‘A Lovely, Lovely Man’: Stephanie’s Reflections on seeing Richard in NYC

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Stephanie and her housemate got the chance to attend the NY Fan Event for the Desolation of Smaug. As soon as I found out they were going, I asked Stephanie to share her thoughts on the experience with me for the blog. I am certain you will enjoy reading them as much as I did. Thanks again, Stephanie! I have added a few screencaps from Richard Armitage Central and from Servetus.

While the event on the whole was not quite what I was expecting, I did finally fulfill my dream of seeing our lovely man in person.  We did manage to get seats about eight rows from the front of the theatre, so had an excellent view and a good vantage point from where my housemate took over 100 photos, which hopefully will be downloaded on her photo page soon.
 The excitement was very contagious and many of the people we met while waiting in line were total Richard fans, so I really hope he felt all that love flowing towards him because there was an ocean of it.  I have to say though–when he walked up on stage, I felt this very strong vibration that he either wasn’t feeling well or perhaps it was that he simply has not yet become as comfortable as some people have said about dealing with these fan events.  Of course, the other possibility could very well be that he’d just flown in from London for this event and was a bit jet-lagged.  Even tired and scruffy though (and don’t misunderstand me, I adore his scruffy look), he was everything I’ve always thought he would be.
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I have to wonder that the Q & A was so brief; each of these amazing actors except for Evangeline Lilly in LA only answered one question.  (I loved her response to the question about her role model for her character–Tinkerbell!  What a terrific choice).  The question that was addressed to Richard was, at least, a very good one–his favorite line in all three movies.  And he did appear to give it serious consideration before answering, so I think it was a very honest response.
He did spend a great deal of time watching the monitor while the Q& A was going on, and there were a few asides between Richard and Orlando.  What was truly surprising (to me, anyway) was that once they ended the live feed, everyone just left the stage–and nothing was said about whether they would return after the viewing (they didn’t) or if the film clips would be the end (it was).
The movie looks astonishing and if this is possible, I think Richard looks even more wonderful in this installment than in the first movie.  He has truly grown in the role of Thorin; when he’s onscreen, he fills the screen with his magnificent, kingly presence and his star quality is evident no matter what else may be happening in the scene.  You cannot look away from him (a problem I regularly suffer from anyway)–he is mesmerizing.  During the event itself, I found the same thing happening–I could not take my eyes from him., even though he was merely sitting onstage.  He is that magnetic; he is that beautiful.  He is everything I could have hoped and more besides.
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We also met a man from Warner Brothers at the event who was apparently in charge of seeing that things went smoothly–and he told us that, of all the Hobbit actors and technical people he’s met, Richard is definitely the nicest.
 Does this surprise me?  NOT!  But it’s so nice to have it reaffirmed by someone who actually knows him, that he truly is the lovely gentleman we’ve all come to know over the years.  He even did meet with one set of four fans before he left, despite the best efforts of rampant security to prevent it, who were in costume and had brought something for him–he most graciously met with them for a few minutes and took a photo with them.  I wouldn’t expect anything else of him.
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Would I have loved to meet him?  Of course.  Was it enough that I got to be in the same room and see him?  Actually, yes.  As I have pretty much always known, our Richard is a lovely, lovely man–I sincerely hope for the future that he does become more secure and comfortable in his personal appearances, for his own sake.  In the meantime, a huge hug to our dear one from me and many others.  He is most truly one of a kind–the best.
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About fedoralady

I'm an LA native--Lower Alabama, that is. My husband of more than 30 years and I live here on a portion of my family's former farm with two gorgeous calicos and a handsome GSD mix. My background is art education, and over the years I've been a teacher, department store photographer, sales associate and a journalist. My husband, his business partner and I have Pecan Ridge Productions, a video production company, for which I shoot & edit video and stills and manage marketing. I also still write part-time for the local paper. I love movies, music, art, photography and books, and my tastes in all of them are eclectic.

41 responses »

  1. I wish I’d known Stephanie was going – next time there’s one of these, we should have some sort of a clearinghouse site where anyone who’d like to be social can post a recent photo so we can ID each other. :} Hearing MarieAstra shout out “GIGGLEPANTS!” as I walked by the line was truly a lovely moment!! — And yes, I agree with everything Stephanie said. He was lovely. My biggest regrets were that my phone camera stinks – I was in the 2nd row, so I tried to get some shots, but they weren’t very good. Also I think my hand was shaking – but also that I was too shy to look at him much because I knew he could see me. DERP. I know. I know. Next time, I’ll just feast my eyes!! lol

    • I know, it would have been great if you all could have met up somehow! I can just hear the shout of “GIGGLEPANTS” too. 😉 The camera on my phone is crappy, which is why I stick with my DSLR. I like to think I would have gone into Journalist Mode and snapped away, but it’s so hard to say what you’d do until you are in the situation . . . *sigh*

  2. Thanks for a great report Stephanie. I’m so glad you got to see RA in the flesh – it is really a special thing even to be in the same theatre as him and I am sure you will treasure the memory forever. A lot of what you reported sounded similar to my experience at the PT event and I agree that although our man has developed a confident exterior for these occasions, there are some aspects he gets nervous about ( and getting on and off stage seems to be one of them).

    It’s a shame Richard didn’t get more air time ( and I enjoyed Orlando too and think it might have been good to hear more from him) but the bits I saw were completely swoon worthy. Now I know we are all swooning over the “we all burn together” line but I thought the cutest bit was the shy little shrug he gave after he broke his smoulder. It felt like he had surprised himself with that line and couldn’t quite believe the reaction he was getting.

    • One wonders, does he have flashbacks to his gangly adolescence and fear he’s going to trip over those rather large feet of his or something? I mean, I now have a fear of stairs, especially going down them, that makes me nervous because I’m afraid Even Worse Knee will suddenly buckle and I’ll fall . . . so I am more awkward than usual in those instances.

  3. I love the myriad of expressions and emotions he can express when he is talking–how easily he slips into the character and then suddenly here’s the boyish, slightly sheepish Richard again. So endearing.

  4. Many thanks for taking the time to share your experience, Stephanie! A group of us tumblr bloggers who always correspond set up a chat and commented while we watched live on YouTube. Fun was had by all. Surely Richard musters courage when he thinks about his Army, right? I think so! He knows we love him and are loyal and supportive of him and his work. I believe he values that. It is hard to be shy, especially in front of strangers. Were I in his place, I would have a hard time too.

    I did notice that he looks skinnier and immediately thought of Lucas. Then, earlier tonight I found out a Spooks movie has been green-lighted and it made me groan to think that Richard wanted them to produce one so badly when he played Lucas. I would have loved that.

    Again, thank you for this blog post! Happy Thornsday, everyone!

    • I think it’s almost harder for him when someone else is involved versus when he’s just doing it on his own . . . thinking about his solo appearances versus those with another actor or actors. Doesn’t want to draw too much attention to himself?! As if we can resist the guy . . .

      • We can resist him even less now with those Esquire pictures! Does he really think we wouldn’t recognize his face or his voice? I’d know him anywhere at this point!

  5. Thanks for sharing another perspective, Stephanie. Glad you got to go and see him in person. I, myself, didn’t think he appeared to be under the weather. It couldn’t have been jet lag, as he was been spotted in NY over the past several days before the event, and lives here now. But if were tired,maybe it was from NY nightlife.

    And wasn’t that sneak peek just something else?This film is going to be so much more interesting than AUJ, and have so much, so much better, more complex, Thorin. FIVE MORE WEEKS!

    • Someone described him on another blog as looking “haggard”recently, and I gotta say, my definition of “haggard” does NOT look like RA–a little scruffy, perhaps, maybe a tad tired–but haggard?! No, I don’t see that, at least not from photos and video . . . I have to say I am a great deal more impressed with the trailer for DoS than I was with those for the first film. I need to show it to Benny and see what he thinks . . . Thorin DEFINITELY commands one’s attention with every glance, word and movement. WOW!

      • I was referring to the sneak peek we saw in the theaters- but then I saw the shorter one that was on line, and there were scenes in that NOT in the longer version – really good ones. I think we’re going to love this film.

        • Yes, can’t comment on what I haven’t seen, but I think the trailer promises some great things. Seems so exciting and dramatic. I think Benny will probably like this film better of the two . . . just my gut feeling.

  6. Thanks for posting this 🙂
    But one thing in this writeup puzzles me: why would he have flown in from London? He lives in New York, and I assumed that (like Orlando Bloom) he was picked to be in the NYC fan event for his proximity to the event. Makes no sense to me.

  7. Thanks for sharing your experience, Stephanie! Anderson Cooper said there had been no rehearsal and he wasn’t sure what was going to happen. So I guess at the end they were just abandoned by whoever was directing the event and it just fizzled out. Too bad. So grateful to have had the chance to see him in person!

  8. I had never been certain that he actually did have a NY base, now–I heard he was purchasing a home here, but never heard it confirmed. As for Anderson Cooper–I never actually heard him introduce Richard. I did feel that he looked very tired, but I’m glad to know that he does have a base here now and won’t spend quite so much time running between here and the UK. Getting used to a new city (especially one the size and scope of NYC!) is never easy…I’m glad everyone enjoyed my impressions–this was my first fan event of any kind and I wasn’t sure what to expect. As it turned out, except for the film part, I spend the entire time glazing at Richard, so it didn’t matter!

    • And I suspect I would have done the same thing–gaze at Mr. A except for the times he was on the big screen 😉 At least having lived in London for so many years, Richard is accustomed to big cities and NY really seems more his cuppa tea than LA for a home base. I know he loves having access to the theater scene there, for one thing . . . thanks again for the lovely report!

      • I’m so glad he has access now to the NY theatre scene–since I actually have a place to stay up there with my wonderful friends, I’d probably hock my soul to see the play if he ever does one on Broadway.

    • As I said above, he’s probably had to own property and spend part of most years in the US for immigration reasons, if he wants to keep a green card. (If you’re not a celebrity, US Immigration can be pretty horrible. One of my profs was unable to go to his own mother’s funeral because his green card was in process).

  9. Oh Katie – those are some of the best shots I have seen – thank you for sharing them. The one where is he looking straight down your lens….how you stayed upright is a mystery to me!

    Thud.

  10. Wonderful recount Stephanie, I love hearing about the experiences others have had meeting or seeing our lovely man.
    “Was it enough that I got to be in the same room and see him? Actually, yes.” That’s how I felt after attending the Sydney Q&A. There’s something about being able to sit and gaze and absorb and feel and………I couldn’t take my eyes off him either. He truly is a beautiful man.

  11. What a wonderful report, thank you so much for sharing, Stephanie. I watched the event live on YouTube and was so thrilled, yet sitting there in the audience must have been amazing.

    And thanks to Kate for the stuniing pics, too.

    • You are most welcome, Ute, along with everyone else. I had all these big plans about sitting down and planning out my report when I got back–in the end, I just began writing and kept at it until I’d said everything I wanted to say. Richard is truly everything I thought he would be–I believe my dreams will be very sweet for some time to come.

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