Assorted and Sundry ChaRActers stop in

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    • If Paul had been stronger and hadn’t been with that self-absorbed creature that couldn’t see all the problems in her own home, I think he might not have made some of those foolish mistakes leading to tragic consequences. It couldn’t have been easy having to compete with a dead saint (or so she painted her late husband) and not being allowed to try to discipline that spoiled git Keiran.

      • Exactement! πŸ™‚ We so often think alike, Angie, you and I!

        I must get back my CD-Rom “Learning French” from Matthew – I don’t think he and Donelle even looked at it and now they can’t find it! They didn’t do languages at school and I thought it might help them when Asha started at the French-Australian Pre-School in May last year.

        I may have also given them the Spanish one, darn it! Ah well….

        but

        No.. I don’t really want to go to the expense of purchasing the CD-Roms again. I’ll make M and D cough up the money – they can afford it! πŸ™‚

      • Yeah, the kid was a spoiled brat and very disrespectful. Paul and Alona didn’t make sex look romantic at all. Strangely enough I did not find RA particularly attractive as Paul. I am not saying he didn’t look good because he did. Just that RA had none of the “presence” that JT, Guy, Harry and Lucas has in my eyes. If I had seen RA in that character first I would not have fallen so hard for him. The ending was something else. That crazed look in his eyes was scary. RA did a great job as Paul. No doubt that RA has wide acting range.

        • I thought RA was fantastic as Paul. In my opinion it’s one of RA’s best ever performances. The absolute highlight for me acting-wise is when they Paul and Alona have their 1st therapy session. It’s so convincing, so natural. They really ARE this quarreling couple who irritate the hell out of each other! I think the reason I liked him so much in this role is because it’s unlike anything he’s ever done before or since.

      • If Paul had been stronger, he would never have taken up with Alona in the first place => no story. Yet he is lovely to look at, isn’t he…

  1. Is it just me or does Richard look a little strange in that John and Margaret promo shot? I’m referring to the original, angie, not your artwork! There are very few shots of Richard that I’m not enamoured with, that’s one of them.

    Sighing along with you kathryn, over these beautiful men. Or should I say one beautiful, incredibly talented and versatile man?! πŸ™‚

    • I have never been enamored of that particular promo photo either Mezz. My favorite photos of RA tend to be photo stills while he is working. Or when he is on a talk show and just being himself. He seems stiff and self conscious in posed photos. I do love the ones that he took for that one magazine that includes this one that Angie uses as the wallpaper here. But other photo shoot pictures I am not particularly enamored with.

      • I think as time has passed he has become more and more comfortable with various aspects of his career–shooting promo pics, doing interviews, and so forth. I look at him in the N&S interview and while he is clearly an intelligent and thoughtful fellow, he seems quite nervous and not quite comfortable with the whole process. (He also looked about 10 years younger than Mr. Thornton–that sweet baby face!) I look at the Cold Feet era photo shoot and while he looks great (good grief, I even find the man’s feet sexy, and I am not a foot person) I keep imagining he’s thinking, “Oh, crap, now I have to look sexy . . .”

        As some of us have mentioned before, the David Venni photos from a couple of years back offer-in my opinion, anyway–a wonderful variety of expressions and moods. Too bad so many of them are watermarked, although Photoshop allows us to get around that to some degree. πŸ˜‰

        I think in the Project Magazine photos he is clearly channeling his inner Thorin–it was the first photo shoot with the cropped hair and beard and he gives us a very fierce aura in some of the photos, which I quite like. You can still detect some nerves at times when he is doing promotional work, but by and large he seems very much comfortable in his own skin these days and of course, it is always a delight to see one of his interviews, old or new.

        That being said, I have always loved the behind-the-scenes photos of him at work and at rest. You feel as if you are getting little glimpses of the “real” Richard. Some of my favorites are from Hood Academy. Watching him practice his bow and arrow skills and seeing the focus, the concentration he puts into the activity; it’s the same with his horseback riding and sword fighting. He’s so dedicated to “getting it right.”

        • Well said, angie, I agree with you a hundred percent.
          It’s going to be interesting to see how he goes in his first big interview towards the end of the year. Will the long break from any face to face interviews make him more nervous than he perhaps would have been, or will the confidence he has gained stand him in good stead? I have a feeling it may be the latter; he’ll be nearly two years older, with all that experience in TH production, and rubbing shoulders with cast members who have been in the spotlight longer.

    • That’s why I tinkered around with it. I also have it in sepia. It’s not my favorite shot of him either. I wanted a nice portrait shot of John and Margaret and there aren’t a lot to choose from in the promo stuff. On the other hand, I loved the one I did of Guy in profile standing beside Marian. I thought it was a great photo of the both of them.

    • Yes…he does. Some photos I don’t like and that’s one! But, hey, the poor guy can’t look good all the time! He’s only human after all. πŸ˜‰

        • Yes, the BBC did not put a lot of effort into promoting North and South, so probably didn’t get the best photographer to take the promo pics either!

          • Judit, I think you’re right, Also, at the time, most photographers were still using analog cameras and film, so every roll shot was expensive to process. To get a portrait of John and Margaret, you’d have to cut-&-paste from screencaps, trying to match the scale of the images and the light/shadow on their faces. Getting the angle right could be a little tricky.

          • @Judit – that is a really good point about the BBC! Even the pictures on the front of the DVD that I have of N&S is very poor and uninteresting. The series was such a huge hit when it was shown on TV as we all know and they could have capitalized on that. I have tried to get one of our local channels to show it again, but apparently they only have a license to show it over a certain length of time and theirs expired. I feel that it’s high time they re-issued it with a different and much better cover. Some could overlook it completely not knowing what a treasure was inside and just think what they’d be missing!!!

            • And I have to say I wasn’t happy with the audiocommentary on the DVD either. There were often very long pauses in the commentary (although there were 3 commentators: director,screenwriter, producer) as if they ran out of things to say! I also find it hard to believe that the DVD has not been released in Hungary, whereas all the other BBC costume dramas have been! That’s a sign of lack of support from the BBC too.

              • Judit, I didn’t mind the commentary on the N&S dvd. It may have been sporadic, but it was interesting and easy to listen to, with lots of insights into the production. The three commentators didn’t talk over one another, unlike those irritating Robin Hood commentaries, where everyone is babbling at once. I would have loved a commentary where it was just Richard and Lucy chatting. *sigh*

              • I think when they were producing N&S, they looked on it as just one more in a long line of BBC costume dramas–they didn’t know what they had on their hands in terms of RA’s impact in the role. And they haven’t seemed to have done a whole heapin’ helpin’ to capitalize on it even after those switchboards lit up and the website crashed. Go figure.

              • @Mezz, yes, what they said was insightful. It just left me wanting more. More gushing about Richard, I guess! πŸ™‚ @Angie, one would think the websites crashing would have given TPTB a hint???

              • I didn’t like the commentary, either. I kept waiting for them to really praise Richard, but I didn’t hear all that much. It was really awkward, too. I guess they really didn’t like each other. It seems they praised Daniela and I thought her acting was second rate!

              • Many people seem to feel that, while she obviously had great onscreen chemistry with RA, Daniela’s performance was not on par with Richard’s. I think she is better known for playing comedic roles, is she not? I have only seen her in an episode of Torchwood (and barely recognized her with modern dress, hair and makeup) and she did well with the part, but this was several years after N&S was made and she’d had more acting experience.

              • That’s the only time I’ve seen her in anything else as well. It was very hard to recognize her.

              • I quite liked Daniela’s performance! Maybe she bewitched me with her beauty (as she bewitched Richard πŸ™‚ ) so much that I was willing to overlook any shortcomings there may have been acting-wise πŸ™‚

              • As I said, some people feel that way, certainly not everyone. I remember Servetus saying a male friend that watched N&S with her didn’t even think Daniela was attractive. So beauty and the quality of acting performances are both in the eye of the beholder, methinks. πŸ˜‰ I do think Richard was clearly the stronger of the two actors.

              • Did the male friend find Richard attractive? Only joking! πŸ˜‰ Yes, Richard was definitely the stronger of the two of them acting-wise, yet the somehow they worked well together. It must have been because of the chemistry. Who knows maybe with a better actress those sparks would not have flown…

      • That’s the trouble with being a photo target. Someone is always going to shoot you with you can’t stifle that yawn or stop that sneeze, or with your mouth full, or when someone has just insisted you try the canape from hell, or when you have a bad sunburn, or when you’re swollen from an allergic reaction…

        • That’s for sure! He’s said he’d like to be able to go out without having to spruce up first! (I don’t really “get” that…I put on some make-up before I go do yard work!!) But it’s only going to get worse! I hope he’s ready for the media.

          • Now that sounds like a good southern girl to me, Laurie! When my mother broke her hip the first time (she managed to break both a few years apart), she had me changing her blouse and brushing her hair while we waited for the ambulance. She was wearing shorts and wanted to change those, too, but I said, “Look, Mama, I am not going to take a chance on hurting you even more. You’ll have to deal with the shorts in the ER!” LOL

            Richard is such a regular guy and not a prima donna when it comes to his appearance, it seems. The boy next door who is spectacularly good looking. πŸ˜€

            • Heh-heh. My husband insisted I shave him and dress him to go to the ER when he couldn’t stand up to do it himself.

              Richard is so refreshing!

  2. Angie and Judit that is exactly what I do not understand. With the website crashing like that you would think someone at the BBC would figure out that they have a gold mine on their hands. American Hollywood would never let an opportunity like that slip by. RA would have gotten rich just off of N&S and a sequel to it.

    • Again, I suppose part of it goes back to budgets. American networks have more dollars to make and to promote their productions. Maybe the Beeb has no reserve funds to promote projects in case of such an unexpected hit. It’s really a shame.

      • I know it’s a shame but I’m so glad that a lot of British actors haven’t defected to Hollywood. I have nothing against American films and television, so please don’t get me wrong. But I prefer to listen to British (and Australian) actors speak naturally, not with an assumed accent. I know I’m in the minority here but I can’t lie. πŸ™‚

        • I think we all need some local shows on our television sets, no matter what country we live in. I’m hoping, just like everyone else here, that Richard gets to make at least a couple of international blockbuster movies but I’m praying he retains his Englishness nonetheless. πŸ™‚

        • Actually, if you took a vote, I think you’d find most of us in the US prefer to hear English and Aussie actors in their natural accents–I mean, I can hear an American accent any old day, you know?–but the reality is that sometimes, the part an actor may want requires them to adopt another accent. And there are more opportunities to work in the US, hence the greater likelihood of needing to adopt some type of American accent.

          There are foreign actors who move between Hollywood productions and work in their native country, and that may be the case with RA. Just because he appears in some American productions, it doesn’t mean he’s stuck here permanently–although I would be HAPPY to welcome him to stick around as long as he likes. πŸ˜‰

          • Oh, I’m sorry..I obviously didn’t express myself very well. I’m not against assuming an accent for a movie… or 2 or 3 even!. I just meant I’d like Richard (or anyone else) to be able to use his own accent, too, sometimes.

            Yeah, you said it so much better, Angie:

            “There are foreign actors who move between Hollywood productions and work in their native country, and that may be the case with RA. Just because he appears in some American productions, it doesn’t mean he’s stuck here permanently–although I would be HAPPY to welcome him to stick around as long as he likes”.

            Just don’t make that welcome too welcoming, my girl, or I might just get jealous πŸ˜‰

          • With the world being a global village and people crossing oceans to live and work in countries other than their own, I’m surprised that more actors aren’t allowed to keep their own accent and maybe even have it incorporated into their character’s backstory.
            In the 1980’s there was a show called Dempsey and Makepeace, where the main male character was an American detective working in London. It didn’t take long before I stopped taking any notice of his accent, and was more occupied with the plot and the action.

            We’re used to hearing American accents all the time because of the TV shows and movies screened here, and unless it’s a particularly localised accent, or when it’s in isolation, being the only American accent surrounded by British or Australian ones for example, I’m not conscious of specifically hearing it. Same goes for the latter two accents as well.

              • I meant that I am “able to pick accents in a movie or whatever”. I watch British, Australian and American shows on television. I just happen to think that the Brits do some things way better than the Americans. They are more subtle in their productions, I think. πŸ™‚

              • I can pick up the accents, I just don’t pay any attention to them, unless it’s a poor fake one! πŸ™‚

              • O I C πŸ˜‰

                I’m with you on that, too, Mezz – I was listening to a British-made audiobook recently and there was supposed to be 1 Australian girl in it. And “supposed” is exactly it – one minute, she almost sounded like a New Zealander and the next like a Brit who’d lived in Australia for 60 or 70 years but hadn’t quite lost her native accent!! πŸ™‚

            • This goes for English-speaking countries. I would rather actors and actresses were heard with their own voices, regardless of language or accent, rather than being dubbed. While I think it’s important to have local productions, I can also see that gifted actors like Richard take the trouble to get the details right, even to working with language coaches. Consequently, if Richard were to take a role that required a particular American accent, I think he’d be spot on, almost indistinguishable from a native speaker. But I think once we go back to our roots, we unconsciously return to our native accents and speech patterns. I know I do, and others do, too. Why wouldn’t Richard?

              • Leigh, I agree with you about hearing the actor’s own voice, I much prefer subtitles to dubbing.
                As for Richard taking on an accent, with his attention to detail I’m sure he wouldn’t settle for anything less than sounding like a native.
                My cousin lives in Colorado, when she’s visiting back here she sounds American, but no doubt to her husband she sounds more Aussie!

              • I hate dubbing. I watch a lot of old and current foreign films on the satellite and all are subtitled. I really enjoy listening to the actors’ own voices in Spanish, French, Italian, German, Swedish and so forth.

              • I am someone who unconsciously picks up whatever accents I am around for any amount of time. If I moved to England, I would start sounding British. Come to think of it, I can already do that. πŸ˜‰ When we lived in South Dakota, I developed a Midwestern twang, and when we came home, my oldest sister said, “My gawd, Ang, you sound like a Yankee!” LOL I stopped and listened to myself and realized, by golly, I did! After living in SD, Ohio and Nebraska, I can do a mean Midwestern accent. You bet! πŸ˜‰

                Now that I’ve been back in Alabama all these years, my soft southern lilt is more pronounced once again, more evident at certain times than others, even though I still don’t have the heavy accent some people would expect. Leigh is right; when we return to our roots, we tend to unconsciously revert to native accents and speech patterns.

              • I can’t speak from a personal perspective because (a) I’ve lived in the same state all my life and (b) I’ve never developed an ear for accents because of the lack of necessity, opportunity or desire.

              • My sentiments exactly. I remember me and my friend were so looking forward to hearing the Aussie accents in “Australia” and I almost got up and left when I realized it was dubbed! They ruined the whole thing for me!

              • Judit, lol! Sometimes the Aussie accents are over emphasised and they sound awful, even fake, to my ears. And I disliked the way every Aussie colloquialism seemed to be crammed into this movie…crikey!

              • I loved it when Mr Viking God spoke a bit of Swedish in True Blood…(And Sookie says, Eric, focus! In English..! Or something along those lines). It’s a sweet sounding language! I have Mozart’s Magic Flute on DVD, directed by no other than Ingmar Bergman & sung in Swedish and I love it, normally I don’t like operas sung in other than their original language, but this is an exception. It sounds very cute in Swedish! πŸ™‚

        • I prefer to listen to actors speaking in their native tongue as well. I remember Richard saying that he came over to the US to audition for a role and he thought that he had the American accent down pat. After the audition he was told he did good but could he do it again with an American accent. Richard thought he was speaking with an American accent. Whatever role he was auditioning for he obviously didn’t get the part.

          I do understand how you feel about British actors not defecting to Hollywood but I sure want Richard to come over here. Sell that house in East London and COME TO AMERICA!!!!!!!!!!! All the other British actors and actress can stay in the UK. I just want Richard. I can’t picture him living in Hollywood though. I hear that New York is similar to London so maybe he would feel more at home in New York. I would then apply for a job cleaning his apartment. πŸ™‚

          • Richard would never have said he did GOOD! Only Americans say that.

            Richard would have said that he did WELL.

            • Kathryngaul, what I meant to write is that he “did a good job”. However, I was typing fast because I needed to get off my laptop and get ready for work. I make all kinds of spelling and grammar errors when I am rushing.

              • Sorry, Xenia – I thought you’d made a genuine mistake and was trying to help out with your English. πŸ™‚

                Have you seen the typos I make? And I don’t even have the excuse of rushing off to work πŸ™‚

            • I prefer subtitles, too – I will somehow have to learn to read faster as I hate missing any action or being able to take in the whole of the screen. LOL πŸ™‚

            • for some nicely paid work and then go back to London in between jobs. I want you to do more audiobooks and narrations of documentaries and more poetry between acting jobs, please. i just can’t get enough of your voice πŸ˜‰

              • oh, darn, this was supposed to go under “no bloody way, Richard”!! It’s a continuation of my little chat with Richard πŸ˜‰

              • Oh, OK, it all depends on the area… Hopefully his house is in a nice area wherever it is. I stayed in the South-East of London for (luckily) a short while and believe me it was dire.

          • I’d say yes, sell your house in East London, but buy a house in North or South-West London instead, as East London is not very nice at all!! And I’d then apply for the job of cleaning his place in Hampstead, Highgate, Richmond, Chiswick or Wimbledon! πŸ™‚ I have experience as a cleaning lady and I’m very trustworthy! πŸ™‚ And I’d do it for free!!!

              • ahhhh…you girls can do the cooking and the cleaning – I’ll be his bedmate!!!! And I’ll have plenty of time to get gussied up and also have plenty of energy in bed ’cause I haven’t had to do any rotten housework πŸ˜‰

              • Although I’d have to stop visiting this blog as I’m sure I couldn’t keep my mouth shut about what top-secret script I found next to his bed! πŸ™‚ And Kathryn, you would have to stop coming here either! We’d both be sworn to secrecy! And Xenia too!

              • And I will write the confidentiality agreements you will be required to sign…

        • I agree. I enjoy a lot British TV more than American anyway. Maybe it’s the accents, better stories, better acting…

      • Yes, I do recall you mentioning the lower budgets thing. However, once N&S exploded like it did would that not have brought in revenue? It seems to me that the BBC deliberately didn’t promote it. Not even the music to it was released on a CD and I know that it was requested from fans of N&S worldwide. I finally found it for free and downloaded it as an mp3 file. The music from N&S is hauntingly beautiful. I love listening to it over and over. A lot of money could have been made putting it on a full length CD. Generally speaking the whole lack of N&S promotion just seems very strange to me.

        I downloaded the music from here:
        http://perioddrama.com/PeriodDramaPlaylist_NS/index.htm

        • The BBC and our ABC are non-commertcial channels and are therefore free-to-air. I guess that’s a foreign concept to you guys! They receive some government funding and some other funding…not 100% where it comes from as I’ve never been interested enough to enquire.

  3. It is very easy to take one another accent when you are around people who speak with that accent. When I am around my family you can more tell that I am not from the USA originally. When I am at work I speak with a clear American accent and you never guess that I am from Panama.

    Jane Seymour’s accent is sort of a combination between English and American now; at least to my ears. Kate Winslet is very good at going back and forth between English and American.

    • So are Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman, Naomi Watts, etc. And it’s so lovely to hear them speak Australian!

      I’m sure Richard will retain his accent, too – I just think it’s a shame that he probably won’t be able to be English when he’s in his blockbuster movies which are going to appear from 2013 and onwards!

      • Oh, yes, my baby girl (Melanie, almost 38!) has retained her Australian accent after 7 years in America, thank the Lord! But it’s funny when she’s on the phone to a shop or whatever in America – she then says “Melanie Hyrrrrrrrne” (Hyrne) like an American!

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