Category Archives: between the sheets

It’s Thursday . . . and more images serious & saucy

Standard

Hi, gang. I have several things I want to write about, but it’s 2 a.m., I am yawning my head off and my eyes are watering like mad, so I think those will wait until tomorrow (or should I say, later today). So, I want to share more of the fanart I have been working on. Hope everyone’s day is going well!

Richard Armitage loves the baddies. And he keeps me from hating them.

Standard

Richard Armitage has said he is not interested in playing floppy-haired heroic types (but, darn it, Rich, we love your floppy tresses!) and when he does play heroes, he looks for their dark side. After all, perfection would be a bit–boring, would it not?

He loves playing the bad guys, and he’s so very good at it.  Because just as he looks for the dark side in the heroes, he also seeks the humanity, the light, no matter how dim, within his darker characters.  And he always finds it. It makes all the difference in how I respond to characters like Paul Andrews, John Mulligan, Robert Lovelace , Heinz Kruger or my beloved Sir Guy of Gisborne.

John Mulligan--"Could you be a devil? Could you be an angel?"
In RA's hands, you are one complex, charismatic baddie.

I find myself unable to completely despise any of the cads, rogues, heinous henchmen or sinister spies he has played thus far. I may reject many of their actions and attitudes and find elements of their characters revolting; still, that glimpse of humanity, that sometimes subtle-yet-discernible struggle between good and evil, allows me to identify with them and empathize in a way I rarely do with other actors when playing the same types of roles.

Heinz, you are a saboteur and a murderer. And yet--I feel the need to know more about why you chose this path rather than immediately condemning you. Would I feel the same if another actor had played the role? Would I even care?

I have asked myself, “Is it because, as Lucy Griffiths quipped on one of the RH commentaries,  Richard makes  ‘such a good-looking murderer?'”

Is it Richard’s beauty and charisma blinding me to the characters’ flaws that keeps me from despising the baddies?  I honestly don’t think so.  I clearly see these are flawed, damaged, sometimes amoral and dangerous men who also happen to possess great looks and considerable charm.  The latter qualities certainly can make them easier on the eye and soften one up a bit.

Sir Guy: vain, temperamental, hungry for wealth and power, the evil Vasey's henchman who has killed and tortured for the sheriff. And yet. We also see his vulnerability, his naivety, his aching need for love, his ability to show courage and chivalry.

Still, it’s what is going on inside these characters that ultimately makes them so compelling for me.  It’s that glimmer of light inside the darkness. It’s wondering where they came from, what molded them into the men they have become and what lies ahead of them. In Sir Guy’s case, it was longing for that redemptive arc, for him to become the good man, the hero we knew he was capable of being. Before Richard, could we imagine a Sir Guy of Gisborne we’d actually prefer over the titular hero of the show?

A baddie in Richard’s hands becomes a three-dimensional, fully-fleshed-out character, a real human being with a mind, a heart and soul. And knowing they are created with such detail and dedication by  this wonderful actor, who works so hard to breath life into each one, makes me appreciate them all, good, bad, and something somewhere in-between.

So, Richard. Maybe what we need is a complex anti-hero role where you start out a baddie, end up a goodie, get the girl and survive past the final credits?  Angst, danger, brooding, romance, heroism and ultimately a happy ending. What do ya think?

"Hmmmm. Better shop that sort of scenario around to some scriptwriters . . ."

What people are reading: top posts at TAE

Standard

The Handsome Stranger surrounded by stacks of books as he meets his new neighbors in the eccentric village of Dibley. A funny, sweet, sexy fellow who also loves a good read. My kind of man.  (VoD screencap courtesy of Richard Armitage Central)

I have mentioned in previous posts  the countries where the blog has the highest number of hits and those readers who most  frequently comment. I thought you might also be interested in knowing what the overall most read posts are, so here we go!

Not surprisingly, the home page comes in at number one. Number two is A glimpse at young Armitage, followed by the F3 post, Fanfiction goin’ mainstream; the Paul Andrews BTS post; my essay on my fascination with RA,  Why Richard Armitage?; Guy’s F3 interview with LadyWriter on Sloth Fiction; I’m Just Crazy about Thorin . . . More Pics. More Thoughts; Up close with Luscious Lucas and a shakin’ spy vid; Be Dionysian with the TDHBEW:TAE Word for the Day Pt.2, and Marian, you’re an idiot.

Thank goodness Sir Guy made it into the top ten, or I would have never heard the end of it, I fear.

 
As for lovely Lucas, ahhh–we certainly haven’t forgotten him. Like our other beloved chaRActers, Lucas was Loved Into Being and now has SND status.

The Paul Andrews post actually has the most comments, I believe, of any posts. Nothing like a little controversy to get folks talking. It will be interesting to see which stories come out on top when TAE celebrates its first anniversary in February 2013.

A complex and controversial early TV role: Paul Andrews in BTS

Standard

Alona (Julie Graham) and Paul (Richard Armitage) in BTS

In 2003, Richard appeared in the supporting role of widowed sex therapist Alona’s live-in younger boyfriend, Paul in ITV’s Betwen the Sheets. Paul is also the father to a daughter the couple shares. BTS has been described as an “emotional touching, sometimes humorous carnal drama” revolving around the love lives and physical hang-ups of several couples who are all linked in some way.

Paul is a probation officer accused of inappropriate behaviour with one of his underage clients. Throughout the series’ six episodes, the viewer is not quite sure if Paul is guilty or innocent. As with other Armitage characters, one is left wondering about Paul’s past and his future and just what makes him tick. It is yet another character that, when viewed on additional occasions, allows you to pick up on nuances missed the first time.

If you have not seen BTS or have seen it only on YouTube, be advised that Richard is nude in a couple of rather graphic sex scenes–nothing most of haven’t seen with other actors in other shows or films, but it can be a shock when you see John Thornton going at it.

It is a frank adult drama about intimacy issues and has scenes that correlate to this theme. I personally don’t have a problem with this; excessive gratuitous violence is much more disturbing to me, I have found. But I do think potential viewers should have a forewarning, just in case.

I should also add that I don’t think of it as Richard Armitage when I watch this series. It’s Paul Andrews, just as it’s John Thorton in N&S, Porter in SB and so forth. he inhabits the character so well.

Do I feel the actor was exploited by his nudity and simulation of intimacy? No.

He was a grown man capable of making his own choices, fully aware of what the role required and he acts the part extremely well. But do we expect anything less?

On a lighter note, I do find it amusing RA told his mum he had a “bum double.” 😉 An edited version of BTS is available to view on YT; the DVD set of the complete six episodes can be ordered through Amazon.

Screencaps from RANet and Richard Armitage Central