From an Armitage ambassador: “He’s smiling at you.”

Below, a report from Anna, one of the red carpet attendees in Wellington, of her experiences that evening:


I am one of a group of 7 who traveled to Wellington from around the world to attend the Wellington premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Most of us had never met in person before, but knew each other from various online sources — some of us tweet, others are AA or C19 forum participants. At our core were two ladies who are friends in real life, who organized tireless, and, in my case, encouraged me to come out of my shell a little.

I never expected to be someone who, in the prime of my life, would stand with friends alongside a red carpet. But I never realized how much fun it would be.

Nor had I appreciated all the consequences of wearing a t-shirt which had this picture on it.


Thanks to Tanni, who runs a Russian Richard Armitage fan website, and who made this design for us.


When one is one of seven wearing this shirt, walking to and then waiting for the red carpet to begin, one suddenly realizes that one’s representing Richard. We had declared publicly our allegiance and admiration for the man. This was a bit shocking to me, as someone who never usually wears clothing, bags, or other materials with prominent branding. But I took a big breath, told myself I could do it, and began chatting to all the people we met that day about Richard.

Of course, the ones we talked with most were those waiting beside us. Behind us stood a group of university students who thought attending the premiere would be a fun thing to do that day. By the time the stars of the movie approached, they had offered to take pictures for us using one of our cameras. Another lovely couple of women offered to take two of our copies of The Hobbit and stand next to us at the barricade, as some of us wanted to try to get autographs for others unable to attend. Needless to say, everyone around us knew a lot more about Richard Armitage by the end of the day!

Then the celebrities began to arrive. We were along the second half of the carpet and it took some time for them to arrive near us, but we could see the interviews happening on big screens.

Soon actors playing dwarves approached. I think we missed talking to only one dwarf who attended that day – all the others spotted our t-shirt or sign, or when we called out, were happy to come over. I didn’t realize it at the time, but in retrospect, I think some of them may have come over because they could see we were Richard’s fans. At least three of them volunteered comments complimenting Richard’s performance in the film. Some of us had attended the TORn party a couple of days before and had been able to talk to some of the dwarves there, and see William Kircher’s and Jed Brophy’s bands play, so it was lovely to be able to talk with them about the party.

Then we spotted Richard, who was talking to media diagonally opposite us. He was accompanied by a PR lady (who we believe was Ruth Bernstein) and a security guy. Ruth spotted us first — I think it is her job to scan ahead on the red carpet and make sure Richard is interviewed by the more important media. To our surprise, she turned to Richard and pointed us out to him. He turned and spotted us …

imagebRichard Armitage, red carpet for world premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, November 28, 2012, Wellington, New Zealand. Thanks to Team Thorin for this photo.

… and came over. At this point, I realized, we were no longer Richard ambassadors, we were Armitage Army/fan/ardent admirer ambassadors.

He chatted and joked with us, but to me the actual words exchanged were relatively inconsequential. What mattered was that although we all know he is not a red carpet natural and is not naturally extroverted, he was happy to see us there and engaged with us. And by us, I mean all of us, anyone who reads this blog.

Take another look at the smile above — he’s smiling at you.

A Team Thorin member

28 November 2012

And check out @kellyduck’s account of her Armitage encounter at RAFrenzy.

~ by Servetus on January 18, 2013.

37 Responses to “From an Armitage ambassador: “He’s smiling at you.””

  1. That’s lovely! Thank you, Anna, and thank you, Richard for being so good to us all.

  2. Anna, darling, thank you. Sitting nearly 10,000 miles away as albatross flies, I was there in spirit, especially as Team Thorin was so good to keep us informed as the live feed played.

    Yes, he is smiling at me. : D

  3. How sweet! It gave me good chill bumps when you wrote ‘He’s smiling at you’.

  4. This is such a sweet recounting of RA on the red carpet. Thank you Anna.

  5. Thank You so so much for this blogpost!
    Honestly I felt in my heart when I looked at the photo that he really did smile at me. Thank You so much for “forwarding” that to me!
    I was acually in bed here in Stockholm, Sweden, when it all took place in Wellington. And I was ill. And therefor I missed the live broadcast online.

    A really good blogpost. 🙂
    I wish to be able to meet him too one day!
    (Maybe he’ll come to Stockholm for the opening of the second part in december…. *one can wish*)

  6. Thanks, Anna, for that last line. How sweet of you to recognize it could have been any one of us, in theory, standing there waiting for Richard to notice us….

  7. Thank you Anna for this lovely account. First @kellyduck’s earlier today, and now yours’, it’s totally made my day! What a beautiful picture of him. Your words “he’s smiling at you” had me in happy tears, because I do feel as if he is.

  8. Anna, he was just like that in Toronto too!!! Wonderful!!!

  9. Anna,
    Thanks for your lovely memories. And the photo of a radiant RA spotting you gals is fabulous!
    Cheers! Grati ;->

  10. Thank you Ambassadors all for allowing us to live vicariously through you! 🙂
    Marvelous T-Shirt, Tann!

  11. Well done Anna and it was worth the wait to read your perspective of the red carpet experience. That photo is priceless as the emotions and memories are worth savouring and sharing with the wider Richard community. It was a delightful day taking us all out of our comfort zones and making something so surreal a reality to treasure always. HH and LL

  12. Thanks for sharing you story! I really want to get a lifesixed thorin cardboard cut out. I may HAVE to now.

  13. Thank you so much Anna for sharing this amazing experience with us. It truly was the next best thing to being there in person. 🙂 Just seeing that beautiful smile of his certainly made my day too and when I read the words, “He’s smiling at you” – I simply melted. *sigh*

  14. Thank you Anna for sharing your experience and warming our hearts with, “He is smiling at you.” Whenever I see this photo I will think of your words and truly believe 🙂

  15. Anna, that was a lovely photo to post – but your comment to us was the generous (chocolat?) icing. Thank you for both. 😀

  16. Reading this makes me deliriously happy to be part of the RA community 🙂

  17. […] Read Anna’s account of the Red Carpet here […]

  18. A really sweet post, and really sweet comments in response 🙂

  19. It is so nice to be his fan, really:) Thank you very much Anna :*
    Beautiful T-shirt Tanni!
    @Servetus: Thanks!

  20. That’s a lovely report and that photo is fantastic! What a time you all had xx

  21. Thanks for being such a fabulous RAmbassador Anna! I love that photo :-).

  22. What a lovely surprise to find this here as I am getting up. I have to repeat what all the others said: Thank you for this account, thank you for sharing the experience and most of all thank you for saying that he was smiling at us, too. I am increasingly convinced that fans like you really deserve Richard and vice versa.

  23. Thanks for sharing this with us Anna. 🙂

    I love the t-shirt created by Tanni, so great !!! 🙂

  24. Reblogged this on Knightleyemma.

  25. WOW, thnx SOOOO much for sharing (I reblogged it, too)! Where can I get that shirt- looks V cool!

  26. Can I just say how proud I always am when I read how amazingly well fellow RArmy members represent the rest of the Armitage Admirers! Thank You for being so wonderful and for being the perfect ‘face’ to our fandom! You rock!
    Ps. Love the design Tanni, maybe you’d come up with a banner for FanstRA4? Please? Pretty please with Armitage on top?

  27. You’ve made me cry, but in a good way. I needed that. Thank you! I am glad you all had such a positive experience.

  28. How wonderful to read this! Thanks for sharing your remarkable adventure.

  29. Anna, Thank you for sharing your adventure on the red carpet. For me what a great way to end my day. I also had happy tears.

  30. […] assume one signs for free on red carpets — but it’s a pain to get to a red carpet, and while it can be wonderful and transformative, as we’ve seen, the results are far from guaranteed, if you’re standing in the wrong […]

  31. […] of that event, “From an Armitage Ambassador: He’s smiling at you!” was published here. It encapsulates very much what I knew of her spirit and her values based on our extremely brief […]

  32. Thanks for the pic!! So you got to meet him! [edited]

  33. […] media around. And, as the late Anna said, when one of us meets him, really, all of us meet him and when he smiles for a candid with one of us, he’s smiling at all of us. I’m pretty sure he is aware of how social media […]

  34. […] From an Armitage ambassador: “He’s smiling at you.” January 18, 2013. A report from a member of Team Thorin, who met Armitage on the red carpet in […]

  35. […] hurt that she managed a phone closeup of the shoes he was wearing for me, either.) Much later, a fellow fan of ours, since deceased, would argue that when Armitage met one of us it was the same a…, and I’ve always felt the emotional weight of that sentiment when I see pictures from these […]

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