It’s Miss You Monday, and I miss the witty banter between Ros and Lucas, their knowledge colleagues are OK, and the way those two had each other’s backs. Along with the way they rocked the leather jackets and jeans and boots. And they were clearly not teenyboppers or callow twenty-somethings who seemed to still need their spook training wheels but real grownups. I felt a little bit more safe with Ros and Lucas on the case. Yeah, they were fictional spies, and not even for my own country. But still.
OK, it was actually in Shakespeare Uncovered, a six-part miniseries that originated on the BBC that combines “history, biography, iconic performances, new analysis and the personal passions of its celebrated subject” (so says the PBS website). I watched the first two eps in the wee hours of the morning, with Ethan Hawke focusing on Macbeth and Joely Richardson (with able assistance from her mother, Vanessa Redgrave) hosting an hour devoted to some of Shakespeare’s comedies. I very much enjoyed both–lots of food for thought and wonderful to see so many of my favorite actors emoting the Bard’s timeless words– and have them DVRed so I can revisit when I like.
My fellow Americans should check your local PBS listings if you want to join in on viewing this impressive series.
The first ep with Hawke featured snippets of various filmed and televised performances from over the years, including the Antony Sher production for the RSC with Richard playing the role of Angus. The blog post I recently did on RA with a compilation of his clips is linked below (“RA in the Scottish Play“) if you happened to miss it.
I admit I squeed with delight when I saw that handsome bearded young man in military costume seated at the table and had to share the moment whilst chatting on Twitter at 1:30 a.m. Yep, should have been asleep. Downton Abbey sort of put a kibosh on that (as mentioned in previous post, not a cheery ep).
He’s gone from the background to the forefront, and I am so very, very proud of him. More handsome, more confident, more charismatic than ever and such an amazing talent that goes from strength to strength. It’s wonderful to look back and to ponder what may lie ahead for my favorite actor.
Richard in screencaps from the televised production of RSC’s Macbeth filmed at the Roundhouse Theatre. Caps courtesy of Richard Armitage Central.
- RA in the Scottish Play: Video Clips (thearmitageeffect.wordpress.com)
- TV Friday: Ethan Hawke takes on Shakespeare’s Macbeth (o.canada.com)
- You: PBS series ‘Shakespeare Uncovered’ to dig deep into Bard’s plays (latimes.com)
- Jeremy Irons Talks about “Shakespeare Uncovered” on PBS (jeremyirons.net)
I watched Downton Abbey tonight along with Faboamanto and RAblogger at Twitter. Let’s just say none of us can say we actually enjoyed this episode. When the Dowager Duchess, played by the superb Maggie Smith, loses her customary aplomb, it is time to break out the handkerchiefs, boys and girls.
So I thought I would close out the servings of RA SmoRgAsbord with something a bit more upbeat. Smiles, everyone–smiles!
You knew Harry would be in the mix! Nothing can lift one’s spirits quicker than a Kennedy grin.
Long eyelashes and stubble. And that smile. Lucas, I am your slave.
Our word for the day is Don Juan (noun): an obsessed womanizer. See Lee Preston, lifeguard, (very) personal trainer and total flirty-girty in series 5 of Cold Feet. Lee has never met a woman he wouldn’t be happy to seduce, methinks. And he’s very good at it, with that deceptively angelic face, those puppy-dog eyes. engaging grins and the killer bod.
The original Don Juan was, of course, a legendary 14th century Spanish nobleman, who devoted his life to seducing women. His story has been portrayed by many authors and composers, amongst them Moliere, Mozart, Byron and Shaw. But did any of their incarnations of the legendary lover wear midnight blue Speedos and look like this?
I think not.
One of the things I find delicious about this character is that the actor behind it is so gorgeous, sexy and charismatic he could have been a very successful womanizer, a veritable Don Juan, like Lee, if he so chose that road. But he isn’t and he didn’t and I love him all the more for it.
As for Lee, I do think he could be a heck of a good time for a girl–as long as she took proper precautions and never expected more than a good time. Mr. Preston is not marriage or long-term partnership material.
But he is awfully pretty (even if I prefer the more mature beauty of Mr. Armitage these days).
Young Thorin holding the piece of oak tree trunk he used as a shield in battle, leading to his being called Thorin Oakenshield. But what did he do with that piece of mighty oak?
The topic came up in a previous Thorin post https://thearmitageeffect.wordpress.com/2013/01/24/he-earned-it/
When I got my little Thorin, one of his accessories, in addition to Orcrist and his Dwarven sword, was a piece that attached to his forearm. I regret to say I have mislaid said accessory somewhere in this room. It’s somewhere with mini Lego Thorin’s sword. My missing Thorin accessory relates to the chunk of wood he used in a terrible battle.
I remembered reading in the The Hobbit Chronicles: Art & Design from Weta Workshop (such an absolutely beautiful book) about Richard’s ideas for that trusty piece of hardwood.
Here’s what Richard said:
I thought it would be nice to bring something from the past into what is happening now; he might have kept and nurtured this chunk of oak that had saved his life and perhaps honed it into something else. I made a sketch of it, like a branch that had been hollowed to become something like a vambrace* with prongs, which I showed to Peter and he liked the idea of it.
Richard Taylor picked it up and we went through a development of the idea. It briefly had a fist-like end with nails on it, but it started to look Orcish so we pulled back from that to keep a Dwarfish feel.
*vambraces: forearm guards that are tubular or guttural defenses for the forearms, usually worn as a part of a suit of armor.
And that is the story behind the actor’s (and artist’s and filmmaker’s) vision for what happened to the oak tree that gave our oak-hard hero his name.
Now, if I can only find those errant weapons. Probably under a stack of books somewhere . . .
- If you haven’t purchased it yet – you’ll want to. (thearmitageeffect.wordpress.com)
- Thorin Oakenshield: Tolkien’s Inimitable Hero (thearmitageeffect.wordpress.com)
- The critics have spoken: “Epically cool” Armitage “impressive” in role (thearmitageeffect.wordpress.com)
- Thorin Oakenshield: A Warrior In the Norse Vein (thearmitageeffect.wordpress.com)
- Tolkien’s Antithetical Heroes: Thorin Oakenshield & Boromir of Gondor (thearmitageeffect.wordpress.com)
- I love those ‘Black Sheep’ (thearmitageeffect.wordpress.com)
I know it’s been miserably cold in a lot of Armitage World of late with snow and mind-(and body)numbing temperatures. With that in mind, Sir Guy and I hope to warm things up for you a bit as we prepare to bid farewell to Guyday Friday . . . stay safe and warm and toasty, folks! Talk it away, Peggy . . .
“You ladies have been having quite an enjoyable time of it discussing my–unmentionables, it seems.”
Sir Guy’s deep voice rumbled in Ladywriter’s ears that GuydayFriday morning. He was lounging against one of the posts of the four-poster bed, his shapely lips curled into a mocking smirk.
He’d decided (or perhaps it would be more accurate to say Ladywriter had) to change his attire for the occasion. No Guy S3 Marvel of Engineering Trousers and Floppy Black Pirate Shirt. Not even his S2 leathers.
The World’s Sexiest Knight was sporting a modern pair of sleek black leather trousers, a dove grey v-neck silk T-shirt and a black leather jacket–suitable attire for the mild winter weather of Lower Alabama.
The leather looked buttery soft and supremely touchable. Well, to be honest, all of him did, from his artfully tousled dark mane and designer stubble right down to those handsome black boots that almost begged to be tugged off–
“Ladywriter . . . have you gone into some sort of–trance?”
“Hmmm–what? Oh, no, just–thinking about–uhmm, stuff.” Ladywriter felt like smacking herself in the head.
That was a seriously lame response.
Judging by the expression on Sir Guy’s face, he knew exactly what she’d been contemplating.
She cleared her throat, tossed back her less-artfully tousled blonde tresses and tented her fingers.
“We’ve–that is, the ladies and I–have come to the conclusion that, whilst wearing a replica of braies for the armor fitting scene, your CReAtor would likely have typically worn a modern garment beneath his costume for convenience and comfort’s sake. All that running and horseback riding really would have required it.”
Sir Guy, his arms folded across his chest, nodded slowly. “That sounds reasonable. He would have needed something to come between him and his leathers.” He arched a single brow. “For convenience and comfort’s sake, as you say.”
He flashed a distinctly wolfish grin.
“No going–what do you call it? Commando?–as we ChaRActers sometimes do in your fanfics.” The grin grew broader as he unfolded his arms to grasp the metal post with one hand and lean in towards her.
Oh, heavens, he was in full Seductive Charmer Mode today.
“And have you noticed what some of these modern male undergarments are called?” Guy said in a silken teasing tone.
Ladywriter lifted her eyebrows and gave her favorite dark knight a smirk of her own.
“You wouldn’t be referring to the GUY fronts, would you?”
A deep chuckle. “As a matter of fact, I would . . . ”
“They weren’t actually named after you, you do know that, don’t you?”
“You have your little fantasies, LW, let me have mine . . .”
And we like it that way. Happy Guyday Friday!
“So, does your man wear Guy-fronts? They were named after me, you know . . .”
Somehow the comments on a recent post began to delve into the subject of men’s undies and what versions Mr. A favors, and then ventured into commando versus boxers vs. briefs and well–I think everyone was just giggling like a gaggle of schoolgirls by then.
The subject of just what our dear henchman, the glorious Sir Guy, wears under those rather form-fitting (and what a form!) leathers of his also arose. We certainly wish for our favorite baddie-but-not-really to have freedom of movement and be as comfortable as possible as he slinks through the castle corridors, rides his mighty steed and races (alas, in vain) to capture that deemed elusive Hood from the Vale.
We did actually get a glimpse of Sir Guy’s undies in the second season in that very memorable scene when Marian visits Sir Guy and discovers him trying on his shiny new armor in the candlelight.
Let’s take another look at them, shall we?
I am trying to study the braies themself but find my attention keeps straying to the sculpted abdominals, the perky chesticles, the buff biceps . . . what was I saying?
I’d better dress the man again.
Hmmm. Let’s try dressing him again. In a GIF. Click on that slinky figure in black.
OK, I think we need a frontal view GIF, too–for thorough research.
Let’s see, where was I? . . . oh, yes. Guy. Leathers. Underwear. What fabric? Something really soft . . . wouldn’t want to chafe anything. And yet–supportive, too. Wouldn’t want any harm to come to the Gisborne jewels. Don’t suppose they had Ye Olde Henchman Jocke Straps back in the day.
He doesn’t appear to be wearing one here . . .
What was I talking about again?
I need some sleep. And good dreams . . .
Oh, yeah. Happy Guyday Friday!!
- Did you women say you want RA in black leather? (thearmitageeffect.wordpress.com)
Richard still fears he’ll be too old (as well as too tall) to play the tragic monarch. Unless it takes an awfully long time to come to fruition, I would still like to see him tackle the role. Maybe it’s just my shallow desire to see him with S3 Guy hair again? I just know he could make us believe.
As I have mentioned before, I am a fan of Josephine Tey’s excellent The Daughter of Time, which is one of the works that inspired the actor named after Richard III to delve deeper into the much-maligned monarch’s true story. I confess I still have to read The Sunne in Splendour (it’s on my Kindle with about 1,000 other books), but I am sure those who have read/are reading the book have their own ideas about other roles Mr. A might undertake if he didn’t play the lead.
Edit: Here’s an additional article and programme note of interest for my UK readers: