Armitage nepotist: The afternoon transcripts

483667_10151785236065760_601488441_n[At left: prototype of mini-surveillance drone]

[Yesterday, we reported that a group of particularly intense fans had infiltrated the office of Richard Armitage’s agent in Los Angeles and heard some details on conditions for the possible financing of his Richard III ambitions. Below follow the transcripts retrieved from the afternoon meeting of Armitage, his agent, and another possible financer — at least, what we were able to hear before an unfortunate accident. Note that voices have the same designations as in the previous transcript.]


Friday, March 1, shortly before 2 p.m., Pacific Coast Time.

Voice 1: Did you have a nice lunch?

Voice 2: Yes, but I’m really struggling with my Coke habit at the moment.

Voice 1: What??!?

Voice 2: My growing addiction to Coca-cola.

Voice 1: Oh, right. Yes, it’s very difficult to get away from it, here in America. That’s why we didn’t want to cast you in the film that was being shot in Atlanta, if you remember.

Voice 2: I remember. I was really hoping that the sugary drink ban would survive the court challenge in New York City, so that I couldn’t just dip into 7-Eleven for a Big Gulp.

Voice 1: Indeed. You’ll have to learn some discipline. Let me get you some Perrier. Or I think we have some Tasmanian Rain.

Voice 2: No thanks. That stuff all pales in comparison to Coke. I might have to try an immersion therapy…

Voice 1: Well, try to avoid anything that involves a celebrity addiction rehab center. They’re hard to insulate against the press.

Voice 2: Do they have those for Coke addiction?

Voice 1: I’d have to look into it. It’s possible that the sugary drink lobby prevents them from opening in North America. You might have to go to Nepal or something.

Voice 2: Right. Well, then I could finally climb Everest.

Voice 1: It would be quite onerous to insure you for that, Richard. But for now, in any case, the second investor will be here to meet with you in about fifteen minutes. This was someone we vetted carefully before choosing the previous financer, but ultimately decided against.

Voice 2: Why was that?

Voice 1: Her requests are, erm–

Voice 2: Just tell me. I won’t throw anything, I promise.

Voice 1: They’re a little, well, edgy.

Voice 2: Edgy — that’s great! I love edgy! I want more artistic movie work. I’d quite like to be in independent films.

Voice 1: [coughs nervously] Then you should really love this meeting.

[Sound of door opening]

Voice 4: Sir, your 2 p.m. appointment is here.

Voice 1: Wonderful! Send her in!

[Door closes, then opens again a few moments later. Sound of heels clicking across the floor. Chairs scraping. Greetings, handshakings.]

Voice 1: [Name deleted per request of attorneys], this is Richard Armitage.

Voice 5: Wonderful to meet you, Richard! Love your work!

Voice 2: [warmly] Thank you so much! The pleasure is mine.

Voice 1: So, Richard, [Name deleted] wants to discuss her conditions for financing your Richard III biopic.

Voice 2: That’s brilliant; I think you’re going to be really pleased with this project.

Voice 5: Oh, yes, Richard … [pauses, then continues in a sultry tone] I couldn’t be more delighted with the idea.

Voice 2: It’s a relief to hear that because–

Voice 1: –because although so many investors have been clamoring to make this project, my client is very interested in you in particular.

Voice 5: It’s super to hear that. I simply loved the heavy ambiguities written so convincingly into this script.

Voice 2: I think some people think Richard III should be a heroic figure in this film–

Voice 5: Oh, no, not at all. I would like to see some script modifications — but more in the direction of making Richard III [pauses]

Voice 2: [eagerly] yes?

Voice 5: [tone falls] more … dangerous. Not evil, you understand–

Voice 2: [excited] no, not evil. Just very edgy, very dangerous, very unpredictable, almost–

Voice 5: Mephistophelian. More opportunist than malevolent, but–

Voice 2: Playing with it all the time!

Voice 5: Yes! Exciting!

Voice 2: So how do you envision the look of the film, then?

Voice 5: We’re imagining a combination of Lincoln, with some elements where Blair Witch Project meets Black Sky plus Lars and the Real Girl.

Voice 2: I’m flattered by the comparison to Daniel Day-Lewis, of course, though I’m not in that caliber of artist. Though Richard III was a similarly tragic figure … [musingly] I can see the mystery and improvisational elements of the second two films in the story, and I like doing found footage. And that does fit well with the repeated, ominous catastrophic weather events in the Richard III story.

Voice 5: Yes, I know there were no tornadoes in fifteenth-century England, but that’s just a detail to attract the market segment who loves tornado films.

Voice 2: I’m sure Philippa will have no problem with that. But I’m a bit confused about the Lars and the Real Girl reference.

Voice 5: Oh, we’ll resolve the difficulty over whether Richard really loved Anne Neville or was just exploiting her by casting a life-size sex doll as Anne.

Voice 2: That’s … [coughs] intriguing.

Voice 5: Yes, edgy. And saves money, too. But by casting the doll, we bring out the financial and procreative exploitation of the relationship right into the open, and the lifeless, infertile doll serves as a mythic signifier of the ultimately blocked procreative option as well. If you play Richard’s relationship to Anne a bit like Gosling does to Bianca in that film, we’ll add even more ambiguity because we won’t be sure what Richard really understands about Anne’s objectified, doll-like nature. Also, there’s an allusive intertextuality there; Lars lets Bianca die, and Richard III is relieved when Anne is gone, even if he didn’t poison her. You can then just deflate the doll, and running out of air is a nice metaphor for tuberculosis. Do you see what I mean?

Voice 2: Erm … I’ll have to think about it. Will the doll speak?

Voice 5: Of course not. Sex dolls can’t speak, everyone knows that. Except maybe Lars and your Richard III.

Voice 2: I’m starting to see it …

Voice 5: And of course to heighten the audience’s ambivalence, we’ll cast real women as Richard’s lovers and then as Elizabeth of York.

Voice 2: I see how that could work… [audible sound of swallowing] I think we might agree, then, if we can maintain control over the model of doll cast in the role.

Voice 1: [clears throat] I think my client needs to hear more than that about the proposed script modifications.

Voice 5: Oh, yes, of course. Listen, Richard, we’ve been doing some market research about your fans and we’ve discovered–

Voice 2: [sharp intake of breath]

Voice 5: That your fans just really love your image as a good uncle who babysits his nephew.

Voice 2: Oh, no, don’t tell me–

Voice 1: Just hear her out, Richard.

Voice 5: Yes, and your endearing concern over Kili and Fili when you play Thorin Oakenshield, especially that scene with the rock giants, seems to have intensified that belief in the fan segment we sampled.

Voice 1: Just so you know, Richard, before you get frustrated, this conclusion seems to be correct as far as we can tell. When polled on the question, “I watch Richard Armitage because he’s such a wonderful uncle” before December 2012, only 35 percent of fans agreed or strongly agreed. After seeing the film, though, the percentage of fans agreeing with that statement roughly doubled.

Voice 2: 70 percent of my fans are watching me because I love my nephew? Does this mean I will never be cast again except in a role where I play a jolly old uncle? I suppose that could have some advantages. I could drink more, give in to the pizza and beer gut…

Voice 1: Well, your numbers track in a way that’s decidedly avuncular. But that’s part of what makes this financing offer so intriguing. It might open up other things for your career in a way that a traditional, historicist biopic would not.

Voice 5: Yes, we think we can use your reputation very much to our advantage with the right marketing tools. And dramatically expand the market reach your acting could command by shifting your audience.

Voice 2: I’m all ears.

Voice 5: In essence, we want to toy with the “uncle” theme, while detaching fans from their allegiance to that motif and shifting it to a sort of dangerous unpredictability around the matter of nepotism.

Voice 2: Tell me more.

Voice 5: We’ll start with the project you’re involved with now. I think we need to make sure that the two remaining films in the Hobbit franchise move the uncle – nephew relationship into a different space.

Voice 2: [coolly] I think you’ll find that hard.

Voice 1: Yes, my client is aware of Durincest, and is not interested in participating in the explicit realization of any of that in film.

Voice 5: We thought about that, but I understand. A big screen male-male kiss in an international blockbuster can be a career killer, even if it is Aidan Turner you’re kissing. No, we thought of something a bit, well, a bit more dangerous.

Voice 2: What’s that?

Voice 5: First, we’re going to offer Peter Jackson an incentive to add a deleted scene to the DVD for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey that’s coming out in October. Something very brief that, when inserted into the rock giants sequences, makes it looks like Thorin might be trying to push Fili off of the cliff.

Voice 2: That’s a total betrayal of the character!

Voice 5: [continues unperturbed] Then, we’ll get Jackson to intensify Thorin’s jealousy of his nephews in films 2 and 3 of the franchise.

Voice 2: What do you mean? Thorin isn’t jealous of his nephews.

Voice 1: [mutters] Well, Lucas North wasn’t John Bateman, either, of course.

Voice 5: I think he is jealous of their dwarfy hotness and general energy, as well as their unscarred emotions. So, in The Desolation of Smaug, Thorin will bring these subconscious feelings to expression and warn them both to go back to the Blue Mountains. Perhaps conveniently forget, or conspire with Bilbo, to leave them caught in the spiders’ webs in Mirkwood. And when they get to Erebor, he’ll imprison them in a Tower of some kind–

[sound of hand hitting forehead]

Voice 2: And let me guess. They’ll just disappear.

Voice 5: Exactly! I knew you’d understand.

Voice 2: Luckily for me, I guess [snort], there’s no way Pete will do any of that.

Voice 5: Well, he made The Hobbit in 3D because of Warner Bros., didn’t he? If the numbers for this film could add up to a billion dollars, and we think they could, I think pressure can be brought to bear.

Voice 1: There’s one more thing, though.

Voice 5: Yes. Right. So the stuff with the Hobbit plot line is just the beginning. We need to cast just the right person as Edward V to set up the atmosphere right.

Voice 2: [explodes] Not my nephew!

Voice 5: Oh, don’t worry, your nephew is much too young for this role. [pauses]

Voice 2: [tone of extreme tension] You’re not going to cast Dean O’Gorman as Edward V and Aidan Turner as Richard of York?

Voice 5: Stay calm, Richard. We’d never, ever be so obvious. No, we’re looking for more of a subtle background campaign to start, following by casting a sort of gender-ambiguous Edward V who’s clearly frightened by both your screen persona as Richard III and, increasingly, as the news reports come out, the real Richard Armitage.

Voice 1: A bit more like the publicity for Blair Witch Project.

Voice 2: I don’t remember that, I’m afraid.

Voice 5: Suddenly there were just ads on the Internet that looked completely like amateur video. Viewers were very frightened by them. And then intrigued.

Voice 2: So how would that work here? Clips from the film?

Voice 5: No, not at all. We’re going to draw on your reputation as a “Method actor”–

Voice 2: Well, as I keep saying, I’m not really completely a Method actor–

Voice 5: Yeah, but everyone thinks you are. So how does Daniel Day-Lewis get into these roles? He practices for them. For years.

[several moments of silence]

Voice 2: Are you saying what I think you’re saying?

Voice 5: This is how it will go. Just after you start filming, we’ll start seeding youtube with videos of you, the real Richard Armitage, in questionable conversations with your nephew. Very short clips, very ambiguous, you will seem threatening, even violent, your nephew will seem weak, sweet, and vulnerable–

Voice 2: No. I’ve already said my nephew’s participation in this project is not on the table.

Voice 5: Oh, of course not. In the videos, we’ll make it clear that it’s your nephew you’re interacting with, borderline abusively at times, but the actual nephew will never be seen. We’ll seed them onto all the fan forums. And those bloggers, hell, they believe anything.

Voice 2: No. Absolutely not.

Voice 5: And then — this is the beauty part — the international press will report that your actual nephew has disappeared!

Voice 2: [strangled noises in the throat] What?

Voice 5: Yes. You will, of course, express concern, but deny any involvement as you continue filming this Richard III biopic with a life-size sex doll as your costar. You can choose, if you like, to go to a premiere or two with the doll, but you will remain absolutely silent on the nephew thing.

Voice 2: NO.

Voice 5: Yes, just listen. So the news will be reporting your nephew’s disappearance, and then we’ll discover a body somewhere suspicious — just suspicious enough not to get you charged with anything, but to awaken all the energies of the conspiracy theorists.


Voice 5: I don’t think you’re listening carefully. After the nephew disappears, your relationship with the actor playing Edward V will become increasingly difficult. We’ll seed reports from the set that have you fighting and threatening him, perhaps even some after work encounters in a bar.


Voice 5: I don’t see what you’re so upset about it. This will be really great. Film critics will start writing about the intersection of life and art in your work — you’ll get roles like never before.


Voice 5: [soothingly] of course not.

Voice 2: So you’re going to kill some other little kid?

Voice 5: No, we’ll find some kid’s body that’s already dead. And then we’ll keep your nephew at an undisclosed location.

Voice 1: For how long?

Voice 2: I can’t believe you arranged this meeting!

Voice 5: Probably for the rest of his life, otherwise the film loses its edge, if it all seems like a huge hoax. I mean, remember how badly the audience numbers for Black Witch fell off when they started airing that hokey television fake documentary?


[several moments of silence]

Voice 1: [tentatively] We may be going too far in the other direction, of course, with this.

Voice 2: DO YOU THINK? You want to make all my fans think I’ve murdered my own nephew? That is going to increase interest in my career?

Voice 5: Oh, totally. The cognoscenti love how into his roles Daniel Day-Lewis is. He’s not that great of an actor, but his level of obsession is the stuff of legend. I’ve heard his slavishly mediocre work in Lincoln called “the quintessential modern performance” in my facebook feed. And on top of that, troubled celebrity private lives completely drive film ticket sales, especially if the acting holds up to the initial buzz over the scandal. They come for the crime, then stay for the great performance. And we all know you’re a fantastic actor. Perfect for this role.

Voice 2: [dangerously] Now you’re patronizing me. This is just absolutely impossible. [shouts] IMPOSSIBLE!

Voice 5: Well, I think you have to ask yourself then, Richard, how badly do you really want to make this film? I mean, Richard III knew what it took to be king of England — are you saying you’re that much less of a man than he was? A man who’s been dead for over five hundred years?

[sound of chair scraping]


Voice 1: Hey, what’s this thing flying around in here? Are there really dragonflies in Los Angeles?

[sound of slapping on table and then on human flesh]

[transcript ends]

[Reports of a chair flying through a window at Management 360 in Los Angeles were met with a response of “No comment” from the agency’s publicist.]

~ by Servetus on March 12, 2013.

43 Responses to “Armitage nepotist: The afternoon transcripts”

  1. Love it. 🙂


  2. ROFL again! Humour with skewers in all the right places — you’re brilliant! If this is the slingshot effect of grading and other stresses, wow.


    • This is sort of the beginning of the upswing, yeah, from an extremely bad mood. There’s a lot of self-loathing here, but I don’t know if you’d get it unless you knew me fairly well … I’m never in a good mood when I’m writing these but the extreme snark somehow makes it okay to write, and then something better comes later (I hope). Here’s to a cheerier tomorrow!


  3. Very nice…the conversation about DDL was especially apt 🙂


  4. I like this. More please.


    • More conversations in which Armitage refuses to kill his nephew to further his career? 🙂 OK.


      • No. I think this is just the right way to go.


        • Now I am confused. He shouldn’t refuse to kill his nephew? Or I should just continue to mercilessly make fun of Hollywood production meetings? 🙂


          • He definetely needs some edginess. In life and in art. So I actually approve of that person’s plan. After all he should only pretend to kill the nephew.


            • I’m tense about imprisoning him forever, though. Although of course that is what happened to all the potential living Plantagenet pretenders once Henry VII took the English throne.


  5. Genius 😉


  6. Brilliant once more. I do love good satire. 😀

    I confess to an affection for “Lars and the Real Girl” and the idea of turning Anne Neville into a sex doll had me ROFL.

    Once again, not SO far, surely, from the sort of talks that go on?! Oh, and Rich, I am a Coke addict, too. When things get really bad (as with Twittergate) I add a generous dollop of Kahlua to it. Keeps me from tossing chairs through windows. 😉


    • Given the paucity of sources about her, she could have been a sex doll. Except that they didn’t have injection molding in C15.


  7. Again…I have no words…in a good way of course 😉


  8. Oh lordi, I didn’t expect it to play out like this at all. Compliments, Serv, this was great fun to read! (Sorry to hear that it doesn’t come from a happy place, though.) The really scary thing, however, is that I found this quite realistic at times. Not that I know the film industry at all, but I feel reminded of the artsy-fartsy shenanigans and most outlandish/tenuous interpretations in the photography world. Inspired stuff – sex dolls and RIII. Avantgarde! 😉


    • That’s it, isn’t it–it is so close to the reality of artsy-fartsyness in the arts arena. Really inspired and REALLY funny and biting.


    • I was trying for what would happen if Regietheater took over the film industry … with a little bit of Kardashians popped in.

      For me, snark usually comes from processing bad feelings — it’s a way not to direct the bad feelings at myself. What’s good is that it’s usually a sign of an upswing.


  9. […] Part 2: Armitage nepotist: The afternoon transcript […]


  10. “And those bloggers, hell, they believe anything.”
    I absolutely love that and of course all the rest 😉
    What a brilliant spy you are, Servetus !!!


  11. Brilliant.

    Perhaps someone could turn up later, pretend to be Richard’s nephew, then be exposed as a fake?


  12. This is brilliant indeed! You have talent and imagination.


  13. Brilliant again. Don’t give up the snark! (especially relating to Hollywood film-making.) Why NOT have the wicked uncle bump off the whiney, self-important EdV, who was inflated with the Woodville pride?

    One must, however, draw the line at “disappearing” an Armitage nephew….”One does NOT do ‘stunts’….)


  14. Sitting here just south of Atlanta whilst drinking a coke, I found this to be hysterically funny from beginning to end — not to mention the coke spewing everywhere when I started reading. Here’s hoping that RA will someday wind up in Atlanta to make a movie and/or escape the nephew in the tower fodder.


    • Thanks sloan 🙂 Just don’t take him … oh, gosh, I just had a wonderful idea for another spoof. Armitage is visiting Atlanta and he goes to the Coca-Cola museum and ends up in the room at the end where they give unlimited samples of all the drinks they sell all over the world …


  15. Or rather, one does not do stunts, unless they involve impersonating a Bond Girl parachuting from a helicopter…


  16. Great job Servetus! Very much enjoyed and thank you again for the laughs.


  17. […] he’s not interested any longer. My bitter spoofs about scriptwriting in the spring, here and here, notwithstanding, that story can’t be changed much and still be recognizable. It has a fixed […]


  18. […] [Top secret transcripts from the afternoon meeting with the alternative financer will be published soon. Watch this space! were published the next day. […]


  19. […] the CIA, to eavesdrop in the office of Armitage's agent in Los Angeles to good benefit here and here. While they had hoped to profit from the current UK fad for phone hacking, recent events have made […]


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