So, I’ve ordered the book.



IMG_2129-632x290Top photo courtesy of and bottom photo courtesy of

I always seem to read any books on which RA’s projects are based (although I did not make it all the way through the novel Strike Back, I confess), so it’s no big surprise that I ordered a used paperback of the Bernard Hare book on which RA’s upcoming film Urban and the Shed Crew is based.  Published in 2005, the book was both a critical and commercial success. I think I will actually finish this one. It’s coming from the U.K. so it will take a month or so.

RA’s character “Chop” is based on author Hare’s own experiences as a disillusioned man trying to clean up his life and help an illiterate runaway nicknamed Urban and others of his ilk on Leed’s poorest streets back in the 1990s.


Hare, a native of the Yorkshire mining town, had himself left his job and turned to drugs and drink by the time he encountered Urban. Just judging from what I have read in synopses and reviews, this role sounds as if it offers elements of John Porter ( a man fallen on hard times and seeking a sort of redemption) and the soldier character leading a band of children to safety that he was slated to play in the “Charlie” film.  Bernard “Chop” Hare is described as an “unlikely savior,” and as I’ve said, I suspect the role is just the sort of thing RA relishes sinking those rather lovely teeth right into.

Blenheim Films, is a well-regarded production company in the UK “dedicated to producing films with integrity.” I like the sound of that, personally.  A small film, not a blockbuster with a huge budget and elaborate special effects. A film about people, struggle, tragedy, transformation and the resilience of the human spirit.

Here’s the real-life Chop and Urban engaged in a chess game, courtesy of the “Urban and the Shed” Crew Facebook Page.


So–are you planning to read the book? And what do you think about this project for RA?

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.

28 responses »

  1. I just bought the kindle edition and will print a list of urban words (not easy to read for non-native English speakers). It’s great news for Richard and a happy day for me !!! Have a nice weekend dear Angie.

  2. Hurray, something to look forward to, but surely very similar to the role he had before in – was it ‘Between the sheets’ or ‘Cold feet’ ? as a social worker! So,- so sad he either didn’t want the part’ or didn’t get the part of Ross Poldark in the Cornish- set novels, he would have been devestatingly good and have a whole legion of totally besotted new fans! I think here he’s ‘playing safe’ on northern ground. Just hope he doesn’t feel he’s got to ‘look’ like the original character and put on a lot of weight and do the drinks/ drugs thing! Love ‘Guy Day ‘ Thanks Angie

    • Actually Paul in Between the Sheets was a probation officer–and quite a big younger than this character will be. So far I don’t really see much resemblance between the two characters other than some similarity in jobs. Lee in Cold Feet was a lothario lifeguard, so nothing similar there).

      Since I think they’ve already started or are about to start production, and it’s only supposed to shoot for about 6 weeks, I don’t think he has time to put on a lot of weight, does he? And I don’t see him carrying his immersion into the character into becoming a drug-addled lush LOL I mean, Guy was boozing it up at the beginning of RH S3, but i don’t think RA could have given us that wonderful performance if he’d been doing the same. 😉 Besides, he turns all that around, doesn’t he, in trying to help Urban and the other kids . . . or so I understand. Oh, and even if he does put on a few pounds and goes scruffier than usual for the role–I will still fancy him. 😉

      I would have loved for him to play Ross, but apparently it wasn’t meant to be. And I really do think this is more of the type of role he had in mind when he told interviewers he wanted to stretch as an actor. If he’s happy, I’m happy. And glad you enjoyed Guyday Friday! 😀

  3. This very good. Back to “real” acting. Day job. Sort-term, but at least he is acting with Anna Friel – excellent! Will we see it in North America?

    Not so much bothered by Poldark – though he would have been very good. (I quite liked Robin Ellis, who was not necessarily as good-looking, but was quite compelling.)

    I can see elements in Standring, Ricky D, Paul even, to build on. Even Lucas. Just building blocks.

    • I actually am glad it’s not a really long-term shoot—means he can move on to other things (NTM there will be the juggernaut for the final Hobbit film at end of year). And yes, I think he will use all his past experiences in developing characters to make Chop something very special. I believe in the Armitage! I don’t think this will be a film that will show up at any theatre in my area, so I may have to wait to get it on DVD, but that I most definitely will do. I am passing on the first DVD of DoS—considering our money crunch, I can’t in all good conscience purchase it AND the extended edition . . . but I did splurge a little and spend the $5 to buy the book. I don’t feel particularly guilty about book purchases for some reason.

      Poldark—I would have liked to see him in that role, but yes, I have lovely memories of Robin as Ross (and my DVDs of the original series). And I will be interested to see what Aidan does with the role. I do know AT can smoulder nicely when necessary after seeing him on Being Human and Desperate Romantics . . .

      • The main reason I bought the short version last year was the code for the web event that was in it. If they are not doing that this year — I can wait for the EE.

        • Even if they do the web event, I will still need to wait. I have had to learn to delay gratification on a lot of fronts in my life the last couple of years. Keeping a roof over our heads and lights on and water running and something to eat and decent toilet paper (although we’ve fallen down on that of late, more’s the pity) are at the forefront.

          • I certainly agree with those decisions! My point was just that I don’t see what the value added is here for someone who really wants the EE extras.

            • I guess it’s just really wanting to have a copy of the film in your own hot little hands sooner—you know, I only saw it once in the theatres, unlike a lot of others—but I would really just as soon wait and get all the goodies later. And even if my financial fortunes are brighter next year, I think I will do the same re the final film. I know Benny would think that much more sensible of me.

  4. I have also ordered the book(Barnes and Noble had several used copies listed and there was one as close as New York, so I got it there). I’d hoped I would be able to get it on my Nook so I wouldn’t have to wait, but it isn’t listed as being available at all on NOOK. I think the role will be wonderful and Richard will be amazing in it. He’s just devoted years of his life to “The Hobbit” trilogy and I relish the idea of his doing a smaller, more personal role that will not spend months working out special effects and end up in editing for however longer. I don’t know why, but I never really got that he was all that interested in doing Poldark–I think maybe this is what he was looking for, something totally different to really stretch himself. Oddly, it seems to have elements of “Charlie”, the film that never materialized (still hasn’t, as far as I can tell). I can’t wait, and I’m already SO looking forward to the book, which is already on it’s way according to B & N.

    • Gosh, I didn’t even think about B&N. Should have checked there. I ordered it through third-party seller at Amazon, my usual go-to place. I think it is only available as an e-book overseas and in Canada. Yes, again, I am glad this isn’t going to take up a large chunk of his time as the trilogy has done. He’s been there and done that and now it’s time to move on to new characters and projects. Nobody shoot me, please, but I am ready to move beyond Thorin—perhaps in part because I know the fate of the character in the film and I am NOT looking forward to it. :-/ Right now, I am actually more eagerly anticipating “Into the Storm” . . . and a chance to see a character in contemporary setting and without all the prosthetics (albeit with the FX that held it up in post-production after the FX house went bankrupt). Yes, I mentioned “Charlie” because the idea of the man trying to lead kids through a dangerous situation to safety, even in a very different time and setting, seemed to be a theme in both stories. I think this is *all* being the sort of project RA has wanted—a smaller, character-driven film with some grit to his role.

      • I didn’t really have a specific idea of what I hoped for next, except I did rather have a vision of his trying something lighter and romantic in nature–but hey, if this is what our guy wants, that’s fine with me. I’m ready to see him take on some new and different personas also, and give himself a new challenge–I was kind of hoping it wouldn’t have a water scene, though.

        • To be honest, at this point, I am open to almost anything—I just want him to be working in the types of projects he truly wants to do. He’s earned that and deserves that. Who knows, something lighter and romantic might be down the road for him, too. Hopefully whatever the case may be, without any water scenes (other than a possible sexy bathtub or shower scene?! A girl can—and does!—dream). . )

        • Oh, and my book shipped today, too. I might get surprised as I have in the past and get it faster than expected from the UK. Who knows, sometimes I *do* get lucky!

          • I was very surprised when I got the email from the vendor today saying that my book had already shipped (they were saying it wouldn’t be until Tuesday and I was gnashing my teeth a bit), but now i’m thinking I may actually have it sometime this week. If that happens, I will be a very happy camper.

  5. Just clicked “purchase” on ebay (yeah, I know, I am bad) and hope to have the book here, soon. RA’s good for me – I haven’t been reading much in recent years (too busy with other stuff, mainly writing) – but for the literary originals he has been involved in the cinema adaptations in. The role itself seems to be a good departure for him. Away from action-based stuff, towards character acting. Bernard Hare must be chuffed to have a hottie like Armitage playing him *smirks*.

  6. When the publishers realize that the movie is a go, then there’s a good chance they will re-issue it to take advantage of interest in it.

  7. Going to read the book (have purchased a copy), but not sure if I’ll do it before or after I see Armitage’s work. I think if I’d read SB before seeing SB I’d have had a hard time forcing myself to see SB. Though this really isn’t in the same category.

    And as you know, I’m excited. Finally an opportunity for a really gritty character. I hope they make a lot of that aspect of it.

    • I think that’s why I gave up on reading SB before the series aired—for one thing, I didn’t want to know how Ryan’s book ended in case of spoiler for the series. I read enough of it to know that Richard would be great in that role, and that was all I needed, somehow.

      I am hoping for the grit, too. Having read some reviews of the books and references to its dark humour and similarities to “Trainspotting” (one of my favorites), I have great hopes for this.

  8. I have had a smile on my face since I read the news…. Richard’s home………..and not only that but in his dad’s home town. No problem with accents there.
    This must be the project that doesn’t require 4 hours in makeup, just get up and go LOL.
    I have always suspected he has a social conscience. I’m bucking the trend and not going to get the book hopefully it will show somewhere in the UK.

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