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#FanstRA: It’s all about the Monet, Monet, Monet

Today’s Tag Teams: In King Richard Armitage, Servetus admits to (gasp!) stray thoughts while lecturing • In fanfic, Margaret Hale guestposts at John Thornton‘s on why she loves him • Jo Ann continues her story • In freeform, Jas Rangoon jokes about potential reproductive partners for Mr. Armitage • Itsjsforme reveals another Guy of Gisborne PSA (still not safe for work!) • Gratiana Lovelace needs more help captioning “Whimsical Moments with Deadly Serious ChaRActers!” •  In fandom, IngeD3 focuses on Ricky Deeming • Fabo confesses her Richard Armitage eyelash fetish! • In the Hobbit, it’s calories galore as Antonia Romera discusses fingerlicking at the Hobbit table • The Queen takes on Hobbit cakes • Links to all FanstRA 3 posts appear here at the end of each day. Can’t believe we’re half-way through already!

This post is inspired, but not exactly based on, Richard Armitage’s character in The Impressionists.

A passion for the arts, Monet had. A passion so strong he would forsake everything else in order to become a painter. He wasn’t in it for the money, but because painting was his life, his passion. Sure, through perseverance and hard work, he did achieve fame and money eventually, but up until that point, it was a struggle. He had a family to support on very little income. I don’t even know how he managed.

In today’s day and age, you can still be passionate about an art, and if you’re good at it and keep at it, persevere, good things are bound to follow. The really funny thing here, of course, is that the role of Claude Monet in The Impressionists was played by Richard Armitage. Why is that funny? Because the two men, living in different eras, came from different countries and worked in different arts, their stories are not exactly dissimilar. Nor are their personalities.

Monet strikes me as a passionate and conscientous man who occasionally get too fixated on perfection, and gets a bit carried away at times. He’s also caring and loving, yet still enjoys a drink with the lads. Claude Monet got carried away and perfectionistic with his paintings, Richard Armitage with his acting.

Squirrel beard aside, Monet and Armitage have a lot in common. That fascinates me. Was Richard basically playing himself in The Impressionists? He might not be struggling against the current with his art, because at the end of the day, what he does is still “just” acting – not a revolutionary new way of expressing oneself more realistically, and challenging the acting ideals of his time. That’s where a lot of Monet’s issues lay – he was trying to do something completely new and different, and the art world at the time simply wasn’t ready. Being a modern-day actor is not the same thing as being one of the Impressionist painters.

Still, working hard is finally starting to pay off for Richard Armitage, and thank goodness for that, eh? 🙂 No longer does he have to slog through brief appearances in day-time dramas or play characters no one cares to remember in mediocre drama. Aside from the fantastic adaptation of North & South, what’s he been in that’s been as good as that? Robin Hood wasn’t an excellent show by any means, but it did lead to Spooks, and from there, he got a foot into Captain America, and from there, The Hobbit.

What will The Hobbit be a stepping stone to? I don’t care much for the book on which that film is based, but I have to admit I’m really looking forward to the film coming out at the end of this year … and what the general public, i.e. the ones who haven’t fawned over him for years on end, will say about him. What will the Academy have to say about his performance as Thorin? That it brings in new light to the world of cinema, like Monet’s many paintings?

Here’s to hoping the Armitage acting equivalent of the Waterlilies is still to come! 🙂

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 “#FanstRA: It’s all about the Monet, Monet, Monet

  1. Hi Traxy,
    I’m excited to see The Hobbit films, too. And I hope that Richard Armitage’s role as Thorin Oakenshield will afford him more artistic opportunities in the future. And a nomination for him wouldn’t be amiss, either. Ha!
    Cheers! Grati ;->

  2. Interesting post! I also think RA put quite a bit of his own personality into his portrayal of Monet. I am sure that is part of the reason I enjoy it so much. There are similarities in their lives in how committed they were/are to their art. I doubt if Monet would have tied himself down to a family had it been avoidable in those days. I do hope N&S will not be seen as the best role in RA’s career. I foresee many more masterpieces in his future!

  3. I think that the role of Monet was very under-appreciated within the fandom because of the “looks factor” (a lot of people couldn’t see past the squirrelly beard). I loved him in it however. I hadn’t thought of how much of himself Richard Armitage has invested in the role. Harry Kennedy, he reports, is closest to him in personality, but Monet was also one of the more ‘joyful” characters he has played.

    I’m not sure where The Hobbit will take RA. I doubt if it will bring him recognition with the Academy (and I hasten to add that I am a dedicated Hobbit movie fan). I think he will need to make some careful choices after Thorin – it’s hard to predict what direction he will take, isn’t it?

  4. Richard Armitage playing Monet was the second of his DVD’s I bought, after N&S. One of my favorite of RA’s roles, but I didn’t really make the connection between his own career and Monet’s until your post today.

    I think he will be known far and wide after The Hobbit and how his career goes will depend on the offers he gets and how he manages his career. I think after LOTR they all got great recognition, but not all the actors managed their careers well. He certainly has the potential to go in the artistic direction he wants, more than he’s ever had before!

  5. Interesting comparisons about artistic careers! Impressionists was a beautiful production, only it emphasized the art more than the personalities. The actors did a lovely job, but I suspect there was much more angst in the movement’s struggle. They were united, yet individualistic.

    I have to agree with Mulubinba that Thorin might not bring all the kudos we hope for. He’s a short person! 😀 But it should bring industry (producers/directors/bean-counter) interest…


  6. Very interesting! I’ve never thought of similarities between Monet and RA. I do love when he smiles and laughes in The Impressionists though. If that bares any resemblence to the real RA, I’m a gonner!

  7. I always enjoy watching The Impressionists…it was one of my first RA DVD purchases. I am really looking forward to The Hobbit; it has been a favorite book of mine since I was eleven. It will be interesting to see what roles he takes on after Thorin. I hope Thorin leads RA to many terrific projects!

  8. Agree completely! N&S is brilliant, but I’m sure he has other great performances in him that we’ve yet to see. 🙂

  9. Here’s to hoping all goes well! 🙂

    Problem with The Hobbit might be that none of the actors get the recognition they deserve simply because it’s a fantasy film and they’re all in prosthetics. 🙁

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