Armitage flens? or, how I love a guy who can cry

I think I mentioned that this was my favorite picture from this week.

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untitled-139Richard Armitage in costume as Thorin Oakenshield on the last day of principal photography for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, saying how much he’s looking forward to returning to New Zealand to see everyone again, in A Hobbit’s Tale: The Journey Begins. Source: Heirs of Durin

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Classic shy Armitage head duck. A feature of the “modest Armitage” and the “bashful Armitage” tropes, but.

What I wanted to know after watching this about ten times is — was he about to get teary?

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We know that he cries and from his own statements that he’s not unreasonably ashamed to admit it.

Moments I’m aware of:

Daily Mail Weekend Magazine, September 6, 2006:

Richard was packing boxes in a warehouse when he heard he’d been accepted by the RSC. Getting a job there was a milestone,’ he says. ‘When the call came, there was no one else in the place. Just me and these boxes. I was in floods of tears because I couldn’t believe I wouldn’t have to go back there. On Mondy morning I could go to a rehearsal room and start doing Shakespeare.’

and same source:

I had a period of 18 months when I wasn’t acting. I worked at a laser gun place and took front-of-house jobs in the theatre. I wasn’t clinically depressed but I was down. But I’d go to drama classes to make sure I was keeping my skill going. I finally hit something real inside me in one of those classes. I’d had little glimmers before but then in one class with an American director I just hit something. From that moment on I was kind of fearless because I knew I had it in me. I knew I had the instrument. I know it’s a cliché but it was like a drug. It was like: ‘I want to know what that feels like again because I can’t do that in my real life. I can’t cry like that because it’s not civilised.’ That’s when I thought it was really worth it.

Regarding water stunts for his role as Heinz Kruger, Daily Telegraph, July 22, 2011:

“I am just not a water baby. I can swim but I just don’t. Everyone else is jumping in and I’ll go, ’You know what? I’ll just stand on the side.’ I did four weeks of scuba training for the sequence and made myself do fifty lengths every day. Then we were at the bottom of a tank and there was ten metres above you.” All 15 or 16 stone of him shudders at the memory of the moment the divers confiscated his goggles and breathing line. “They had put a microphone in the water so you could hear them say, ‘Just waiting for the bubbles to clear.’ I’m at the bottom of the tank thinking, I’ve taken a deep breath but I haven’t got enough air. When they asked me to do it again I was sitting in the dressing room crying, ‘I can’t!’

Christmas message of December 24, 2011:

The places we have been to and the things we have seen, have surpassed all my expectations. I was very choked up as the plane left Wellington on Weds, it really has become home and to all my new friends there and my old friends here I would like to raise a glass for the festive season.

London premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, December 12, 2012, at 11:55:

“This is [the premiere] I was nervous about, because I thought I might step onto the carpet and start crying. And I had a dream last night that I got lost outside the cinema and I couldn’t find my way in. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen. But it’s so great to come to London and [pauses] bring it home.”

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Are there other such statements in interviews?

And was he getting teary on the last day of shooting? Who would blame him? Watch the vid here, at about 9:02 and decide for yourself.

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In a week where it was really hard to respect my own emotions, when I would have preferred to pretend I didn’t have any, it was unbelievably fortuitous to have the reminder of my crush revealing himself as leading with the feelings.

I often feel these photos pop up just when I need to see them. This was a picture I needed to see, and reflect on, this week in particular.

Thanks, Mr. Armitage.

~ by Servetus on March 23, 2013.

32 Responses to “Armitage flens? or, how I love a guy who can cry”

  1. I have enormous respect for men who are unashamed to cry. It breaks my heart to see my husband shed tears and yet I love him all the more for it.
    I wondered,too, if RA was on the verge of getting choked up after his little speech. I LOVE that picture, too. Pure Armitage in Thorin guise.Gets ME a little choked up, too.

    I do think he was on the brink of tears on that first day during the welcoming ceremony–so much excitement, anticipation and nerves (he had to give that speech in Maori, after all) building up inside. At long last–the day was finally there. It was real, not just a dream. 😀

    I lead with my feelings, too, and it’s one of the things I love about him.

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    • usually you can tell a little bit by the timbre of his voice, but that wasn’t quite so apparent in this excerpt.

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  2. Definitely choked up at the Hobbit wrap. There is subtle but discernible emotion in his voice. And then right after there is this bashful, apologizing glimpse at the camera, checking whether they caught him out. – I very much appreciate it when men spill tears because it is *still* such a taboo. Hits me in the feels really badly – and does not look like a sign of weakness to me at all. Tears are always cathartic, I think, and there is a reason why our body has been made that way to show grief, sadness or sentimentality. Sure, it can never be wrong to express feelings. I enjoy crying and I hope that Armitage does, too.

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    • Exactly. It’s a part of being human, the tears that come with joy and sweetness as well as grief and sorrow. Nothing to be ashamed of at all.

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      • Completely agree with you, Fedoralady. However, I have also seen men cry with anger and frustration. It is, as you say, part of being human.

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        • That’s true. Heck, *I* have cried from anger and frustration more than once myself. The whole Comic-Con debacle had elements of those emotions, too.;) I figure our tear ducts are there for a good reason.

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          • Yes, tear ducts are there for multiple reasons: to lubricate and moisten the surface of the eye; to flood away bits of foreign material that may get caught between the lid and the eyeball; to react to pain and emotion in a recognizable way; and as a side effect, to cause clearing of the sinuses. The tear ducts benefit from the occasional healthy workout. Real men can cry with the understanding that it is not a sign of weakness.

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            • Without knowing anything about the physiological facts here, I am wondering whether there is also something chemical about crying. What I mean is – are there substances in tears, hormones or whatever, that are released when we cry, literally cleansing agents? Just from own experience I often have that feeling that it was actually good to get the tears out – as if they flush out the “poison” that was threatening to kill my body. – Doesn’t quite apply to happy tears, however…

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              • As far as I know, and my studies ended in the 1990s, tears were simply a mild saline solution with a neutral pH, but it would not surprise me if tears were also a way to excrete the byproduct(s) of hormone produced during stress. Stress can be the result of happiness (“eustress”) as well as painful emotions.

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                • Thanks for clarifying that, Leigh – very interesting, especially the point about eustress. The human body is just amazing.

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                  • Isn’t it just? There are so many ways that it functions that we have yet to understand, and it’s really a very compact package for the range of functions it has. Some functions are distributed, and others not, but they all interconnect. Every time I think that eyes are really naked parts of the brain, almost like its flowers, I am amazed all over again.

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  3. This is my favourite bit of the whole feature, another case of just when I didn’t think I could love him more for me. Or respect him more.

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    • yeah, me too — it’s a bit strange, how my appreciation for him continues to grow. Long live Armitage!

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  4. Richard Armitage touched our hearts all over again with his heartfelt words. A lovely post. Thanks for sharing.

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    • Definite proof that you don’t have to be flowery — heartfelt simplicity is also extremely effective.

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  5. Humans who feel, cry – male or female. Superimposed social stigmas are repressive.
    I love to know he’s real and has deep emotions.

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  6. I’m almost sure he was crying, he surely cried when alone. Just look at the different behavior of RA and Martin Freeman: the opposite. They have very different souls, very different reactions, joy and triumph are on MF’s face when rising his Bilbo’s fabric seat-back, there are tears and gratefulness in RA’s voice and eyes, a commotion beyond reasoning for he quite don’t realize how this incredible thing happened to him. He’s like a child disbelieving to be deserving full merit for his actions. There is gratitude for something he knows will never happen again (let’s hope the contrary) – he always says that The Hobbit is the greatest thing ever happened to him and remarks that nothing will compare to this. He didn’t accepted new works, he is concentrated on the next 10 weeks of shooting The Hobbit final scenes in NZ. This last scene in A Hobbit tale melt my hearth and confirmed every single idea I had about him: he is a precious human being. Even his handsomeness vanishes in front of this.

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    • yeah, the more I see MF during all of this, the greater my appreciation for Armitage’s depth and sensitivity.

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  7. This is why is such a good actor and why I admire him as an actor and person, he puts so mutch emotion in his acting. It’s his passion and maybe the most important thing in his life. Maybe that is why he is not in a serious relationship, just a thought.
    And I love this picture, it really looks like he is getting a bit teary. You can see how mutch it ment to him to do this movie. That makes me even more happy for him. It’s such a waist both for him and us to have him working in a warehouse.

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    • I’m sure G-d would have found other things for him to do, had he continued w/the warehouse — but I’m glad that he didn’t have to.

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  8. One of my most favorite RA moments too. I just want to give him a BIG HUG! Among other things. 🙂 What a man.

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  9. I am crying right now. There is a tag on my Tumblr called ‘Our lovely man’, It exists for precisely that reason: he is a sentimental man. That is one of the reasons I am sure he suffered growing up when his peers mocked him for being ‘tall and gangly’ and for having a large nose. I can almost see him coming home to hide in his room and cry, and his mother coming in to comfort him. Of course, being a musician, dancer, actor, singer and writer would tend to make him more susceptible to his environment and to the moods of those around him. I can very well picture how mortified he was when the first girl with whom he laid went out and told everyone the next day. He mentioned that although she didn’t mock him, she didn’t compliment him either. I bet he did cry over that, even if he didn’t love her, just from the humiliation of having everyone comment about it around him.

    To me, his hypersensitivity and propensity to cry without shame (good for him for being a confident and honest man!) are the reasons he feels that he has to stay in character when he is involved in a new acting project. This, of course, is a double-edged sword because it allows the emotions to consume him and makes it hard to switch them off at the end of the day, not to mention how it drains a person of their energy. Still, that is his process and it obviously works very well. It is who he is, to the benefit of us all. We most certainly reap the rewards when we see the transformations on screen. Maybe therein lies part of the mystery of the pull he has on us.

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    • Beautifully said! He seems to be a sensitive man. And when he is working, no doubt he finds it hard to switch off his emotions at the end of the day. But we don’t really know that. And we don’t really know who he is when he’s not working. Maybe he tries not to have feelings. But who knows. I agree that we reap the rewards of his process. Yes indeed!!

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  10. Thank you for your post. I think that it is something that many boys are taught that they should not cry. But yet there are people ( male and female) that emotion does not come easy for them so they do not cry. My oldest son is like this and it is hard on me to see not be able to release that emotion. Son 2 is a warm tender heart, that is full of emotion, and can show all his emotions well. Just his mom, I cry very easy, I can think of something sad and cry.

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    • boys get that message from their peers, too, that it’s not okay.

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      • I just finished up my homework, we had to do research on 3 important concepts of nonverbal communication. As I was going though and finding what I wanted to write about, the facial expression caught my eye and that fact that showing grief or sorrow is something that most American men hide. It also talked about culture and how it gives us a guideline on how we see it. It said nothing about the UK, but I would think it would be about the same. I have learned that subculture also has a big impacted on how we see it also.

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  11. […] written about Richard Armitage as someone who admits crying before (although now I think the Latin should be oculis flentis and not flens), and in that post, I cited […]

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  12. He starts to choke up during that interview on the London red carpet when he says that this is where he lived and worked for so long.

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  13. […] Circumventing water hazards. It made him cry. So I hope for no aqua aerobics or fire extinguishing or submarines or barrel […]

    Like

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