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.

~ by Servetus on October 23, 2013.

20 Responses to “In which we meet yet another Richard Armitage”

  1. You say it all so eloquently. I’m usually just struck dumb by it all.


  2. I think the Nike slogan could be his: “Just DO it.” I think I need that message, too. Even if in my case it was a matter of saying, “I can’t do that anymore.” And it took a bit of the load off my shoulders. 😀 I am glad he once again helped you, Serv.


  3. I haven’t even seen the EE yet except for a few gifs and I’m saying: YES.


  4. Good message Serv. You have validated really what Martin Freeman said and obviously the scenes you saw validated that as well. Martin said that bit about how they all had to run around that course and it just about killed him right. But there was Richard just “doing it” because that is what Richard does. He is a shy man still to a degree, that young gawky lad from years back, but he steps up like you said and he just does his job. He doesn’t whine about it or stand a make excuses. He just takes a deep breath and does his work. I look forward to seeing that because I think that is an important part of who he is. So no we don’t know the real Richard Armitage because we’ve never met him, we’ve never spent time with him but I tell you we do know something, a small tiny piece about the real Richard Armitage and you just nailed it there. What you saw is that tiny piece. That is real. When I go to work and I put myself to the job that is me, the real me. It was who I was believe me. Now that I am retired I know that even more and believe me it is hard letting that go because I have lost a big part of who I was. Takes me more words here to say what you said so much better but your words just reminded me of what Martin and so many co-workers of Richard have said. That is the working Richard true but it is also a real part of who he is as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Doers are attractive. Doers can can leave a strong wake. I can feel this energy rather strongly, especially when Richard’s alacrity is present. I like to bathe in that energy he puts out. I like to hear him talk about it. I like to see all in that process that comes to form his characters. The process excites me just as much as that polished end product. Aside from that mind of his, Richard, The Doer, attracts me strongest. Your words here, Serv, just affirmed that.


  6. As MorrighansMuse said above, you say it all so eloquently. I can’t always put into words how certain people affect me although I did use Armitage as a reminder that I could do something that scared me a few weeks back. In fact you mention that he “screws his courage up” which reminds me of Lady Macbeth telling her husband, “But screw your courage to the sticking place, and you’ll not fail.” I think I should print that out in big letters and stick it on my wall…maybe next to a picture of Mr Armitage 🙂


    • I was thinking of Macbeth when I wrote that but I couldn’t remember who said it or what they said, exactly — thanks for the supplement.

      Courage is important. I wish I had more. Or at least less fear!


  7. It is funny that we don’t talk about this years back, at least I never did, in school. These people do give out vibes of strength and ability. Now some know that they have that strength and are very upfront about it. Richard is more shy about it but then he just goes out there and boom there it is. I go back to that article where he says that somewhere when he was still struggling as an actor to make it and suddenly he found that something in himself that told him that he could be that actor or that person he wanted and that he could make a success of this career. I think it was that “screwing his courage to the sticking place” that kathrynruthd quoted frm MacBeth or something like it. Whatever it was it changed how he saw himself and it made him what he is today and works very well I’d say.


  8. Gosh darn nit,Serv. You are a total shill for Warner Bros, MGM,Wingnut, etc. I was totally prepared to pass on this product because of lack of added significant screen time for our delightful dwarf.And then you post this, and how can resist buying it? Crap, I am undone by your insightful analysis and observations. My credit card won’t stop bugging me. I must succumb to its siren song. Buy it, buy it, buy it.


  9. This will be the closest we get to seeing him “off camera.” He not only smiles and laughs, but he can be funny -for an interviewer, but for his colleagues. Just natural. And his audition! Well, lots more to see. Find his audition if you haven’t already.


  10. Wow! This post says what I feel. It really does! Thanks for posting it.


  11. Thank you for a great post. The doers who don’t look to over impress anyone, they just do the best job they can, and tend to be harder on them selves. That is one of the things I really like about Richard.


  12. This is an inspirational discussion! I do have a question. I made the mistake of buying the DVD this summer. Now I’m kicking myself! I guess the $19.99 of the Extended Edition on download includes the movie and 14 extra minutes of footage???? Somewhere I read there was nine hours of additional footage. I’m confused. Also I’ve never downloaded a movie on my iPad. Doesn’t that use up a lot of memory? Sorry to be so uninformed.


    • The run time of the film has 14 extra minutes (on both DVD and on the download, I assume).

      The additional footage — several hours, anyway — is extras. I assume it will be on both editions.

      The download takes about 20 GB of space to save. It doesn’t seem to take up significant computer resources to play, though (at least i don’t have the impression that the hamsters in my computer are churning any faster).

      I’m not encouraging anyone to do anything (I haven’t watched the whole download yet and it will probably be a while before I do, and I’m still going to get the DVD) but if your credit card hasn’t been charged yet you can probably cancel the DVD purchse.


  13. I haven’t done anything with the extended version. I have the original DVD, but now wish I’d waited to buy this edition. I will probably go ahead and bite the bullet. Thanks for your explanation.


    • oh, I see. Yeah, I have the original DVD as well 🙂 I may even have two copies of it, sigh … the money I spend on this hobby …


  14. As an observer by nature, I have often found those caught off guard moments the most revealing of one’s character. A small glimpse, but always very telling.

    I haven’t as of yet bought anything Hobbit related…


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