me + Marlise Boland + Richard Armitage

Let me agree fully with the relevance of the question Perry puts here. It was one reason I took a poll earlier this week:

Screen shot 2014-12-17 at 6.42.42 PM

Because I wanted to know. Marlise Boland thinks she’s a journalist and she’s said so. Readers of this blog think she’s a fan.

The reason the question was important to me was the following: if she’s a fellow fan, I’ll hold fire — and have, since February — under the assumption that my regular negative reactions to what she does are simply secondary embarrassment and my criticism of her behavior would simply be policing, which I am on record as opposing. Armitage is a big guy and can take care of himself. Other fans do plenty of things that embarrass me and I’m for live and let live. I do plenty of things that embarrass other fans, and I ask them simply to stay away from here: DL, DR (don’t like, don’t read). What she does is neither illegal nor immoral.

If she’s a journalist, however, then I would be allowed to point out the ridiculousness of what she does, as I have in the case of other journalists. I could point out the lousy rhetoric, the poor videography, the sloppy editing, the fact that her interviews don’t flow, that questions seem disjointed, that although she keeps saying she’ll ask new questions she never does, the fact that she keeps touching him all the time, the weird requests she makes again and again that he look into her face and critique her mascara that are ?? flirting? Seriously? You know, there are plenty of fan interviewers who are satisfied with a handshake.

Frustrating, because she keeps saying “the fans, the fans” — the fact that she seems to know almost nothing about the fandom as a whole, beyond a single facebook page with whose owner she seems to be friends — and which owner won’t stop hassling me about my failure to act as a publicist for Richard Armitage and also for Marlise Boland — or its larger history, or the history of the interviews Richard Armitage has done in the past. It’s a relief to know that Armitage has witnessed the history of his own fandom at least in part and knows more about it than she does. I honestly never thought a journalist could make Richard Armitage seem boring, but she’s managed it today. Her interviews reveal that she’s not really that interested in what fans want to know, as much as she seems to expect us to identify with her. In 15 minutes of questions published today, she gets out one question that tells us something new? Two? She speaks of “the fans” and “your fans” in a condescending tone that means she seems to imply she has a comprehensive knowledge of us — or that she somehow speaks in our name.

I don’t care what underwear Thorin wears — sure, it’s funny, but is that really all you can think of to ask?

Of course, many fans are love with her work, and so criticizing a fellow fan risks the generation of a wave of rage.

But I’ll say it anyway, because it’s starting to get critical with me — if she’s a journalist, hopefully she’ll go away eventually. We’ll never hear from Tanya Gold again and that’s fine. I have this secret fear, though, that because she isn’t really a journalist, because her amateurish technique means that she will always lack bigger fish to fry, that when Armitage isn’t doing blockbusters anymore she’ll be one of few people interested in interviewing him. I have the growing suspicion that what she wants is somehow to take over the fan service of thousands of fans who have watched Armitage’s career and kept their own websites — not because we were building our own little media empires, but because we loved his work and sharing our impressions of it with his friends — because she thinks it will get her something.

The thing is what she wants isn’t what I want, and I suspect it is not what a lot of other people in the fandom want, either, if they thought about the consequences. Admittedly, the persistence of Marlise Boland is just a symptom of a larger problem that’s been apparent since August 22nd — someone or something doesn’t want our fandom to be created by and for us anymore.

It’s weird because I was thinking this stuff last night and went to the theater and was completely mesmerized. Didn’t think about my frustration with Marlise Boland for one second in six straight hours. Leaned my head back and stared at the screen and lost myself.

Mr. Armitage, I will always love your work. But if Marlise Boland is going to be your press secretary? In preference to the amateurs who have cultivated your career for so long? It’s going to demand a reassessment of the nature of my own commitment.

Continued here.

~ by Servetus on December 18, 2014.

160 Responses to “me + Marlise Boland + Richard Armitage”

  1. ……Whoa……………………..

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  2. What you said. I would say since she holds herself out as a journalist and is perceived as such by those who give out press passes, her interviews are fair game. That she’s not a good journalist, well . . .

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  3. I have my own opinion but need a bit of clarification: what do you think is happening so that the fandom is not by and for us anymore? This piques my interest more than Boland.

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  4. I think part of the problem is that there needs to be a new label for these youtube/multiple fandom type interviewers. no, they’re not traditional journalists but they’re not merely fans with a hobby either; they’re trying to promote and market their sites in order to get the press passes that give them the opportunity to interview the celebrities that they are building a career out of covering “for the fans”.
    I personally don’t have a problem with Marlise and I like the informal style of her interviews, as I do similar sites that have representatives showing up on the red carpets more and more. sometimes that informal behavior is not in line with what I would do or say myself but unless you’re going to be entirely professional, your sense of humor or personality quirks are not going to mesh with everyone. I’m not sure if Marlise is using this style on purpose of if she’s just untrained but it creates a welcoming atmosphere that a lot of us can relate to 🙂

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    • Yes, a lot of people like her work, and in fact it’s accurate to say that they like precisely many things that I don’t like about it. I agree that we will see more and more of this (whether that is a good development belongs in a post that’s coming up). Now — if she wanted to call herself a fan and she were one of four people who had occasional access to him it would bother me less because there are fan interviews with him that have been professional and funny that I have really enjoyed. The prospect that she, as Perry says, will become the Sarah Dunn of his fandom is really troubling. The problem of her having such long interviews and essentially repeating stuff that we’ve heard many times before him is really an issue for a fan interviewer. She has time to ask better questions, and she has access to know what those questions should be but she doesn’t focus on that because it’s not about him, or about fans, it’s about building her presence.

      In particular, it also bothers me that someone who’s been around about a year has priority access when others (not including me — I don’t want to interview him) do not.

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      • if she’s solely representing the fans then she needs to do better research, I agree, but I think she has a dual role here. I’ve seen other sites like hers that seem to be trying to occupy an emerging in-between space within the press. the trend in the marketing of individual celebrities is to open them up more and let the public see that they’re real people, just like them. traditional journalists can’t operate within this new space, there’s too much at stake for them and too much red tape to work around, but the “little man” like the Anglophile Channel can bypass a lot of those rules. they still need to build a name for themselves though and they still need to pander to their audience. so while we, the more in depth RA fans, are sick of the same old questions, The Anglophile channel viewers do not only consist of Richard Armitage fans; they’re fans of the period romances and UK culture and multiple British actors/actresses. so just like Peter Jackson tries to pull in new viewers and not just the Tolkein fans, Marlise has to try and pull in those who may not be as familiar with Richard as we are.
        as for the question of why she gets access to him while other “fans” may not, she is still considered “media” regardless of her own personal fangirling. the Anglophile award was her “in” and the rapport she built with Richard because of it grants her continued access. I am happy to see it continue because she brings out a relaxed side of Richard that I really enjoy seeing, and that is not only good for me but for him as well, I think. he has fun with her (as he seems to with Sarah Dunn too) and I wouldn’t want to take that away from him.

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        • The reason she gave him the award, though, was us. It was our voting — our fan labor, which this fandom has always done on his behalf — that got her that in. For her to mock one form of fan labor, the making of GIFs, while simultaneously benefitting from another rubs me the wrong way.

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          • This a good point (even though I didn’t participate in her poll) — and that’s been a dynamic from the beginning. Your fans are so serious, Armitage, that they get on their computer on Christmas to vote for you. Even as she uses us, she mocks us. Of course, we are used to that from journalists.

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            • I guess this is a part of the main rub for me…I don’t like being collectively mocked by journalists, but I’ve come to expect it and shrug it off. IMO, it is much more egregious to be courted by someone who claims to be, at least in part, a fan, and then thrown under bus by that very same person while she is simultaneously claiming to be representing the very group she just mocked? The circularity is making me dizzy.

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          • we do make gifs and we do use silly soundbites on our phones. I personally don’t make gifs or fan art or various other things that fans do but I say “we” to be polite; would it have made a difference in the negative feelings that I’ve been seeing in regards to this if she didn’t use the word “they”? I’m not saying I disagree with everything that’s been said here but unless I myself interview him, there is always going to be something that I don’t agree with. I would think it’s a hard line to walk between fan and media, I’m going to cut her some slack 🙂

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            • the thing is that, rhetorically — when I use the word “they,” it separates me from the object of discussion. The speaker who asks herself, am I part of the “they” I am talking about here? Can I just as accurately use “we” to describe what is happening or what I am commenting upon? is making a fundamental statement about her place as observer. When Marlise says “they” she is saying she isn’t part of “us.” Which may be true. But that means my obligation to her as a fellow fan has ended.

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              • so if she’s merely just a fan then we can forgive her shortcomings and lack of professional behavior because we feel happy for her as one fan to another? but as media, she should sit up straight and “report” instead of “chat”. the former is expected to be prepared and have better, more in depth questions, even though she will get a free pass on criticism- while the latter is forgiven their ill-informed notions about “our ways” and almost expected to ask weak questions. media gives it to us straight, while with a fan we have to sift through their own personality in order to get to his. I personally would rather dig through a Marlise chat to get a more rounded out Richard, then sit back and have “Richard Armitage-actor” handed to me. I’m not saying one is better than the other, I happen to like both, but I don’t think there’s a clear right way/wrong way in this situation.

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                • She can do what she wants, absolutely, and people can like what they want. Obviously a lot of people like what she does. The problem for me comes in in terms of trying to figure out what is going on here and then talk about it.

                  As a piano teacher, I frequently taught classic pieces to students who were learning the instrument. What I had to say about their performances is substantially different than what I would say about a famous musician who performed the same piece. Certain kinds of criticism are not appropriate to certain media and certain kinds of performances.

                  If she is a fellow fan, then I stand in different relationship to her than I do than if she is a journalist. The point is that I at least don’t give the media a pass. I never have. I assume you know that because you have been reading here forever.

                  And I don’t, I’m sorry, think she gives us a more “rounded out” Richard Armitage. I think that is part of the illusion that is created by what she does — because who doesn’t want to believe that if we sat down with Richard Armitage, he might be like this? What he does with her, however, is also a performance, simply a different one. And what did we learn about him yesterday that we did not already know, either about his opinions or his personality? One thing: that The Crucible opening night was the highlight of his year (aaaw — it was a big night for me, too). Rather, and this is the function of jouranlistic interviews so often as well, her interview confirms what we or at least many fans already believe about him or want to believe. Because she is functioning as a fan in this setting, we run the risk of seeing this as a more complete picture of him simply because it confirms our assumptions.

                  Again I don’t have a problem if this is what people want to believe — that’s fine. It’s just that it’s also not real. Not real in a different way than press junket interviews, not real in a different way than the apparent “access” offered on Twitter — but also not real.

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                  • but I want it to be real so I will fight for it! (that was said in jest 😉 ) I do think that is a big underlying factor though, who each of us perceives Richard to be.

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                    • it’s not that I think that these interviews per se provide a false impression of him, you know. I think that is indeterminate.

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          • She mocks gif-making? what the heck is that about??

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        • Yes, I understand these arguments about the “between space.” Part of what I am saying here is that that “between space” will ultimately be destructive to fandom. Post coming on that.

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          • I’m not 100% on board with this new type of reporting but I’m seeing it more and more and I like it’s intent, if not always it’s execution. I look forward to reading your upcoming post!

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        • I agree with virtually every word you’ve said, Kelly. And of course you are forcing me to consider all the issues, Serv, which I really do love as always. And also need, since I’ve been kind of out of the loop the last month or so. Just chiming in, carry on all 🙂

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      • I read your post after I sort of stumbled across a similar view expressed in another blog and came here to see whether you had posted on the subject too.
        I have to say it had never crossed my mind to consider Mrs. Boland a journalist. It apparently escaped me that she does consider herself to be one. To me she is a fan. Her husband tapes the interviews/chats and the editing definitely isn’t professional. This is not meant as a criticism. I have watched the interviews and actually enjoyed parts of them but I didn’t take them too serious. I somehow doubt she’ll turn into an official representative of ‘the’ fandom with exclusive access to RA. I may of course be wrong but I am not worried at all as I pick those parts of fandom and of the official media which I enjoy and do my best to ignore the rest. I was taken by surprise about the vehement reactions I have seen and am looking forward to your next post 🙂

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        • She has her moments. There was one good one in this latest segment. Fourteen minutes in. Basic rule of good journalism — don’t bury the lede.

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  5. I was taken aback that that specific facebook page got a special mention, rofl. It’s made such problematic remarks and caused quite a bit of drama in the past, IIRC? Anyway, very interesting read, this made me try to analyze my feelings about her interviews a little. I like Marlise’s style ’cause Richard seems so comfortable around her, and I love seeing him comfortable. 😀 But yeah, I’m glad (and personally a little mortified, tbh, ’cause fourth wallll) that Richard looks in on his fandom now and then, if only so he could notice that the people in closer contact with him trying to speak for all of his fans don’t often give an apt representation.

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    • I don’t really buy the “relaxed” argument, although I hear it a lot. He’s more relaxed now than he was in February, but his February microexpressions indicated a lot of discomfort.

      I like to see him smile, and I enjoy his sense of humor — but we saw funnier instances of that in this interview round than she got from him.

      re: representation — yes, I agree. It’s a real difficulty.

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    • oh — and I think she mentioned it because she really doesn’t know basic things about Armitage’s fans. She is unaware that fans have been doing charity campaigns on his behalf for years, including on Twitter. She made a comment about Daniele Rizzo’s interview without even knowing who he was or who his audience was likely to be.

      Now — that happens with a lot of new fans. They plop down and they’re like, oh, let’s do a charity drive, like no one’s ever done that before. I tend to think that’s not such a bad thing in that those of us who have been doing it for years can appreciate having new voices chiming in with ours. And although it sometimes annoys me that new fans seem to want to reinvent the wheel, it happens enough (and I did some of that myself), it is a natural process for a fan. The thing is that a journalist who claims to speak for fans should be informed about the fans for whom she is speaking. I don’t think she is.

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      • Amen! I agree with this completely. Boland is merely a fan, and an uninformed one at that. I would like to see Richard Armitage interviewed in depth by the likes of David Frost, but I doubt that will ever happen.

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        • I’d love it if an informed fan who wasn’t invested in the journalistic trope of mocking the people in the group to which she belongs interviewed him. There were fan interviews in August that I loved.

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          • Here, here! Loved the fan interviews for “Into The Storm” as well. I also voted that Marlise was a “fan”, not a journalist in the poll. I thought I was going to get my hand slapped for not seeing her as the professional she was aspiring to be, lol. Now I see that I was not alone in my impression.

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            • A lot of people have been keeping quiet about their feelings because the first people who criticized her were very OTT — they could clearly be written off as APM cases.

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  6. I’m going to go back & count the number of times she says “I”. That bugs me, along with the whole “I’m one of you but not one of you” vibe I get.

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    • it’s a kind of fundamental problem — because really, I am interested in what HE says and only sort of tangentially in her. Admittedly, if she wants to be a media personality, she has to develop an audience who is interested in her, so that is part of what she is going for. But there are other ways to do that than the ones she seems to be practicing.

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      • Totally agree. It’s my opinion that the great interviewers get there by being good at the craft-asking insightful questions, or the same stuff in a way that earns new/different responses. The rep comes from that, not by talking about yourself. And for that, you have to be actually interested in the people you’re interviewing. Not seeing them as a means to an end.

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        • yeah, people joke about Barbara Walters, but she got people to say astounding things that they didn’t regret later.

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          • For sure. There’s a latitude in entertainment reporting – even in some sports journalism too – that seems to be more acceptable than it was previously. But you can’t ignore fundamentals and expect to be good at the gig. No skipping lessons, even if the personality thing is your goal. Babs worked damned hard for years to be as good as she was at her peak.

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  7. This is exactly what has been bugging me. It’s why I haven’t gotten around to watching the new interview yet. I want to hear what he says but I have a problem with her. I think it started with the award interview but exponentially rose with her Crucible video. I found them to be two very conflicting ideas on what she wants to be perceived as. The award one she was much more the ‘professional’ journalist while the other was much more I’m one of you(fans) which I kind of found condescending. I would give her more credit if she did clearly pick which she wanted to be and stuck with it.

    This is just my personal opinion of course. I have a problem with a lot of these new youtube personalities. I hate that people think just because they can film themselves and upload it, that they are experts and professionals.

    Also very much agree with the no new questions. I was also disappointed with Richard himself during the Twitter Q&As where he answered some of the same old questions. There had to be more new and interesting questions asked.

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    • Thanks for the comment and welcome.

      the thing is anyone who can film inside the Old Vic with anything more than a cell phone is not “one of us fans.” Even if she stood outside at the stage door line.

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  8. I am woefully behind in all the press stuff for a variety of reasons, personal illness, working on RL paying stuff, and so forth, so I haven’t even watched that interview yet. Just taking my time. 😉 I will say I perceive Marlise to be more of a “personality” than a bona fide journalist and I do think like so many people looking for their 15 minutes of fame or whatever, she has an agenda of sorts and has hitched her wagon to RA as a means to achieve it. I don’t dislike her, per se, but I’m not necessarily a fan of her work, either.

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    • If this is just a temporary phase, it’s fine with me. She’ll go away and glom onto Benedict Cumberbatch. But it’s persisted nine months, and he’s not likely to be the object of big press coverage in the next year, given his projects that we know about. (Maybe I’m wrong and he will get a big film project and we’ll get more variety.) One reason I wanted to finally say this was that I wanted it to be clear that there are voices that are very critical of her out here.

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      • Understood. Maybe she will latch onto cute stories about the Cumberbaby or something. 😉 Seriously, the line between “real” journalism and entertainment reporting has gotten blurrier and blurrier over the years. When Kim Kardashian is considered news, it is a very sad day. :/ And the haste to get material on air and on line before everyone else without checking facts is pretty appalling. But I don’t have to tell you that.

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  9. I think there are journalists (by profession and specific place of employment, or freelance with specific points of sale for their material which qualify as press, whether published in paper/radio/TV or just with internet presence) and there is clear fandom, which expresses itself in a myriad of ways, on the internet or outside it. As far as we all know there is no official representation of fandom whatsoever, nor any unofficial one ‘officially’ recognised by RA, if i understood it correctly he’s made that clear. There is no representation used to communicate with him or which he would use to communicate to fans, i think his twitter presence is means of communicating with all fans, directly (well as directly as possible. (Personally i’m totally against any representation, the only person ever speaking for myself is me 😉 for better or worse).

    Then there is the massive grey area out there of individuals who don’t represent the press per se but only themselves, are not represented nor produce materials for above mentioned press, instead presenting or sharing their materials usually on the internet, mostly as any other bloggers or social media participants would do. Blogging, creating websites does not automatically make one a journalist. Admittedly, these days the line between the two gets ever more blurry.
    There is also a big difference between commissioned material/interview of editorial interest in the press which a journalist then is asked to produce and material produced in own interest with the aim to increase business and exposure.

    Personally i’m keen on these distinctions because good journalism is precious and ever more rare these days and it is a very difficult profession of great responsibility. Because it is one of the few professions still able to influence and form public opinion. (Social media/internet etc becoming an ever stronger influencer too with all the good and the bad this brings).

    The question and difficulty these days for PR people must be who to target, how to grant access. I guess often the approach is, as they want a lot of noise, everyone who asks gets. Whereas in some cases this may be appropriate it shouldn’t be applied in all cases. Somebody’s limited time should be handled more carefully i think to ensure maximum impact in the right places of choice. The problem is you have no control over the final output, at least in established press there are some rules and constraints, outside no such things apply, moreover, informality is a point of differentiation. I guess it is good to have a bit of everything, as long as the mix of things balances out to an image that the PR people seek to achieve and hopefully the object of all of this feels represented by fairly. I think it’s important to keep in mind that just because a representation appears to be more informal it is not necessarily the best or closest representation of a subject, the picture emerges more accurately from the mix.

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    • Part of it is that entertainment journalism has always stood in a grey area — really critical entertainment journalism is hard to find. And that’s fine. The problem is when publicity starts masquerading as serious journalism. I would hope that people would realize when they’re being sold a bill of goods but I also struggle with this question.

      She could be as informal as she wanted if she could get him to say something interesting.

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      • for that is one of the main distinctions between journalism – which seeks out content and a specific story – and this ‘grey’stuff which is much more about who they get on video than about the content itself. Because it’s the ‘who’ which gets the clicks, not the content. I haven’t had time to watch a lot of things but my whizz through impression was that not many questions were asked and there were all too many interruptions, he didn’t actually get to complete his answers most of the time, it’s not an interview per se. I’m less interested in small-talk (unless it is of the elf-joke kind ;-))) and more interested in QAs. Chit chat can be small warm up in interviews, but chit chat itself is otherwise pretty much similar to stage door videos, red carpet fan signings, selfies etc, an occasion to ‘see’ OOA, not an occasion to find out about his opinions.

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        • that’s been a dynamic in all of her interviews; he says something intriguing or has suddenly manifests some fascinating body language that indicates “I am interested in / pleased by this” and she cuts him off.

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          • Maybe ill just skip p2 anyway i got frustrated in p1 with this and i think the massive underwear dilemma can wait. 😀 My fav scenario would be for somebody to just ask him to tell us about Thorin, what he feels and so on what made him be able to be so emotional at time and just let him talk for some 30 min straight. It’s all I’d need to be happy. I really liked the Apple qa even if not novelty but it was more than just reactions it was thoughts and experiences and i felt they were engaged. It’s the kind of thing that hooks me and makes me watch multiple times. Also the direct interaction with fans speaks so much louder than answers to awkward questions

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            • it was proof you can ask some familiar questions and still get some original answers. Armitage is also often better in a group interview, I find.

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  10. Oh, and as for the technical aspects–the camera work, the editing–I always think how much better Benny and I could do it, frankly. 😉

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  11. I don’t take her too seriously. Next year when someone else wins the anglophile channel award, her focus will move on providing that person makes themselves accessible to her. I don’t for a minute think she was hoping for RA to win the award this year, she had more favourite actors for herself than RA. She has had some special contact with RA as a result of the award and been happy to use RA fans to increase her channel’s profile, but it has worked both ways. She and RA fans have both gotten something from the RA/anglophile channel interchange. She is neither a big fan or a journalist. She is a person who likes all things English who has set herself up in the business of reporting on all things English. RA and his fans have come along and given a lift to her profile and she has given RA fans a bit of fun in return.

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    • I hope so but I think what happens next for her is contingent on whether whoever “wins” that award (given all the cheating I saw on Anglophenia for years) actually says yes.

      I disagree that we’ve gotten something of all that great of value or “fun,” but that is primarily a matter of taste as we will all define those things differently. We learned a few things we didn’t know.

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    • exactly, I think she was surprised when Richard (who let’s face it, isn’t as “popular” as Hiddleston or Cumberbatch) won. Richard’s fans are the only ones who were bothered to vote. I think she was also surprised to be granted access to him, she hasn’t with anyone else so far. I don’t know if that’s Richard’s kindness coming in to play but I always feel almost sorry/uncomfortable for him whenever he’s subjected to her. I know he can take care of himself but she seems almost too much for him and he has to ramp himself up to deal with her.

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  12. Interesting discussion! I have two comments to add. First, she mentioned that she had at some point interviewed George Clooney. How do you think she managed that? And secondly, I recall seeing a bit of video of her at the stage door during the crucible. She spoke to him briefly and they hugged, but he certainly didn’t seem friendly towards her. Totally different attitude than you see in these interviews

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  13. Also I just find her to be ridiculous

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    • See this is the problem. If she’s a fan — that comment violates my comment policy as an ad hominem attack on a third party fan not here. If she’s journalist, let’s slug away. That is by far not the worst thing that has been said to me about her, though.

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  14. My apologies if I have inadvertently violated blog policy. And happy Hanukkah, serv!

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  15. Chanukkah sameach to you, too! The consensus here seems to be that she is a journalist.

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    • maybe the consensus is more around the fact that we understand she wants to be one, ie that it is her choice of business/professional activity 😉 but at the same time she seeks to project the image of a fan so that she can achieve journalistic goals in a certain way/targeting a certain audience (and we’re back in confusion all over again).

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  16. […] Continued from here. […]

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  17. When I first saw this poll my thought was, Yes, she is a fan, but I wouldn’t call her a journalist. I guess there needs to be a term made for this type of “social media interviewer”. Nowadays you just need to be an outgoing person with the ability to communicate to be able to interview someone. Just today I watched Lee Pace on the Rachael Ray show. I swear she spoke more than he did. There were even times where she interrupted him to express her thoughts or feelings about something. And the cued audience clapping was really getting on my nerves. Look at all the types of shows that are on tv where people are interviewed and the interviewer is an actor/actress, model, comedian, etc. I look at her interviewing style as a conversational interview. Yes, she has a list of questions, but there is a back and forth between the two that is conversational instead of a bullet point interview. I like that he is relaxed and is able to express himself this way. And I leaped out of my chair when I saw her give him the Thorin Christmas ornament. I sent her the pic of mine and made the comment about it being a box of joy 😉

    While typing this the thought of Barbara Walters came to me and her way of interviewing. And then I thought of how she had George Clooney’s wife as the most interesting person of the year. REALLY??

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    • I wouldn’t call Rachael Ray a journalist, either — I’d call her either a solid home cook or a talk show host.

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  18. Haven’t they come up with other terms for these types of entertainment producers?
    It’s really difficult to use the word journalism to describe both well-written and researched newspaper/magazine pieces and social video interviews meant to entertain. I guess the information age and the deluge of social entertainment/communication platforms is making it more difficult to discern what is what.

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    • Yes, it is — but it’s precisely that blurring of lines that starts to create problems in my opinions. It lowers the level of trust for every speaker in the public sphere. If Boland is his “friend” (in the social media sense, because that is who she presents herself as), does that mean I have to take what he says in these interviews differently? more seriously? She creates a hybrid of stuff that is impossible to classify and because it is impossible to classify, it becomes impossible to evaluate. We see it happening in this discussion already — “you can’t make that criticism because she isn’t _______ [whatever the speaker thinks Marlise Boland isn’t]” — “she shouldn’t be held to the standards of _____”. Well, if she’s not a fan and not a journalist, on what basis may her work be evaluated? On what basis can I say, “I do not like this, this is awful” without immediately sparking an argument by other fans that ends up being about the morality of taste? To my mind she’s got us going and coming.

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      • so it’s not so much her familiarity with him that is the issue but more her familiarity with us and how that puts a bias on everything?

        I’m just trying to understand 🙂 I don’t want it to seem like I’m defending Marlise personally in these comments but more the style of interview and what we get out of it.

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        • You can defend her personally if you want 🙂 (In fact, every time I refer to her with anything less than a 100% positivity one of her defenders sends me a PM to complain and I am a bit surprised that I didn’t have one in my mail this morning.)

          I don’t dislike her personally. I think her output is poor and troubling in its wider implications — but she’s really a symptom of a problem more than embodying a problem itself.

          I think because she stands on the cusp between journalism and fandom, yes, we evaluate what comes out of these differently because we are being asked to identify with her and the picture of him that she provides.

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  19. After at least five unsuccessful (and therefore deleted) attempts at formulating a response to your post – an indication that I can’t seem to get my finger on the issue, partly because I suspect that there may be professional and personal jealousy clouding my judgment (there, I’ve said it) – I have at least come to one conclusion: Whether MB positions herself as some sort of fandom spokesperson or not, is really immaterial to my identity as a fan. I can totally see how she rubs many fans the wrong way (I find her continuous reference to “the fans” a strange mixture of patronizing, yet pandering, and both her style of reporting and the technical presentation of the interviews and website look amateurish to me, which rubs me the wrong way as a member of the journalistic trade) but ultimately I do not really care whether she claims to speak for me or not – because I know that she doesn’t. And I cannot believe that anyone would think that one voice represents “the” fandom as a whole, even RA or his PR handlers couldn’t. The general consequences of potentially having any one person (be it MB or not) installed as the spokesperson of the fandom, is a more interesting issue imo. If that person was to simultaneously act as a mouthpiece for “Armitage PR Inc.” – surely that would be a huge conflict of interest?
    Intrigued by your comment re. “someone or something doesn’t want our fandom to be created by and for us anymore”. Off to read continuation.

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    • I agree, Guylty, she doesn’t represent me and as far as I know she hasn’t implied that she represents the fandom either, just what she’s witnessed herself. I think the way that she walks that line of being on the outside looking in vs. being on the inside as a fan herself, is what is ultimately rubbing other fans the wrong way.
      I have to say though that many of the comments here keep saying that they respect traditional journalism more b/c they do their research and thus give us more of the info that we’re craving, but I ask: what is considered traditional journalism these days? b/c I am not impressed with the “reporters” that do all the interviews on press days, and I am woefully embarrassed for the news anchors/entertainment reporters that interview on Morning Shows and whatnot. the print articles seem to put their own spin on things or try to analyze Richard for us instead of just giving us a report of what he said, so in the end the radio interviews are the only ones that I really respect these days :/

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      • There are some really great fan reporters out there who are very informed on the issues in specific fandoms, who also manage to hit issues of interest to a more general crowd. Elizabeth Minkel at the New Statesman is one. Many of the writers for The Mary Sue are in this category as well.

        Radio interviews are also sliced and edited. The point is not that any particular source provides an accurate record of what was said — but rather that there need to be multiple sources.

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      • I completely agree with you, KellyDS. There was hardly a so called “professional” interviewer who was really well prepared or didn’t ask the same old questions over and over. Even the highly praised Andrew Marr who thought Richard had played a hobbit, not a dwarf…
        MB’s kind of journalism may not be of the most investigative kind, but I didn ‘t find the majority of the other interviews any better, on the contrary…

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    • See, that’s the argument that anyone can make that immediately diffuses all discussion (and also makes it impossible criticize her): “you’re just jealous”. That is an ad hominem attack. Why would we turn that on ourselves? Why can’t we say that there are things that she does that are, from the professional standards point of view, just plain horrible?

      You know that she doesn’t speak for “us.” I know that she doesn’t speak for us. The difference and the problem is when she becomes the sole voice, which in my opinion is showing signs of being at risk of happening. Like I said, we’re never going to hear from Tanya Gold again — but I was asking myself this summer, frankly, what happens when Marlise Boland becomes the sole mechanism of informal information delivery? The medium is, after all, the message. And when it happens on Twitter, where the power relationship is now such that no one can speak independently without being under threat of policing in the name of the crush.

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      • Jealousy – the sledgehammer argument. Yes. But I think it is always necessary to question motivations. If anything then in my case just to be equipped for exactly that argument to be levelled back at me. I am sorry if that has come across as stifling the discussion – unintended. I did in fact voice my criticism of her in my comment, and I think anyone is allowed to voice their POV as long as it doesn’t descend into personal attack.
        As for her becoming the sole voice – but as long as there are blogs, twitters, tumblrs, and FB groups, even letter-writers and red-carpet attendees out there, she will not be the sole voice. Unless RA/RA PR selectively ignores all other voices. And maybe I am too optimistic here, but I just can’t imagine that happening because it seems suicidal to do so as it would alienate a huge part if not the majority of the fandom.

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        • I guess I have to disagree on the risk of her becoming the sole voice, based on what I see. Marlise Boland is the single person, fan or journalist, who has had the most contact with Richard Armitage this year — that is a numeric reality. Since Armitage joined Twitter, Tumblr is at something like a third of its energy this summer. That is not just b/c of Twitter, I think (there’s a troll there who’s made the whole Richard Armitage tag largely unfun) — there are rarely any new memes or GIFS. I think this is in part b/c Tumblr always appealed to the more instantaneous crowd and Twitter is now the instantaneous place because Armitage is there. Boland has one major contact in the fandom and that means there’s a collateral effect of people flocking to that site simply because of the perceived proximity factor. This is particularly troubling from my perspective because all of it makes Armitage look disloyal. His following choices on Twitter are particularly troubling in that regard.

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          • I think you and I are at an impasse. Imo MB may have the loudest voice but not the only.
            You are right in terms of the number of contacts she has had over the year. And I see where you are getting at – that is setting her, the “Journo of the Hearts”, up for becoming the mouthpiece and could be intentional from Armitage’s side… Whether that will be successful is another matter. With your post and the ensuing discussion the we that is supporting such a set-up has just become smaller, I think. I certainly do not favour receiving news through one, single channel, just like I don’t like to be represented by one, single entity or person, either.

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            • That’s the main reason I wrote this — because I wanted it to be at least out there that some fans find her troubling. In essence in capitalism this is the only power we have — to vote with our feet.

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              • Well, I voted with my feet by passively staying away, thinking I was sending a message by not applauding. But I guess you are right – one has to voice an opinion in order to be heard.

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            • She has become a voice for him with her exclusives (ice bucket challenge (don’t get me started on that) Sleepwalker) I almost wish he’d choose one of HIS sites (RANet or Central) who is exclusively for him and who does a good job at what they do. but it’s his decision and we have no say in it.

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              • Yeah, it is his decision. Still, the decision to follow RichardArmitageNet and not Richard Armitage Central makes him look (at best) clueless about his own fandom.

                Liked by 1 person

        • And the thing isn’t what he chooses or doesn’t choose to do — he is a big guy, he can protect himself — it’s that astoundingly we support this. We support the narrowing of our news to one outlet through our behavior.

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          • I guess that depends on who you classify as “we”. is it possible that those you see flocking to that site are of the fair-weather variety anyway, they will flit here and there depending on which way the flock is flying? Tumblr being squeezed out by Twitter is a troubling thought though. Twitter is essentially for the quick exchange of information, not the creation/displaying of it.

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            • “we” in that sense means “fans,” I suppose. As I think of myself as a fan, I include myself in that group. I’ve propagated her stuff and commented on it, although I’m never sure whether people actually understand what I’ve said about it 🙂

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  20. Anybody see Please Subscribe on Netflix. I understood Ms. Boland after I saw it, and she’s part of a new wave of entertainers/journalists/whatever coming from Youtube. More people are getting what they need from non-traditional sources, and it makes people a little nervous.

    Personally I will take Marlise over Tanya Gold any day. The boxers-or-briefs questions is a touch better than ‘Why are you not married?’ Besides, it’s entertainment journalism and that’s all it is.

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    • I’m not nervous about Marlise Boland. re: It’s entertainment journalism — do you see why that’s a fan delegitimating argument, though? You can make it if you want. But if that’s all we’re going to say — don’t take it seriously, this is only supposed to be fun according to your definition of it — I could quit writing this blog. Everything about this blog says, I am taking what happens in this sphere seriously.

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      • This part of entertainment journalism is fun. Other parts are manipulative, pedantic, and not worth my time. Much like other things on the internet.

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        • This part is manipulative, too, IMO. It’s just not manipulative in the way we have been taught to expect. It puts up a charade of “friendship” in order to sell something — it intimates that the interviewer is not part of the media when she is in order to sell her own product. In that case, I’m actually happy to burn money on more BOTFA tix or little plastic figures of Thorin Oakenshield, because I assume Armitage profits from that in one way or another. If it’s my lego block purchases that are funding his film career, more power to him. In contrast, I’m not happy to burn it on supporting Marlise Boland’s media ambitions.

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  21. She seems to focus on a group of fans under a certain fan page as a poster child for “all of his fans” which I almost find insulting because that fan page is not how I’d like to be represented as a fan. I feel like she needs to know more about different kinds of fans to properly represent “us all”.
    People act like he’s so relaxed with her, I feel like he’s forcing himself to. He’s trying to match his energy to her’s which all actors do with a scene partner. I know he can be silly but she’s bringing him over his natural “silliness”. I mean I don’t know him from Adam but what I’ve seen of him is he seems like a quiet man with a little silliness in him.

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    • I think he’s smart enough to know that if he doesn’t play along with her game, he is the one who looks dopey. The extent to which he is forcing himself is unclear to me. In February I felt he was really brittle, really having to push himself in those interactions. I didn’t feel that way yesterday but I think what’s tipped is the extent to which his own statements can be interpreted as ironic.

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      • probably because he’s more used to her now he can act/react better to her.

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      • i agree, i think he’s still on his own learning curve about media interaction, audiences and so on, visits and contacts with different audience have also had an impact in that he seems different people/groups expressing themselves and communicating in a variety of way although the content of the message is similar and he’s probably reacting in his own way, diversifying tone even if the content itself hasn’t changed that much. He’s just being more varied/flexible, probably on purpose to the way he interprets what is suitable in each situation as a reaction to context and media representative he deals with (i don’t think he sees any of these people as ‘friends’ at all, even if he is more informal with some than others). There is however the emerging issue of indication of preferred professional contact (as said i don’t read that of ‘friend’ in the personal sense but rather as closer professional association) and i don’t know how much comes from his choice or a PR choice. I’m favourable to adapting communication to context but much less in favour of preference towards certain representatives as i don’t think the latter is beneficial in terms of fair representation. But i’m just more inclined to believe that fair representation of image comes from variety and that preference to one medium/source will always create bias and misrepresent the complex object.

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    • and yeah — her ignorance about the fandom as it is represented outside of facebook is glaring. I’d settle for even a caveat, “some fans,” when she is talking about us.

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      • Yes, if MB simply said “some fans” vs. “the fans”, it would be helpful in acknowledging that we are not monolithic. It’s obviously a recurring concern among fans that “this person” (fill in the blank) doesn’t represent me, and “what if” RA thinks they do. His statement about joining twitter b/c of “vicious” behavior in the fandom, if nothing else, assures me that he knows we ARE diverse (though a little disturbing in other ways).
        I really think he’s too savvy (or maybe his people are) to limit himself entirely to her as a “mouthpiece”. I can’t imagine that happening as it would be counterproductive to any goals he has for greater professional exposure. I think he likes MB, but isn’t contracted to her 🙂 and won’t be.

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        • I agree that it would be counter productive; the issue is just going to be that if he’s not making big ticket films, the conventional entertainment press is going to be much less interested. The possibilities will narrow noticeably. And she will always be willing.

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          • You know a whole lot more about the ebb & flow of this than I do, Serv. I’m still feeling I’ll never catch up from the press tour…. I will be interested, though, to see if he produces any kind of “Christmas message” outside of a personal tweet (and if so, how). It will also be interesting to see how the AC’s contest comes out & whatever happens thereafter. I could become more concerned in the future than I am now.
            And I hadn’tt even noticed he follows net but not central…. I’m surprised about that, because with RAonline going archive only a year ago (right?), it seems those 2 should be on equal footing & he would certainly know that better than I do. He isn’t too careful about his follows sometimes, but this seems like something for his PR to catch.

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            • I don’t know how he sees them, but in the eyes of many fans they are on an equal footing. RACentral is the “only survivor” of the original series of boards (Armitage Army is an offshoot of it). RANet.com is the website offshoot of Armitage Army. RACentral’s documentation site is more recent than RANet.

              Not following RACentral makes @RCArmitage look like he doesn’t understand his own fandom.

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  22. I’m surprised by this. I think that the dislike many Armitage fans have of Boland is frankly grounded in sexism. The comments are always of a similar vein: she’s not a ‘proper’ journalist (unlike other journalists who focus on celebrity interviews, presumably), she flirts (smiles), she touches him (he can be seen being tactile toward her too), she is ‘cunning’/’has a plan’/is using him to further her career (how dare she want to benefit from her work? do people think he is under the impression they are friends having a chat?).

    If asked, I doubt she’d claim to speak on behalf of ALL his fans. She has gleaned an impression of some of his fan-base, certainly one that’s not fully representative, and she uses this as part of her approach. It’s something I’ve seen many journalists do on the basis of a quick google search, so in comparison she is well-researched.

    I don’t even particularly like her work, I find the gushing a bit embarrassing and the Brit obsession a bit ridiculous generally. But I think her interviews make a nice change, in that they show a more playful, relaxed side of Armitage. Sure, it’s still a presentation of sorts on his behalf. It would be patronising to suggest she catches him off-guard or something similar. But, as with twitter, I get the impression that he enjoys doing something a bit more on the fun side.

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    • You’ll have to explain how pointing out poor work is sexist, I think. What she does with him goes well beyond smiling. If a male interviewer touched a female interviewee the way she touches him, or preened his face in front of his subject’s and asked for comment on his eyes or his makeup, it would be hard not to see that as unprofessional or worse.

      And yes — I do think people are under the impression that she occupies the space of media friend. Hence the fan discourse about how he relaxes with her, about how she understands him like no one else does and that’s why he “opens up” to her — although in two days of interviews he said exactly one thing about his feelings that we did not already know. Most people I knew have expressed surprise when they saw her post on her own page about how this is a step toward a professional activity for her.

      She may be well researched in comparison to journalists, but since she occupies the place of fan, she doesn’t even come close to qualifying as well-researched. Her mean comments about Daniele Rizzo on Twitter also come into the category of unprofessionality and betray she knows little of the media market she seeks to occupy.

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  23. I see a lot of the criticism (though not all of it) directed at her as sexist because people want to paint her intentionally person style as somehow devious.

    ‘Hence the fan discourse about how he relaxes with her, about how she understands him like no one else does and that’s why he “opens up” to her’

    I don’t see how you could deny that his manner is more relaxed in her interviews than it is on average (though he has of course done other interviews in which he is similarly ‘relaxed’). I think this is a combination of her interview style and personality, and not because they have some sort of special connection. If other fans think they have some sort of bond or she some particular insight, then I agree with you that that’s not the case.

    It would be naive to think that she is not performing the role she does in the fandom for career-orientated reasons, sure. But I also think that it’s unreasonable to object to her doing this. Or to blame her for the naivety of some fans in their perception of her, particularly if she is open about her ambitions, as you say.

    As for pointing out poor work, it is the targeting of her that I object to. She’s not producing anything of especially lower quality than most other entertainment journalists, particularly non-print entertainment journalists. If anything she’s producing something more unique. Not because she asks insightful questions about the man or his work, but because her personable style allows him to have a little fun with it.

    Is she flirtatious? Sure. ‘Preening’? Well I think that’s a bit harsh. I think what many fans dislike, though they wouldn’t admit it, is that he flirts back. So many times I’ve read someone saying that they can tell that he’s uncomfortable with the familiarity. Really? Is it all the smiling he does that gives that away?

    To me it’s just another example of something you’ve objected to yourself; the trope of Armitage as in need of protection. This time from a flirty, ambitious mix with manicured nails.

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    • *targeting* suggests that in criticizing Marlise Boland’s work, she’s being we are singled out from a group of similarly situated people, and unfairly, at that. There is no similarly situated person. There is no one who has access to Richard Armitage for interviews who is (a) a fan (b) in regular communication with a faction of his fan base (c)owns a media company, including a You Tube channel, (d) has a press pass (e) conducts lengthy interviews and (f) acts too familiarly and unprofessionally in his presence. So, she’s not being targeted, she’s being criticized, and why is it so often, when a woman is the subject of legitimate criticism for a job *not well done,* someone immediately cries “sexism?’

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    • The first sentence is unclear and the explanation incomplete. I meant to edit it out when I changed tack but forgot.

      The sentiment is sort of there though. I don’t think that the type of criticism she gets from Armitage fan, along the lines I gave in my first post (her manner, her being somehow deceitful or manipulative, career-orientated, etc.), would be made of a male journalist. Even a poor one.

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      • I would certainly call out a male journalist who put his face next to his interviewee, asked her to comment on some feature of it, and then reached over to touch her face. I would call out a male journalist who stared at his interviewee’s physique enraptured. Perhaps others would not. But I would.

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        • I find it a little disturbing to realize that LOTS of people would probably call out a male interviewer for these behaviors w/a female interviewee- while this all seems to be fair game with RA. Implications of that are I guess OT, strictly speaking….

          I think the fact that Marlise gets a pass on this is based largely on the attitude: “oh wow, she’s so lucky, I wish i was her” i.e. she’s one of us- a fan (and at best, wannabe journalist).

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    • Not all argumentation against Marlise Boland = protection of Armitage. He chooses to associate with her, I assume he has his reasons, and I can even hypothesize as to what they might be. Based on that hypothesis I could even be sympathetic to him to a sort of limited extent. I don’t want to protect him by criticizing her. This whole series was about protection of something I do care about deeply, though — the preservation of an independent sphere with multiple voices from the influence of someone who wants to capitalize on an opening she saw in order to create a career for herself, which she does in part by claiming to speak on behalf of people on whose behalf she does not in fact speak while mocking the things they do.

      I’m afraid I don’t see him as notably more relaxed with her than with other interviewers. He’s not, for instance, more funny with her than he was with the Happy Hobbit girls, who were also crazily unprofessional but didn’t pretend to be professional journalists, managed not to touch him for the entire four minutes they spent with him, and still got a really wonderful dose of his absurdist humor despite his apparent fatigue. Judging this will be a matter of degree. I do see a general trajectory across his career towards greater relaxation in these situations, but if you go back to our discussions about this in the spring, I was not the only one who noticed signs of discomfort in the earlier interviews in particular. In this one he often has right side of face clenched, right hand half clenched. At times he seems to be forcing himself to stare in her face. One really large wince that is obvious and says a lot. To me, that is not comfort. Admittedly — we do not see his hand position in most of the professional interviews we have seen.

      How is it not preening to ask him if he knows what raccoon eyes are, and then stick her face closer to his? That’s pretty much a classic definition of preening. He has flirted with other female interviewers before — I’m think in particular of Mylene in 2010, but there were many examples in early radio interviews of that, and there’s at least one other vid example that is escaping me at the moment. Given how many male interviewers there are — do we expect him to flirt with men? (not that I care if he did, but the problems there are obvious). He flirted with that Russian interviewer because she seemed to expect it, although I also thought that was unprofessional (and said it at the time). And if someone flirts with you and you remain cold to that, when the person you’re failing to flirt with is editing the video — is that really a risk you want to take?

      I don’t object to her doing what she thinks she needs to do. In our world all people act primarily in self-interest. I also do what I believe I need to do according to my own self-interest. I don’t believe I or anyone in this strand ever said what she is doing is unreasonable. Although of the four interviews that fans produced in August at the ITS premiere, hers was either the worst or the second worst from my perspective. So she’s not very good at it. Neither is it unique, if she simply repeats the questions that we have all heard answers to before.

      I also don’t object to him doing what he thinks he needs to do (see above).

      What I object to — again — is the weird position she occupies between fan and journalist that makes it impossible to criticize her on basic grounds of ethics and integrity because no matter what one says, the critic is tarred with the brush of being mean or taking things too seriously. Meanwhile, she takes over the role of official fan and misrepresents and mocks us even as she takes the opportunity to do things for which she would criticize fans herself. I object to that when journalists do it, and I especially object to it when fans do it. What I am trying to protect is a sphere of expression and access for fans that isn’t dominated by, or reduced to, the substandard product that Marlise Boland calls good — because some publicist somewhere thinks “that’s what Armitage’s fans want.”

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      • I’m sorry if I implied you were being sexist. I think I’m perhaps a little sensitive to any criticism of her because she does receive so much that I’m confident is grounded in sexism.

        As I said, I don’t personally care for her style either. But I do wonder whether at least part of my dislike comes from the fact that her interviews, like twitter, can be seen as showing a side of RA that is quite consciously constructing a public persona. It’s one thing to say to yourself that you’re aware he’s media savy, it’s another thing to be confronted with so many flatteringly-lit selfies.

        I do think worrying about how he may feel pressured to flirt back is a little protective though, particularly as he keeps going back to be interviewed by her. And though I too would be horrified to find access to RA dominated by Boland-types, I can’t see how this is a real possibility. I think few publicists would be under the impression that the type of product she produces is going to please everyone, particularly as a big part of their remit would be to expand RA’s appeal, not cater only to existing fans who spend a lot of time in his tumblr tag.

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        • I didn’t say he felt pressured to flirt back — I just said it would be a rational calculation to wonder how it would come across if you non-reacted, or reacted negatively, to flirtatious behavior.

          Though this has appeared with approval on tumblr, I don’t think the main audience segment for this is tumblr, frankly — I think it’s Twitter and US facebook.

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          • I don’t know the difference between his tumblr and facebook fanbase, so I’ll happily take your word on that. Anyway, I was going for style rather than substance there. I didn’t mean tumblr specifically, but rather existing fans that track his activity on the internet in any way. I just meant that expanding his profile will always require long-form interviews and work-based promotion that will be of the more ‘professional’ variety.

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        • the other thing — his media savviness — I actually appreciate seeing that he’s getting better at this. When I started watching him his TV interviews were really painful to watch at times. His body language really outed him as occasionally feeling like a deer in the headlights. Sometimes you could see a hand shake. I’m glad that’s disappearing. (If you look way back to the beginning, I was starting to trace this process of adopting a particular posture to create a particular impression under a tag called Armitage equilibrium.) To me the real caesura, however, was visible in Sydney in 2013 and has nothing to do with Marlise Boland.

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          • Yes, I too enjoy seeing his looking confident and sounding sure of himself. I meant more that I dislike seeing overt self-promotion or vanity. I’m not saying that it’s rational of me to dislike this, and I’m certainly not saying that it’s wrong of him to do it, but the frequent selfies do sometimes seem a bit much to me.

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            • that, I think really is targeted at the 14-25 year old market segment.

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            • The huge outcry for “clear” pics of RA during Sleepwalker filming is what some believe provoked the steady stream of selfies ever after- and that outcry was NOT limited to under 25s by a long shot!

              I have to admit I love the selfies 🙂 and I have a feeling Armitage enjoys the opportunity to speak for himself on Twitter more or less “unfiltered”.

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              • no, not limited to 14 to 25 year olds, but that’s the sweet spot — the people who grew up taking selfies and find them sweet and not evidence of vanity.

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  24. Also, (I saw this again today) there are some fans who want her to be his ONLY interviewer….It makes me want to slam my head against a wall….it won’t happen but hypothetically,if we’re subjected to JUST her as our “gateway to Richard” it would be difficult.

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    • Thanks for bring this up. This possibility — Boland as sole gateway to Armitage — disturbs me as well, not least because she’s so eager to do what he wants. And I certainly don’t feel that way about journalists in general. I like a variety and I want to see how different people bring out different things in a particular subject. I hope it doesn’t happen either, and that was one reason for me to start this discussion.

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    • Why would people even say that?? It makes no sense to me, and I can’t believe they really mean it. And I say that as a fan who basically likes her- but asking to have access to him limited to her? Freaking nonsensical.

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      • yep, I’ve seen it fairly frequently (same people) and they’ll tell her that too

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        • It sounds to me like kissing up to impress Marlise, basically (or maybe Richard, if these people are convinced they’re joined at the hip. I don’t buy it.) People get carried away with groupthink, or something like it.

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  25. Servetus: I don’t see how Marlise Boland’s hybrid style journalism keeps her from criticism, on ethical or aesthetic grounds. Anyone who puts themselves out there in the media or fandom–regardless of the platform-is open to criticism. I don’t see her position as unique or existing in any areas of gray.

    Also, since her interview style reflects her personality, I think she does and will only appeal to a particular niche in the Armitage fandom. It’s personality driven at it’s core, just like Me + Richard, which is why I’ve been checking in everyday since March. She is not my cup of tea–it’s not dark enough and the sweetener is a bit overdone–but I’ve never felt she intends to speak for all of us, even when it’s implied. I just don’t see it. And to me, when her followers on Facebook or Twitter say she should be Armitage’s “only interviewer”–it’s the equivalent of a “like”. I don’t think RA fans want anything less than the diversity of voices.

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    • For me — the comment policy on this blog prohibits fan policing, because I have been subject to so much of it. If she’s a fellow fan, then in my opinion she gets a pass from me because nothing she does is illegal or immoral. Everyone has her own conscience.

      re: personality driven — yes, that’s a great assessment of what it is, and I don’t think that she’s pretending to be something she’s not in these interviews, not in the least. (This is another reason to leave it alone if she’s a fan, because I try to avoid criticism of other people’s personalities under the “do unto others” proviso.) There are great journalists whose work is pretty personality driven, though. Terry Gross would be one of them. And they manage to get great stuff out without letting their personality take it over.

      I hope you’re right about fans and I hope that Armitage’s publicist is aware of it. I fear, however, that because of something Perry said about — because she is in this unique position — she is going to be the go to person.

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    • I’m unfortunately not as convinced as you are, Mia, that all RA fans want diversity of voices… but I’m pretty convinced that Armitage does. That’s what at this point I cling to. Of course, I couldn’t figure why, in front of God and everybody, he labeled Sarah D his favorite photographer, and shook my head for pretty much the same reasons as this. (And I do like Sarah Dunn!) I would hope that he & his people perceive free flow of information as more critical than photography (at least I do).

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  26. One last thing that irked me, the fact that she (most likely jokingly) said the Anglophile award would be a highlight of his spectacular year. I don’t know, on top of her overbearing personality, that got under my skin. He’s done so many amazing things this year that her award would compare? She considers it a major award, he said once this year that he’s never won an award and she said “you won the Anglophile award”. To compare that to an actual established award annoyed me so much. (sorry for the rant, Serv. I’ve been bottling this up for a while and it’s nice to know some agree with me)

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    • EDITS: He’s done so many amazing things this year that (she thinks) her award would compare?

      She considers it a major award >>>She seems to consider it a major award.
      again, I’m sure she was joking but it really irked me

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    • we always agreed with you, we were just trying to be polite.

      re: the award, I saw today that she has another award up for this year, multiple ones, and Armitage is nominated again. Sigh.

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      • it’s looking like Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe are gonna be subjected to her good luck to them lol!
        Even if Richard doesn’t win the award (and therefore the ensuing interview) he hasn’t seen the last of her. I don’t know how he feels about that but, me personally, I’m dreading it. :/

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  27. Sometimes I get the feeling she’s not interested in Richard’s answers nor in his inner life…and I think you just can’t stand those missed opportunities so many questions comes to mind , right Serv? I didn’t vote coz I think she’s neither the fan or journalist but I must say I was laughin several times during those chats so I don’t want to criticize her. My feelings toward her are ambivalent marked by voluntarism 😉

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    • yeah, it was really rough this spring when the first point in one of the interviews where he’d shown a genuine look of delight was when he mentioned ITS and her question just brushed past him. You want to yell out — that was a big smile, what excites you so much about this? but the moment passes and she has moved on.

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  28. It appears to me that she is posting interviews in the name of The Anglophile Channel (professional capacity, right?) that are not her interviews or her questions. She also does not credit anyone other than to say it’s The Hobbit Press Junket.

    I hope I have not overstepped your policy Servetus. I am complaining about the issue of her use of material as a journalist.

    I tried watching the first interview again because of a post Kelly made but I got about halfway and had to stop. She has no right to speak for all fans. If I was interested in her it would be a different story but I’m not.

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    • Yes, that vid from the London press junket was not hers and there’s no attribution. But most fans steal vid. Journalists can’t afford to.

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  29. Interessante Diskussion.

    Ich hatte nicht abgestimmt, weil ich MB weder als Journalistin noch als Fan ansehe. In meinen Augen ist sie eine Möchtegern-Journalistin, die glaubt zu wissen, was “die Fans” wollen.

    Von der Art her, wie sie mit RA gesprochen hat, hatte ich eher den Eindruck, dass sie mehr wie ein Entertainer wirkt. Ihre Show, nicht seine. Und die Anfasserei jagt mir persönlich Schauer über den Rücken. Nicht wegen RA, sondern weil ich negativ reagieren würde, wenn mich eine fremde Person ständig anfasst.

    Aber natürlich hatten wir auch was von den Interviews: Wir haben RA gesehen und gehört. Das ist sozusagen immer gut. Besser wäre es allerdings gewesen, wenn dabei auch etwas mehr als Blabla herübergekommen wäre … Mir fallen einige Fragen ein, auf die ich gerne mal seine (ausführliche!) Antwort hören würde.

    OT: Wieso meinst du, dass wir nichts mehr von Tanya Gold hören werden? Habe ich da was verpasst? – Jedenfalls hoffe ich, dass du recht hast. Es gibt Dinge, auf die ich gut verzichten kann. 😉

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    • “Möchte-gern” — wannabe — is well put.

      I have that same reaction to random touching. I don’t think he does, though; he is a huggy kind of guy, I think unusually willing to touch.

      Tanya Gold — numerically it’s unlikely for the same journalist to interview him for a feature article twice. It’s happened handful of times. And she isnt’ really an entertainment journalist.

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  30. Yes, Möchtegern (one word) = wannabe.

    Ja, RA scheint ungewöhnlich wenig Scheu davor zu haben, Fremde zu berühren. Ich habe dafür zu viel davon. Tja.

    Danke für die Erklärung zu Tanya Gold.

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  31. […] Boland is using her social network platforms to chastise Richard Armitage fans who have offered legitimate criticism of her journalistic performance and/or questioned exactly what her role is, as an Armitage interview – fan or […]

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  32. As someone who is ambivalent about Marlise Boland (from my usual position up here on my fence) you have given me food for thought. I have come back to reread this a couple of times (and your subsequent posts) trying to formulate my thoughts about her and the way she interviews. As I commented at Perry’s, I choose to ignore her manner and concentrate solely on RA – I enjoy the videos because I take them at face value I guess.
    I will have to go back and rewatch the award videos, to see if I recognise those signs of discomfort you have mentioned. A lot of body language just goes straight over the top of my head. One thing I do notice is that RA is still picking at his cuticles frequently in interviews. He was doing so at the Apple Q&A, so even now still not completely relaxed in these circumstances it would seem. Or is just that he can’t keep his hands still when he’s not talking and waving them around? 😉

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  33. Thank you for the post, interesting to me because I feel the same way about the Anglophile Channel. I thought at first it was some low level journalism, but now I have no idea what angle she is coming from. The mild flirtatious tone and touching are so off-putting to me. I think it stems from encouragement she receives from fans of her interviews. She thinks his fans like it so she keeps doing it and she probably thinks she’s representing them. And at times, it seems, he does too…for example the ice bucket challenge.
    It’s a bit disappointing that RA’s not in demand for larger media like talk shows etc, that he ends up having time for this type of youtuber interviews.
    I don’t know if she will end up being his “mouthpiece” on social media, but I certainly hope his handlers are smarter than that.

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  34. I’ve been trying to formulate a constructive comment, but I’m not finding the words. I don’t really have much to add that hasn’t already been said. But I at least wanted to thank you and Perry for initiating a fair and civilized discussion on the topic. I’ve seen many of my own thoughts and apprehensions echoed in your words and in those of many of the commenters here.

    What bothers me most about all this is that prior to interviewing RA, I don’t believe Marlise WAS a fan of his at all. She’d never even seen North and South, which I found a little shocking from someone running an “Anglophile Channel.” I think what she has found through the RA interviews is an audience, which is something she didn’t really have before. And it’s something she’s desperately looking for. Most of her other video posts have a few hundred views, but her Armitage interviews have thousands. If she didn’t have those kind of hits to show, I’m not sure she’d be getting press passes to cover the BAFTA tea arrivals or The Hobbit Premiere. He’s her “ticket” so to speak. And as long as RA gets her that much attention, I think she’s going to continue trying to keep the attention of his fans (which she seems to now claim as hers too….”the fans”), in whatever way she can. That said, she has made it obvious that she wants to be seen as a professional of some sort, so I feel that we have every reason to expect her to act like one.

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    • I agree with your point Kelly. Does seem to be her angle. She wants to get more attention to Anglophile Channel and it seems RA is the way to do it for her. As far as I’ve seen, he’s the only major actor she’s interviewed and has access to.
      That being said, I think it’s perfectly fine for her to try to draw hits and be ambitious about the Anglophile Channel growing. It’s her work, so more power to her.
      I think my only point about it is that I don’t really like her style, I find it off-putting. I just hope she doesn’t try to draw RA into a further partnership with his work in order to benefit hers.

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      • Yes, she can whatever she likes. Frenz posted yesterday about how we should admire her because she’s an little guy female entrepreneur. As sympathetic to the sole proprietor media presence as I can be (I am a variation of that), I don’t think that in itself is a reason to admire her if her product is not good. And as has revealed itself here and elsewhere, she and her attack dog publicist refuse to engage in that discussion. They just want us to shut up.

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        • I am all for supporting the little guy business person (as Benny, Harry and I are just that with the video production company) IF there is a good product/service offered. Our work should stand for itself. In Marlise’s case . . . well, there are issues.

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    • Interesting, I do remember her posting sometime this fall about how her posts about Armitage and Cumberbatch are the only ones that get her the massive hits. She was making the point that she was trying to build hit count to get press pass to – either just the world premiere or the whole junket, don’t recall which…. More interesting at this point than it was then.

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  35. The ice bucket thing made my heart sink when I saw it, frankly. He has an obligation to appear before 900 viewers every night, probably a quarter of whom are there just for him specifically, and she asks him to douse himself in a pail of ice water? And he does it when he’s overheated after a performance? Well, he’s a big guy and he can take care of himself, and he must have an amazing immune system anyway — so it was all fine. But I thought, what if he gets sick and can’t appear? How will fans feel about it then?

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  36. […] https://meandrichard.wordpress.com/2014/12/18/30053/ […]

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  37. […] three posts I wrote that night, I broached the topics of Boland’s ambiguous status and the problems it created for a fan commentator in speaking about …, the direction from which I anticipated criticism of that position would come, and the extent to […]

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  38. […] then, as so often, the discussion got off topic, degenerating from its initial focus on whether Marlise Boland is a poor interviewer or someone that fans would like to see interviewing Arm…, to a defense of the right to speak critically at all about fan matters, and accusations that those […]

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