me + Wolverine + Jackman + Richard Armitage

Last night, after listening to the latest episodes of Wolverine: The Lost Trail, I thought, This could turn into another crush. The reason might be silly, but the scenes in episode 6 around Maureen touched me. And I’ve always got room for a hero who loves a smart woman.

Can I build a fantasy? I wondered as I got into bed. I was so tired that I didn’t try very hard, but I realized I didn’t have a picture in mind of how Wolverine looks, and then thought, And any picture you look up will be of Hugh Jackman.

I remember when this mashup of Armitage and Jackman was originally made, even.

Jackman still more or less leaves me cold on an emotional level, although I haven’t seen him in a Wolverine movie. (Like Herba I’m a bit nonplussed about his ongoing friendship with Ivanka Trump.) I saw Kate and Leopold when it came out (stupid) and more recently, The Front Runner (he was fine, the movie was lackluster) and I did catch a transmission of him as Curly in Oklahoma!

He was great as Curly, and maybe that shouldn’t have surprised me. He hits the tone of the role just exactly right. Oklahoma! is one of my favorite Golden Age musicals — I was paid to accompany it for rehearsal in high school, so I practically have it memorized — with caveats, as it’s essentially about stalking / threatened rape and the sexual and racial politics of the whole piece are objectionable. So if you’re going to do it today, you either have to draw all of that into question and expose it for what it really is, or you’ve got to sell the traditional aspects of it like crazy. The production Jackman was in chose the latter approach and when you watch it, you can see all the skill and artistry that went into writing and staging a piece like that. Jackman’s got it all: the dancing, the diction, the singing, and most of all the unabashed bravado that lets him not only play the breakneck Curly, but also lets him sashay around the stage and makes us enjoy him doing it without rolling our eyes. So yes, I would see him in The Music Man, his next Broadway project. We staged that at Girl Scout camp and I played Amaryllis and did rehearsal accompaniment, so I also know that one pretty well, and it’s not quite so full of problematic moments as lot of Golden Age musicals are. Nostalgia still counts for something with me.

But in a way, Jackman’s success in this role points to what I appreciate about Armitage, because when Armitage said that musical theatre was too showoffy for him, he was pointing to exactly what makes Jackman good in this role: his willingness to strut, indeed his enjoyment and skill at it.

But why I liked about these last two episodes of Wolverine, frankly and as so often, was Armitage’s restraint. When he’s shown in flashback fighting with Maureen, it’s not over the top explosive. When he’s exulting over his ability to take bullets and then kill a gunman, it’s believable precisely because there’s a bit of shame mixed into the joy. It’s like Armitage builds a bit of ambivalence into every strong emotion, and this is what makes Wolverine and the program in general relatable to me.

So I won’t be looking for pictures of Jackman as Wolverine.

Also: not sure about building a fantasy around a character with long adamantine claws?

~ by Servetus on April 23, 2019.

26 Responses to “me + Wolverine + Jackman + Richard Armitage”

  1. Okay, I’ll give The Greatest Showman a hard miss, and Kate and Leopold a much harder miss, but I loved him in Les Mis. I want to listen to this. It’s a podcast?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I doubt I’ll ever be able to watch The Greatest Showman; I know too much history. I think the reason I love these old musicals is because I watched them before I was very politically aware. If I watched them as new material today, I’d really struggle.

      It’s a podcast — at Stitcher Prmium, so unfortunately you have to pay. I would not do this unless you really like podcasts and would use the service otherwise. This is the second installment — the first one became free about six months after it aired, so I hope this one will, too. Or you could wait till all the episodes air (in another month) and then buy a one week subscription and listen to them all quickly. They are a half hour each.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve been ignoring Wolverine but it seems as if I need to listen after all…

    I do like Hugh Jackman (mind you I didn’t know he is friends with Ivanka Trump). I also like the fact that he hasn’t ditched his (older) wifr for a younger model.

    Liked by 1 person

    • This is so much better than The Long Night that it’s mystifying. WHY did they not put this approach, focusing on the character searching for his forgotten past, front and center in the first series? It’s a huge mystery.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Do I need to listen to The Long Night first?

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        • no, and in fact I wouldn’t, because The Long Night is barely about Wolverine at all. All you need to know is: there’s this character called Wolverine who’s a mutant who can’t be killed but has had his memories wiped repeatedly, and he’s being chased by a group called Weapon-X that is somehow affiliated with the US government — and everyone we’ve met from Weapon-X so far has turned out to be a robot.

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    • re Ivanka — he’s on record as saying “we don’t talk about politics” as if that’s some sort of virtue. I don’t get why you wouldn’t cut all ties with someone who works for such a corrupt presidential administration and herself narrowly missed being charge with charity fraud, assuming they were not a family member. Loyalty should have boundaries.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Or even wife… 🙄

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This IS so much better than the first series! I played a bit of Armitage doing Logan for my husband. He said “Definitely sounds like Logan. Doesn’t sound like Jackman.” My husband’s a big Marvel aficionado, so that’s high praise, especially since he’s made Logan his own. I think RA’s voice is perfect in this. (As for the claws, he can sheath them when soft hands are desired!)

    I watched the old movie of Holiday Inm, the other night with Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire. It was on a DVD that I got for Christmas, so the black-face number for Lincoln’s birthday was left in. Quite shocking and hard to watch now.

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    • But what if you make him angry? Don’t they come out again then?

      I watched Kiss Me, Kate! recently and was just horrified. Great song writing, great choreography but omg the plot.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Maybe duct tape over the claws? Doesn’t duct tape work on everything?

        It is amazing how attitudes and what is deemed acceptable have changed over the years. I’m reading a fantasy novel that was written in the late sixties and I enjoyed in the late eighties. Now, a lot of it seems quite sexist.

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        • duct tape IS really useful.

          I have that reaction to a lot of stuff now. I crossed over some sort of line in my mind during the last decade. Or maybe it’s that 30 years ago I thought we would be further along by now, and I’m getting older and losing patience.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Yes, RA’s restraint is one of his great strengths as an actor. Time and again in his performances, when an expected reaction is to react strongly (which he certainly can do as well) he underplays it and it’s so much more powerful. 

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The first X-Men movie when Logan/Wolverine is having a ‘cage’ fight for $ in the lumber camp and right after picks up Rebel on that cold and snowy Alberta road in the middle of nowhere -THAT is what your introduction to Hugh Jackman as Wolverine should be.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Seriously, those are the 2 scenes that introduce Wolverine and Jackman’s characterization of Wolverine. You may be surprised – and I don’t think you will be disappointed.

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    • I’m sure you’re right but I’m not interested in seeking Jackman out. He’s not yet on the avoid list, but he may get there if I hear any more about his relationship with the Kushners.

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  7. I have always loved musicals and have watched I think almost all of them especially the older ones. I like Jackman and have seen him in Wolverine and it is certainly interesting, however, to me you cannot compare him to RA. Like comparing apples to oranges. The Kushners? What is the man thinking? Wouldn’t want to be anywhere near “people” like that.

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  8. I still haven’t kept up with Wolverine on Stitcher – even though I signed up for it again. But I keep hearing that he is really good, and that the last couple of episodes have been particularly well acted?
    Jackman – well, I kind of liked him. But a friend of Ivanka’s? Sorry, but now I am not sorry anymore that I didn’t get any tickets for Jackman’s solo show…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I haven’t watched Castlevania 2 although I have now had a Netflix subscription since the day before it dropped. (I haven’t watched anything else on Netflix, either.)

      The Music Man is his next Broadway show, and I am interested just because he’s been quoted on a few occasions about his love of the opening number of the show, which is imo one of the highlights of American musical theater history:

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    • Ever seen this one? Jackman and rappers LL Cool J and T.I. doing the Music Man at the Tony Awards. Never seen the musical but I love that…

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  9. Aw, Hugh, I really like him (yes, despite friendship with Ivanka) and he’s really a great Wolverine. Sounds like Richard sounds like a great Wolverine too! I’ve been avoiding your Wolverine spoiler posts because I do plan on still listening to these podcasts, can access them through my Spotify account and sounds like listening to it can be worthwhile. After all it’s not an audiobook but an audio play with different actors, I may just about be able to do that. 🙂

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