In which we meet yet another Richard Armitage
[If this makes me look like a shill, I don’t care.]
I wasn’t going to buy the download of the extended edition, and I did. You probably figured out from my relative silence since the weekend and then that outburst last night — which I didn’t intend to publish, I thought I was hitting “save draft” but apparently not and I shut the computer off right afterwards and went to bed — that the last few days haven’t been that great. Well, they’ve been awful. I won’t bore you with details. You can guess.
This morning I read this about feeling in conflict with yourself over things you have to do, and I thought, okay, Serv, you’re usually guilty of giving yourself punishing incentives to get things done, but in this case, if you get through the whole day and do everything you must do and don’t shirt you may pay to download the extended edition.
It’s eight hours of new stuff, I think, and I’ve watched a half hour of it and it’s enough for today. I feel so much better. I watched the chunk about the pickups in July 2012 and the filming of the carrock scene, which was the final shot. And I’m sorry — I know how to cap from protected files on iTunes but it requires a device I don’t have handy at the moment so I will have to leave caps for the better techies out there.
The chunk I saw didn’t have any Armitage as talking head. It was all little pieces of him, here or there. Filming a pickup, actually acting a scene, listening to directions, standing somewhere.
The kind of glimpse that makes a lot of us squee. But there’s more than that.
Watching that stuff brought it all together for me somehow, much more than some kind of direct discussion or face to the camera explanation, even if I can’t explain it very well at the moment.
You see, there’s the first Richard Armitage, the actor. Whose work touches me like the work of no other artist I’ve ever encountered.
Then there’s the second Richard Armitage, the one who appears in public to talk about his work, who exposes bits and pieces of himself for me to see. I think about him a lot, I feel akin to him in certain ways, totally different from him in others, and I try to put the pieces together. I try to write about him in conjunction with the first Armitage, and separately.
But then there’s the Richard Armitage the person whom we almost *never* see. We see not much more of him here, but he is here. He laughs when people tell jokes, he smiles, he stands, he flees the scene.
Someone’s going to say, “oh, this is about the ‘real’ Armitage, but of course it’s not” — and yeah, I get that. I would like to know more about the real Richard Armitage even if I can’t, so seeing him is a rush. But that’s not what I got from this.
It might be closer to say that it made me feel better because I saw Richard Armitage laughing and smiling and it’s true, that always makes me feel better. There’s definitely a sort of mystical level on which Richard Armitage content shows up on or around particularly bad days. And that’s happened again. I’ve learned not to raise my eyebrows anymore.
But I think this is the big takeaway: I also saw him working. Not his work — him working. Not him — him working. I saw him putting it together — the piece that is Richard Armitage and the piece that is the character — but I didn’t see the end result, I just saw how he looks when he’s doing it.
And you know — his work is astounding. And his “self” (such as we see it) is attractive. No question.
But what I take away from him working is — here he is, just this tall, admittedly talented, guy — and he listens to what people say and he screws his courage up and he concentrates and he stands up and he fricking DOES. IT. He’s talented and energetic and so on but in the end he is a guy who STANDS UP AND DOES IT.
Again and again and again.
He does it and he works hard and he stands back and he is still Richard Armitage, the guy who smiles and laughs and listens and wonders and the guy who also does the work. Great work.
I think that was the timely message I was supposed to get today.