He’s just too good for this

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Fans of the 50 Shades trilogy are now speculating over who should play Christian in the upcoming film version. Some have even brought up Mr. A’s name. He’s at least 10 years too old to play the role (Christian is 27, I believe) and whilst I think Richard would make a fabulously sexy and spooky vampire, I have no desire to see him play a stalker and twisted serial sadist with a “Red Room of Pain.” 

As a character, Christian’s emotions are so all over the map, he makes John Bateman look really well adjusted. If the character of Paul Andrews disturbed you, he is a complete innocent compared with the “f**ked up” Christian, who enjoys beating a long series of young women who remind him of his dead crackwhore mom. It’s consensual, but that doesn’t make it healthy.

 Fantasy is one thing; fantasy grounded in reality is another.  Let them cast the “beautiful unknowns” that the author is hoping for, for the film; Richard has much bigger and better things ahead for him. 

I’d be happy to see him in some steamy scenes onscreen–we all know he can smoulder and scorch with the best of them– but I’d rather such scenes didn’t involve belts, whips, canes, handcuffs and spreader bars coupled with an overwhelming desire to cause pain.

I’m no snob, really I’m not; but I think Richard Armitage is just too classy, too talented and too good for this. He’s expressed a desire to make a film “all about love.” And this ain’t it.

About fedoralady

I'm an LA native--Lower Alabama, that is. My husband of more than 30 years and I live here on a portion of my family's former farm with two gorgeous calicos and a handsome GSD mix. My background is art education, and over the years I've been a teacher, department store photographer, sales associate and a journalist. My husband, his business partner and I have Pecan Ridge Productions, a video production company, for which I shoot & edit video and stills and manage marketing. I also still write part-time for the local paper. I love movies, music, art, photography and books, and my tastes in all of them are eclectic.

63 responses »

  1. His Hobbit salary prices him out of the cast for this film, thank heavens — but I have to believe that he has greater artistic ambitions than to be involved in something that’s going to border on pornography in its execution. After The Hobbit, he’s going to be able to wait for roles that suit his creative aspirations, and he may have edgier taste than the TV roles he’s been in the last several years — but honestly, if he was initially not interested in the Porter role after reading Strike Back (the novel), it’s so hard to imagine that he’d take a role like this one.

    • I honestly don’t think he’d ever consider this. Not at this point in his career, anyway. Maybe, possibly, back when he was young and really struggling. I agree, The Hobbit will move him out of contention for this role–“beautiful unknowns” is another way of saying “cheap,” isn’t it? I am so thrilled he has reached this point where he is going to have more freedom to explore career possibilities. And I’ve no problem with edgy. We know he likes to explore the darker side of humanity. But as you say, if he found Strike Back initially distasteful, I can’t believe he’d be drawn to this. That being said, if anybody could actually make this character sympathetic and believable, it would be Richard. Otherwise, Christian is just going to come off as a perv (unless the scriptwriters really water him down).

      • well, Armitage is very good at the “there’s a damaged little boy inside me” vibe, which is an occasional feature of Christian Grey. Nonetheless, I don’t think there’s much of a chance of this happening.

        • Gracias a Dios! Richard has more sense, more gumption, and a better CV than to even consider that role. I hope that after The Hobbit, his agent’s mailbox is going to be filled with good scripts and healthy offers for roles that could tempt him.

        • He is, indeed. We saw that done to great effect with Sir Guy. Oh, I can’t envision him playing the role, but he’d class it up. I am still wondering how they’re going to put this on the screen, be faithful to the story and keep it from being NC-17.

          • well, NC-17 isn’t yet quite the same thing as porn. I mean, all porn is NC-17, but not all NC-17 is porn. I could totally see him being in an NC-17 movie, depending on the script / content.

            • True, Servetus. I think if the screenplay were really well written, and other factors held a level of interest and challenge for him, RA would have no problem doing NC17. In my view, some of the scenes in Spooks and Strike Back were NC17, psychologically if not physically.

              • “Shame” got an NC-17 — and a lot of critical respect, for instance. Though Fassbender also apparently had serious problems with his mother seeing it.

              • I haven’t seen Shame but from what I’ve read, it’s on a completely different level than 50 Shades. And really, wouldn’t most sons have trouble with their mothers seeing them do certain things onscreen?

            • I should have clarified–I was thinking of the connection of the trilogy to its Twilight fanfic roots and that tremendous fanbase. As a commenter said at one of my posts, Twilight was something mothers and daughters could read/watch together and discuss without discomfort. The movies were PG-13, I believe? No way they can make this as a PG-13 or even an R without cutting a lot of stuff, which means it won’t be legally accessible in theaters to young fans. And frankly, I don’t think it should be. I have no problem with the idea of him in an NC-17 movie that’s worthy of him. It just wouldn’t be this one.

              • I was in the (large national chain) bookstore in the next city looking for a Mothers’ Day card last Saturday. When I checked out, I noticed that they had two people restocking various volumes in the trilogy — *behind* the checkout counter — dozens and dozens of copies. I thought that was interesting. It wasn’t in their main display. When I said to the checker, “selling a lot of that?” and he grimaced but didn’t say anything. Then I said, “So you have to ask for it?” he nodded and made a face, and then said, “lotsa people wanna browse that book and not buy it.” I thought for a second and said,”is there anyone you wouldn’t sell it to if they asked?” He made another face and said, “well, we don’t want little kids stumbling over it. I suppose if a kid asked me for it I’d ask if it was okay with the mom.” I said, “what about a teenager?” and he said, “I don’t know.” He was obviously tense about the whole thing.

              • Now, that’s interesting. I read that the Kindle edition is the choice of a lot of readers because what you’re reading is hidden from any onlookers. In my case, I went that route because it was cheaper–and I still felt like I paid too much.

                I mean, what does a bookseller do? It’s not like booze or cigarettes where you can legally deny them to an underage customer. And I can certainly see not wanting to have them out in the typical display style where anyone can pick them up and browse. I’m sure there would be complaints lodged if you did. I bet it is causing some issues for the big chains.

              • I was in that change that has a competing product to the Kindle, incidentally. I hadn’t thought of that particular wrinkle.

              • We no longer have that chain close to us. The nearest is in Birmingham. We have an Alabama-based bookstore chain, BAM, that’s still in Montgomery, along with several independent bookstores. I wonder if they are carrying it. I wonder how the audiobooks sales are going. One commenter is making her way through all three audiobooks and she says she is constantly cringing over the annoyingly whiny and juvenile-sounding narrator they have reading them.

              • Evidently, WH Smith (one of the largest bookseller chain in the UK- don’t know whether or not they are present in the US too) have absolutely no problem displaying those books in a VERY prominent place in their shops…

      • His salary for Captain America and The Hobbit combined was reported in a British paper as around $2 million (USD).

            • Not only was it poorly written, but it would not have disclosed the non-taxable perks and amenities that should have been written into his contract, which would easily be worth another $2 million USD, nor did it disclose if the contract included a percentage, DVD royalties, royalties on foreign rights, and royalties on games and action figures, for example. I should think there was probably some sort of confidentiality agreement in place; there would have been had I written that contract.

        • $2 million dollars…wow! Mr. Armitage has come a long way. That is excellent for a British actor. In America an actor would get more just for The Hobbit.

          • That’s one reason why so many Brit actors come to the States to work. The pay is generally better and there are more opportunities. And Richard has said he wants to break through in the U.S. I would personally be happy to see him in a well-scripted US TV series, perhaps something on one of the premium channels. NOT that god-awful reboot of Strike Back that Cinemax and Sky produced. As much as I hated to lose John Porter, another great character, I am really glad he got out of his contract after I saw the direction in which the series was moving.

            • I sure hope that Mr. Armitage is serious about breaking into the American film market. I would LOVE to see him living here for a while if not permanently. OMG!!!!!! From what I know about him he doesn’t seem like the Hollyweird type so I doubt he would enjoy living in that area. I think he would enjoy New York though. It is probably most like London which I know he loves.

  2. I agree 100% with you, angie and servetus. I don’t believe he would even consider a role such as that of Christian. Thank goodness he will have more clout after TH and with it the opportunity to pick and choose future roles.

  3. After The Hobbit, he’ll still be beautiful but he no longer will be unknown, so that puts him out of the running- and thank the Lord for that! Not that I believe he’d ever consider doing a film like this! It’s not snobbery, it’s just common sense and intelligence. He has both, thankfully.

  4. I have never heard of the 50 Shades Trilogy much less this Christain character, but from what I read here I would say that Richard Armitage would not accept a role like this.

    • Hello, Xenia, and welcome.

      There has been a media blitz about these books in entertainment mags and online. I can’t quite understand how they have become huge bestsellers, other than a lot of hype, because the storyline is ultimately very unbelievable and the hero, no matter how handsome, sexy and rich he is presented to be, has some very, very serious issues. He was abused as a child, then pulled into a BDSM relationship with his mother’s best friend that started when he was 15 and in turn, he becomes a sexual sadist who contracts a series of young women to be his submissives. But the love of a good woman changes him and he becomes the happy family man . . . it’s all pretty implausible and very graphic. And no, can’t see Richard playing this role as written by EL James.

      • Hi Fedoralady,

        Thank you so much for the warm welcome. I would never waste my time reading books like the 50 Shades trilogy. The fact that it is so appealing to so many tells you how far society as a whole has sunk. I refuse to watch Richard Armitage in Strike Back because of the extreme violence, so I would never go to see him in a movie like this. I do think that Mr. Armitage has better sense.

  5. Good gracious, I’ve been playing Words with Friends and missed this whole discussion! A lot a very interesting points. I agree with them all! To think of Richard playing such a warped, crazy character gives me the chills. The whole thing was written just to titillate. I’ve heard it is also fairly poorly written. What a waste of money and time! (Although, the author is raking in the cash, I wouldn’t want to be known as the author of such drivel.) I hope after TH, Richard gets scripts that are worthy of his incredible talent.

    • It isn’t very well written (Servetus can back me up on this). It started out fairly interesting, but Christian gave me the willies from pretty early on, and there are a couple of other really despicable characters and several very implausible plot developments.

      Some of the sex scenes are hot, but heck, I can write my own and I can read better-written stuff at DF. There are several errors in the text–perhaps the print version is improved by the copy editor it suppposedly got–and she tends to use Britishisms (the author is English) that do not belong in a novel set in the US with American characters. For example, I would never say I am going to “collect” someone after work. I would pick them up.

      And since Ana is supposed to be an editor in a publishing house, it is amusing that this story told from her POV needs so much editing.

      It’s billed as an erotic romance, a genre I enjoy, but there’s little truly romantic about it. I will be interested to see who accepts the role.

      And the violent aspect of it is very disturbing.

      A lawyer who works with victims of domestic abuse commented at one of the posts and she is really concerned about the tremendous success of this trilogy. As she said, I think I would honestly feel safer in the presence of Dexter, a serial killer, than I would Christian, the serial sadist.

      • I wonder how much of the buzz is publicity hype and how much is just marketing to the curious and the pervy. It is scary how many people seem to be interested in the violence and abuse. If I were a bookseller, I would not carry hardcopy in a bricks-&-mortar store. There’s no law that says you have to carry porn if you sell books. Yet everyone knows you can get this type of material in the BDSM section of the local “adult” shop.

        • Well, I read it because of the hype — or rather, because it was given as an example of how a basically amateur writer can make it big. It’s not really BDSMy enough to qualify as actual BDSm — way, way, less edgy than that.

          • That was my reason, too–I saw it as follow-up reading to the article I did for F3 on fanfic going mainstream. I really, really wish I had found more substance and better writing; as it is, it just seemed like fanfic cannily hyped and fluffed to make it into three books, converting a vampire into a sadist and changing some names, etc. to get around copyright issues and add a certain titillation factor by tossing in some bondage lite. 😉

        • Went to a W.H.Smith bookshop at Heathrow airport yesterday, and guess what books were number 1,2, 3 on the “bestsellers” shelves. Yep, you guessed right. The 50 Shades trilogy.

      • I love romance novels but I don’t like erotic romantic. Both romance and erotic romance has sex in it, but erotic romance can often times border on reading pornography instead of two people making love who are in deeply in love. I would not mind a sequel to N&S where we see John Thornton making love to Margaret. I don’t want to see him in something like this Trilogy.

  6. I have yet to read this trilogy but I did purchase it and it is waiting for me on my kindle. I have friends my age who are devouring this thing. I have been reading RA blogs and fanfic and don’t have much time for anything else. I do wonder how they will portray the violence and how they plan on making that “sexy”? I also think this is will probably go the way of Edward and Bella and appeal to a much younger crowd. First, I think they will milk it and make it 3 long movies with a year between them à la Twilight. Some young hollywood newbies will be cast and renegotiate their contracts after the success of the 1st making them household names. And though I may end up regretting it, I would most likely see it. (I have no shame! lol)

    I will however say that I would forgive RA for choosing roles that won’t be cosidered high quality once success hits him and hollyweird comes calling. There will most likely be a lot to manage and maybe what he thinks will work, won’t! I really am excited to see him in different and challenging roles that would highlight his abilities as a wide range actor. But if he stumbles along the way, oh well!Regardless, he will bring something special to every character regardless of how sucky the production may be. (sorry for the never ending comment)

    • I will be interested to hear what you think once you read the three books, Gracie, good, bad or indifferent. Yes, I suspect the younger Twilight crowd will eat it up. The thing about Edward and Bella is it was a chaste relationship until they married, right? . . . I can see the element of romance although I thought Bella was one of the most boring characters as a romantic heroine I have ever seen onscreen (and I have seen Kristen Stewart in other roles, so I know she can act). You had all the UST and some kisses, at least in the first three movies, I haven’t seen the last one where she had the vampire baby. Here, you have–well, a lot more than that

      . And you know I don’t have a problem with graphic sex. But I do have problems with stalkerish behavior, with what could be considered abusive behavior, with a grown woman taking advantage of an underage boy and playing BDSM games . . . honestly, if it had been a 15-year-old girl with a history of abuse who had been seduced by a man who made her his submissive for seven years, I think a lot of people would be complaining.

      Anyhow, that’s just my view, and you may love it. A lot of people obviously do. 😉

  7. We have no idea if his aim is to establish himself in Hollywood but if it is, he may well accept whatever comes his way. The competition of fast rising British actors is ridiculously fierce right now and actors like Benedict Cumberbatch or Tom Hiddlestone that are not committed to such long projects are already overtaking him. Not to mention those that have been around a bit longer.

    • Have you read these books? I think those who have, or are familiar with their content, would be extremely surprised that Armitage would take such a role. Yes, we know he’s taken stuff just to be working — but this would be an extreme case of that even for him.

      • I honestly do not think, at this point in his career, regardless of whether or not it takes off in the way many of us are hoping after The Hobbit, he would consider this role. Maybe when he was just getting his career off the ground and hungry for any work coming his way–but I just cannot see that happening now. I don’t care what he does or does not get offered in the wake of TH.

      • I hope that Mr. Armitage is now over taking just any role to keep working. I can think of at least one production (Between The Sheets) that I think he could have skipped…LOL
        This is just my humble opinion. Between the Sheets is “cheesy” to me.

        I hope that Mr. Armitage will ease up a little bit, at least for now, on movies that show so much violence. I watched Spooks and Robin Hood just because RA is in them. Normally I do not watch stuff like that. After watching those two shows I had to draw the line somewhere I refused to watch Strike Back.

        I also don’t want RA to end up type casting himself and all producers want him for are action/adventure roles. We all know how great RA is at romance (N&S) and comedy (The Vicar of Dibley).

        • It is no secret that I think in the past Mr. Armitage hasn’t been picky enough and I that is why I fear he won’t be picky in the future. Surely I hope that the Hobbit pay and fame will make all the difference but he still did choose to do exclusively TV series and no theatre etc. after he had stopped being a starving actor. Money is a strong argument, especially if he’s now offered money in a totally different league. Many actors that had a breakthrough in Hollywood ended up doing rubbish movies, on the other hand several several TV actors do manage to throw other things into the mix.

          • Okay, now I feel a little better knowing that I am not the only person who thinks Mr. Armitage chose some rubbish productions in the past…LOL

            I thought that Mr. Armitage did want to return to the theater but was just waiting for the right inspiring part. At least that is the impression I got when I heard him talk about how being on The Vicar of Dibley reminded him so much of the Theater. He loves the energy of performing in front of live audiences.

            I hope that RA never stops doing TV and starts thinking it is beneath him. After all North & South was a TV miniseries and a great production. Even though Spooks is not really my cup of tea it was a good “mission impossible” type of show that was well written and very popular in England. Mr. Armitage was sexy as all get out as Guy of Gisborne, but I think he could have skipped that one too….sorry ladies. I know that millions of people loved Robin Hood.

            • I don’t blame him for RH and Spooks but often thought he should have left those shows earlier, once he saw that they turned out as they did. It happens all the time that actors leave shows to pursue other things. And he shouldn’t have done SB parallel to Spooks. Half a year for TV series (or mainstream movies) to pay the bills is enough. But that is how he is, he fullfils his contracts and does the best with what he is given. I think in the past he had stage projects that did interest him but when offered a TV series he always postponed it, a long-running TV series is the sensible choice, as close as an actor can get to steady employment. If PJ hadn’t miraculously come along he would now do the thrid series of SB3 and tell everyone how great that is and that there is no need to do film because doing it already is like doing a film.

              • I agree that Mr. Armitage should have left Robin Hood earlier. The writers of Spooks, I think, wrote him out of it in the nick of time. RA is very respectful about fulfilling his contracts. I have to give him that. That is a great character trait.

                Jane, you are funny sometimes…LOL

            • I didn’t love Robin Hood but I do love Sir Guy very, very much. That is the character that introduced me to Richard as an actor and I’ll be forever grateful, because otherwise I still might not have a clue as to who he is. While I enjoy some productions more than others, I have watched and will continue to watch everything he does (even those extremely painful final eps in Spooks 9–not that I will ever watch them again). I think we will see him on stage again at some point. Many TV and movie actors periodically return to Broadway or the West End for a play.

              • Ralph Fiennes, Michael Gambon, Kevin Spacey all do that, and I respect them enormously for it as the salary they get for a play is like peanuts compared to what they’d get for a film project. Btw, I just read that Ralph is now doing a film about Charles Dickens’ life, he’s directing and will play the role of Dickens himself. Sounds like an interesting project! 🙂

  8. Pingback: Implications of others’ other crushes and Armitage Grey — 50 Shades of Dealbreaker? « Me + Richard Armitage

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