My respect for Richard Armitage just shot way up


~ by Servetus on October 18, 2016.

33 Responses to “My respect for Richard Armitage just shot way up”

  1. Yeah, wauw.

  2. A true gentleman. How nice, isn’t it?

    • He also seems increasingly sovereign and professional — I was thinking that in these Berlin Station interviews as well. Knows how to answer to get the result he wants.

  3. Yes, I’m glad he put it out there the other day so the right way might get around, but also lovely not to make a fetish out of it❤

    • I also think it’s his job to decide if it’s appropriate. Maybe in that moment where you’re being interviewed by one of the most important culture broadcasters in the country, someone with a huge audience and a fifty year history in the field, you don’t want to say it. Whereas when you’re in an informal web interview, you can do it in a joky way and it’s fine.

      Or maybe I feel that way because I was in a job interview today where the interviewer kept calling me by the wrong name. It wasn’t the important thing — so I didn’t raise the subject. If they hire me, I’ll remind them of my actual first name.

      • That sounds like a good call on your part😉 I hope it works out if you want it to❤
        So is that Leonard Lopate? Is he a New York cultural legend? Sooooo much going on, I’m sorry if you already discussed and I missed it:/

        • He’s like the Terry Gross of NYC radio. The show has won the Peabody Award and the guests are also really high level and it’s important venue for discussion of theater.

      • If they hire you, you’ll have to fill out so many forms, they’ll get it themselves LOL.

        • I’m not worried. I survived my paternal grandmother calling me by my cousin’s name for 23 years. There are nicknames I don’t like people to use, but just getting it partout wrong — ah well. There are worse things in life.

      • Were they calling you servetus? That would be weird

        • LOL, no. “Sandy,” actually. I also answer to “Lynn” and “Sharon” (cousins’ names)

          Babette and I usually call each other by our nicknames, but when I visited her she told me I had to call her by her real name because her kids would never let hear the end of it if they knew she had chosen that as her nickname. I said in reply that I’m not sure it would occur to me to reply to the name “Servetus.”

  4. I agree that it was a wise choice not to make the correction on air – especially since he usually lets it go, ( this week there was an exception) But, his name was in fact mispronounced, and some fans, a little aggressively in some cases, but truthfully, commented about it in real time. Here, Richard Armitage was put in a sticky situation, considering the weight and reach of the interviewer ( and also, the fabulous interview), and his own fans making the correction, sometimes rudely. I think it would have made more sense to respond to the tweet in some equally gracious way, without muddying the waters by denying the mispronunciation, something like a light-hearted joke or appreciation for having been on the segment at all. : ” We enjoyed a great segment exploring many issues of can call me anything, just call me back for another visit – thanks for having me” – or something like that. He went the classy route – no doubt, but confusing under the circs, IMO.

    • I think his response was perfect. It was gracious, and it put LL at ease removing any discomfort from him. It could only have increased his opinion of Richard and RTC. I’m also glad that he did actually respond, where many would have ignored it completely. Of course, the fans who were rude enough to call the poor man out on his mistake, not only showed a lack of class in purposely making someone uncomfortable, they also risked putting a bad taste in LL’s mouth concerning Richard and RTC.

  5. Disagree. I think he had a professional interest here he needed to protect — not just his, but also the theater’s and his colleagues. And I’m not talking about people who tweeted to note the name had been mispronounced. That’s a fact. I’m talking about the tweet I saw in which a fan replied to Lopate’s apology with incredible ungraciousness, in the lines of “now you’ll check a guest’s name before you say it, won’t you?” (paraphrasing). Lopate doesn’t need schooling about his job from an Armitage fangirl, especially because this is a mistake we’re all very accustomed to.

    Also, I’m frankly happy to have a check on the tweets of all the self-appointed publicists. If he doesn’t see fit to complain, or his publicists. his “fan publicists” should not take it upon themselves either, IMO. Like I said, fine to tweet information, but even I (who doesn’t feel a lot of secondary embarrassment) was horrified this afternoon.

    • I agree some of the tweets were rude, especially after the apology – I just don’t get Armitage saying his name was not mispronounced when it was, and the interviewer knew it was. OTOH, I had not thought of your point that it might have been a way of Armitage to put a check on his self appointed publicists – which is something I’m in favor of.

      • It was pronounced two different ways, iirc. The first time it was almost right. Or maybe he wasn’t listening that closely and didn’t notice it. I can imagine this would be a more nerve-inducing interview than many he has done recently. But in any case, I think it’s a thing he has a right to decide for himself if he wants to pursue. And IMO he took the high road by modeling the behavior he’d like to see, which I appreciate. I was really pleased.

        • It was a great interview, discussion. I don’t see a post on the interview itself, and a little tired myself to write one – but, I was struck by the statement that there were cast discussions ( I think I understood this – just listened once, so far) about just how wealthy the older Kenneth and Sandra were – or how they should portray the set ( I read in in terms of opulence) I thought the text made it clear. Armitage described them at the end as lower middle class. Did he mean in Redding, or at the end, because I got a feeling – without being too specific in a socioeconomic sense, that by that time, they had a reached at least a level of “comfortable” which to me, is a little more than lower middle class ( and also had the feeling Sandra married up)

          • We were talking about this on a different post related to the interview itself. In England, having the right income alone doesn’t let you join the middle classes. Middle class means something different in England than it does in the US. It’s a matter of which school you went to, your accent, what kind of job your father had.

            • Oh I saw that post about class. Ok. Commented n the wrong place. (There is so much stuff out there now, and I missed a good part of today) – That is the post where you also discussed class issues in Germany, I assume. So, though Kenneth and Sandra went to Oxford, their parents, and the lower schools they, themselves went to, keep them in the lower middle class, regardless of income?

              • Yeah, and perhaps also their consumption habits and who they know and how long they’ve had that wealth and educational status. Rose and Jamie and their kids (depending on where they went to school and what they ended up doing with their lives) might have been the first generation to be middle class — although there is a fairly strong identification with class in England that means that people often resist switching class identifications.

                I think part of what is interesting about this question (and why it was interesting that he didn’t say more about it in the interview — that is a question I would SO like to ask him) is that to some extent, it touches on matters in Armitage’s own life and decisions he’s made. It sounds like his father at least was working class and the family has joined the lower middle class but perhaps chosen not to move further. Case in point: the fact that he never affects an upper class accent except in audiobooks. Not even in Macbeth, back in the day (compare to Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart, who have both adopted a matter of speaking that hides their origins). He always speaks either normal estuary English or a northern influenced version, as in some roles. Or, in the other direction, his stolid insistence that (despite years of dance instruction and work in musical theater) that he never really wanted to work in that area — perhaps because musical theater is kind of a taste issue that can be related to class in Britain.

                • Quick thought re McKellen’s and Stewart’s accents. This may have a lot to do with drama school. I’ve actor friends who were raised in Yorkshire, for example, but sound nothing like it. Drama school got that out of them by their own admission. And I guess it’s also personal choice. Maxine Peake or Anna Friel sometimes keep their local accent but in most public situations would sound as RP as possible.

                  Re class – it was for me the most staggering cultural difference to get used to. That the right school is everything. And a lot of people would go a great length to afford sending their kids to a public (i.e. private) school. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that you still have a monarch and things like House of Lords. And the Royals still have influence in the background (e.g. Weekly meetings betw PM and Queen) and play and important role, even if it is only representative.

                  • Armitage attended drama school as well, but he would have been training his native accent much earlier, as he took speech / elocution exams during his time at Pattison College. I think the issue is that when McKellen and Stewart were being educated, RP was still the standard pronunciation in broadcasting and on the stage; this changed in the course of the 1960s and 70s so that regional and non-RP accents became more publicly acceptable in broadcast situations. (The BBC says they never made a rule about how their broadcasters needed to speak, but the goal was always to use the “least offensive” speech possible and that was RP.) Older artists would have feared that if they did not modify their speech, they would be unemployable and “doing it wrong” whereas by Armitage’s generation that was no longer the same level of issue. Still, considering the current discussion about how class determines the composition of British stages, it’s still interesting that Armitage does not do it.

                • That is fascinating. I’m beginning to understand a few things about class in Britain, and pick up connections with accent from context when I hear it. He made some comment during the interview about how “everything was related to class” but I forget what the context was now. So distRActed one way or another.

                  • To be fair, I think we have similar issues in the US, they are just not as obvious to us because we are immersed in them. One would be the difference between old money and new money, for example. Or the rush to get into a very selective college / university in certain social groups. Legacy admissions. But it’s true that money gets you places in the US that it would not in the UK.

  6. Yes, agree he handled it very graciously, and he’s certainly used to the error. Have to say, though, little things like this are PR101. I’d forgive the Roundabout communications staff for not knowing this was often an issue for him, but the Epix people and his own PR folks should be telling interviewers as a matter of routine how to say his name, esp since it’s not an obviously difficult one that interviewers would think to ask about in advance. I write a lot of remarks for my boss and spend a lot of time verifying the pronunciation of any remotely iffy name before he says them in public. (And no, I was not one of the self-appointed publicists on Twitter! Not my place, thanks.)

    • yeah, maybe. I just don’t think it’s that big of a deal, frankly. As I keep saying — mispronunciation of names is par for the course in the US. It happens all the time, in almost every setting. It’s different in a country where most of the names share an origin, but that’s not the case here. Anyone whose name desn’t have an obvious English pronunciation is at risk, Armitage among the rest of us.

  7. Charming interviewer🙂 I’ve seen him on YT with Shirley Maclaine.

  8. RA seems to be use to handling the mispronunciation of his name on occasion and as you said Serv, he is among the rest of us. I have a very simple Italian name and the pronounciations i get wellll, but hey, most times it doesn’t bother me. I think RA knows how to be classy and if it is of top priority at that time.

    • I too think it’s interesting how we can gum up pronunciations that seem obvious, but I’ve watched it a lot. Even if you tell people, it often doesn’t work — as at graduations, where participants fill out cards with the pronunciations of their names and they still get said wrong.

      I’ll always remember my brother’s college graduation — the names of the graduates were printed in the program and the graduates also lined up in that order — and there was a long south Asian name (my brother went to college in so central WI) and my mother poked me about ten names earlier and said, “look at that name!” (Like, it had about 20 syllables; I am guessing he used a nickname for daily interactions). The student gets ready to cross the stage and half of the stadium is looking at the program, wondering if the announcer will get it right — and when the name is finished, the whole stadium is cheering and the student looks up, surprised. We were cheering that the announcer made it all the way through the name, I think.

      Later, when I was a faculty member, I learned that they usually recruit faculty to do that job. Not that it helps all that much. You’ll always get some of them wrong.

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