Monthly Archives: February 2013

Sunday SmoRgAsbord: The Way That I Want to Touch You

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Those mesmerizing eyes, the tempting stubble I want to graze my fingertips against, the fringe falling across the forehead, begging to be smoothed back.

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Hmmmm, that fringe is still tempting me. And the biceps. And the desire to stroke those hairy forearms.

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Oh that tantalizing glimpse of swan-like throat and chest, and those snaps. *thud* Snaps were made to be unsnapped, right? And his little cowlick. So sexy and so cute all at the same time.

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Oh, Thorin, I want to stroke your mustache, ruffle your beard and wrap your braids around my fingers, brush through your beautiful mane of hair for you.

 

 

 

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Those chesticles. Mmmmm, mmmmm, good. And the big, strong, beautiful hand . . .

RA always dazzles on red carpet *sigh* Fanart, vids, fashion advice!

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Tomorrow night the stars will shine at the Oscars in Los Angeles. Unfortunately, we won’t get to see Mr. A on the red carpet at this year’s Academy Awards, but fingers crossed for next year. Because what that man does for a tux ain’t nobody’s business. Or, for that matter, for a suit. Every girl’s crazy ’bout a sharp-dressed man, right?

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And a sharp-dressed man needs to know how to work it, just like the ladies do. Here’s some advice the lovely Ilaria Urbinati, who styled our Richard for his Hobbit press junket and red carpet appearances, gave in an article for the Hollywood Reporter:

Men can’t be slouches, either. Notes stylist Ilaria Urbinati, who works with best actor nominee Bradley Cooper: “For a suit to look its best, it’s all about creating angles with your limbs. So a little bend in the knee and a little bend in the elbow with hand in pocket is always good. But the hand can’t be shoved too deep in the pocket or it creates bulk. Also, a little bit of lean to one side adds shape and movement, which always photographs best. A good example is Eddie Redmayne — he’s got his stance down.”

Love ya, Eddie, but I prefer RA’s stance. And, well–everything else! *sigh*

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‘Stage Beauty’ (2004): A favorite Restoration drama (Saturday Film Review)

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Claire Danes and Billy Crudup as theatrical dresser Maria and celebrated actor Edward “Ned” Kynaston in the 2004 American-British-German production “Stage Beauty.”  Their characters are based on the real Kynaston and Margaret Hughes, who become the first woman to take on leading female roles in the period.

Set in early 1660’s England during the reign of Charles II,  this sumptuous, sometimes bawdy and often thought-provoking romantic costume drama focuses on the changes wrought in the lives of a proud and narcissistic actor known for his “stage beauty” roles, and a star-struck young female dresser who longs for what is forbidden at the time: a career on stage.

There is an obvious attraction between Ned and Maria, who can barely conceal the clear adoration she feels for the actor.  Ned, however, is a  charming flirt who dallies with both men and women and is currently involved with handsome, dashing George Villiers, the Duke of Buckingham (Ben Chaplin).

Kynaston’s sexuality in the film is ambiguous. Taken off the street as a small child by a “tutor” who trained many young boys in the art of playing a stage beauty, he seems most comfortable playing the female on stage and in life. His lover Buckingham clearly sees him as a woman, asking him to wear Desdemona’s flowing fair locks during their liaisons. Ned is proud of his ability to convince audiences it is quintessentially a woman they see on stage whenever he performs.

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The affection Kynaston has for his pretty young dresser is evident, but his attentions are divided.

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Following a tryst, Buckingham (Chaplin) shares a copy of the broadsheet promoting Mrs. Hughes with his lover, Ned Kynaston,

However, the times, they are a-changing. Ned is surprised to learn a certain “Mrs. Hughes” is appearing at a London tavern, playing the very Shakespearean female roles for which he is famous, and drawing crowds.  But surely she can hardly be a threat to the celebrated Ned, so schooled in all the arts of playing a woman? And anyway, women are forbidden to appear on a legitimate stage. Why should he worry?

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At a dinner, Kynaston discovers the mysterious Mrs. Hughes is, in fact, his own Maria, who has been moonlighting at the tavern. An arrogant Ned is quick to display his incredulity that his dresser could possibly play the part of Desdemona with any  believability.  “What is the art in a woman playing a woman?” Ned asks.

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However, the King’s feisty mistress, former orange-seller Nell Gwynne (Zoe Tapper, pictured above) champions Maria’s cause and encourages Charles to not only allow the dresser to play the role on stage, but to also consider banning men from playing any female roles.

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 Sir Edward Hyde (Edward Fox) listens as King Charles II (Rupert Everett) issues a proclamation that from hitherto, all female roles will be played by women–a great blow to “stage beauty” Kynaston.

Maria, as the first of her kind, a genuine stage beauty, becomes the toast of London, admired by luminaries such as diarist Samuel Pepys (Hugh Bonneville) and immortalized on canvas by court portraitist Sir Peter Lely (Tom Hollander).

Ned’s fortunes, however,  take a definite turn for the worst. Shut out from playing the only types of roles he knows, beaten for making a foppish aristocrat look a fool and reduced to performing bawdy songs in a seedy burlesque theatre to earn a crust, Ned has fallen far from grace.  Maria reaches out to help the man for whom she still cares deeply.

Will Maria be able to help  Ned resurrect his career and will he help her with her own weaknesses as a performer? And can Ned learn to find satisfaction in playing masculine roles on stage–and perhaps, in life?

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Maria takes in Ned after his Fortune turns an unfavorable face on him.

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The chemistry between Danes and Crudup is palpable; the two actually left their respective partners for each other and for a time became an item offscreen during the filming.

At the time Stage Beauty premiered, many reviewers targeted is as another film where a gay man is “turned straight” by the love of a good woman. This is a simplistic view.  In a time when sexual roles were not so clearly defined and intimate attachments could be formed with members of the same sex  without necessarily experiencing society’s reprisals, Ned in the film isn’t defined as being “straight” or “gay.” The character’s sexuality has a certain fluidity, shall we say. The film also closes on an ambiguous note that is perfectly in tune with the rest of the script.

Stage Beauty is an entertaining fictionalized account of some real-life figures during a fascinating period of English history. It offers a witty, literate script, strong performances by the two leads, and many fine supporting performances by faces familiar to those who love British/period drama. It’s one of my favorite films and one too frequently underrated by the critics.

And now, for the real Kynaston and Hughes . . .

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The real Edward Kynaston (1640-1712) was thought to be a bisexual who had liaisons with both women and men, including the Duke of Buckingham. Later, he married and had children. Unlike in the film, Kynaston actually played both male and female characters earlier in his career, but was particularly noted for playing a convincing female (in spite of some issues with his voice). He was described by Samuel Pepys as “the prettiest woman in the whole house” and “the handsomest man.” He also continued to have success on stage even after the introduction of actresses into the theatre.

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Margaret Hughes (c. 1645-1719) described as a “mighty pretty woman” by contemporaries, has frequently been credited as the first professional actress on the English stage. Hughes played Desdemona in a performance of Othello in 1669 seen by Pepys. She was 25 at the time her portrait was painted by Lely, a scene featured in the film. Margaret had several lovers, but the most famous was Prince Rupert, Duke of Cumberland, also known as “Rupert of the Rhine.” She had a long-term affair with the Duke and bore him a daughter, Ruperta, whom he acknowledged. For years, Margaret lived a lavish lifestyle with her lover, who left the bulk of his estate to Margaret and Ruperta. Her continued love of gambling and the good life led to rather straitened circumstances later in life.

The film is based on the play The Compleat Female Stage Beauty by Jeffrey Hatcher, who also wrote the film’s screenplay.

Oakenshield’s 13 & Thorin in a kilt: terrific fanart!

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Here’s some inventive and delicious artwork I discovered via @ChattyPatra (mujertropical) at Twitter. She was sharing the artwork via Tumblr with Graham McTavish, who of course plays the big, bald bad-ass dwarf Dwalin in The Hobbit.  Graham has been a champion Tweeter to his fans around the world, answering questions and sharing virtual hugs, head-butts and good wishes with many folks. He will also be representing The Hobbit today during some preliminary Oscar presentations. You rock, Mr. McTavish!

Be sure and click on the links to dwalinroxxx to see the larger versions. Aren’t they great?! Thank you, Battel Crey. Stunning work.

The Lighter Side: Guyday Friday

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BeFunky_ariane179254_RobinHood_3x13_SomethingWorthFightingForPart2_0877Poor Guy can’t get any rest with Kate’s incessant squawking. And I am having no luck with the nap idea so far. Might as well send a little more Guy–the lighter side– your way this Guyday Friday. Enjoy! I’m gonna veg.

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I don’t think he’d ever be unemployed in that line of work, do you?

 

 

 

 

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Of course we know you were first, Sir Guy. Nobody can out-glam you, our dear Dark Knight.

 

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Oh, come on, when he’s looking at you like that, what else can he expect??

 

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Her time at the castle could have been so much more enjoyable.

 

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The world-weary Hot Velveteen Henchman has seen it all.

So Expressive: Guyday Friday

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Angry!

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Thoughtful . . . with a hint of smoulder.

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Alpha male intensity–verging on a smirk . . .

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Crinkles and concern.  So irresistible.

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Hopeful . . . questioning. *sigh*

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Suspicious . . . yet ridiculously hot.

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The smouldering smirk in the making.

Guyday Friday continues: Guy and Marian Vids, Art, GIFs

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If only she’d had the Good Taste Gene. Or better sight and hearing. Or been smarter. Oh, if only.

Marian, you’d have been his queen. Cherished, adored and very, very loved-up.  If you know what I mean . . . so stop trying to kick his arse and start–appreciating it. If you know what I mean . . .

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Little Guy is feeling a bit superior on Guyday Friday

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Ladywriter has added to her group of ChaRActer action figures. Yes, now she has the smaller version of Little Thorin. She calls him Littler Thorin and he’s adorable. But fiercely adorable, she assures you.

Little Guy is thrilled.  Bet you can guess why . . .

Little Guy: *smirks* Well, now. No more feeling as if I need to put those silly lift thingies in my boots the way the CReAtor had to do for his Hobbity film anymore.” *sniffs* “Ridiculous that they made that first dwarf taller than–ME!

Ladywriter: Little Thorin was only a tiny bit taller than you, dear LG.

Little Guy: *shakes head* He’s supposed to be a dwarf.  Whereas I am–well, you know.

Ladywriter: I know. The Great I Am. In a portable version.

Little Guy *smirks* Damn straight! So, are you going to take me to Comic-Con?

Ladywriter: Are you boys all going to get along together?

Little Guy: Oh, I–suppose . . . *manly sniff* If I absolutely MUST.

Ladywriter: You absolutely do if you have any hopes of traveling to sunny SoCal . . .

Little Guy: *grumbling slightly* Uhmmmm. Very well. I shall be a very good boy.

Ladywriter: *thinking* Well, miracles can happen.

More Thorin Thursday: RA interviewed by–potato? and more dwarf hotness

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I overlooked this little nugget from the Japanese press junket for The Hobbit (as did Ali, apparently) and it’s so cute–it’s a must-see!

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Thorin Thursday: He’s Stellar.

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All eyes are drawn to him, to the uncrowned King Under the Mountain; majestic, proud, fierce, determined, charismatic. Simply stellar.

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Oh, and the way he wields those weapons! Enemies, beware . . .

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And with those looks, he can grace the cover of any magazine.

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Even battered and bloody, he’s breathtaking. And a big enough warrior to admit when he is wrong.

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Beautiful.

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Richard Armitage & Ori’s Slingshot: Celebrating Creative Exchange

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This came up on Twitter yesterday, an excerpt from the Chronicles book that someone had posted on Tumblr. In the snippet,  Adam Brown (Ori) is describing how his signature weapon for The Hobbit came about:

“. . . . I recall being in a weapons meeting and the others were all going crazy over their weapons. It was Richard [Armitage] who said to me ‘You should have a slingshot’ and it just kind of stuck . . .”

Adam Brown from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Chronicles: Art and Design by Daniel Falconer and Weta Workshop

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He’s so adorable.  You just want to give Ori a big hug. 😉

I added “Armitage” to the above as there was some confusion over whether it was Weta Design and Special Effects Supervisor Richard Taylor or actor Richard Armitage who made the comment, but Adam Brown himself confirmed in a tweet that it was indeed RA who gave him the suggestion for a slingshot.

We also know RA came up with the suggestion of turning that tree trunk that gave his character the distinctive name of “Oakenshield” into part of his costume, leading to the development of his vambrace. Both Ori’s trusty slingshot and Thorin’s vambrace made it into the films.

Which made us wonder–what other ideas or suggestions might our Richard have made on the set of The Hobbit (which he would likely be too modest to ever mention)?

I also recall Todd Garner, producer for RA’s next film, Black Sky, mentioning that RA had some good ideas for a possible trailer for the film.

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(My fake film poster created in Photoshop from a photo still provided by Todd Garner)

And I feel certain he had other ideas that he shared with the Black Sky PTB and in past productions.  I am so happy that directors and producers are taking note of the creative ideas that Richard brings to the table and implementing them.  It shows respect and a recognition of just how much Richard Armitage has to offer.

And it comes on many different levels, as a dedicated and cosummate actor and ensemble player who is generous with his acting partners, as an imaginative writer, as someone with an eye on the director’s seat. I believe, if given the opportunities, the sky is the limit for Richard Armitage.

And I also believe creativity breeds creativity. Richard’s dedication to and passion for his profession has inspired me and, I know, so many, many others, in our own creative endeavors.  Look at the fanfiction (and novels), the fanvids, the artwork, the essays, the blogs and more that can all be directly traced to Richard Armitage and the compelling characters he has so carefully created. I also appreciate and admire how he conducts himself–gentlemanly, kind and thoughtful. We need more of that in this world.

Keep dreaming your dreams, RA, and we will dream along with you. And thank you for being–YOU.

So, do you want to own a piece of ‘The Hobbit?’ It’s possible.

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Fancy an Elvish sword? A spare pair of dwarf boots?

Because Amazon–which already offers pretty much everything else under the sun, including the kitchen sink–is now going to give you a chance to own Hobbit memorabilia, including costumes and props from the movie.

Amazon’s new Entertainment Collectibles Store will offer as many as 350,000 items from films, recordings and TV.  The items will come from Premiere Props in El Segundo, Calif.. According to the International Business Times, Premiere has sold props from more than 500 movies since 2001 and claims to be the number one online vendor for movie memorabilia.

(Thanks to Evie Bowman and Middle-earth News for the heads up)

Along with items from The Hobbit, the store will feature memorabilia from Star Wars and The Twilight Saga, Bradley Cooper’s running costume from Silver Linings Playbook and items from luminaries such as James Dean, The Beatles, Elvis and Marilyn Monroe.

Great. Something else Hobbit-y to tempt us to spend our money.

I actually bought several items at a props sale held after Honeydripper was shot here a few years ago. My brother-in-law, the man who has everything, was tickled pink to be presented with a decanter used by Mary Steenburgen in a scene from the film. I use the juice glasses I bought on a regular basis; there’s a small bookcase and one or two other things. It’s fun owning a few pieces of film history, especially for a film shot in your little hometown filled with places and people you know.

I’ve visited Amazon tonight to check out their movie memorabilia, www.amazon.com/entertainmentcollectibles, but haven’t been able to actually track down any Hobbit items as yet. I did find a pair of John Wayne’s cowboy gloves, going for a mere $35,000; a lovely gown worn by Emmy Rossum in the new Beautiful Creatures movie for $895 and a remote control used by Bradley Cooper’s character in Silver Linings Playbook offered for $495. Something tells me any Hobbit collectibles might be well out of my price range.

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Still, it would be cool to have something . . .

Alas, I fear they won’t offer this. 

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No, not the mini-Lego. That, I’ve got. The delectable dude holding it.

THAT’S what I want.

Unfortunately, I fear my dear, sweet spouse might draw the line there.  And anyway, he’s priceless, right?

Richard behind the scenes on ‘The Hobbit’

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Whether swinging a sword, singing a haunting melody,  growling at elves or simply taking a break, Richard is always a treat to see and hear in behind-the-scenes vids and stills for The Hobbit. Focus, intensity, dedication, the willingness to do whatever it takes to get the job done right: that’s our Richard!

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Click on GIF to see Thorin and Horsie give a great mane toss.

John Standring, beautiful inside & out.

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Took a short walk now that the rain is over, but the knees balked in those northwesterly winds. Still getting over that fall.  About to jump (well, step) into the shower and wash the mane.  It may have thinned out some, but there’s still a lot of hair on this head.

John Standring had quite the mop of unruly curls before his “Pretty Woman” makeover, but he was still gorgeous even then–a diamond who simply needed polishing up.  And he certainly cleaned up nicely, didn’t he?

Either way, Sweetie John–steadfast, caring, honest, kind, gentle– is a man who is beautiful inside and out. Kind of like someone else I know . . .

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