Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year 2013!

Now it's time to put the old year behind us and bring out our good wishes for the new one to come. I was thrilled that my last year's wish (which I thought was just a pipe dream) actually came true - when Richard Armitage visited Canada - Toronto, Ontario (to be exact) even if only briefly.  The interviews he gave there were some of his best, IMHO!
RA at Toronto Union Station (photo courtesy of RANet)

I have had a good year here in Blogger land, meeting new bloggers and fans and watching Richard Armitage's career finally begin to take off into the upper echelons of stardom!  (Currently his starmeter on IMDb is at #2 after languishing in the triple digits for years.)  It was wonderful to read the stories of several fans all over the world who were lucky enough to catch a real life glimpse of him, get his autograph or actually have a conversation with him!

We have a lot to look forward to seeing in his career for 2013.

Summer of 2013 will be the debut of Black Sky starring Richard Armitage as teacher from the American midwest who is searching for his son in the aftermath of a tornado.  December 2013 will be part 2 of The Hobbit, which I am sure I will enjoy even more than the first part!

In between those two projects we are hoping he will finally start work on his dream project for a movie about Richard III.  Please read the latest news about it at this blog.

Plus, I am still hoping to hear more about this movie, which has been stalled due to "a certain actor's" casting commitments.  (I am hoping it is Richard they have been waiting for!)

I have so many good wishes for Richard for the coming year, for his career and also for his personal life - too many to list, but mostly they are the same as for you, my dear readers.  As I always wish: May you be happy, healthy, and wise! 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

ChRistmAs Wishes to Armitage World

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday filled with the 4 fabulous "f's"  food, friends family and fun!  I also hope everyone gets the chance to get to a theatre to watch The Hobbit movie over the holidays (more than once if you can)!  I finally got to see it, the week after it opened in Canada.  I will have to post about that soon.

This is the only kind of Blue Christmas 
I would ever want to have.

Unless it is THIS one, kindly shared by Tanni Tani :
Watch the animated version (with audio!) from her website:

But being a romantic at heart, here's what I really like 
at Christmas (and all year through!):

I made this video a couple of Christmases ago, but I hope you don't mind me sharing with you again.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Voice - Singing!

There are so many great Hobbit cast interviews out there, but I had a definite fangurl moment while listening to this interview.  Richard Armitage SINGS!  Without a costume.  In his street clothes. And it is soooo gooood!  The rest of the interview is good too, but if you can't wait - fast forward to 2:06!

Thanks so much to RichardArmitageNet for the upload and to Fuckyeahraaarmitage for posting it on Tumblr (which is where I found it). :)

But wait!  Now Judiag has made a clip of the best part on her blog: Confessions of a Watcher.  See it here:

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Strombo interviews RA

George Stroumboloupolous with Richard Armitage
From Twitter (thanks to Tracey)
To say I was thrilled to hear that Richard Armitage was going to be interviewed on Canadian television by George Stroumboulopoulos is definitely an understatement.  George (or Strombo as he is affectionately called) purports to be everybody's boyfriend. So to have one boyfriend interview the other one was a "squee" overload!  But seriously, George is one of the best interviewers I have ever known so I knew Richard would be in for a treat.

Even though the actual interview happened on December 3rd, it didn't air until December 12. (What a torturous wait!) But right off the bat, Strombo hit all the right notes with his detailed introduction.  The usual questions that interviewers begin with, Richard has repeatedly answered in as varied and enthusastic manner as he can manage. (He could probably do an interview in his sleep now). Anyway, those questions were answered by Strombo's introductory montage before Richard even entered the stage.  So when he finally sat down for the interview, he looked rather relieved and intrigued for what was going to come.

The highlights of the interview for me were:

  • Richard's insights into what might have inspired Tolkien's portrayal of the dwarven race.
  • Strombo showed the clip of RA's speech at the Maori welcoming ceremony
  • Richard's reaction when George and the audience donned their Gandalf hats.

  • His obvious discomfort with the discussion of "naughty grass". (He is so endearingly conscientious.)
  • Romana55's fanvid and Richard's reaction to that!

screencaps courtesy of RichardArmitageCentral

Apparently that was only a portion of the actual interview.  Here is another part.

The lucky fans that were in the audience remember a bit more of the interview than is shown here.  Here's hoping we get to see even more clips soon!

 Let me leave you with the fanvid Strombo highlighted which provoked such a hilarious response from RA.

by Romana55

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

RA in Toronto (Pt.2)

There was so much excitement about Richard Armitage's whirlwind trip to Toronto that I couldn't fit it into one post. It started out in Union Station when his train arrived at 7:00 am on December 3rd.  Canadian fans had to rise very early that morning to be ready to greet him but they couldn't miss this opportunity!

  Here is another fan's experience meeting the man himself! 

photo courtesy of Damzell
Known to her friends on the Forums as Damzelle, she has been a fan of Richard Armitage for over 10 years! Here is her account of the meeting:

 Leslieg and Puff and I met in Union Station at about 6 am. Leslieg had yellow roses for us to wear. She had the sign and a T-shirt to give to Richard that the Wellington fans had been wearing at the premiere. At 7 they handed out movie passes for the advance screening, Gandalf hats and mini-posters for the movie. I asked an official looking woman if Richard was coming. She said no. But another woman said he would be there around 8. 
"He's there!" And he was standing in a big crowd of people getting him to sign things and take photos. I was actually concerned that there didn't seem to be anyone protecting him. Leslieg got her sign signed and gave him the t-shirt. He was very gracious. They moved him over to the Hobbit door that was decorated up and 
he stood there doing taped interviews for quite a while. Then people moved closer and a girl ahead of me asked for a picture. He said fine and she handed her phone to me. I took the picture and then handed my phone to her. Puff and I sandwiched him and pictures were taken. I don't think I said anything to him. I don't think I looked at him. I literally have no clear memory of this point.

People were leaving. Then he was standing relatively alone and I went up and asked if he would sign my magazine. He did and I said thank you. He said, "Well thank you for coming." I looked at him like he was crazy and walked away.

More people left. I went up and got him to sign the mini-poster. That time I managed, "Thank you. You're a brilliant actor." I think he said thank you as I walked away.

They dragged him back for more pictures. I went up with one of the give-aways that turns out to be wrapping paper with pictures of all the dwarves on it. I asked him to sign it and started unfolding it. He said, "Are you looking for me?" He started helping me and said, "I'm on the fold." He signed it and said, "You can get them all." I once again looked at him like he was crazy and thought "but I only care about you." 
I explained that he'd signed things for me before that we'd put in an auction to raise money for Equality Now and that these things would also raise money for charity. He said, "Charity, that's wonderful!"

My overwhelming sense is that he was behaving very normally and trying to put everyone at their ease while we were crazed. He was wonderfully patient signing and posing for photos for about 45 minutes. And unfailingly lovely and cheerful the whole time when he must have been soooo tired. 
Damzelle gets his autograph! (photo courtesy of Jonia)
Then Puff and Leslieg and I had tickets for the talk show Strombo where they gave us more Gandalf hats and we watched him interview RA. Then we had to hot foot it to the theatre for the advanced screening. RA gave a very brief introduction and then ran off to catch a plane. It was a long FANTASTIC day.
Thanks so much for sharing your exciting experience with us Damzelle!  

The following video by the Space Channel not only interviews Richard but also many of his fans, as well as showing the hub bub at the station.

Here is another version of the fan event at Union Station, with more fan interviews. There is a particularly good interview of Damzell plus the complete studio interview of Richard Armitage where the interviewers unfortunately mispronounce his last name.

Next up: The Interview with George Stroumbopoulos!

Monday, December 10, 2012

RA in Toronto! (Pt.1)

Well, my New Year's Eve wish came true!  I had hoped that Richard Armitage might visit Toronto and on December 3rd, 2012 - he actually did!  Unfortunately I was not able to get to my provincial capital to be a part of the festivities, but there were several lucky fans who were there. Two of them, known fondly as Puff and Leslieg have been telling their story on one of the C19 Facebook pages (a private group unfortunately).  They are also long time members of the C19 Forum and have been posting the whole story on threads there.

RA fans pose with him at Toronto Union Station

Leslieg kindly consented to an interview:

Please tell me how long you have been an RA fan. How long have you been active on C19 forum?

I first clocked RA when my beloved Sparkhouse aired on BBC Canada in the spring of 2003. I watched the scene set at the top of the stairs in Hebden Bridge, then realised it was that Wuthering Heights adaptation, and changed channels!!! I saw him in things over the intervening years, but it was Robin Hood that dragged me to the internet, as I am the Dial-up Queen, and I found C19 first, in June 2007. I've been active in the wider community ever since.

Have you met up with other RA fans before? If so, about how many times have you gotten together?

I've been to several meet-ups over the years: RAC meet-ups in Dallas '07, Detroit '09, and Ottawa '11 (hosted by me); an AA meet-up in '08 at Horsted Keynes train station with my daughter in tow, age five at the time; BAFTAs in '08, but no RA; annual meet-ups with various members of the forums in the UK, including an annual playdate for E with the daughter of another member. I've done trips up north, and had visits with people in my home stomping grounds of London and Kent. Everyone has been wonderful. I even managed to meet one dear friend who lives near Perth, Australia when we were both in the UK at the same time. She came south and I went north to meet her in London.

What was it that made you a fan in the first place?

I think it's Richard's ability to inhabit the character and his choice of characters that display character development. His messages to us all drew me in further.

I have heard that you are a frequent traveler to Great Britain.  Did you ever encounter him over there?

 I have always expected that I was more likely to bump into RA in London than in Canada. Our country is so big, that logistically, it simply made more sense that I would see him across the pond on one of my many trips. So when I found out he would be in Toronto on the George Stroumboulopoulos show, within 400 kilometres of my front door, I decided that I would make the journey.

What (if any) difficulties did you encounter with this trip to see RA?

Giggle!!! When I left the house on Sunday to drive to Toronto, approximately four hours away, I was leaving my husband with a questionnable vehicle, for starters. Then I had icy road surfaces on the drive on our dirt road to the main road, where I nearly slid right off the paved road! I had to change my driving route, and drive more slowly as I headed southwest, to avoid dangerous backroads I would normally take. Then I had pelting rain on the 401 all the way to the big city, and drizzle all the way home in the wee hours.

Please describe your first glimpse of him.

We weren't sure what direction he would be coming from, and so we had stationed ourselves near the hobbit hole display in the station.  I loved [I think she meant to write "leaned" but that mistake is very telling] over towards the KISS 92.5  (a local radio station) table and said, "There he is!" I could see his head above most people around him!

You were dressed as a Hobbit, is that right?

No, I had on a Thorin Oakenshield t-shirt my husband had bought for me, and we had to wear "Gandalf" hats with The Hobbit on the brim.

That sign was a wonderful idea. May I use the pictures?

Oh, yes. My daughter and I made it together.  It said “A Canadian NOT Rubbish Richard Armitage Sign,” as an in-joke to all the rubbish Richard Armitage signs that people took to the sets of Black Sky in Michigan over the summer. Richard looked at it and laughed and signed it for me.

And here is Richard Armitage's reaction to the sign:

(Photo courtesy of Puff)

And here he is autographing their sign!
photo from Warner Brothers Facebook page

The Marilyn Denis interview went very well. Did you get to see him after that?
Please tell us more about your day.

No one in our group was able to attend Marilyn's show, because tickets had to be ordered three weeks or more in advance, and we only learned late last week that he would be a guest. I watched the interview from the comfort of my hotel room overlooking Union Station. Then it was off to George Stroumboulopoulos at the CBC. We had been given passes for the advance screening that evening, so we knew we would see him both times.

You attended the George Stroumboulopoulos show. How did that interview go?

Stroumbo is one of the best interviewers in Canada, and I had high expectations, which were exceeded. George asked intelligent questions and allowed Richard to talk about Tolkien at length, as well as the aspects of the filming process. I don't know how much of it will make it to tape, but I told George afterwards that it was the best interview I'd ever seen of Richard. And there were no references to the circus or our overall community in a negative way.

Had you ever attended an interview show before? Would you enjoy going again (even if it wasn't RA being interviewed)?

No, I hadn't been to any taping of a television show of any sort. I doubt I would ever go again, unless it was for RA.

Did you get to the premiere as well?

Yes, we were very lucky to have passes, although we had to walk very quickly to the theatre after the Stroumbo taping, so we missed seeing Richard inside, except for his introduction of the film. Then he left, and we settled in to enjoy watching him rock the role of Thorin.

Please tell us anything else that was memorable about the evening.

I think I've covered it, pretty much. It was in the morning, when I was able to talk to Richard a few times that things were most memorable, and I am keeping those moments for my reports on the forums. It's our last chance for Richard to be our little secret, before the wider world recognizes what we've known for years, that he's a wonderful actor, consummate professional, and a very kind gentleman.

Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions. We will all enjoy reliving this wonderful memory with you.

photo courtesy of

Note: The interview with George Stroumbolopoulos will be aired on CBC television on Wed. Dec. 12, 2012.

Sunday, December 2, 2012


While catching up with The Hobbit worldwide premiere tours and the gorgeous pictures and exciting videos along with blog posts from fans about it all that  are deluging my email and Facebook accounts, one particular video finally stopped me in my tracks.

The interview in Japan with Peter Jackson, Andy Serkis, Elijah Wood, Martin Freeman and of course Richard Armitage, kindly made available by RACentral, in particular Part 4.

(Any underage readers please skip this next bit...)  Peter Jackson's words of praise for Richard Armitage actually gave me an eargasm!  I don't know how else to describe it.  Have you ever been brought to tears by a particularly strong orgasm?  Well that's kind of what it was like to hear Peter Jackson's praise for Richard Armitage!

It's a good thing that I was alone in my house when I saw it because I immediately burst into uncontrollable sobbing.  How wonderful to finally hear the things we fans have been trumpeting out into cyberspace from a world class Director about a performance which will illustrate to the world what we have known all along!  I feel vindicated!  It was a "See! I told you so," kind of moment, but so much better!  Because that feeling was tied up with so many others.

It has been rather a lonely experience being a Richard Armitage fan.  I have treasured the virtual contact with his fans from all over the world which has been a truly unique and creatively stimulating experience for me.  Still it is disheartening to endure the blank looks I encounter when I mention his name in my real life relationships.  (Except for family members who usually roll their eyes while thinking, "There she goes again, I'll just humour her and pretend to listen!")  I have been longing for the day when I can have a discussion about him in the real world and now I'm realizing that the moment is almost here for me.

But never mind me!  I am also so excited and overjoyed for Richard Armitage himself!  What must it be like for him to see all his dreams finally reaching fruition?  It's just such an overwhelming emotional tsunami!

Here are Mr. Jackson's words which I needed to transcribe because I was so pleased with them:

In many respects I look on the characters Bilbo and Thorin as the heart and soul of the story.  And if Bilbo is the heart, then Thorin is the soul. We auditioned the role, saw many, many actors and Richard really managed to capture for us the very important ... the sense of nobility because essentially he is playing a king. But also the conflict as to whether or not he has the ability to lead these dwarves on this very difficult quest - a small number to fight a dragon to reclaim a homeland.  That's a very noble thing he's trying to do and yet he doesn't really have the resources (if you like) to do this.  And so it's...  And also with the character, there's a sense of honour that Richard - (that sort of quiet honour) that Richard carries which I think is absolutely superb.  And as an actor, Richard is one of those very rare actors which ummm... he uses stillness and he uses quiet to draw your eye.  That there can be a lot of things happening on the screen and many characters on the screen and yet Thorin - in his stillness draws your attention.  It's a very, very rare skill.  He's somebody who, when he's on the screen that your eyes go to that you want to watch.

I couldn't agree more, Mr. Jackson.  Richard Armitage is a very rare actor indeed.  But I counter that even though he does have an innate sense of nobility and honour, he was definitely drawing on that natural ability to the nth degree in this role.  As for using stillness and quiet, that is exactly what he does so admirably!  I have never seen an actor that can speak such volumes with the merest flicker of an eyelid!

He is so like a movie star of old, with his star quality.  I have likened him to Cary Grant, and Gary Cooper! (Thanks to Face in Hole). :) In other posts I have pointed out his similarities to Rudolph Valentino, and Paul Newman. There are many more screen stars of Hollywood's heyday that I haven't gotten around to comparing him to yet, but the fact is he has been star material since he first strode across the cotton mill floor in North and South.  Yes, our eyes gravitate to him.  When he is in a scene he holds our entire attention.  (Who would want to look anywhere else?)

This reminds me of one of my favourite fanvideos which was recently updated for RA's birthday. 
Here is GiztheGunslinger's second fanvideo to the tune of Filmstar by Suede.

And now he really is a Film Star!
Whether fans like it or not, (but hopefully he likes it) - that is how it is going to be.