RA’s Heartbreakers: Rogues, Cons & Bad Boys


Philip Durant, the husband with the roving eye and aย potential murder suspect in Agatha Christie’s Ordeal by Innocence.

Lee Preston, the firty-girty lifeguard with the irresistible charm and an inability to be faithful to one woman in “Cold Feet.”

The charming Stage Door Johnny, Percy Courtenay, who swept future Edwardian musical hall star Marie Lloyd of her feet in “Marie Lloyd.”

John Mulligan, the boy from the wrong side of the tracks turned successful businessman–and, perhaps, more in :”Moving On.”

Heinz Kruger, crafty murderous spy for the evil Hydra in “Captain America.”

Percy and his angel face after shaving.

37 responses »

  1. Wow! What a coincidence! I just finished watching “Ordeal by Innocence” a few minutes ago. I’d received the DVD’s last week and hadn’t had the chance to watch them until tonight. Even when confined to the wheelchair he had an overwhelmingly powerful presence. For someone who is “not a violent person” in RL, he sure can convince you he is that philandering “bag of badness”, particularly when he loses his cool! Yikes!

  2. Richard has played some truly frightening characters, most because they are charming and yet capable of doing dreadful things, some like John Mulligan without conscience, others like Heinz Kruger believing that the end justifies the means, and still others like Percy convinced he has the right to use and abuse. Because Richard is so skilled at crafting these fully developed characters that are not just “villains”, but have all the elements within them, we get drawn in, seduced into believing them as human beings.

    • You know, I have watched films before when I honestly reached the point that I just didn’t care what happened to the characters. They just didn’t really capture my interest. I did not feel invested in them at all emotionally. They could all fall off cliffs for all I cared, and the sooner the better. With Richard, whether it’s a goodie, a baddie or someone in between, I am always interested to know more, to explore further. These are indeed fully fleshed out, three-dimensional beings as crafted and performed by RA. Nothing one-note and cardboard about any of them, including the comic book character. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. A good begin! His characters are very intriguing, Richard is a great actor, he has great charisma and falls perfectly into any role and he has a beauty out of the ordinary. The bad guys are more interesting to play for him, and more difficult for people to love, not the easy way, but the way that satisfies him in this work. And Satisfies us too. It’s a sunny day!

  4. There is a certain attraction to the bad boy isn’t there? You know you shouldn’t, but you just can’t help yourself. RA embodies them so convincingly…showing all those repellent qualities we know should avoid, but also the irresitible allure that keeps those women (and us) coming back for more! You’ve referred to him as an old soul – I would agree, and I think that he must have had some really naughty prior incarnation that gives him such insight into these types of chaRActers.

    • Oh, yes– those bad boys of RA’s are very alluring. The appeal of the forbidden fruit. RA certainly seems to have a keen understanding of humanity, both its light and dark sides. Very intuitive and intelligent. Brains, beauty, heart and soul. The man has it all. *sigh*

      • Most definitely – how has he stayed “under the radar” for so long? I think there is also a huge attraction among a lot of women (myself included) to a “fixer upper” So many of us can’t resist the desire to save these bad boys from themselves – whether they want it (like Guy) or not (like John Mulligan) Can definitely be dangerous territory for the idealistic! Keep bringing them Mr. Armitage – who wants Prince Charming when she can have a Black Knight?

        • Females do have a tendency to wish to rescue a man with the love of a good woman, especially when it’s a man with the good looks and charm and intelligence of RA’s characters. Very tempting and quite dangerous, alas, in some cases.

          As Richard has said, “It’s so much fun to play the bad guys.” ๐Ÿ˜‰ I think those roles are likely more challenging and interesting to him in many cases. Quite often in films and telly, the baddies are simply more compelling than the heroes are. I saw a discussion on Twitter about the Kevin Costner incarnation of Robin Hood. Who is it that everyone remembers from that? Not our hero Kevin but Alan Rickman as the evil Sheriff of Nottingham!

          And Richard, of course, walked away with RH 2006 because TPTB gave us a whiny, bratty twit of a “hero” who simply could not measure up in terms of looks, charisma, sex appeal or acting experience and ability (sorry, Jonas fans, but the truth is the truth) to the tall, dark, smouldering sex god in Guyliner and black leather. Who was also capable of chivalry and tenderness as well as harshness and brutality. A complex, conflicted character with the potential to be a better man. I love that RA’s heroes have their weaknesses and flaws and his villains have their strengths and positive aspects. Just like in real life . . .

          • I was thinking more about this today – do you think there was anyone they could have cast in the role of Robin Hood who could have stood up to RA’s Guy? Jonas Armstrong has a certain puckish appeal I suppose, but as you say, it was really no contest. I wondered about the very nature of the Robin Hood character…is he just too much of a goody goody for people with any life experience to connect with? Alan Rickman was genius as the Sheriff in the Costner version, and again you have that exaggerated goodness of the Robin character (not to mention the now you hear it, now you don’t English accent) Are we just too jaded to buy Robin Hood’s schtick anymore? (incidentally, my favorite Robin character is the Disney version – ironically enough, the fox version is not nearly so annoying as the humans who have inhabited the role ๐Ÿ™‚ )

            • You have a point. Do we prefer more of an anti-hero than an old-fashioned hero these days?

              I think the show might have worked better if Robin had been written as more mature character–I mean, really, did this RH strike you as a battle-scarred veteran who has seen the horrors of war? The Crusades were not a walk in the park. This Robin came of more like a brattish frat boy who couldn’t resist flirting with every wench.

              Maybe Robin should have been given a few terrible flashbacks of battles, a tendency to imbibe a little too much to forget his troubles, some character flaws to make him less of a sanctimonious prig at times. And it would have helped if they had cast an actor with a charisma that went beyond a cheeky boyish charm. Someone you’d follow through hell and high water. This Robin? No.

              I’d have liked to have seen someone like Alex Skarsgaard in the role. I now know he has onscreen chemistry with Lucy after seeing them together on True Blood. I could imagine an intense triangle between Marian, Robin and Guy. As it is, I scratched my head over her taste in men. Oh, there could have been some sizzle . . .

              But then it wouldn’t have been the family-friendly show that was meant to be the Doctor Who of action/adventure. I always wanted a more adult show, I suppose. *sigh*Robin Hood After Dark ๐Ÿ˜‰

              I haven’t seen Russell Crowe’s interpretation of the role. Costner just didn’t work for me. Loved Errol Flynn although the glaring colors of the costumes now give me the giggles.

              • I think I have seen all the human Robin Hoods, from Douglas Fairbanks through Russell Crowe. I haven’t seen Disney’s fox. If I were you, I would not bother with the Crowe version, but that’s just my opinion.

              • I definitely think they could have done more to make Robin Hood less 1D – of course if your target audience is 12 year old boys, why bother I suppose. They really had a chance to make a statement about the horrors of war (a war in the east no less) in the character of Robin that might have stuck with some of these kids – given Robin some of the PTSD issues the one guest role suffered from) I thought about Alex Skarsgaard today too…that would have brought some edge to the role for sure…some height too…make some of those Robin vs Guy fights at least plausible! I’d take Skarsgaard’s Erik anyday over Bill. The Flynn version is terrific…he’s too likable not to like, but then times were more idealistic when it was made too.

                The Disney version is great….made in the 60’s I believe. I can’t remember who voices Robin, but Phil Harris is Friar Tuck, and Peter Ustinov is outstanding as the voice of Prince John (a cowardly lion cartoon)

                I just can’t stomach Russell Crowe anymore…I’m not sure what it is about him that just puts me off…it’s not a looks issue, he just seems so condescending in all of his roles – maybe it’s just my Gladiator prejudice…(shrugs) no great loss for me – especially having seen him bewhiskered!

              • Oh, yes, Alex would have been a much better physical match against Richard as Guy. Again, if Bill had been played by someone like Richard, I could see why Sookie would be torn between the two of them–Viking god Eric and tall dark and toothsome Bill. Man, they would have looked great on screen together. As it is, I find Bill as played by Stephen Moyer more creepy than sexy and his southern accent is just so OTT at times. When Sookie mimicked the way Bill said her name I howled. Suuuckehhhh. ๐Ÿ˜‰ NTM Stephen looks like a hobbit standing next to Alex. ๐Ÿ˜‰

              • LOL!! Hobbit! So true…how does he not get his butt kicked constantly in vampire battles? Now give her the choice between Erik, Alcide or….Bill? How does that Sesame Street song go…”one of these things is not like the others…” I haven’t watched the new season yet, so don’t tell me…but given the overall hotness of this show, I’m drooling imagining RA as some super ancient Briton or Pict vampire with a taste for a little fairy…fairy blood I mean. *guh* I have all sorts of great ideas for RA’s career…I think he should hire me to brainstorm ๐Ÿ™‚

              • Perhaps I expected too much. It had me cringing at some of the writing and direction, and I really didn’t care about the characters.

              • Joe’s a handsome guy, but I really think I would prefer him with a less muscle-bound look.

                LOL I was watching Shame last night with Michael Fassbender and the opening shot is him in bed with his upper torso bared. I could only think, “Gosh, his chest isn’t nearly as attractive as Richard’s.” Oh, I have it bad. *SIGH*

                A bit OT, but I do have to give MF props for not being afraid to let it all hang out in the literal sense and for giving a very honest performance.

                It’s a troubling movie. For all the sex that takes place onscreen (his character is a functioning sex addict) it’s one of the least sexy or erotic films I have ever seen. You see how the more sex he has, the more he craves and less satisfying he finds it all and the more he needs . . . He actually looks miserable at moments when a normal person would be in bliss or ecstasy. Even when he’s with a partner (s), he’s still somehow alone, incapable of having a real intimacy with another person. His sister shows up for an indefinite stay, invading his private space and really upsetting his carefully compartmentalized world.

              • Alcide is pretty bulky I’ll grant you, but personality wise he still wins out over his majesty for me ๐Ÿ™‚

              • Obscura, you’re right, Alcide is a very decent guy which is more than can be said for Bill! Still, I don’t find him (Alcide) as attractive as Eric… Especially amnesiac Eric, I have a soft spot for amnesiac Eric!So lost and so vulnerable. ๐Ÿ™‚

              • I’ve heard a lot about Shame… A friend of mine wanted to go and see it but we missed it at the cinemas. Another friend asked me if I wanted to see “Hunger” with her, another film for which MF received glowing reviews. I couldn’t go with her that evening but I wonder what she thought of it. Apparently MF dropped a LOT of weight for that movie (it’s set in a prison). I don’t know, I’ve only seen him in Prometheus and he was good but I’ll probably have to watch him in other films to understand what the fuss is about. In the Hungarian review of Hunger the writer called MF “the best actor of his generation”..

              • I have seen him in Inglorious Basterds or however they spelled it, Jane Eyre, X-Men First Class, along with the 2004 TV series Hex. I was most impressed with his acting in this film. There are many moments where there is no dialogue and it’s strictly through his facial expressions, his eyes that he communicates. I don’t know that I would go so far as to say best actor of his generation (I haven’t seen Hunger or Fish Tank which are both highly touted) but he’s definitely a talented guy.

            • I liked nasty Eric, so when they began to develop his character into something more with his devotion to Godrick, etc., I really liked him. Then they gave him amnesia and total connection to his softer side…irresistible. A Bill – Sookie – Erik menage with RA as Bill — incendiary!! Maybe too hot for TV!! (even HBO) ๐Ÿ™‚

              • I think the screens might catch fire. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Oh, man, when people drool over Stephen as Bill, I can only think, “Listen, if he’d been played by Richard, folks, we’d have had some real steam!!” Eric is a delicious bad boy. Yet, as with RA ‘s performance as Guy, Alex gave us glimpses that suggested Eric wasn’t quite as wicked as he’d have you believe. I do love his deadpan sarcasm. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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