Richard Armitage fan isolation? Maybe I’m not in such a niche as I thought

For almost seven years now, I’ve had the feeling that almost no one I know in the U.S. who isn’t already a fan knows who Richard Armitage is. The exceptions are people who watch a lot of UK television, or period drama fans. Yes, I know, The Hobbit, but I think his own take on that was accurate — people saw the character / prosthetics and not the actor. Successful performance, not so useful for purposes of self-promotion. If I say, “you know, the actor who played Thorin in The Hobbit,” people will nod, but only because they were aware of the film, not because they associate anything with Armitage.


So this week, not one but two moments jolted me out of my comfortable feeling of loving an actor no one knows.

Screen shot 2016-07-27 at 1.16.01 PM

First, this happened. Because I have a substantial group of friends who studied German history and still work as professors of modern European history or in the foreign policy analysis area, the report made it quickly around my real-life FB. On one of the posts made by a friend, I responded, “It’s just like Berlin Station!” The post exploded, with five friends admitting that they’re watching the show. (I didn’t observe this myself, but apparently some kind of ad for it ran in the online edition of Foreign Policy. Also a few are SiriusXM subscribers, where there are ads as well.) They are mostly enjoying it, especially what one of them called “the slower pace,” but the real star of the show for this crowd is Berlin. “Makes me miss the city,” they pretty much all said. Only one of them specifically cited liking Daniel Miller, but at least they are watching!


And then yesterday, my college bestie posted on her FB timeline that she hadn’t had time to spend her audible credits lately but she was now spending them to have some material for knitting during her Christmas break. She knows I’m a fan. I responded, “well, Richard Armitage is reading a new Romeo & Juliet adaptation, releasing next week. Just sayin’. :)” She immediately responded that she’d pre-ordered the title weeks ago, and that she’d really enjoyed “The Chimes” while knitting during the previous winter. Her son is reading Romeo & Juliet in school this year and she’s planning to listen to the adaptation with him.

~ by Servetus on December 4, 2016.

14 Responses to “Richard Armitage fan isolation? Maybe I’m not in such a niche as I thought”

  1. I don’t think I’ve talked to anyone in Canada (except of course in blog comments) who has ever heard of Richard Armitage. I was trying to describe Sir Guy (tall good looking bad guy in leather who rides a horse) and then referenced Thorin. Thorin of course they remembered, but couldn’t reconcile the dwarf with the actor I was describing. Even though I wish RA all the success and fame that he would like, I really do like being part of something more exclusive, rather than “sharing” with millions of fans!


    • That’s been a common sentiment over the years — there was a big wave just before the Hobbit came out of people saying more or less that they were losing their special secret.


  2. It leaves me amazed at the number of people I know who are not aware of Richard also. How can an actor whose face is posted all over twitter be so anonymous? Thorin, yes everyone know the character, but the man behind the mask…no. So I guess it goes to show that he has obviously not hit a role that has brought him into “prominence” and yet this is a man who has so many fan clubs going for him, has made numerous films that never seem to get backing to release and it just makes me shake my head it awe.
    Is it me? or is it them who ever “them” maybe. What is going on? Just leaves me shaking my head when I see this kind of talent not being out there and truly noted for the marvelous things he is capable of doing. I can only hope, if this is what HE wants.


    • Well, maybe if he’s on the Today show, he’s starting to hit a critical level of public perception? I suppose it will depend on what he’s talking about. I can’t think he’d be there just to talk about an audiobook — but who knows.


  3. I only can speak for my own. I have bought DVD North and South about ten years ago. Huge fan of costume drama’s But then I haven’t yet a computer. I bought also long ago Robin Hood, because I was a fan of different Robin Hood movies.When I discover mr.A. plays Guy of Gisborne I order for series of Robin Hood and then I discover I already had the first serie of it already. Never lay connection between North and South and Robin Hood, for mr.A. So when I saw North and South about for the tenth time a half year ago, have a computer in the mean time, so suddenly came in my brain, to search on the computer for the actor behind John Thornton. So I became a fan of mr.A as a person, seeing him in intervieuws. I looked at other series on you tube and become very interesting in series which are not on you tube. For instance The Crucible, Spooks etc. Now I share my being a fan of mr.A on twitter and facebook here in Holland. But I think it’s the same in Holland, what you say about unknowledge mr.A. as an actor, because there are no films or theatre playings here in Holland. I can only hope, Berlin Station, goes also for TV in Holland, and maybe after that, mr.A. also becomes wellknown here too. I sincerly hope so, because maybe he maybe come then to Holland too, with premiere or something like that.


    • I think the actress who plays Claudia in Berlin Station is Dutch? Is that right?

      Anyway, I hope he comes there sometime, too.


      • I would love to have Richard do something here in The Netherlands!! Maybe he can be transferred from Berlin to ‘Amsterdam station’? I wouldn’t mind giving him Dutch lessons. He can join the little Dutch class I teach (consisting of 3 Polish ladies and one Italian gentleman). Or I could tutor him privately, wouldn’t mind that at all! 😉
        Yes, that actress is Dutch but I don’t really know her, other than that her name is vaguely familiar. Then again, I don’t follow the Dutch entertainment industry so closely.


  4. Les personnes starifiées qui percent, au point d’être connues dans le monde entier, se comptent sur les doigts de la main.
    En plus de leur notoriété due à l’excellence de leur travail et à l’universalité de l’oeuvre où elles apparaissent, elles ont une telle AURA, qu’elles rallient à elles, à travers le monde entier, quelles que soient leur personnalité profonde ou leurs actions. Elles acceptent de participer à des opérations médiatisées de marketing, de bienfaisance humanitaire, de sponsoring, avec même parfois prise de position sur des sujets brûlants controversés… , sans se soucier de leur mise en danger personnelle, de rester consensuel. Il n’y a pas de recherche du plus petit dénominateur commun, mais de générosité intrinsèque.
    Alors, les fans n’apparaissent plus comme une niche, une manne financière, avec qui il faut faire avec.


    • and they are also lucky. I agree it’s a combination of things, but I can also think of international stars who aren’t especially talented or especially concerned with humanitarianism.


  5. That’s cool, Serv!
    Still living in a niche here in my corner of The Netherlands. And I’m fine with that. 🙂


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