A little play on words. You’re broke when you’re out of money. Like many artists throughout the centuries, Monet had his years of struggle to establish himself as a painter. “Starving” is a word that has often preceded “artist” for a reason. At least in Monet’s case, he found both critical and financial success whilst he was still alive and was able to reap the fruits of his labor at his home and gardens in Giverny.
I find myself thinking of Richard and his struggles, that fallow decade when the auditions were unsuccessful, when the parts didn’t materialize, when he had to work the front of the house and watch actors on stage that he knew deep in his gut were no more talented than he, when he spent more hours laying floors and building bookcases than rehearsing his lines. Careers in the arts can be very precarious.
He must have faced so much disappointment and frustration, just as Monet did when the critics rejected his work and the paintings didn’t sell. I am sure there were times, in spite of his being careful with money, when Richard was close to being “baroque.”
Richard and Sophia Myles rehearse for their roles in the stage play The Four Alice Bakers. Myles and Richard would later work together in Spooks.
We’ve speculated that Richard’s early experiences with being teased, with feeling like an outsider looking in, have worked to make him a better actor and a stronger human being. I wonder, too, if he’d be the man he appears to be today if it all had fallen into place early for him. If he’d come fresh out of drama school and fallen into roles that made him a star.
Richard has a great deal of talent and that’s always been there, waiting to be honed and polished. And I believe his parents and mentors helped instill strong values in him from an early age. By all accounts, he’s always been a pretty decent guy.
But I do believe all he’s gone through has made him even stronger; more empathetic, more insightful, more willing to help other actors, ready to defend others who are being teased and bullied.
I believe he is a good man who also happens to be a fine actor. Like the brilliant and dedicated artist he portrayed in The Impressionists, he has so much to offer to the world. Above and beyond his breathtaking physical beauty and charisma, he has talent, versatility, dedication, determination and a marvelous sense of humor.
And I am truly, truly glad he did not give up.
Richard in one of the interviews pre Captain America, being his usual articulate, thoughtful self.