“Reality” is overrated. Give me Armitage truths every time.

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You know, I really don’t care about Kim Kardashian’s new colored contact lenses. Or her bangs (fringe) or lack thereof. I couldn’t give a rat’s bladder about any of the Real Housewives of (insert any city) and their plasticized bodies and faces and  (semi) manufactured-for-TV dramatics.

To me, that’s all surreal, if not downright unreal–nothing to do with my daily life, which is far removed from fame and fortune and television cameras, or how I deal with my own fears and doubts, aches and pains, joys and sorrows.

I find I relate far more, far better, to the fictional creations of one Richard Armitage. On the surface, they would seem to have little in common with me. I’m no Victorian businessman or cheeky accountant, tough soldier or haunted henchman from the Middle Ages, certainly no warrior dwarf king from the pages of a children’s fantasy.

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And yet, when I spent time with these characters, they become flesh and blood before my eyes. Their words ring true in my ears, their emotions– frustration, anger, fear, desire, tenderness, hope–ring true in my heart. I go on a journey of discovery with them and see their world through their eyes. The truths they wrangle with are the same as my own.

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Their story somehow becomes part of my story. They battle with their flaws and imperfections, their personal demons and private ghosts, just as I do. And just as I do, they succeed better at certain times than they do others. Even the worst of them I can identify with on some level in ways I cannot with many reality show “stars.”

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I do not believe I would be touched so deeply, so profoundly by these performances if it were not for the man who so carefully crafts these characters. It is raw talent, yes, and years of training and practice and plenty of technical proficiency; but it is also more than those things for me. Somehow the fundamental integrity of the man behind the characters seems to shine through.

It’s a fellow human being who is unashamed to admit to his own flaws and foibles, who does not feel the need to pretend to be what he isn’t, who shows no desire to be put on a pedestal, who admits to nerves and fear and occasional tears. A man who takes on tough challenges and just “gets on with it.” A man who tries his best to treat others the way he himself would wish to be treated.  A man who respects himself and respects others in kind.

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A down-to-earth, modest man with a sweet humility. Those qualities are so refreshing in a business,no, in a world in which so many seem determined to make you look at them, to admire them for–what?

Throwing the biggest, most ridiculously expensive bashes or losing all their baby weight in the shortest possible amount of time or making the sleaziest sex tape or carving the most notches in their bed posts?

Give me the genuine, authentic human being who makes me believe in all those characters, who brings them to life in such an amazing, inspiring way, over most “reality stars” any old day of the week. Give me someone who makes me feel as i could become a finer person from spending time in his company, rather than a lesser one.

Sometimes “truth”–or what passes for it–is far more shallow and ultimately unsatisfying than “fiction.”  In a world filled with so much that is pure poppycock, I want someone, something to encourage and inspire and teach and transport me.

Thank you, Richard Armitage, for doing that for me. Long may you continue to do so.

14 responses »

  1. Thank you, Angie, for one of the most beautiful descriptions I’ve seen about that wonderful being and his amazing impact on all of us. Like you, I have no use for reality that isn’t or people who place so much importance on things or happenings that aren’t. Bless you, and bless Richard for making this incredibly harsh world a lovelier place to be.

  2. I just feel like giving you a standing ovation for the above post. You have managed to put into words so beautifully what so many of us feel. The wonderful thing is that you have captured what it is about not only the characters he has portrayed but the essence of this man who has captured our hearts! Thank you so much Angie…and Richard!

  3. This bears repeating:

    It’s a fellow human being who is unashamed to admit to his own flaws and foibles, who does not feel the need to pretend to be what he isn’t, who shows no desire to be put on a pedestal, who admits to nerves and fear and occasional tears. A man who takes on tough challenges and just “gets on with it.” A man who tries his best to treat others the way he himself would wish to be treated. A man who respects himself and respects others in kind.

  4. Yes, you have hit the nail on the head. His goodness shines through his characters, even the not-so-nice ones. These latest Hobbit dvd vids have only proved yet again what a real man he is. Real, as you point out, in a way that so-called “reality” stars have no connection to. And your post is so sincerely written that I can truly feel your love and admiration for him, which does you so much credit as well. Thank you.

  5. Excellent post, Angie. I have never watched any of the “reality” shows in question. Apart from the fact that they have obnoxious commercials, they remind me of that early TV quiz show, The $64,000 Dollar Question, supposedly on the up and up at the time, where that respected academic, whose name escapes me, was all along being fed the answers. He left the show in disgrace and was even hauled before Congress to testify about the phoniness of it all. It was a huge scandal that completely destroyed any credibility I had in game shows, or shows that are presented as portraying reality. I prefer to watch good fiction, which, when well written and acted, has its own truth and beauty.

    My acquaintance with RA, his work, himself as an actor, and his “little community,” has greatly heightened my appreciation of storytelling in all its forms, especially theater and film, and of what it takes to be a great actor. He has been such an unexpected gift in so many ways!

  6. Very well done! You have stated what those of us with the Good Taste Gene feel for this wonderful man and his characters! Thanks!

  7. Hear, hear, Angie. I guess what you describe is “The Armitage Effect”. 🙂 I am sooo glad that I followed the impulse to read up on him. The world I have discovered through Armitage is just so much brighter, funnier and livelier than a world without him. I honestly hope that he has at least an inkling of how much he is giving through his art (and not just his looks).

  8. A great post Angie! I have been saying to the boys that I would rather watch Wild Things with Dominic Monaghan than “reality” TV. I should also add that I HATE snakes, I don’t like them at all and am afraid of them, to the point that on Strike Back where that snake “jumps” out I yelled NO, after all I didn’t want Porter to get bit by it. There really is to much “drama” on these shows but no talent. You also have to guess that it’s that type of “drama” that seems to sell. If I want drama I want someone who knows what they are doing, after all my two cats are great on the drama when they want to fight with each other. What do you learn from “reality” TV, nothing worth my time, I always got something to read that waste my time on “reality” TV.

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