41: RA’s climacteric year?


Climacteric: (noun) 1. a critical period. 2. A year in which important changes in health, fortune, etc. are held by some theories to occur, such as one’s 65th year. 3. The period of maximum respiration in a fruit, in which it becomes fully ripened.  (Also refers to a physiological period involving a decrease in reproductive capacity in men and women, culminating, in women, in menopause).

In 2004, the year he turned 33, Richard Armitage (unexpectedly, it would seem, from the BBC’s standpoint) became something of an “overnight sensation” in the UK after captivating a large contingent of females with his performance as the sober Victorian mill owner capable of a “foolish passion” in North & South.  Of course, the man had been toiling for years as a struggling actor, doing DIY work for friends and taking front of house jobs to make ends meet while trying to find that the success that seemed to elude him–therefore “overnight sensation” in quotes.


Thornton became an iconic role for Richard Armitage, with many audience members choosing him as their ideal romantic hero.  More television roles came. His first starring role after N&S,  caring air emergency doctor Alex Track in the series The Golden Hour, was short-lived, but he ended up stealing the show as the beautiful, conflicted henchman Guy of Gisborne in Robin Hood and making us fall in love with an enigmatic spy named Lucas North in Spooks.  There were other television roles, too, including the charismatic businessman with a dark side, John Mulligan in Moving On.

Then came the tough, yet tender and sexy-as-hell sergeant John Porter in Strike Back, not to mention the various audiobooks, advertisements, TV narrations and other jobs our workaholic fit into his schedule–and his first significant role in a blockbuster, the sinister Hydra spy Heinz Kruger in Captain America.



His fandom continued to grow and his talent seemed to go from strength to strength. Even when fans hated what was done to some of his character *holds up hand* they rarely faulted him on the quality of his performances and the versatility he continued to show in his roles.

Richard Armitage turned 41 this past August. And he seems to be in the midst of another truly climacteric year–one of gigantic proportions, I suspect.  Because he’s about to appear in one of, if not the biggest of the big films this holiday season, helmed by no less than Sir Peter Jackson, beloved director of the spectacularly successful film trilogy LOTR. It’s a film that has its own built-in, wildly enthusiastic audience (as witnessed by Comic-Con). And Richard is undeniably one of its stars, right up there with Martin Freeman and Sir Ian McKellen.




The publicity machine for The Hobbit is well underway–and before the film arrives in theaters, we’ve got lots of Richard to look forward to, in tie-in books, in magazine and television interviews and more, a veritable RA/Thorin bonanza. And I am not complaining.

John Thornton was Richard’s first iconic role; surely Thorin Oakenshield, the brave, fierce, charismatic dwarf warrior will be his next, and one viewed by a much, much larger audience across the world.  In this climacteric year, Richard Armitage is going to become very well-known, and I suspect many audience members will want to know what’s underneath all that yak hair and makeup.  And what else this impressive actor has appeared in. Ah, the pleasures that await them!

And I, for one, am delighted at the thought of it, of the thought of fans of all ages, both sexes, all nationalities, etc. discovering more about our wonderful RA.  I see his fan base growing and diversifying with his starring role in The Hobbit. If any actor deserves that sort of attention, it’s Richard Armitage. His talent, his intelligence, his dedication to his roles, his professionalism, the intensity he brings to every project–and the fact he is such a worthwhile human being on top of it all–makes my heart sing with gladness for this man.

I would say year 41 is truly turning out to be climacteric for our beautiful guy. Who will also be gracing screens as schoolteacher Gary Morris in Black Sky in 2013. What’s up next for RA? I don’t know, but I do know I will be along for the ride, come what may.

Vive Richard Armitage!!

29 responses »

  1. Thoughts along those same lines popped into my head when that word showed up in my inbox this morning, Angie! 🙂

    Beautifully said. And I concur, wholeheartedly. So much is on the horizon for him, and for us as fans. New roles, for him and, too, for us as fans. There will be so many new faces joining the ranks, it will be up to us to be welcoming, friendly, open and warm. Y’all have been a hugely wonderful example to those of us who are recent converts. Speaking for myself, I hope to pay it forward to those who come to us via these new endeavors of Mr. A’s.

    To paraphrase Bette Davis … Fasten your seat belts, kiddies, it’s going to be a wild and crazy ride! 😉 I sure am glad I’m taking it with all of you!!!

    • Yeah, GReAt minds think alike, do they not?? 😉 I know there are some long-time fans who are feeling a bit sad that “our” RA is going to become so much better known and our little community will not be so little anymore. While I can understand where they are coming from, I have a different take on it. The way I see it is that life inevitably changes and we have to accept that. Would we want RA’s career to become stagnant?

      And I would never want to deny RA what he deserves. He’s worked too hard for too long and he’s too darned talented! I suspect, as the fandom grows, we will see more blogs and websites develop that will be devoted to RA but with different slants than what’s out there right now. And I think that’s great! RA is a diverse kind of guy, why shouldn’t he have a diverse kind of fandom?

      And it’s great to be on the ride with you, too, my dear! 😀

  2. I think he is going to have many fans, but he does not forget the fans who always support him from the beginning of his success. I am glad to have known Mr. Thornton, I’m sorry to have known him so later. I wish him the deserved success, He’s a good boy 🙂

  3. Didn’t you once said that Thorin had the best hair in Middle Earth or something in that respect? Well, he has, because he is the only dwarf whose wig is made of human hair, not yak hair.

    • Yes, in my Hair video featuring Thorin. 😉 Yes, the human hair wigs must be very expensive indeed compared to the yak hair, but as with the extensions for Guy in S3, it works wonderfully for the character IMHO. He’s come a long way since the dodgy wig and squirrel on his chin he wore as Monet. 😉

      • The trick is making the hairline looking natural and Thorin’s hair is fully combed back. I guess the wig is probably attached to the forehead prosthetic to make it look seamless.

  4. Well said Angie!
    I read somewhere that the principal cast don’t have to be back in New Zealand until May. Does that mean time to slot in something else? Plus two movies, all the appearances…what a ride it’s going to be…yaaaayyyy!

    • I know, I wonder what he’ll be doing after the hoopla over the first Hobbit film is over and before he has to return to shoot more footage for the trilogy. So much excitement!! 😀

      • There should easily be time for at least one more movie, if it doesn’t take longer than Black Sky perhaps two. I don’t expect him wasting any time on an audio book, except voice-work is Hobbit-related, a video game perhaps.

        • I don’t really think recording an audiobook would be a waste of time. I for one love his audiobooks very much and am certainly glad Richard didn’t think recording them would be a waste of time as you call it.

          • I think it will all depend, to a certain extent, on what he is filming and where. I believe when he was recording the Naxos books he did them on Saturdays. Wonder how long it took him to actually record LOTN, since it was unabridged? Knowing Richard, he is going to stay busy and productive. And who knows, he might also guest star in a favorite TV series or two. I wouldn’t object to that at all, myself. Certainly I love his audio work and appreciate how he has lent his talent to enthrall us in yet another way, the dear boy.

            • I’m sure he’ll stay busy, he’s a bit of a workaholic, isn’t he? Wouldn’t it be lovely if he could guest star in something like The Game of Thrones or Downton Abbey? *sigh* We can dream, can’t we? Regarding audiobooks, even A-list actors/actresses do them (I saw an advert on Audible for an audiobook read by none other than Kate Winslet…) which means they don’t consider this type of work to be beneath them. That’s good to know.

              • A guest spot like that would be grand. 😀 Actually, there are American A-list actors who do these goofy overseas commercials not aired here because they get paid big bucks to do them. I would say it’s a lot more respectable (if not nearly as lucrative) to record audiobooks. 😉

  5. Richard has helped me come to terms with my age. Just knowing that he was born in the same year as me is such a comfort to me. 🙂 I know it sounds silly but I really struggled with the big 4 and 0 last year. But that was pre-Richard. I wish I had discovered him a little earlier!

    • Coming to terms with age can be wrenching. My mother used to say that there were only two choices: you get old or you die young. I have not died young, yet now my choice is: how do I accept and live with the changes that have come with age? Shall I complain about my increasing pains, problems, and limitations, or do I have the discipline to adopt lifestyle changes that I would rather not have to do, but which would help me feel more pain free, mobile, even youthful?

      Our beautiful Richard inspires me here. He is old enough to have developed a pot belly and have thoroughly gone to seed. Even the thought of this seems obscene to me. I know that the physique and work ethic he has are not maintained at his age without effort. So I think of him and his dumbells and his briefcase as I stretch my back, jog around my basement, and use my TRX exerciser in an effort to keep myself in the land of the functioning.

      It’s The Armitage Effect! It is soooo rejuvenating. In many ways, age is in your attitude. I remember my grandfather saying that he would love to see seventy again.

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