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Richard Armitage in Between the Sheets – TMI?

Here are a few remarks I made in response to a post on RAFrenzy’s blog a year or so ago, when the topic was about his fame and the fandom that goes with it. Saved them because I thought they could be used as basis for posts here, which hasn’t really happened. Since I’m currently writing up a review of Between the Sheets, I thought this should be posted beforehand. So here goes:

Picture from An RA viewer’s perspective from 33°0’S of the equator,
found through Google

I’ve not actually seen Between the Sheets yet even though I have it (*waves toward the DVD shelf*) but I’ve seen the non-explicit scenes on YouTube and once, when I googled with SafeSearch switched off, came across a blog which offered not just pictures but a short clip. To which my reaction was an “Oh. My. GODS!” with several meanings. Fascination and appreciation mixed with embarrassment and partial disgust, sprinkled with fangirly squees over when he says “lie down” and gives that irresistible wry smile that would easily floor anyone. Yes, the man has some nice peaches and he looks like he knows how to give a girl a good time – but I don’t REALLY actually want to see it, if you know what I mean? That sort of thing just felt too … private. Not like the shagging Lucas got up to with Sarah, because that wasn’t graphic, so didn’t bother me.

The Between the Sheets clips felt too much like prying into his personal affairs – I mean, ffs, we were right in “his” bedroom! I love the body-watching normally, but perhaps because it is just admiring from afar, so to speak, because we can get really close but never actually get TOO close. Porter stripping down in prison? Not a problem, bring it on! (Along with a bucket of ice water.) Lucas changing into a boiler suit? Helloooooooo nurse. Paul gettin’ the freak on – in detail – with his missus? Felt more like trespassing than anything else.

An interesting mix of emotions watching it, anyway. Don’t know whether to laugh or cry, sort of thing. Just … “woah, that I did NOT need to see!” I wonder what it would have been like if it was another actor; one which I don’t particularly care about. I don’t think it would’ve been the same. Sure, embarrassment would probably still be there (“oh crikey, they’re going at it like rabbits, aren’t they? Ah-ha-ha”) but would it BOTHER me in the way that this does? I don’t think so. Not in the same way.

Now, I’ve heard the rules for what you can and can’t show on telly on this country, even if it’s made by ITV, so I think it’s safe to assume we don’t actually get to see any actual … bits. Which is a huge relief, because that would really be a step too far. The only reason I would “want” to see, err, his bits would be if I was a) his partner or b) his doctor. (His mum would’ve seen it when he was a child, but oh goodness, if it had been me, I would’ve said “you might want to give this one a miss, mum” or record it on a DVR and give her a censored version!) Anything else is just not cricket.

Seen from another perspective, maybe it’s because seeing him do something profoundly human (or at least pretend to) makes him too real and I want to keep him as a sort of fantasy. The idea of the Perfect Man, embodied by him. And seeing him simulating sex on camera takes away the mystery, makes the immortal god into a mere mortal, and that’s not in line with the fantasy ideal, so to speak. Or for that matter, it doesn’t leave anything to the imagination, and the imagination is normally a lot sexier than reality. (Unless you’re Connie Chatterley. Her imagination, or rather, her thoughts, tend to be rather depressing. Good book, though.)

Or maybe I’m just a prude. A prude with a dreadfully dirty mind, but a prude nonetheless. 😉

Traxy Thornfield

A Swedish introvert residing in Robin Hood Country (Nottingham, UK) with a husband and two cats. She's an eager participant in tabletop and play-by-post roleplaying, woodworking, photography and European travel, when there's not a plague on. Might get a novel out one of these days, if she doesn't get too distracted along the way.

14 thoughts on “Richard Armitage in Between the Sheets – TMI?

  1. OMG, I can’t believe you wrote this, because I feel the EXACT same way! I thought I was the only one. It’s quite an odd thing. RA is only one of 2 actors I love to death and follow and really for both I feel the same. You said it perfectly, it’s like looking in on something private. Weird, as I would feel MUCH different as his girlfriend. I don’t feel the same seeing sex scenes, nudity with other actors- so not so much prude(though I don’t like too much of that on the screen anyway). I also, haven’t seen BTS(but have seen clips) and probably will leave that one to the imagination. Haha. Excellent post you made!

  2. The only thing that annoyed me about BTS was the good awful makeup. It’s lathered on with a trowel. I guess it just doesn’t bother me.Given the subject matter the scenes do fit to a degree.
    I guess I don’t feel the same squeamishness about his sex scenes. 😉

    Don’t know if you saw the recent version of Women in LOve. Quite a lot of male nudity but all pretty tasteful, certainly more so than BTS and I must admit I’d rather see those, however than the rather full on scenes in BTS

  3. @Jessica: I saw 28 Days Later a few months ago, and I had no issues seeing more of Cillian Murphy than I ever wanted. It wasn’t embarassing, it was more … “such a shame it’s not someone I really fancy!”, haha! Now that I have seen all of BtS, I didn’t think it was too bad (and no, you don’t get to see any bits). In fact, I thought it was going to have a lot more sex to it than it actually did!

    @Hedgey: I agree, the scenes – when watched in context – weren’t half as bad. 🙂 With Women in Love, I managed about 40 minutes of episode one last Friday before giving up. *cough*

  4. I watched it once and while I have nothing against it, I have no wish to see “those scenes” again. I don’t think there is anything wrong with it for an actor to do scenes like that, it is acting and in the context it doesn’t matter if an actor pretends to have choreographed sex or does a choreographed fight (thinking of the nude fight scene in Women in Love, LOL!) or a choreographed dance. The bare skin is just another costume. I don’t think less of Richard for doing those scenes or the actors from WIL because I have seen their bits (in Europe that is okay on TV, you could see everything of RPJ in Spooks as well) and it won’t distract me when I see those actors the next time. But I don’t really enjoy those kind of sex scenes because I don’t think them erotic. Less would be more. Perhaps the impression that deeper feelings are involved is missing?

  5. He is beautiful from every angle but I’m not a Voyeur:D
    I have no wish to watch “thouse scenes”again(WTF my ugly nose is longer and longer)
    So you see I’m prude with dirty thoughts:):)

  6. I don’t know joanna, but someone may have to arrest her for attempted murder. I damn near choked when I read her comment. LMAO on the floor. Somehow ROF doesn’t quite capture it.

    I think I would still feel this is TMI no matter the actor, but I’ll confess that I probably wouldn’t have been nearly as affected by someone else.

    That aside, damn! he looks good. 😀

  7. Sigh. I must be the only one in fandom who is not only not bothered by the sex scenes, but thinks they were actually integral to the story! Might have to do my own review. Damn, I feel more European than the Europeans. 😉

  8. Those scenes were a bit… cheesy (due to the make-up, acting -sorry Richard, but not your best- and most of all the horrific 80’s porn soundtrack) but integral to a story that revolved around sexual dysfunction and the effect it had on the main protagonists. So not garuitous at all. But still not a fun watch as it looked more like cheap soft-porn than anything else and I felt no chemistry at all between them. As a Dutch viewer, I wasn’t particularly squeemish or bothered by the nudity/sex though, or the fact RA was in such a scene. It just wasn’t filmed very well.

    As for Richard: this is what he said, according to some 2003 article:

    “My character and his girlfriend end up seeing a sex therapist themselves and are given homework. When I got the script I didn’t appreciate quite what that involved, as I’d skimmed over the stage directions. It wasn’t until I came to film the sex scenes that I realised!” said Richard Armitage. [1]

    What it involved was nudity – in a couple of scenes between him and Julie Graham both actors are naked. And there are several other sex scenes – and more nudity – elsewhere in the series. But he didn’t think this was the the most important part of the drama.

    “I think people find the frank dialogue more shocking than the nudity and sex scenes. People are too scared to talk about sex.”

    1. Agreed!

      I remember him saying something about telling his parents to perhaps leave the room and go put the kettle on just before certain scenes. Can’t really say that I blame him! 😉

  9. You are a girl after my own heart…*sniffs* .that stuff about admiring from afar and keeping it to a fantasy.woah!

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