I have played around with the idea of having my own blog for a while. So here it is: a very non-techie writer’s foray into the 21st century. I am starting this site after being inspired by the blogs I read regularly; blogs tied together by one thing. Or should I say by one man–Richard Armitage, the actor.
Richard was recently named “One to Watch” by MTV. For me, he earned that title when I saw him as Guy of Gisborne in the BBC’s 2006 re-tooling of “Robin Hood.”
Frankly, I found their vision of Robin Hood for a new generation a smug, arrogant, self-glorifying, petulant creature who in no way impressed me as a hero. On the other hand, the smouldering henchman, the sheriff of Nottingham’s right-hand man, did make an impression on me.
Initially, it was the looks that got my attention–tall, broad-shouldered with long, long legs and everything encased in black leather. Dark hair that flopped fetchingly over his brow, amazing blue eyes fringed in thick lashes and lined with kohl, a distinctive aquiline nose and the best smirks I had ever witnessed.
Slinking through the castle corridors like a great black cat, snarling at the populace defying the sheriff’s orders, he was one big bad handsome man indeed.
Ah, but beneath all that masculine beauty was something else: talent.
Whilst the good looks first got my attention, it was the incredible talent of this actor that hooked me; his ability to express so much with a mere flicker of an eyelid, a raised brow, the curl of a lip. He was good, this one. I was definitely intrigued.
I began to seek out more of his work. I saw him in quick succession as John Thornton in North & South, Harry Kennedy in the Vicar of Dibley and John Standring in Sparkhouse. And I was completely and utterly blown away. How was the same actor who brought us the Sultan of Swagger, Sir Guy, able to also play so convincingly a shy and awkward Yorkshire farmhand, a proud Victorian mill owner and a sweetheart of an accountant who experiences love at first sight?
He wasn’t just good. He was great, a veritable chameleon onscreen. And that voice! Deep, earthy, warm. Aural chocolate. Yum.
I had discovered a detailed and nuanced character actor inhabiting a leading man’s face and body. I became a fan in a way I never have been for any other actor, buying every DVD I could obtain of his work, visiting sites devoted to RA, trying to learn as much as I could about this particular British actor.
I have been writing about RA for several years, posting occasional essays at my Live Journal blog. In December 2008, I posted my first piece of fan fiction inspired by Richard’s incredible performance as Lucas North in Spooks. That ficlet was well-received enough to encourage me to continue.
Now I have multiple multi-chapter fanfics under my belt. A few months ago, I stumbled–and I do mean stumbled–into making slideshow fanvids. Did I mention this behavior can become addictive?
Closing in on 120 fanvids, I can certify it can. And it all comes down to Richard Armitage, and the effect he has on me. An effect that has been experienced by lots of other fans. The Armitage Effect is powerful, even life-changing; it’s mysterious and amazing. Why Richard Armitage, why this one particular British actor over all others?
I am not completely sure. For me, he’s magic. Life-affirming. A creative muse. He’s led me to do things I probably would have never done otherwise.
Like starting this blog. Every entry won’t be about RA, but most will. Oddly enough, so many “roads” in my life of late seem to lead in one way or another to Richard Armitage. Am I obsessed? Yeah, I think so.
But in a good way.