Richard Armitage – is it love because we can relate?

When the news broke about Richard Armitage landing a major role in The Hobbit, I couldn’t help but being filled with mixed emotions. One part of me was absolutely thrilled that he’s been given such a chance, and another part of me wants to start writing sympathy cards or “I’m sorry for your loss … of privacy”.

Bearded goodness, courtesy of Richard Armitage’s Beard @ Tumblr

Don’t get me wrong, I think The Hobbit is a great opportunity for advancing his career. Being disguised by the beard, he’s not going to get admirers from an “OMG he’s GOWGEOUS!” point of view (although those of us who are familiar with him will of course go “OMG that’s one smoulderingly hot dwarf!” – especially now that we know what the man looks like in a beard) but rather, he’ll be judged on his acting merits. Which is great! Those eyes can express what a thousand words struggle to, and there’s still The Voice.

He’ll get to act and get people noticing him for his acting skills, and get new fans because of that. (Won’t some of them be surprised when they realise that he’s 6’2″ and devastatingly handsome?) It’s likely to get him more, and bigger, roles as well, so that’s great! The world can see what a great actor he is and maybe FanstRAvaganza 4 or 5 will be an even bigger event with lots of new fanbloggers.

However, like the title says, I feel an odd sense of pride and trepidation. I’m really proud that he’s got a big role in a movie that people all over the world are wanting to see, and are GOING to see. “Our” Richard is going to be a “proper” star, and get all the recognition for his acting that he deserves and has worked so hard for. The trepidation part is what might (and is likely) to come with it. That he won’t be “our” Richard so much … well, actually, that bit doesn’t bother me that much – I see it as we gain more friends, as a lot more people will discover him and fall hopelessly into fandom like the rest of us.

They don’t need furnaces where he comes from,
Thorin smoulders all by himself!

It’s more that he’s a private person and that increasing fame is going to lead to more publicity, which he might not be too keen on, and also, I’m worried because increased fandom will mean he’ll have more nutters after him as well. Not all of us are well-behaved and stick to blogging about Thornton’s cravats and dream about what it would be like to meet him and make tribute cartoons and review the latest Spooks episodes and such.

There is also the underwear-sending fraction of us (although I hesitate to use the word “us” as I don’t really wish to associate with would-be stalkers), and I can see that getting worse. So for his sake, I’m a bit cautious. He’s old enough to look after himself, certainly, but … he’s going to have to get a lot thicker-skinned, because being a fairly successful Leicestershire lad on the BBC is miles away from being a fairly successful Leicestershire lad in Hollywood. If you know what I mean?

How do you feel about “Our” Richard being unleashed unto the world thanks to Hollywood?

One of the big attractions for me is that he’s a nice and polite guy who doesn’t need to constantly brandish his ego and brag and all that. We don’t see him every time we open Heat magazine or whatever celebrity gossip rag people read, and he doesn’t flaunt himself at any given moment. He’s happy to stay in the shadows a bit. Perhaps he feels uncomfortable being the centre of attention? I know I do, and I bet plenty of you do too. Maybe that’s one of the reason why we like him so much, because we can relate.

The fact that he’s discreet, seems like an honest and hard-working (maybe even a little too hard working) guy and he just wants to get on with his life, be a regular bloke … with a successful acting career.

What do you think? Is Richard’s attitude of keeping his private life separate from his professional life something you respect and admire, or does it get on your nerves?


This post is part of FanstRAvaganza 2, a Richard Armitage fanblogging event running 14-21 March 2011. See all FanstRAvaganza posts from this blog. 

This year’s other participants: An RA viewer’s perspective from 33°0’S of the equator, Avalon’s Blog, CDoart, Confessions of a Watcher, From the Quill Tip, Me + Richard, Mesmered’s Blog, Nevermind, Mr. Armitage, Phylly’s Faves, RA Frenzy, The RA Fan Blog, RA Vids & Graphics, The Spooks Fan Blog, and White Rose Writing.

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