I couldn’t help thinking: There’s cute Aidan Turner the lad, sitting next to lovely RA, the man. I’ll take middle-aged any time.

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    • Judiang,

      Middle-aged in Middle Earth could not possibly be improved upon when it involves The Armitage Effect (with a Beard!). πŸ˜‰

      I agree–there are cute boys like Aiden and Rob, and then there are handsome, proper grown-up men like Richard. *swoon*

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    • Have to say I agree with you judiang about the beard. Though he wears it well, and it’s great to see the effects of all that NZ sunshine and fresh air. And he looks the fittest of the gang by far.

      I really loved Guy with his heavy stubble in S3 ep 10. He looked so…manly. Beyond manly. But a full beard makes RA look, well, just like a regular guy to me. (I do get that this can be attractive!) Watching the press conference I found I was having to decipher familiar RA expressions through all that facial hair. I especially miss seeing his mouth – his smirk just won’t be the same when it’s shrouded in beard.

      So that just leaves the eyes and the crinkly forehead to do the acting – luckily two (or three) of his best features.

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      • Beard: You hit this on the head for me, and explain why I was so disturbed yesterday.

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      • The beard has a different effect on me, I feel like it is framing his mouth and makes you more aware of his beautiful smile; it hides most of his face so your attention focuses on his twinkling, blue eyes. In short in enhances his features and leaves me breathless so I can’t actually see him as regular guy.

        Actually, I think one of the things I love (physically) about Guy is his stubble/beard and sideburns during the second half of each season. When I saw Richard in that press conference, I had the fleeting thought that RA could take Guy’s first place in my likings. (Don’t tell Guy)

        OML πŸ˜›

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        • I have a neighbor who has a reddish gold beard and hair and I have always thought him very attractive. He has twinkling bright, bright blue eyes and a charming smile, which , as you say, OML, are set off by his beard. I don’t remember what he looked like sans beard and now I would be rather disappointed if he shed it. Of course, he doesn’t have RA’s magnificent bone structure and aquiline nose, but he IS a cutie. πŸ˜€

          Richard is beautiful in any and all of his phases to me; I am amazed at how he “works” every look. But he is seriously working the major Masculinity Factor right now, and I think that is one of Guy’s major charms for me, OML. So I know how you feel . . . (but I won’t breath a word of it to Guy, I promise)

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  16. Musa, what fellow dwarves? I didn’t notice any other dwarves! (Just joking πŸ™‚ )

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  17. I loved something that everyone else might find odd. I loved that he referred to being almost 40 and that he was a middle-aged man. He has always had a quiet maturity coupled with a boyishness but this is deeper and more mature than I’ve seen before. “Gravitas” is exactly the right word. His reserve, his grace, his generosity in letting others have the stage. All of it made me want to wait for the moment when he would speak. Well done, Richard. Well done.

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    • And the comment about being in a production of The Hobbit early in his career and loving the book as a child seemed to resonate with the rest of the cast. Class act indeed!

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    • That remark about him being middle aged resonated with me too Ann Marie. In the edited part of the Press conference with only Richard and the photo shoot later just reinforced for me how modest and self-effacing he is. In no rush to speak until he was spoken to, yet when he did, it was with his customary intelligence and attention to detail. It was even more noticeable in the photo shoot where he stands in the back, almost hidden in some shots I have seen and not attracting attention to himself in any way. As others have written he is absolutely a class act. I felt like standing up and applauding!! His parents must be so proud of him. I know WE all are!!

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      • He really exudes a quiet confidence, a self-assurance of his place in the world that does not demand constant attention. And I loved how he talked with his hands once more–such beautiful hands–as he answered their questions in his usual articulate manner (on a side note, do you suppose that unusually deep voice might be due to bit of a cold? Or is he already channeling Thorin . . .).
        Modest and self-effacing are the watchwords. Indeed, he was letting Freeman and some of the other dwarves take center stage as he stayed in the background during the photo shoot.

        I was thinking of how so very proud of him I am, almost as if he were a member of my family or one of my former students . . . yes, John and Margaret must be bursting their buttons with pride over what a truly fine son they have. If he isn’t the Real Thing in terms of a “celeb” I don’t know who is.

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        • I had exactly the same thought Angie regarding the deep voice even though I loved the sound of it. Very sexy!!! It reminded me of a scene near the end of RH 2 when they are on their way to the Holy Land and staying at the inn. He is asleep and dreaming and they show various people coming and massaging his shoulders. Talking about that episode he said himself he had a “stinking cold” or words to that effect.

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          • I bet all the women who were in the room felt their ovaries explode when Richard started talking. Sexy indeed!!
            Yeah, I remember when he was in the carriage and Marian protested something and Guy said, “Whot? Feel betrayed?” And his voice was even deeper than usual in that ep . . . and Guy’s voice was always a little deeper than Richard’s natural voice. I recall his commentary about the stinking cold.

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            • It could be a cold, I just saw the whole conference and he doesn’t even laugh, just smile (a dastardly one at that) but maybe he throat hurt and so tried not to force it.

              OML πŸ™‚

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              • I kind of read his body language as “there are going to be enough people who want to speak at this, I’ll just hang loose and let them do it.”

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                • I agree with you servetus. Also, this whole Hobbit project is a marathon not a sprint…there is a great deal of time ahead of them…..he impresses me as a distance runner if you understand my meaning. And a happy belated birthday lovely woman!

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                • “Yeah, just bide my time and let everyone have their turn” (well, there were 13 of them, which is a pretty large group for such an affair).

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            • A room of exploding ovaries!! ROTFLOL!!! That image is sort of scary.

              yeah I remember that scene in RH and thought, Man someone should’ve given that poor man some DayQuil!

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          • in that episode I think he obviously has a cold. I don’t think he had a cold in the press conference — there’s the effect that usually one’s voice starts off lower when one hasn’t spoken for awhile, but I think he may also be working on pitching it a bit lower. The combined effect anyway is that if one starts lower one is perceived as speaking lower the whole time even if one doesn’t, which is happening here. His voice pitch raises a bit as he continues to speak.

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      • I felt like this was also very considerate of his fellow actors. As one of 13 dwarves you can easily get lost in a crowd — as opposed to being the head dwarf (so to speak).

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        • He exuded “head dwarf” for me without having to try to take possession of the conference. Well, for one thing, he loomed over almost everybody else, he was stronger and fitter-looking, he sat very still and took in what everyone else was saying, and then when he spoke, my goodness, that voice!

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      • He owed calling himself middle aged to all the the middle aged radio four listeners! πŸ˜‰

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    • I loved that, too, Ann Marie. It might have been my favorite thing of what he said.

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  18. Hi all from Wellington New Zealand
    I’m squealing with joy that Richard is in my home town.

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    • Thanks for the comment, Liz, and welcome — yours might be our first from someone who’s actually from New Zealand!

      We’re happy he’s there, too. Please be nice to him! πŸ™‚

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      • Servetus – I’ll try to make sure Richard is safe and sound here in Wellington. We are a nice lot really so he’ll be ok. Its summer and hot here so I hope he’s enjoying his stay.

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        • Liz,

          It looks like, from the evidence of the press conference, that all the fellows are having a marvelous time in your lovely country, feeling very welcome there and enjoying the summer weather! I have always wanted to visit Australis and New Zealand–and never more than now!! πŸ˜€

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    • Hi Liz in NZ and welcome!! I have been in your beautiful country twice now and loved it AND the people. Wish we could be where you are but as this isn’t possible at the moment keep us posted!! Delighted to see he is safely there and I’m sure he’ll love it!

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  19. Well done, indeed, Richard. Intelligent, articulate, charming, mature, modest; displaying no need to try to be the center of attention . . . but you were, of course, the center of our attention. And did I mention you looked absolutely, devastatingly handsome? Going on 40 never looked or sounded better, my dear.

    A true gentleman and yes, a class act.

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  20. Not sure but I’ve read in 2 different places tonight that he’ll be in Strike Back for season 2. Anybody else see this? Almost too good to be true but Sky says this:
    http://tv.sky.com/second-series-for-sky1s-strike-back

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  21. Yeah, I have seen it several places now, NB. I wonder if they sort of made sure this announcement coincided with that NZ press conference??
    And of course, we don’t know how many of the eps he will actually be in. Since previous announcements had Stapleton posited as the new star of S2 and 3, I am assuming Porter will bow out (Please DON’T kill him off!) somewhere in Series 2 . . . I know some fans will be happy to see the end of John Porter, but I am definitely NOT one of them.

    Judging by RA’s physique at the conference, he looks almost like he could play JP again right now. My, my–all that talent and intelligence and sweet, unassuming nature wrapped up in so much–gorgeousness. *thud*

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    • I agree — that body was closer to Porter’s than to Lucas’s.

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      • The biceps keep popping into my consciousness.

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        • Yep!! My eyes were certainly drawn to them although I didn’t think for one moment that they looked artificially “pumped” – just “strong” which was how he said he wanted to look in SB. All in all he just looked spectacular in my eyes and I could stare at him all day. In fact I’m almost afraid to say how much time I HAVE spent at the computer since these pictures were first shown!!

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          • He doesn’t look like one of those awful steroid-enhanced body builders. Just strong and fit. And those biceps . . . *thud*

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  22. Ang, you really are going to have to stop tiptoeing around this guy and tell us what you REALLY think!! πŸ˜‰

    Thanks for confirming this. Some places have been bemoaning the fact that he wouldn’t be in Strike Back again and other implyed that he might be in limited appearances. I say we mount a “Don’t Even Think About Killing Off Porter” campaign.

    OK, now I can sleep.

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    • Even though I do have a rather shy and retiring nature in Real Life, I am quite unabashed about expressing my affection and adoration for a certain Richard Armitage, NB.

      After the debacle of Spooks 9, i would be MORE than happy to launch to a campaign to protect my favorite Soldier Boy. πŸ˜€

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    • I also read about SB and someone said he could perhaps not appear in some episodes of SB 2 but could reappear in SB 3 – presuming there would be a series 3. Richard said himself that he felt this character could go on to do a lot more. I know it was early last year when he said that and before TH role, but I don’t see why not!! Otherwise add me to the list of campaigners!!

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      • I think it’s good he’ll be in a few episodes of SB2 because of the international recognition(esp in the US) he will receive before The Hobbit premieres. However,I would actually like him to move on and do other roles after that. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy watching Strike Back, but I’d like him to stretch his acting legs further and try other roles that will open up to him once TH premieres.

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        • I think that’s exactly right, Riv — it sort of keeps the audience warm and primes the pump so people know bit who he is.

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          • I think SB will be a great way to introduce more folks on this side of the pond to Richard as an actor before The Hobbit comes out. I do wonder if they are going to air the first series here in the States . . . since it did have something of an anti-American slant in the last two eps (which I can handle just fine; not sure how the general public would feel).

            I don’t want him to play JP forever, Riv; I’m just not quite ready to give him up. πŸ˜‰

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            • @angieklong I didn’t realize that SB hadn’t been aired in the US. It was shown on Canadian TV some months ago on both a regular channel and an HD one. JP in HD!! What more could a girl want?? Before I saw it I wasn’t sure what to expect seeing him in that kind of role after Spooks but he was “tres magnifique”!!

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              • Yeah, I had to watch it via download (but I DID buy the DVD later). I have wanted to buy a copy of it for my oldest sister–she would SOOOO love Porter–but it’s only available in our region in Blu-Ray and it’s about $60—a little out of my price range. She doesn’t have a region-free player yet (just ordered Sparkhouse from AmazonUK for my other sister who does have a region-free player– DVD was very affordable).

                Watching RA in HD is a real treat. I even got to enjoy that on my computer as it has a really nice HD screen, but it was even better when I could watch it on the flat screen on DVD (with hubs!).

                That’s one of the reasons so many people aren’t familiar with RA here; there haven’t been many opportunities to see him. Our PBS stations haven’t gotten past S4 or 5 of Spooks yet. 😦

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                • Our “local” PBS station is actually in Washington State but is available here in Southern BC (British Columbia)and possibly in other parts of Canada too. At the moment they are airing Spooks 7 so even though I already have the DVD’s of that series AND series 8 also, I still find myself watching it and trying to get as many other people as possible to watch it too!! I can hardly wait for the release of the SB DVD’s for Region 1 but have at least found all the episodes on the Internet and with my new computer’s HD screen I find I can really enjoy it.

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                  • My local PBS station is also playing Spooks 7 (MI5) at the moment. I have the DVD’s, but I’m still watching it every week on my station. Something reassuring to think others are watching with me.

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                    • Isn’t it funny how pleasant it is to be watching or listening to something of RA’s and feeling you are part of a group at that moment–listening to Clarissa on Radio 4 gave me that feeling. The sisterhood in action . . . his admirers united around the world, as it were. Usually, I have to wait for everything, although I was able to watch Spooks pretty soon after it aired . . .

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                    • BCC Entertainment are showing RH3 at the moment. This evening they start showing Spooks7 straight after RH. Ooh, Richard droolfest for two hours!

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  23. Prof.,

    my adored Dante was right, wasn’t he?

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    • oh yes, indeed, lucrezia. Actually when I changed the subtitle of the blog, last summer that line was one that I considered, but now I’m glad I left it for now. I couldn’t have imagined, though, that Armitagemania could be any more intense. And I am comforted by the fact that the poet does eventually get to exit the Inferno …

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  24. @Lucrezia,
    I have frankly given up all hope of abandoning this devotion I feel for Richard Armitage. And why should I want to? If there ever was a worthy fellow for a mature, intelligent, discerning female to crush on, this is the man. This latest appearance just further reaffirms this for me. Richard Armitage, you are Made of Awesome.

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  25. Sigh…. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WSq2FkxsDoQ&feature=youtube_gdata_player

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  26. Dear Ladies, thank you for all links πŸ™‚ Richard looks wonderful, alluring, masculine, dignified, and to fully express what I think is, I would have to multiply define. Despite the withdrawal of some (perhaps shyness?) at this conference emanated from him the strength, size and majesty. Incredibly, he ONLY sits (no spins in his chair, does not scratch his face, unlike the other actors) and attracts attention so much. I love how RA response to the question focuses on the person who asked the question. He really has class, I see him as a so humble man and I am totally charmed

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    • Yes. He was immensely still. I always find this impressive.

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      • I too found his stillness and composure most striking. It somehow made him even more noticeable than the others who moved around a lot and were much more vocal! Or was it just that I was concentrating all my attention on him and ignoring the others actors? For me he was #1 in the looks department. I especially loved his eyes as he answered the first questioner who was female I believe!! Oh my! He is SO charming πŸ˜€

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        • Teuchter, for me, Richard was also # 1 in the conference. And at first I thought that his calm and composure are due to his shyness (but now I have the impression that I was unfair), and I think he just watched the behavior of other actors, and yet he is a brilliant observer and analyst. He once said that he wants to stand behind the camera, and so I think that behaving in this way, he simply collects information for his subsequent projects.

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          • I just read your comment Ania and I was particularly taken with the last part where you spoke of him being “a brilliant observer and analyst”. That is a very insightful comment. I too had initially put down his quietness to his shyness and realized later that I was also rather unfair in thinking that way. When he voices the various characters in the different audiobooks he has done, I believe many of the “voices” he uses are from listening to AND observing numerous people over time. I think he has a brilliant mind.

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            • I agree, Teutcher. Ania’s right: he is an extremely observant person which is a great aid in his acting. I think he is constantly watching, listening and taking in what is going on around him and filtering and absorbing it for future use. (you have to do that in writing, as well). A very canny man whose intelligence and talent are never to be underestimated.

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        • I couldn’t keep my eyes off him. I did wonder what the reaction of the female journalist was when he focused that penetrating gaze on her, raised those dark brows and then smiled and spoke . . . I am impressed she held herself together and managed to remain coherent, frankly. Surely there was a bit of an inner “squee” there??

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          • Undoubtedly it was there Angie!! I think I would have just been staring and quite speechless. Can you just IMAGINE what it would be like to have that intense gaze of his directed at YOU!!! Do you think you would be coherent if you yourself were able to interview him, my dear?? If the answer to that is in the affirmative then I take my hat off to you!!

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            • I like to think I would be able to get through it without making a complete idiot of myself, Teuchter, but I am not entirely sure. *blushes* I mean, I have interviewed high-profile people before–the former Archbishop of Canterbury, several musical celebs, various politicians like the governor and lt. governor, and done just fine–but I didn’t have a crazy mad crush on any of them!!!

              I would still dearly love the chance to interview him, though. I would steel myself up for the occasion.

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              • The “crazy mad crush” is very familiar territory for me. Just one very silly example: some months ago I lost one of the diamonds out of my engagement ring and can’t afford to have it replaced right now. I’m also in a phase of preferring white gold, or silver, to my yellow gold ones, so have begun wearing various silver rings on my ring finger. When enjoying a pre-Valentine’s Day lunch with some friends yesterday, one of the “girls” whom I hadn’t seen for a while, commented to another friend seated close by, “I see Audrey is engaged!” and even though I have never consciously connected Richard with that ring or any other (would really question my sanity if I had!) I found myself blushing to the roots of my hair!! I’m not exactly sure why – maybe because many in that crowd tease me about my crush on Richard – but I found my reaction a little disturbing!!

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                • It is simply amazing the effect this man has on so many women, of all ages, relationship statuses, backgrounds . . . I have never seen the like of it before. I remember reading about Rudolph Valentino and how woman swooned and thudded over him madly and went bezerk when he died . . . God forbid anything happens to our darling RA, but as distraught as I was when his Characters died, what would I do if something happened to HIM??

                  May all his guardian angels keep close watch over him and keep him safe and sound. He is an absolute treasure!!

                  I get teased on occasion by my co-workers–“Angie’s other husband” and my brother-in-law, but most people outside of my family (and of course, you folks) really don’t know how much I am “in” to RA.

                  It scares me a little bit at times, and yet it also has brought me so much enjoyment, friendship and spurring on of my creative impulses. It makes me happy, what can I say??

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                  • It scares me a bit too and like you, not many have a clue as to how “in” to him I am as I try it to a hide it as much as possible. Don’t want my kids calling in the guys with the white coats!! I’m also a bit of a worrier and pray daily for his safety but at the same time rejoice in all the fun and friends it has brought me. He makes me feel alive in ways I thought impossible if that doesn’t sound too ridiculous. I wouldn’t give it (or him) up for the world.

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          • yeah, that was noticeable. It felt like a “dangerous” moment …

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  27. Richard with a beard. Swoon! *happy puddle of otherwise incoherent goo*

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  28. Yes, first thought this morning was also of the contrast with the other actors. Not even male actors call attention to their age, in the first place. If it was simply Mr. Armitage’s customary self-deprecating nature, it backfired. And the Voice! There were some other fine voices in the scrum (a couple of gorgeous Irish accents – Musa, I did notice a dwarf or two πŸ™‚ some men are just naturally attention-hogs πŸ™‚ ) It reinforces Peter Jackson’s choice of chief warrior. Apart, but in control.

    There were some other big men; however, Mr. A physically dominates the space. (Actually, seated next to the verbose but cute Mr. Freeman, he takes up more than his share of space) The manner of turning his shoulder back and behind the Hobbit was noticeable. I don’t particularly care for overdone “Ahnie” types, so am still getting accustomed to the upper arms, but think I’m in a minority here! I found him big enough pre-Lucas 7 anorexia and and pre-Porter.

    Thanks to all who posted links, your public spirit is much appreciated πŸ˜€ !

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    • Yes it’s interesting that he called attention to his age. I checked and he’s the same age as Martin Freeman – maybe a couple of weeks older.

      But what a different aura they give off.

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      • So true. Armitage had some of his Thornton on for this event, I feel — saying things by being silent.

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        • Oh, I definitely think he had his Thornton mojo at work. And me likee!!

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        • Wasn’t he acting a bit like Thornton did at the master’s dinner? Leaning back, listening and then presenting some well-thought through ideas?

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          • Yes, Jane, I think you are right. His body language was very reminiscent of JT in that siutation, as well as the way he spoke once it was his “turn.” He seemed very attentive to all that went on around him.

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      • It may have been a clever move to point out that he’s nearly forty after all the criticism that he’s too young for the part.

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        • Exactly. “Hey, look, I am a proper grown man who has been around nearly 40 years. I can handle this role just fine, thank you . . .”

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    • I agree about some men as attention getters. I wondered if they agreed before the conference that there’d be some speakers (Nesbitt, Kircher, Kazinsky) or if this is a sort of natural effect in their group dynamic.

      And yeah, next to Freeman Armitage looked frighteningly large.

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      • What was interesting to me also was the fact that they’ve been together 4 or 5 weeks now and he hadn’t spoken of the Hobbit play before judging by everyone’s positive, attentive reaction to the his story. I just find it interesting…

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      • He looked like he could snap poor Martin in two. And I think the character of Thorin needs to come across as someone you might think twics about messing with.

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    • James Nesbitt and Aidan Turner do have delicious Irish accents. Always love hearing those two speak, fitzg. I think this is going to be a very interesting band of dwarves, each one displaying his own flavor and personality and it sounds as if, his own distinctive appearance. I wondered the same thing as Servetus, did they plan ahead who was going to do most of the speaking or did it naturally work out that way after their month or more together?

      RA definitely looked like the leader here.

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  29. Angie dear,
    I totally understand and agree with you.

    The “age” thing can be read in several ways. Could one of these also be a very polite and soft way to answer to those who have criticised PJ’s choice of Richard as Thorin, because he is too young for that character?

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    • Yes, on reflection Richard’s performance at the press conference was mainly about answering the critics. The voice, the mention of middle age, the gravitas were all to convey his appropriateness for the role of Thorin. But still his loveliness shone through.

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    • I agree with Pam. I felt like there was a combination of gravitas, flirtiness, and a little bit of danger in one of his first statements, almost a hiss.

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      • Gravitas, flirtiness and a little bit of danger–for me, an irresistible combination, Servetus. He was fab . . .

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      • Definitely a bit of danger in the way he fielded, or maybe deflected, the admittedly not-very-helpful question ‘tell us something about yourself’.

        A hint of aggression or even a put-down underneath the charm and the smile.

        But as one of the main leads he must have known he’d be expected to speak up and make a decent showing. He waited 26 minutes until he was asked a question. I’m projecting here, but isn’t that tense-making for anyone!

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    • Yes, I agree with you all that he mentioned his age, even adding age, to answer some of the “he’s too young” criticism leveled against his casting. I think that’s also why the answer about his first experience in the theater being in The Hobbit and loving The Hobbit as a child, so his critics now know he’s personally connected to the text. That’s very important for Tolkien purists. (I was also surprised the others didn’t know, but to me it fits with his modest personality).
      Listening to his answers several times now (a tough job, but someone has to do it) it’s clear to me he was answering almost point by point some of the doubts expressed about his casting, and that included being more sober than tongue-in-cheek like we know him to be in one-on-one interviews. I think in a few minutes he demolished a substantial portion of the criticism against his casting for Thorin. Good Job RA! Proud of you!

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      • Didn’t he do a great job conveying so much in a very brief amount of time? He absolutely made the most of the opportunity that was given to him to make an impression on all those watching and let them know he was the right choice for the role. I am super proud of him, too.

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  30. Gosh! He looks different… Just watching RH2 tonight,V of D yesterday and S#8 the day before. Is he a little bit tan? Thinking that he might have enjoyed skiing after the Yule season. He’s quite good being under the radar for the whole holiday thing so its a delight seeing him again in NZ. Was even hoping that there would be some photos from London airport .. going to NZ.

    Agreed with some of the ladies that he deserves international recognition. It’s about time!

    SB hasn’t been shown in OZ but seen clips from sites. Looking forward to it with much anticipation!

    Spooks#7 – Loved the contour of his face when he was lying on the floor looking at the ceiling when he couldn’t sleep. Facing the screen from his neck to the tip of his nose thru to his head (albeit with make-up). Can you imagine his future partner waking up beside him? What a male specimen! (What a start… although relationship is not all about one’s physical attributes).

    Spooks#8 E4 – The beautiful subtle love scene with Sarah C. When he said, “Harry & me is a sexual thing”. The naughty glint in his eyes simultaneous with the twitching of his lips/smile.. funny, devine & adorable! Then the sort of lingering side look he cast on Sarah, trying to figure out what she’ll gonna do next.

    I think his modesty comes to the fore even in shooting the same sex scene…holding Sarah’s lower arm as if to ensure that is where her hand should stop and making sure to touch/arrange the blue sheet covering his behind. Am I too observant or just dreaming?

    My niece made a beautiful comment about RA’s behind when he was undressing … tried to deflect the comment by saying that might be a double! Remember RA saying about his mother’s displeasure about his nude scene.

    Already discussing with friends about The Hobbit. My friend’s hubby commented that he preferred The Hobbit than LOTR. They are both voracious readers. Not a fan of LOTR either but will definitely see the upcoming movie cause RA is in it!!!

    Cheers to everyone and thanks for posting the photo… Now, I’ll see the rest of the links…

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  31. For those who have not seen it: full conference:

    http://www.3news.co.nz/The-Hobbit-media-conference–full-video/tabid/312/articleID/198020/Default.aspx

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  32. Armitage’s piece courtesy of bccmee:

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    • I found out this new today at 2pm, right now it’s 9.41pm and I’ve watched this many times already.

      OML *sigh*

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  33. Want to thank you all for continuing discussion last night. I was getting set to leave my office just as this broke and had to get away. I can see there’s already lots of opinion out there!

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  34. Tidal waaaaaaaaave!!! πŸ™‚

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    • Today is the second highest ever hits day on this blog.

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      • The Armitage Effect. Goes. Viral. You have been warned . . .

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        • Days like today sort of dash a primary delusion that allows me to continue blogging: that this is a boring little corner of the internet inhabited primarily by crazy women. There’s no way my regular readership can account for the number of hits today, even if you all came to the blog 100 times each.

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  35. A point that emerged during the conference was that each actor was a strong character. Perhaps they did agree among themselves the individual approaches to the interview. That would hardly be surprising in a group of experienced professionals. Or perhaps they agreed among themselves to allow each to “perform” according to his individual personality bias (intro-/extra-/ambi-) and accord each other their respect, and yielding place within the context of the questions. (I don’t have to mention Mr. A’s role here, surely?)

    What I have found compelling in the year of “discovery”, has been a development of Richard Armitage through interviews from N&S to today.
    It seems to reflect a maturing awareness and ability to “handle” interviews, concurrent with his age and experience, and intuitiveness. Martin Freeman has his talents with an audience, and James Nesbitt shares them. Both much appreciated! Mr. A presented a key bridge between the “youthfulness” of one end of the spectrum, and the GRAVE older end. It reflects his development an actor, IMO. Somehow, I suspect he will never become totally GRAVE in interviews, though.

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  36. Woah!! Great discussion, I’ve enjoyed reading it. Beard is good!!! Some lovely photos overall. Aidan Turner’s beard makes him look like PJ used to – talk about hairy! I haven’t watched the whole conference yet, but have watched the “good bits” several times. Peace and love to you all!

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  37. Aw nuts, they took it down. I hope everyone had a chance to watch it at least once. If I see it again. I’ll post. I’m on the hunt ladies.

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  38. Hazzah!!!!! Here is the whole conference, watch it before it’s taken down.

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  39. If you don’t want to listen to whole thing, his bit is at 26:10

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  40. I think RA carefully calculated the impression he wanted to make at this press conference. He must be aware that some have expressed doubts about his casting and wanted to put them to rest. He has grown a beard, which makes it easier to visualise him as a dwarf, wore a short-sleeved shirt to emphasise his physical strength, made several references to his age (when have you heard an actor at a press conference say “As a middle-aged man…” before?) and used the lower registers of his voice, which I am more used to hearing when he is acting than in interviews. He normally laughs and jokes in interviews as some of the others were doing, but was more serious and reserved this time. He has talked about doing something similar before, when he went to Sparkhouse auditions in character.

    I think we just saw the first appearance of Thorin rather than Richard as himself. Very clever, and I think it has worked. As RA fans I don’t think any of us worried that this part was outside his range,but some of the doubters at theonering.net are sounding more convinced. I will be fascinated to watch how he presents himself in future Hobbit publicity, and I am dying already to see the film.

    What’s your opinion of my theory, Servetus? Would you turn your keenly honed critical faculties on the footage for us?

    On a personal level, I am sorry if he is feeling under pressure, and just hope he remembers to have fun and enjoy this amazing experience. I’m sure it’ll work out just fine!

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    • Lostinagoodbook,

      I think your theory is spot on. I think our intelligent, insightful fellow who pays attention to the details knew exactly what he was doing when he went into that press conference. He was determined to do his best to silence at least some of those critics and he succeeded. As I noted in another comment, this was a very different sort of interview for a much bigger and higher-stakes project than he has ever done, and his approach needed to be different than what we’ve been used to. The playful and boyishly charming RA had to be put aside for a gruffer, tougher, strong, silent type–Thorin, to be exact. (Not that his lovely sense of humor didn’t peek through, too).

      And I agree–I believe it’s going to work out just fine for him!!

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      • He also made some references that PJ and his team know best why they did cast him, making clear that he has their support without listing the attributes that make him suitable himself, that may have appeared boastful. He talked about technical aspects of filming as well, as he is interested in that, and made a comparison to Avatar (nothing less, and why not, it was created by the same team!) but also gave some information that they will film in nature as well and that the final look of the dwarves hasn’t been decided yet, all useful pieces of information in a conference the otherwise didn’t provide not much that was new.

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        • Yes, by deflecting that question about his suitability, Richard maintained the modest and self-effacing persona we all know and admire, and yet he quietly indicated Pj and company “had his back” in choosing him. As I said before, I really think he made the most of his time in the spotlight–not just giving the world a glimpse of Thorin and why he was so interested in the role, but also imparting intriguing bits of info along the way to whet our appetites for the production.

          I think all the behind-the-scenes aspects of making a film like this are so fascinating and now I am all the more eager to see and learn more. (And while Avatar was a visually stunning film on every level, may I say I am relieved to know, frankly, Cameron is not in charge of this script or direction . . . vive Sir PJ!)

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    • Thanks for the long comment, Lostinagoodbook, and welcome. I think that’s a strong theory and it explains a lot of what was happening. What’s interesting to me is how he made what we knows about “himself” sort of converge with the (developing, incipient) Thorin persona. I do want to write more about this, but I need to find a stable link to the video. I’ve tried every illicit trick I know to copy the whole video off the website (admittedly not very many) but without luck so far.

      I’m celebrating my birthday tonight with friends, so will be out of range for the rest of the day, but I will write something, anyway, about the press conference tomorrow.

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    • Really enjoyed reading your comment, lostinagoodbook, and very much appreciated what you had to say. It was most interesting and put very succinctly. I have watched the Press conference so many times already and Richard’s part in particular and you have put into words more or less what I was thinking. What he said and how he said it was perfect for the occasion.

      Thank you and welcome to this great crowd that I so appreciate being a part of!!

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  41. @servetus, not surprised at the of hits! Having a difficult time myself maintaining normal decorous demeanour πŸ˜€

    @Teuchter, MI5 S8 running in Eastern Ontario, from Boston via Watertown. Managed to get the DVD, so I’m watching concurrently, reserving the DVD eps for after the TV.

    @All SB fans, I really hope Porter returns, NOT as a cameo! Porter’s story is the centre. Not my thing at all as drama – boys and toys/men and guns – Bah!. But I’m really getting into the DVD and Porter has legs. So to speak…

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    • @Fitzg,

      I have pretty much dropped all pretense of decorous demeanor at this point, when it comes to Mr. A πŸ˜€

      And you’ve got it right–Porter’s story is the center of SB. His character is the heart and soul of it. Forget all the Boys Own stuff–Porter, the strong, resourceful, heroic soldier who is also a loving father and just a very decent human being who has struggled to get his life back–deserves more than just a cameo. As if!

      So glad you are enjoying the DVDS, BTW. Porter does have legs, figuratively and literally. πŸ˜€

      Also, before he left for his honeymoon with Layla, Porter told me he was effin’ tired of driving around in that bloody Jeep in the desert. He was hot, tired, thirsty AND he ran out of sunscreen and you know his Creator has very sensitive skin . . . πŸ˜‰

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    • @fitzg I used to be able to get the PBS station out of Detroit but for some reason I can’t get it with the cable “package” I have. Most annoying!

      Re:SB Hoping for the best that he will have much more to do as JP as I found him superb in all 6 parts of the first series. I’d hate to think that anyone else could take over as the “Alpha Male” in Series 2. He was brilliant as John Porter and looked amazing in the camo and khaki!!

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      • @Teutcher,
        Boy rocked the camo and khaki. πŸ˜€ SB simply won’t be the same without John Porter. Plain and simple.

        @fitzg,
        My understanding is filming is set for South Africa again along with Hungary for the second series of SB. Not sure what locales those sites will be standing in for . . . but Hungary should bring back some Guy memories for dear Richard.

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  42. So where does the script take him next, Angie? Egypt? (and Abu Simbal) Jordan? (and Petra). Could be a nice Indiana thing developing…

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  43. Servetus

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY yesterday! I hope you had a wonbderful time with your friends. πŸ™‚

    The Hobbit press conference must have been a lovely birthday present for you and your blog!I feel we’re back in the midst of Richard ARmitage discussions as we were a few weeks back with Spooks 9 and before then with Strike Back!

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  44. Happy belated birthday Servetus! Hope you had a great day. BTW, are any of those friends converts to The Cause?

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  45. @Lostinagoodbook and @Angieklong,

    I think you both hit the nail on the head. Not having realized how big a deal this is, my first impression was it was just a press conference. Now I agree he was most likely channeling Thorin to silence his critics. Very canny man, but we knew he was intelligent, didn’t we. πŸ˜‰

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    • Oh, yes, @Judiang,

      It would be a grave error to assume dear Richard is only just a pretty face. πŸ˜‰ Which seems to be what a lot of LOTR fans were doing, thinking he was just a youthful-looking piece of eye candy. His appearance, demeanor and response to the questions put to him all effectively did away with that argument, IMHO. (And they really should have given Sir Peter and his team more credit for the ability to make wise decisions in casting, anyway)

      Let’s face it, one of the reasons we are all so drawn to this actor is the keen intelligence, sensitivity and aristry that shine through those beautiful eyes.

      Looks alone would not have kept me so attentive and ardent after going on three years now . . . even I am not that shallow πŸ˜€

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  46. @Angie, Judiang, It wouldn’t do to underestimate this man, as you say. a bit shy he might be. Probably. Shyness doesn’t necessarily impede the brain πŸ™‚

    It’s just impressions; however, there’s an active mind there. There’s a good dollop of ambition. There’s a mature confidence, and a very strong dedication and persistence toward achieving initially set and developing goals.

    None of which argues pure calculation. Intuitive awareness of environment, his place in it, and response to it. In my mind, he is an artist. I respect the art, and all that is involved in the interpretation of art in all its forms. It’s enriching to the artist, and enriching to the audience/reader/viewer.

    (Gosh, I wish math and science had that effect on me. Sad.)

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    • Fitzg,

      Handsome but stupid or boorish has just never done it for me, plain and simple. I married a smart, sensitive, imaginative man–albeit one a heck of a lot better at math and science than I am, but I have an edge in the arts department ;)– and undeniably for me the active, artistic qualities of RA’s mind are very appealing and make him all the more alluring and compelling.

      No, I don’t see it as pure calculation, either. Just processing what he sees, hears and experiences and translating that into his work and his art. That is what artists do. It’s what I try to do. My life would be so much emptier without the arts–unimaginable, actually–and Mr. A’s artistry has certainly enriched it and broadened my horizons and helped me flex my creative muscles.

      (BTW, I am still amazed a made an A in college chemistry. So not my thing . . .)

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  47. @Angie – you made an A in college chemistry WOW! I got to uni on the basis of 5 yrs’ Latin. For some reason, it was accepted as a math substitute, in terms of reaoning ability. Reasoning?? It’s memory work! Oh well, whatever furthers one’s goals…

    And again, yes, it’s the experiences ans sensitivities that fuel the goals and development of the artist. Yes, of the scientists, too, but that is so outside my experience and interpretation of the world. Sigh.
    The sigh is sincere, as I feel there is a whole part of the brain missing. Put it down to having been a premature baby. Lack of time for the complete development. Well, that’s my story and sticking to it. πŸ™‚

    Possibly a bit of a cop-out, though…should I go struggle with another algebra course?

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    • Fitzg,

      Frankly, it amazes ME when I think back to it, making that A, and legitimately, too. I had some wonderful science and math teachers in high school and college, I do not fault them, but something in me–my left-handed, right-brainedness for lack of a better excuse–always found these subjects a struggle compared to my other coursework.

      I managed to graduate second in my high school class (spouse was 3rd–we were meant to be together)because anatomy and physiology was more or less making lots of detailed posters (art background huge help there) and lots of memorization, which I am very good at–or used to be–but give me English and foreign language and history and art and music and biological vs. physical science and no math, if possible (although algebraic word problems always suited me more than geometry).

      I was really good in the things I was good in, I guess you could say, which made my proud little self wrestle mightily in coming to terms with the things I wasn’t good at. I didn’t like feeling stupid. Now I accept there are some areas which just aren’t my cup of tea.
      And it’s OK to be stupid at some things. Just don’t pursue them as your career, obviously! πŸ˜€ Which hasn’t stopped some people . . .

      Actually, while I was full term, I was born with the umbilical cord wrapped around my neck, preventing me from breathing and sending my nurse mother into a panic. My dear Dr. Philip quickly went to work and had me screeching shortly thereafter. But maybe it did cause just a little bit of brain damage?? It is a convenient excuse, anyway πŸ˜‰

      PS I ordered a used edition containing four Mary Stewart novels and a copy of Nine Coaches Waiting from Amazon . . . less than $7 for five books, not bad. Sorry for the threadnap, Servetus.

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  48. Nine Coaches is one of my favourites! And Airs Above the Ground. ‘Cause we were two years in Vienna. And a retired Lippizzaner in the stable was born on my year and my birthday! And i really like horses, and dressage…

    No, I can’t blame it on premature birth. More on being – is it very right-brained and the left hand is about as useful as an appendix. And just not trying hard enough at science and math? Not great science/math teachers, either. For girls of my gen. And moving from school system to-cities/countries/continents every 2-3 yrs as a Navy brat? hey, still making excuses πŸ™‚

    Which is why some of us end up as librarians. that worked πŸ™‚

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    • I have the Gabriel Hounds, My Brother Michael, Touch Not the Cat and This Rough Magic all in the one book. Nine Coaches was definitely one of my favs, as is Airs Above the Ground. I read it in a Reader’s Digest Condensed Version years ago and loved it. I couldn’t find a really cheap copy that sounded like it was in good shape right now but will check back as I would love to re-read it, too. I remember when I was a child the Great White Stallions of Vienna coming to perform at the Garrett Coliseum in Montgomery . . . I love horses, even though Daddy wouldn’t let us have one on the farm. One of my favorite pics of my mom as a young woman is her on horseback in a field of wildflowers. Tres romantique . . .

      The left side of the body is controlled by the right side of the brain, and vice-versa. As RAF has said, it’s probably too simplistic to say someone is totally left or right-brained, but as someone who has studied and taught art utilizing Betty Edwards’ “Drawing on the Right-Side of the Brain” techniques, I definitely lean much more toward right-brain (the more creative, intuitive thought processing portion) dominance. I knew intuitively how to draw in three dimensions before I was ever trained to do so.

      That being said, Richard is a righty and he is very creative and intuitive!

      I spent all my years in the same school system except for two years at a small community school, so I had the benefit of continuity. And a houseful of books. Hey, some of my favorite people were/are librarians (and teachers!)!

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  49. Ha ha _ I ended up as a librarian (though in very diverse libraries in diverse countries). Says she, trying to make herself more interesting.

    I did mark Mr. A as right-handed. My hubsand was ambidextrous – I think he was probably born a lefty, and like too many of our time, was forced to use the right hand. He played golf and hockey with the left hand. He was good at math and technology (he was my Malcolm, and guided me through PhotoShop, etc, to enable putting up my “artistic/drawing” things in print). When we are born with out-of-mainstream proclivities, there are forces to exercise those other parts of the brain, do you think?

    I was pretty much mainstream, and obviously lazy about trying to exercise outside the arts and lit. Just didn’t have to. Lazy.

    Masterpiece is on in the background here. Michael McF (not my heart-throb, but competent actor). And Holliday Grainger, still an ingenue role. Hope the upcoming “Borgias” as Lucrezia offers something more of meat? Just a thought, as I really liked Meg, but that was probably due to Mr. A’s intuitive response to actors with whom the script mandates close interaction.

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    • I guess because of being a lefty and in the minority, it’s one of the first things I notice about other people when I see them use their hands–whether they are left- or right-handed. I don’t know how many people who have watched me take notes end up remarking on my being left-handed, and usually they will say something about “oh, that explains why you are so creative” LOL Or if they are also lefties, it’s “I knew there was something about you I really liked.” πŸ˜‰ My grandmother was left-handed, and I am rather suprised they allowed her to remain so, as she was born in the late 19th century . . . I learned to use a computer mouse with my right hand and still do so, but I do most things with my left.

      I am working on some short features for the Faces of the Future section of our Profiles mag. The problem is I can’t get them all to come out to the same length–some are longer, some shorter. I will either have to pad some or cut the others . . . some of the students were more forthcoming in their interviews, and others–not so much. We shall see . . .

      I have Masterpiece on now, too, although I am not terribly absorbed in it. I adored Holliday as Meg, also, and look forward to seeing her in The Borgias, which as you say, will hopefully have some meat to it along with lovely costumes and lots of sex (assuming it follows the pattern of The Tudors).

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      • Thanks for the “heads up” for Masterpiece!! Thankfully it isn’t quite 8pm my time so I was glad to see I haven’t missed it. NO Spooks last night here but I believe it is back on next Saturday!! Yay!! Series 7 Lucas on my TV!!

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  50. It’s 11 pm here, so off to bed. Still need the 7 hours.

    @Teuchter, not certain if it’s a great show. But I’m always so thirsty for Masterpiece Theatre imports.It does involve the Spanish Civil War.

    We also receive TVOntario here, with imports. And we’ve been having Pillars of the Earth on CTV. Hope the provincial regulations offer that to B.C. It’s REALLY good! Of course, I could have cast Mr. Armitage in at least two roles there. But who is listening to me πŸ™‚

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    • Fitzg,

      Hope you have a good night’s sleep, my dear. I remember reading very mixed reviews of this latest MT on AmazonUK now–seems people either loved it or hated it. But yes, I am watching anyway. I am with you, Fitzg, I like Matthew McF but not a heartthrob for me. Only Mr. A . . . *sigh* Wish Pillars of the Earth would air here on something I receive . . . it aired on Starz which, considering we already spend $100 a month on satellite subscriptions, is one we elected not to carry. If all else fails, I will get the DVD. I have 12 or 13 on the way from AmazonUK, mostly period dramas at bargain prices and a couple of contemporary things. Something to look forward to in the RA drought. My husband jestingly said there ought to be a Richard Armitage Channel, and I said rather wistfully, “Yes, there really ought to be . . .” πŸ˜‰

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      • There goes yet another reason for how much you love your own “personal Harry” Angie. How sweet is that?? A “Richard Armitage Channel”!!! If it ever happened, how would we ever get any work done or any sleep for that matter? I know there is such a thing as a PVR but……!!

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        • He teases me rather mercilessly at times, but he is ever so sweet, really. And he wore the buttery soft black leather Lotus jacket Saturday, so I got to cuddle up with my “dark knight.” πŸ˜€

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  51. Thanks Fitzg. I just watched part 1 and can’t say I am loving it so far. I like Matthew MacFadyen although like you and Angie, never found him heartthrob material even though I thought he was good in P&P. He is playing such a strange character here it is hard to know what to make of it. Interesting to see so many well-known UK actors in the show, however, including “Meg”!! I thought her so sweet in RH. Lucky girl to be kissed by Guy! I REALLY need to get my head sorted! The poor girl was “DYING” at the time!! How shallow am I???

    Yes I have been watching Pillars of the Earth and really enjoying it in spite of how gory and graphic it is. Makes me flinch at times and look away from the screen. It is aired at 9pm (PST) on Tuesdays on CBC here. Can’t tell you the number of times I have watched a movie or even a series and decided that our talented Mr. A would have played the part much better!!

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    • Re AHH on Masterpiece,

      Can’t decide whether I really like the M MF character either, Teutcher.
      One thing I wanted to point out is Hayley Atwell, who plays his lover, is also in CA.
      I really like Holliday Grainger. She was also in Demons, which lacked a lot in the script writing department, but I liked her sassy character. I think it must have been great to reunite with RA to play Meg after playing Lisa in Sparkhouse. And yes, even though she was dying in his arms, the gentle, chivalrous way Guy held her and kissed her made us all swoon. And cry. Oh, how I cried!! Guy, you heartbreaker, in more ways than one . . .

      Spouse said one day, “Well, you can’t possibly expect the man to appear in every single movie or TV show?!” Well, no, but—wouldn’t it be so much nicer if he DID??

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      • How does he do that??? We cry when things happen to him, not just at first viewing but every time we watch the darned scene – over and over again!! Kleenex should be PAYING him for all their product we use when watching!

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  52. Aaargh! If it weren’t Mr. A, I would really resent being so manipulated! (ha – bring it on! :D) Join the Shallow Brigade, Teuchter; I’ll only admit to shallowness because it is Feb. 14. There is a place for shallowness in this world. And it’s Valentine’s Day. Gotta go hug my 35-yr-old son. Darn, he lives 15 min. drive away. So the cats will have to do. CATs! I’m a DOG person. How did son and d-in-law get me to take in a rescued two-ton cat, and a two-pound one!!? Is that being manipulated, or what!! Where’s my Irish Wolfhound?? My Newfie dog???

    Happy V-Day, all. And would all Guys and Bearded Dwarves just leave me alone? I’m a librsarian, for heaven’s sake. And a Capricorn. To add insult to injury.

    πŸ˜€

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  53. So much for my 2011 resolve to PROOFread all comments before tapping send. Was thinking about the many ladies whose first language is not English, who post on these RA blogs. Just saw another typo in the above. 😦 Need a touch-typing course…

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  54. […] and then never did (I do now, in part four of this series), or because a key event, like the Hobbit press conference, fell at an inconvenient time for me to publish something that I was satisfied with (I do this now, […]

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  55. […] This is what appeared a year ago on my birthday, and so I was trying to write about it again today. Got a lot further in thinking about it — too much stuff was going on then. Probably will publish tomorrow. Thank you again, Richard Armitage, for appearing in that beard on my birthday. (Yes, it happened on my birthday in NZ, which wasn’t quite my birthday where I was when I saw it, and today it’s still my birthday where I am, though the blog is in London so it’s a day later on the blog.) It was like a sign from G-d. […]

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  56. […] of that date with Richard Armitage’s birthday seems auspicious to me in just the way Richard Armitage’s sudden appearance in full beard on my birthday that year appeared. The package, sent yet again by a very patient seller, arrives on August 19. It’s […]

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  57. […] convincing, but I can’t really tell you why I love the beard, either. Except that I do and my reaction to it on February 11, 2011, was instant and visceral. (OK, I have a few ideas about why, but that topic belongs in another […]

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  58. […] Two years ago, today. When you appeared on that birthday, I knew I wouldn’t be able to walk away anymore. […]

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  59. […] unlike seeing Armitage’s newly bearded picture on my birthday in 2011. […]

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