Still looking with eyes of wonder at Richard Armitage

I’m definitely struggling to keep up now; I’ve just started to look at the pictures and videotape from Tokyo, and tomorrow there will be material from Toronto Montréal. And I teach tomorrow, and this is the last week of term. And, and, and …

I confess now that I’m sometimes I’m afraid to look because I get so overwhelmed with my reactions to things.

'the hobbit: an unexpected journey' japan press conferenceIt’s not just the clothes. I will admit, though, that the designer baseball jacket calls back memories of high school. And that the sweatshirt layered over tee look makes me melt inside. The uniform of the boy next door — even if I know it’s the designer recapture of that image — speaks to me really powerfully when I see it on Richard Armitage.

I know everyone’s thrilled with the suits, and I am too, but the boyish stuff hits me harder. And of course, the suits are only a symptom of something much bigger than that. Anyone can put on clothes that someone else tells them to, I assume.

It’s the way he stands when he’s wearing them.

It’s the authority with which he supplies his thoughtful answers. He’s always been thoughtful. But now his ethos is cooperating with his delivery.

It’s the feeling I get when I see Mr. Armitage struggling visibly with his composure when Peter Jackson compliments him.

Or listening to the elevated tone of his voice in certain situations.

It’s the way that you can see him controlling his tension. As opposed to giving into it.

Or the way he looks with interest and affection toward a child asking a question.

Or noting the way he smiles in delight. Not fear, not nervousness, just delight.

Appearances are deceptive. Who knows. All of this stuff is meretricious. All but the happiness. All but the sprezzatura.

Watching Mr. Armitage enjoy these events with a sovereignty that’s unique my experience of him, I am reminding myself never to be sorry that I have been happy.

[Photo: Richard Armitage and Martin Freeman take the stage at the Tokyo press conference for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Dec. 1, 2012. Source.]

~ by Servetus on December 3, 2012.

29 Responses to “Still looking with eyes of wonder at Richard Armitage”

  1. It is, I think, his sheer delight that has captivated me. This must be overwhelming. this crazy world tour (who could truly prepare for such a thing?). I know I wasn’t prepared for the sheer volume of information flowing, so I can’t even fathom how he is doing it. And this week ahead? Even more.

    But when we see him, he is there. All there. Thoughtful, engaging, sparkling.

    I, too, am happy. To be able to witness this is a gift.

    He is a gift.


  2. Although i have admired that ensemble greatly, i hadn’t seen that photo. And my first thought was….”Why is RA leading a blond ten year old boy onto the stage?”


  3. So it wasn’t just me who thought he found the compliments … overwhelming … difficult to accept… Human beings are strange aren’t they? I’m prepared to bet that neither PJ nor MF had said those things to him face-to-face. I mean no criticism when I say that – they would not do so, because RA would never welcome such comments, would manoeuvre the conversation so that it would be difficult for them to be delivered. I’m certain they were genuinely meant, but for RA it then means he has to assimilate the content of their statements in public with cameras on him.

    They were truly tremendous compliments weren’t they, delivered with truth and clarity. Amazing.


    • I’m the same way, so maybe that’s why I notice it. If someone made that level of compliment to me to my face, in public, I would probably discorporate. And yes, it’s also the first time in watching dozens of hours of various tape of him that I thought, this camera is truly intrusive.


  4. This is why I don’t bother blogging. You always say what I’m thinking and feeling more eloquently than I ever could. I do hope you’ll consider continuing this blog long after The Hobbit party’s over (after all, there are THREE Hobbit movies now!). Thanks, as always.


    • That’s very kind. I’ve been heavily challenged the last few days. I feel like something big is exploding inside me. Convenient.


  5. Why does watching him at these Premiere’s, and reading these eloquent words make me want to cry? I don’t understand. This is exactly what I have been feeling but been unable to put into words. I’m just glad I’m not the only one! I have never felt this way about anyone I’ve seen on screen before. Is it his sheer beauty both inside and out that makes feel this way? Or the way so many of his colleagues have expressed their sincere thoughts about him as a person. Humans are strange – many of us find it hard to hear compliments about ourselves, and we do a good job of brushing them off. To hear them so publicly, as you said NZfanofRA, must have been very emotional for RA. (I was watching his chest rising/falling faster and could only imagine what was going through his head!). And I agree – he is very good at turning the conversation when someone pays him a compliment! Hot dwarf anyone??
    I was one of the lucky ones who got to meet him on the Red Carpet at the Premiere in Wellington last week, and I still melt when I think of his beautiful smile and those piercing eyes.
    As a mother of two sons myself, I look at them in their tender ages with pride. I can only imagine how proud RA’s parents must be of him – after all, they must know him best, and everything he must have gone through to bring him to this place in his life. I for one and thanking them from the bottom of my heart for this beautiful human being that they call ‘son’.


  6. Actually, he’s in Toronto today, not Montreal. 😀 Perhaps he’ll get to Montreal one day.


  7. I found it telling that his response to Martin began with an apology to him that he had not socialized with him as much as he should have. A definite “I’m not worthy” response combined with surprise that co-workers see not only his work ethic and talent, but also the personal qualities he brings along, even if they (apparently) didn’t spend large amounts of time together off set.


    • I read him as an introvert; if that’s true, he’d have to spend a lot of time alone to recharge. Someone just linked to an article that said they were all put up in a house together, but I’m not sure if that applied only to the other 12 dwarves.


      • Really doubt that’s true. James Nesbitt had his family with him; Adam Brown has given interview where he talks about being in a house between those of James N and Orlando Bloom. For 18 months! Taking the dwarf boot camp concept and running with it I suspect.


        • I think the article was a bit misleading because AB initially said they all lived together – later on it became clear he meant they all lived in the same street. It seems that PJ has bought up half of Wellington’s real estate to house his cast and crew.


    • I found that interesting, too, and I don’t buy the comment about the face falling off due to alcohol. I agree that apart from his work ethic, this is probably typically introvert. An extrovert would relax in the pub with friends after a long day. I get the feeling, that while well liked and highly respected among his peers, he is a bit of an outsider nonetheless. I don’t think MF is his best mate.


      • I agree Jane. I think most workplaces have a group who go down to the bar at the end of the day and a group who want to go straight home and do their own thing and why should a film production be any different? MF and RA are colleagues – they probably get on well enough but they don’t strike me as being best friends forever. It reminds me of his relationship with Keith Allen – he spoke highly of him and said he enjoyed working with him but i strongly doubt he would want to socialise frequently with him. I imagine that if RA has got close to anyone on set it will be someone in the crew. Things he has said in the past make me think he would find more common ground with some of the people behind the scenes than those in front of the camera.


  8. It has been fantastic to be able to see him speaking as himself after such a long “dry spell”. I haven’t seen the footage in it’s entirety, but what I have seen has been fantastic…RE the “boy next door look” It’s a darn good thing that boys didn’t look like that in my high school or I never would have graduated!


    • Really? They didn’t wear leather jackets with leather arms and wool torsos? That look totally makes me nostalgic (even if the ones I grew up with were a different color).


      • They did wear them but…1. the jackets were orange, 2. the boys looked nowhere near that good – or that tall…I had to shop around to find dance dates with whom I could wear heels – I’m only 5’8″.


  9. Japan pushed me right over the edge. His looks, his joy, and the way he treated the fans—gently patting the girl’s bandaged hand, the “Hello under there!”comment—left me completely gooey. I’m not one to idolize people, especially those I don’t even know, but he makes me ridiculously happy.


    • I’ll second that…I think my knees went jelly at, “Hello under there!” He just seems like a genuinely lovely human being…someone one could count on and enjoy being around.


  10. An overwhelming few days. (getting close to guhguh gushing.) Actually, I loved Japan, on several levels. And of course, going gaga over Toronto. Thanks for all the rapid turn-around in posting links to Toronto pics/vids. Did catch the Marilyn show this morning. But no word on date/time for the Srombo interview. Which is rather dumb of CBC. For goodness’ sake, why NOT tonight, when the Cdn. Premiere is today??? Lousy marketing… (end of Rick Mercer wannabe rant. 😀 )


  11. “Let joy be unconfined.” Byron


  12. Once again you have beautifully put into words what I cannot, so thanks for that.


  13. Richards jacket reminded me of the lettermans jackets the boys wore in high school. Then I get to thinking how come I didn’t have that good of looking guys in high school. Which leads me to the fact that had Richard gone to school in the US I figure that he would have graduated the same year as I did. Oh well I still got a great guy and we where not in high school together only kindergarten.


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