Daily Archives: February 10, 2012

Saturday . . . and Sweet John Standring

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John (Richard Armitage) tells Carol (Sarah Smart) "Don't think you can't tell me things."

One of my favorite SH screencaps. What beauty and sweetness we see here.

The geeky double thumbs up is very endearing to me.

John Standring after his pre-wedding makeover.

Standring, a character in an updated version of Wuthering Heights was the first of several notable characters for Richard named John. And while it is a supporting role in a production featuring several talented actors, it is arguably Richard’s performance as Yorkshire sheep farmer John Standring that shone the most. His crafting of the character of the crippingly shy, awkward farmhand, “second best” for the woman he marries, but faithful and loving throughout–truly a gentle giant–is simply outstanding.

It is difficult to believe at times this is the same actor who would later play Guy of Gisborne, John Thornton, Lucas North, Harry Kennedy and John Porter. What an incredible chameleon this actor is!

It’s not just the unruly mop of reddish-brown curls on Standring’s head or the coveralls he wears that set him apart from the other characters. It’s his speech, his mannerisms, the way he walks and stands. Richard has said this was the first audition he went to in character and it must have worked, since he got the part.

John Thornton may be his most iconic role, but I believe the breakthrough performance that finally allowed Richard to start winning more roles and see a measure of success in his career was his heartbreaking creation of that awkward farmhand with a heart of gold–John Standring.

Ilya Kuryakin: Precursor to Lucas North? Maybe . . .

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Robert Vaughan as Napoleon Solo and David McCallum as Ilya Kuryakin.

The soulful stare of Ilya. This is the poster my oldest sister kept on her bedroom wall. My visiting grandmother refused to undress in front of it.

A screencap of David McCallum in the opening credits of The Man from UNCLE.

Blame this post on kathryngaul, who mentioned posters of hot fellows in a recent blog comment, which led me to a memory of my oldest sister’s crush on a 60’s TV star (who currently appears on NCIS). Back in the day, he was the young co-star on the Cold War spy series The Man from U.N.C.L.E. I looked up information on Wikipedia about this star and hey, presto! A post was brewing in my head. Because I saw certain similarities between this blonde spy of 40 years ago and a dark-haired spy of more recent vintage–not a physical resemblance, but the personality and character. I share some details of the enigmatic Ilya and a few photos from Google images for your consideration . . .

Scots actor David McCallum played the tantalizingly mysterious,introverted spy Ilya Kuryakin, who was assumed to be Russian, possibly married (he wore a wedding ring in some episodes)–but no one was ever quite sure about this riddle of a man. Which only made him more fascinating, of course.

Ilya was initially supposed to be a minor, peripheral character. It was after an acute reaction to penicillin landed him in the hospital for a few days during early filming that McCallum received the opportunity to flesh out Kuryakin.

His approach was to build a character based on ambiguity and enigma, with more hidden about his character and personality than was revealed. McCallum commented, “No one knows what Ilya Kuryakin does when he goes home at night.”
Kuryakin is a polymath who is self-contained, taciturn, intellectual, pragmatic, athletic and capable of showing immense charm with a flair for the dramatic which aids him in numerous undercover operations. He is also quite ruthless when necessary.

There are rare occasions that indicate a more passionate and sensitive nature lies beneath the cool exterior. Oh, he also looks really good in black turtlenecks.

So, I wonder–has Richard ever seen re-runs of this old spy series? Did the Spooks writers?

It’s fun to speculate.

P.S.
Oh, and there was an Ilya Kuryakin action figure (which looked suspiciously like G.I. Joe with yellow hair). We have Little Guy–but wouldn’t it be fun to have a Lucas action figure, completely with washable tattoos we could have fun applying . . . ;)=

Aside

The smouldering, come-hither stare from those kohl-lined bedroom eyes. The long, lean, muscular body and all that black leather. That little patch of bare flesh revealed. The trouser laces. I don’t think this character was meant for the pre-adolescent lads. No, indeed. TPTB weren’t complete idiots; they had themselves a talented and gorgeous actor who came with his own army of adoring fans. Sir Guy might be the bad guy. But he’d also be the sexy bad guy.
Oh, they just didn’t know how sexy–and how Richard Armitage would transform the evil henchman into one of the most beloved characters on British telly. And the drop-dead sexiest, too. *sigh*

Who do you suppose TPTB were hoping to appeal to when they had Richard pose for this photo to promote Robin Hood's first series?

The pose that launched a thousand thuds . . . and some Guyday Friday vids

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Sir Sean sports a casual vibe in this Louis Vuitton ad.

My first crush on an actor was born in the Ritz Theatre in my hometown when I was five years old. The movie my family went to see was Thunderball, the fourth film in the Bond franchise.

I thought this larger-than-life man with the entrancing foreign accent was pretty cute. And as the years passed, he just got more and more attractive.

Kind of like someone else I know.

My first celebrity crush . . .

Things that make you go “awwwwww” (other than Mr. A)

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Artwork my friend did of Guy worn out after playing with the pups.

They are all grown up now, but here are some shots of our two bloodhound mix canines, Elvis and Beauregarde (Beau, for short). Elvis doesn’t have blue suede shoes but he does have a blue collar. And he ain’t nothing but (partiall) hound dog.
They patrol the place out here and enjoy the fresh air and freedom of the country. BTW, the photo taken of Beau drinking out of the whiskey barrel was featured in our Humane Society fundraising calendar a couple of years ago. Benny has it as his wallpaper on his desktop. 😀
And how does this tie into Richard Armitage? Well, when the Sloth Fiction lads are here, they enjoy playing with the dogs.And i think Richard would go “awwww” over these photos, too.

Richard’s screed: TAE Word for the Day

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Is John Mulligan planning to have a screed with Ellie so he can have his wicked way with her?

Ricky is good with his hands, as is his Creator, Mr. Armitage, who has been known to perform DIY projects and home improvement to help support him as a struggling actor. RA just might have encountered a screed or two along the way.

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Rebel (and murder suspect) Ricky Deeming just might make a diatribe, or should we say screed against the establishment


Screed is a word with multiple meanings just as Richard is an actor able to play many emotions. How can we use Mr. Armitage and his charaRActers to illustrate our word for the day?

Screed (noun): (1) A long discourse or essay; a diatribe. (2) an informal letter, account or other piece of writing.
(3) Building trades. (A) Can refer to a strip of plaster or wood applied to a surface to be plastered to serve as a guide for making a true surface. (B) A wooden strip serving as a guide for making a true level surface on a concrete pavement and the like. (C) A board or metal strip dragged across the surface of freshly poured concrete to give it its proper level.
British Dialect: a fragment or shred as of cloth.
Scot: (A) A tear or rip, especially in cloth. (B) A drinking bout.