The Bonhomme Richard

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It’s such a good face. I don’t just mean “good” in terms of good-looking, although he is certainly that. I mean a good face as in the newspaper biz context: a face filled with personality, with character.  A face that has lived. A face that tells a story.

In a sea of bland, vacuous  pretty boys, this is a face that stands apart. The directness of his gaze, the clarity of those blue eyes with their spark of keen intelligence and gentle humor, the crinkles at their corners marking him as a man who loves to laugh.

We can see the sweetness  and genuineness in his smile,  yes, even with those whiskers. 

Surely, this is a man who possesses bonhomie–a good-natured, easy friendliness and geniality.  A man you’d be glad to have as a co-worker, a friend, the leader of our little community.

Vive bonhomme Richard!

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.

69 responses »

  1. Thank you for yet another beautiful photo, Angie – I totally agree with you – especially about the laughter lines! I’ve had mine since I was about 5 or 6 😉 but, at least, I don’t have any frown lines!

  2. I may be biased but I noticed those kind, smiling and intelligent eyes on a few of his co-workers at Comic Con as well. To be honest, I’m a bit on the cynical side and originally decided that from now on it is just a choreographed Hollywood PR campaign and that I won’t consider anyone of them as genuine any more. But one is almost tempted to buy the fairy tale that they are really a big happy family of amazing people and that that is not just how they are marketed.

    • I think you’re being a little harsh again, Jane. It seems as though you don’t know much about New Zealanders or Australians. We are mostly laid-back. easy-going people and it’s not unusual for people from other countries, especially from Britain, to be made welcome and treated like family. Just sayin’

    • Oh dear Jane please don’t be cynical. Come into Cinderella land with me. It is such a happy place. 🙂 Watching Sir Ian McKellan talk about how close they all were while filming to me was genuine. I have actually heard this before from other actors and actresses filming other movies. I don’t find it all that unusual. I don’t see it as any different from the close family feeling among my co-workers at my job. Acting is a job and it is natural to bond with people you are with every day for several hours.

      Comic-Con is choreographed but I believe in the sincerity of The Hobbit cast when they were interviewed.

      • What they all said really echoes what was said about filming LOTR and certainly get that vibe from them. However a part of me keeps in mind that a big Hollywood studio is behind it and a lot of money at stake and that it is important that the cast present themselves in a manner that pleases the intended audience.

        I came across a slide show with pics from various panels and I think there was a very notable difference between Hobbit cast and the folks from other shows. Even when Sir Peter talked about the possibility of a third film it seems it really was because they had more stories they wanted to tell, not because the studio wanted to milk the cash cow even more. Richard sounded almost dreamy when he said they were so far from being finished.

        • Hang on, Jane, if you don’t consider them as “genuine” as before, then why are you willing to believe that Sir Peter wants to do a 3rd installment because he has more stories to tell and not because he considers TH to be a cash cow? If the picture they present of themselves is just a PR trick then why did RA sound dreamy when talking about being far from wrapped? I’m a little confused.

        • If TH was being filmed by a production team led by anyone other than Peter Jackson, in Hollywood rather than New Zealand, I would share your cynicism Jane. But I honestly think that what you see with these people is the genuine article, even though there is a publicity machine grinding away in the background. As Kathryn said, we are mostly easy-going people down here, with little time for what we call bulldust. My husband has worked in NZ and he reckons they are the friendliest people he has ever met.

          I have seen bits and pieces of other panels from previous ComicCons, and even though the participants joke around with one another and talk about what a great experience it is to work together, I have never had the positive vibe that I get from watching TH panel and their interviews. They truly appear to like and respect each other, and I believe them when they say it has been like one big family. PJ seems to have a knack for creating the perfect environment for film making…creative, supportive, challenging and fun (apparently they know how to party!)

          • Very well said, Mezz! I would have my doubts too about the “happy family” image they presented too, if we were,say, talking about a Transformers movie. But if Sir Peter&co. were only “acting” happy at CC because WB instructed them to do so,they should all be awarded an Oscar for their performance. But look at the body language on the pics of the cast&PJ&Philippa. If it turned out these people don’t like and respect each other in reality, I’d be very, very surprised.

            • LOL re Transfomers–as I recall, Megan Fox compared director or producer to Hitler and he didn’t have kind words about her (they dumped her from cast, too). 😉

              The body language is very telling to me, not just in the pic from EW, but also in the other posed pics and in the interviews together. These folks seem genuinely relaxed and comfortable in each other’s presence. I think they like, respect and have affection for one another.

              Take a look at certain group shots of actors who are playing family members. They don’t really look “connected.”

              I remember an incident when I was teaching and we were sitting in what passed as the teachers’ lounge, which was more like a glorified closet, frankly. You felt as if you were definitely invading each other’s space if you didn’t tread carefully.
              One of the other teachers had been having a stressful day. She was, shall we say, a tightly wound woman with few soft edges evident to the casual observer.

              And then as she talked, I felt her head easing over to rest on my shoulder as she gave a happy little sigh. “Miz Long–take this as a compliment, I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing this with just anybody.” I grinned and told her, “Anytime.” If she hadn’t felt really comfortable with me and believed she could me, that wouldn’t have happened.

          • I mentioned in one of the CC recaps that NZ seemed like it might be the happiest place on earth–it certainly seems to foster a happy, fulfilled little bubble of people who enjoy working hard and playing hard together on a monumental project like this.

            They truly appear to like and respect each other, and I believe them when they say it has been like one big family Me, too, Mezz.

    • There is a photo of Andy shaking hands with a young fan and it’s hard to say who looks happier. One of my fav photos not featuring RA. I think it’s a somewhat unique group of very talented, gifted people blessed with intelligence, humor and kind and generous spirits. There are people like that in the world, and it’s nice to see them brought together to create a magical experience for us all.

      • Yes that’s one of my absoluely favourites too! The utter happiness on Andy and the boy’s faces! The other is Sir Ian holding the Brazilian soccer jersey with a huge grin on his face. I find comfort in the knowledge that it IS possible to spend decades in show business and still remain down-to-Earth and genuine and kind.

  3. Please excuse me if I have asked this question here already. Once you have passed 40 youi can become prone to memory lapses. Anyway, which of these four Jane Austen heroes would you most like to see Richard Armitage Portray? Mr. Darcy, Captain Wentworth, Mr. Knigthley or Colonel Brandon?

    I want RA to portray Captain Wentworth, but I almost picked Colonel Brandon. RA looks too old to portray Mr. Knightley. He is actually too old to portray Captain Wentworth too but he could pull off being a man in his mid 30’s so the Captain would just be a couple of years older. If memory serves me correctly Captain Wentworth is 32 in Persuasion. I would love to see RA play Mr. Darcy but that role has been done the death already. He really is too old to be Mr. Darcy as well anyway. I don’t think Mr. Darcy is more than 30, but correct me if that is not right info.

    • Neither of those, to be honest. For the simple reason that they’ve all been done so many times.. The latest versions of Emma& P&P are just a few years old. I just don’t see the point of doing yet another version. I’d like him to do a costume drama but would prefer something original.

      • I agree with you, Judit.- those roles have been done to death in recent years. And Jane Austen isn’t the only novellist who wrote about those times, anyway.

        I’d prefer to see Richard in something like the play he was considering in late 2010, “The Rover”. As he said once, I hope he gets the chance to do “something all about love” in the near future. 😉

        • Yes, I was a little disappointed when his new project was announced and it turned out to be a tornado movie and not “The Rover” on a London stage…*sigh*

          • At least we get to see him in the tornado movie, which wouldn’t be the case for most of us if he had done “The Rover”. 🙂

              • I share your disappointment, Judit. Selfish, I know, but I wanted him back in Europe, on the stage, getting back to his roots, yeah! 😀

              • And that could very well happen, but with shooting still left to do on TH, it may not be in the near future. As has been pointed out, with more shooting to be done on TH, it’s going to be hard to commit to such a project. And such theatrical runs are indeed booked well in advance. Not meaning to rain on anyone’s parade–it would be great for fans who can manage it to see him on stage–but being realistic about the logistics of it all.

              • No, we don’t have tornadoes in Europe.. But I would have gone to great lengths to travel to London if he were to appear on stage. And I’m under no illusions re the chance of RIchard doing any theatre work in the near future.. Only Kevin Spacey can afford to run a theatre, act on stage regularly plus pick one or two films per year to shoot…I’m assuming that he could stop working at any given moment,and still live in comfort for the rest of his life. 🙂

              • Yeah, I am guessing Kevin is pretty comfortable financially. We can hope our RA reaches a point where he can do the same if he wishes.

              • Yesterday there was a tornado in Poland. And the day before in Germany. I looked up when the TV present said something like “usually you only get tornados in Hollywood movies”.

              • Guess that DID get your attention. 😉 I honestly didn’t know they struck in that part of the world. I certainly wouldn’t wish a tornado on anyone. 😦

            • It will be great to see Richard in another movie afther “The Hobbit”, but it will be great too to see him on stage in London.

              I’im from Switzerland, so if he plays on stage in the future, I will be able to see him, because there’s only 1h30 plane. 😉

              • Very true. A play is seen by a few hundred people each night whereas a movie (even if it’s mediocre) will very likely be seen by millions. Plus, movies pay infinitely better than theatre. If Richard wants to raise money for a future project of his own he might have to undertake roles that he wouldn’t pick otherwise.

              • Stage work is only worthwhile if you can really build up a reputation. Many actor that mostly do TV or film occasionally do stage work to broaden there repertoire and I think it helps them to become respected actors. I think it would have benefited RA during his TV years but right now reaching a broad audience is probably more important.

          • The Rover would have helped his artistic reputation in the UK but the tornado movie will help him to break into the American market. I fully expected him to work in the US if he gets a chance next and I think for a play in late summer/autumn it is already too late, schedules of theatres are fixed months in advance.

            • That’s the advantage of seasonal television work, I guess. Actors have a better idea of their schedule and can slot other projects around it.

              • I guess plans for next year depend on the decision about filming additional Hobbit stuff.

              • Yeah, and with a lot of the better American television now running 10-13 eps versus 22 in years past, it frees up more of the actors’ time to devote to making a film, doing stage work, etc.

              • TV series that take up just half a year are just fine – as long as you don’t commit to TWO TV series, if I’m allowed to say that!

              • LOL You’re allowed! I am thinking of something of the caliber of Showtime’s “Homeland” with Damian Lewis. Really, really outstanding scriptwriting, direction and excellent cast ( BTW RA’s former colleague in RH and SB is in it–remember Tuck, David Harewood?) that would still allow him make theatrical releases or do some stage work in London or–dare I say–on Broadway here in the US . . . just daydreaming. 😉

    • My favourite Austen hero my a mile is Henry Tilney. He is the perfect man. Richard may be a little less outgoing but otherwise they may well have a lot in common.

          • That version of NA was one of the better ones in the most recent JA adaptations IMHO. Did NOT like the last version of Persuasion, RPJ notwithstanding. Sally Hawkins is interesting and quirky actress, but miscast as Anne.

          • Thanks Jane. It’s been years since I read that book, and I’ve obviously missed the movie along the way. It wasn’t an Austen that appealed to me. Maybe it’s time I revisited it. 🙂

  4. You do have a point there Judit. Jane Austen has been done to death. Having said that I still would love to see Richard portray Captain Wentworth.

    I was not thrilled either to learn that RA’s next project is a tornado movie but I will take what I can get. I would love to see Richard in an original screen adaptation of a great story, but moving away from the action-adventure genre for a little while.

    What is the rover supposed to be about?

    I am a bit confused about The Hobbit. I heard RA say they are far from wrapped but PJ has given the opposite message. PJ said that principal photography has been completed. That means all major scenes have been filmed. However, later on PJ may have some of the actors back to redo scenes if he feels it necessary or add some non-principal scenes but the cutting room was where they are headed now. That is totally different from what RA stated at Comic-Con. Principal photography usually is anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks for the average movie. For a films like TH and Avatar, of course, principal photography would take longer, usually 3 or 4 months for complicated stories. The longest part of any film is actually not the actors involvement in it, but instead the editing and special effects if any and the period before filming starts. From my knowledge of film making I have to conclude that the reason the actors had to invest nearly two years in NZ is because of PJ’s own style of making movies. The script was more or less written as filming took place which is not usually how the process goes. Of course there are always additions and omissions along the way, but to not have a script done is not the norm. Taking an entire day to film one scene also explains it. All I can say is that the success of LOTR must have put PJ in great favor with Hollywood because I know that the BUDGET is a big deal to studio executives. They probably had to pay for the living expenses of the actors as well for all that time spent in NZ. Avatar started filming in spring of 2007 and premiered in 2009. Most of that time was spent on the technical end, not principal photography. Cameron was also giving movie theaters time to install 3D before he would okay the release of Avatar. Cameron set aside a month for principal photography and I think principal and non-principal ended up taking about 5 months. Avatar was filmed in Los Angeles and at the studio in Wellington NZ.

    • You do know these two films are (as of now) the MOST expensive films ever made? Something like $500 million? Yeah, I would say he has a lot of clout, our Sir Peter. 😉

      As to this whole thing with what constitutes principal photography and also whether or not a third film will be made vs. more extended scenes for the DVDs—I don’t know, and I don’t think the media at large does, either. Obviously RA is expecting to be back in New Zealand in the not-too-distant future to shoot battle scenes. Guess we will just have to wait and see. ????

      The Rover is an English Restoration comedy by Aphra Behn. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Rover_(play)

    • Must admit I was a bit perplexed by that too. If they are so far away from wrapping then why did they have a wrap party? 😀 Anyway, the last production vid may shed some light on that. I can hardly wait! This time there MUST be some Richard in it! PJ said they were going to have some behind the scenes stuff from Comic Con!

      • Personally I believe The Hobbit filming is done and RA is confused, but I still love him anyway.

        I can very well believe that both films are at the $500 million mark. I would bet that the studio heads in Hollyweird are not exactly happy about it either. Since it is two movies that makes it $250 million each which when you think about it is not too bad but that will most likely go up. James Cameron’s budget for Avatar was 237 million.

        • I remember reading about these films right after the principal cast was announced, and they knew up front before the cameras ever started to roll the budget was ginormous. They still green lighted it, so the studio obviously expects to recoup their investment–and I suspect they will. LOTR was hugely successful, and it seems likely these films will be the same when you consider the worldwide box office, DVD sales, merchandising, etc.

          As for the filming, as Judit says, perhaps more will be explained soon–or not. 😉 Maybe Richard just doesn’t want to give up Orcrist. LOL

        • I think pick ups were always expected, they did six weeks respectively for all three LOTR films. Wrap up seems to imply that the schedule of 250 days they originally planned is finished. I also think they decided to film material they didn’t plan originally, it depends on the studio, if it is enough for a third movie. So I don’t think there is big contradiction between what PJ and RA said. I wonder if RA has to return to NZ right now to film a few days more? And only arrives in Detroit the day they start? Anyway, I prefer the prospect of more Hobbit over the prospect of more disaster movies!

          • Jane a wrap party is given after filming is complete and the next step is putting it all together in the editing room and adding the special effects. RA stated the opposite about the movie being far from completed hence my confusion. I don’t doubt that material was filmed that was not originally planned since the script was being written as they went along with the shooting. Because of the huge success (big PROFITS) of LOTR PJ is a wonder boy, but I would not at all be surprised if pressure was put on him by studio executives to get the film wrapped up as scheduled. James Cameron is also considered a wonder boy in Hollywood but he was pressured about keeping on schedule. Schedule delays causes even more over budget issues for the studios. I certainly would have loved to work in the accounting department on The Hobbit.

            I prefer more of TH too over more disaster movies however, I am not as smitten with Tolkien’s books as true fans of them are. I enjoyed reading The Hobbit but books of those type generally are not my cup of tea. I enjoyed reading The Chronicles of Narnia much more than The Hobbit.

            • I suppose having completed principal photography doesn’t mean that there won’t be any odd bits and pieces or reshoots to film later…

              • Yes, that is correct Judit and I expect that. It does happen. Remember when RA and Daniela had to be called back for N&S two weeks after it wrapped?

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