Category Archives: strike back

Will the real Richard Armitage please stand up? Or–maybe not.


“Who’s Richie A, Who’s the real guy, will the real Richie A please stand up, please stand up”

(with apologies to Eminem aka Slim Shady, who is, in fact, actually a guy named Marshall Mathers)

Fedoralady plays the devil’s advocate a bit here . . .  tossing out some food for thought.  Glean from it what you will.


Who exactly is Richard Armitage? That seems to be a question a fair amount of fans are asking these days.

What concerning RA can we agree upon?

I think we can all agree he’s enormously talented. Charismatic. A hard-working professional (maybe even a workaholic). He shows an appreciation for his fans and has a generous heart, supports worthwhile charities and encourages others to do the same. He is not at all hard on the eyes. In fact, he seems to get more attractive with each passing year. There is a lot to like and appreciate here.

The RA that most who have been fans for a longer period have come to expect is this thoughtful, diffident, humble, bookish, boyish, good-humored and gentle sort of gentleman—a kind of Harry Kennedy come to life in some respects. Richard himself once said HK was the character he had played who was most like him in real life, which led to quite a few “squees” in the fandom.


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We saw glimpses of this “Admirable RA” in television and radio interviews to promote his shows and films, in the behind-the-scenes features for DVDs and in some print interviews. There was never a great deal offered up about his private life, even when interviewers tried to pry or provoke it out of him. He preferred to focus on his work, a subject about which he was clearly passionate.

Some fans who first discovered him as Thornton in “North and South” found Richard Armitage the perfect romantic hero and longed to see him in more high-quality period drama. Those who adored him as Harry Kennedy pined to see him perform in a wittily scripted rom-com. Others found “Action Hero with a Heart” Armitage and “Beautiful Baddie (Who Really Isn’t)” irresistible.















For certain fans, RA pretty much ascended onto a pedestal. If he wasn’t a saint, surely he was an angel, almost too good to be true.
After all, look at all his virtuous qualities . . . he was different from all that riff-raff out there in celebrity land, and we could pat ourselves on the back and smugly smile and say, “We fangurl only the best and the most pure of heart.”


And other fans said (in private, if not on forums), “Virtuous qualities, shmirtuous qualities. He can effin’ read the phone book for all I care (preferably in really tight jeans and a shirt with a few buttons undone) as long as I can hear that smooth chocolate baritone and gaze into those hellagood azure eyes and imagine all the bad, bad things I could do to him!” (I should point out these feelings can be found in fans who really, really admire his personality and acting talent, too.)



As for Richard, he has always tended to dismiss talk about his sexual allure, expressing disbelief that he could ever be considered a hottie, proclaiming he’s always found himself a bit odd-looking.

RA has seemed like the perfect celebrity crush for the discerning fan girl: bright and gifted, yet humble and modest. Beautiful and sexy, yet seemingly unaware of his physical charms (although quite a few of us found that hard to swallow). Here was an intensely private man who clearly intended to remain so, one who wanted the focus to be on his body of work as a serious actor–and not his body, as it were.

And then he joined Twitter. Dived in headfirst, one might say.
And we started getting selfies. Lots of selfies. Some were quite funny and cute and a little weird, but in a good sort of way. And one or two were— “Huh? Zat you, Richard?”
They seemed to be of a handsome young man but they didn’t exactly look like Richard Armitage—maybe a younger look-alike relative?

Clearly, our Richie was doctoring his images. Hey, no big deal, right? Don’t all celebrities (and quite of few of us nobodies) use filters and other touch-up tools on our photos before we post them to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and the like? And he’s working at lot in Hollywood now, where youth is the religion; he’s almost 44 and there are always younger actors up for the same roles.



B4cEX4uCIAE03cWAnd maybe, just maybe, Mr. A is a bit more vain and conscious of his good looks than we were led to think.

Then there’s this whole thing of tweeting—and deleting. And tweeting and deleting some more. “Make up your mind, Mr. Armitage, a legion of fans is apparently hanging on your every word and trying to dissect what went wrong that caused you to need to remove a particular image/words!” Fans cry out.

So, tell me, Richard,  are you just teasing us, or are you in fact still a bit inept when it comes to this whole social media morass? Inquiring minds want to know. Some fans are getting downright frustrated!

And there are some of the roles Richard is choosing—very action-oriented, one even described as “hyper-violent” and of course, that blood-soaked turn as a serial killer later this season on “Hannibal.”
Didn’t he once state horror was a genre he didn’t think was a good fit for him?

“What caused you to change your mind?” ask some fans, disappointed over your decision.

“Aren’t people allowed to change their minds?” Other fans respond. “This isn’t your run-of-the-mill splatter fest, anyway. There’s great scripting and character development. The critics love it!”

There’s a lot of disquiet and a certain degree of disappointment expressed in the fandom of late and it has led me to query: While we’ve never been completely harmonious, were fans in general happier when RA was actually less accessible?
Was ignorance bliss for some of us when that alluring veil of mystery still swirled around him? Is a portion of it still there or has social media permanently dispelled it?


8992342a74186be2f224f6dbd9d00254I wonder, would it be more acceptable for some fans if he were like a movie star in the old studio system, in which the Powers That Be carefully groomed and molded their stars’ images . . . and kept anything negative out of the press.

Has Richard Armitage as an individual actually changed in any fundamental way, or are we simply seeing him break out of his shyness and shake off some of that British reserve,with the self-professed late bloomer now “busting out all over” with a nearly nude photo posted on Twitter? (Of course, it’s not like he hasn’t gotten naked before for the camera . . . on several occasions, in fact. “Between the Sheets,” “Spooks” and “Strike Back.”)

Do we know/see a little too much now, and are some of us afraid of what we might discover next about “our Richard” that could potentially shatter our illusions about him?

And do we as individual fans and as a collective truly want the real Richard Armitage—whomever and whatever he might prove to be—to stand up? Or can we ever really “know” a man who is such an expert at immersing himself into his characters?  Actors–well, they ACT.

Would we prefer to only fangurl a Richard made to our personal specifications . . . and is there any harm if we do?  Should we hold tight to our fantasies even if reality turns out to bite?

I wonder.

Happy Father’s Day: Tough Portah as Lexie’s Tender Daddy



A real man can be strong and tough and still be gentle, providing consoling hugs, kisses to heal boo-boos and  offering comforting, tender words for those he loves.


Richard Armitage does a brilliant job of making John Porter believable as not just a tough, kick-ass SAS hunk, but as a loving dad, desperate to maintain a relationship with his little girl after his world falls apart. A dad who thinks of her when it looks like he may not get out of the latest adventure alive. A dad who cries with her even though they are thousands of miles apart . . .


Look at how he so fully embraces her, at the contented smile on his face. How can you not believe? And love him just a little bit more.

By popular request: More of Portah, John Portah!


Everyone seemed so happy to see our sexy sergeant earlier today, I thought I would whip up another post featuring our tough, take-no-prisoners, savvy-yet-sensitive John Porter of MI-6.


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Give me an Armitage hero



I am still in a heroic mode. Well, I am not a hero. But I want to pay tribute to Mr. Armitage, a personal hero of mine, and his wonderful characters, with all their flaws and inner conflicts, their ambiguities, who become our heroes. I prefer them to the guys in the capes and tights with the super powers. Give me an Armitage hero.

















He’s downright balsamaceous, that boy: TAE Word for the Day


(And I’d like to hear him say that word, too.)

Balsamaceous: (adjective): Possessing healing or restorative properties.

The word derives from the Latin balsamum, “resin of the balm tree.” The substance is historically celebrated for its aroma and healing properties.

Dr. Track is a healer by profession, and with his steadfast dedication and delightful bedside manner, he certainly makes us feel better.

And whilst John Porter is a tough soldier by trade with kickass skills, his gentleness and compassion helped Katie through the trauma of her captivity even as he worked to free her. This balsamaceous hero is tops in our books.

Our Victorian hero, Mr. Thornton, restores our belief in foolish passion and sweet romance. Surely he’s been a balm to many a troubled spirit.

Dear Harry Kennedy. His sweet, sunny, nurturing nature–perhaps a reflection of his CReAtor’s own lovely character?–cannot fail to bring a smile to our faces and a warm tug on our hearts.

Just a few examples of Mr. A’s balsamaceous characters. But of course, the most balsamaceous of them all is the man himself.

Lovely, funny, brilliant, modest, insightful, endearing, charismatic . . . how you touch our hearts, minds and souls, Richard Armitage.

“Twofer” Tuesday: The Soldier and the Spy


MI-5 and MI-6’s finest: Lucas North of the Security Services and SAS soldier Sgt. John Porter. One spent eight years in a Russian prison,  wondering who had sold him out to their enemy as he faced torture, humiliation and deprivation on a daily basis. The other suffered his own hell when a Middle Eastern mission he was heading went pear-shaped, One mate was dead, another in a vegetative state. And signs pointed to Porter’s poor judgement being the cause.  Porter lost the trust and respect of his men, his wife and found his relationship with his only child on shaky ground.

Both men have something to prove to the world–and to themselves. Both have suffered loss and betrayal and are determined to discover the truth. They want the opportunity to make themselves useful, to return to some semblance of normality in their lives. They can be tough and ruthless and at the same time, tender and compassionate. Flawed and damaged though they may be, they are still most worthy of our respect and admiration.  Oddly enough, in spite of the fact they are fictional characters, the world feels just a little safer to me with these two fellows on watch.

Lucas and JP are amongst my personal superheroes. Who needs Superman, Batman or Spidey when you have North and Porter??

Porter. *thud*


I’ve got to try to get some sleep now that my knee has been iced up and calmed down. Y’all enjoy more Portah. Oh, what fun it is to play with light effects on that lovely bare, fair flesh of his . . .

That is the most tempting set of Cupid’s bow lips I have ever seen.  I am feeling that impulse to nibble and nosh again . . .

Oh, the glories of Tied-Up Armitage. Honestly, unlike Mr. Grey I am not into bondage, but there’s just something about these commanding alpha males in a particular kind of peril . . .

And what is it about him when he’s got his mouth open partnered with that intense gaze? *guh*

And just for fun . . .  Sgt. Portah as Master Mechanic. I think I need him to adjust my McPherson struts.

More Studies in Sepia and Autumnal Reflections


Like a bridge . . .


We all need our bridges over troubled water from time to time in our lives. Right now, this song seems to particularly touch my heart. And Art Garfunkel–what an angelic voice! What a talent.

Again, thank you to everyone for your words of encouragement and support. Here are some lovely images of Mr. A’s characters serving as and discovering their own bridges  over troubled water. It’s my thank you to you all.

Trailer Photo Teaser & More Porter for your Pleasure


Just to remind you all, the newest trailer for The Hobbit is set to debut tomorrow (Wednesday) and according to the official Hobbit Movie twitter account, it will appear at iTunes Trailers at 10 a.m. EST. It’s also supposed to be broadcast and start appearing in movie theaters around the world as well.  Satellite feeds are tentatively scheduled for 14:00 Greenwich Mean Time and 17:99 GMT, satellite coordinate TBA.  Are y’all as excited as I am? Hoping, of course, to get more Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield. 😉

Here is a photo that is a teaser for the trailer:

Bilbo looks properly awed, doesn’t he? (Courtesy of

More activities are planned for Friday, including the Second Breakfast, and Saturday, when the combined Bilbo/Frodo birthday celebration is set (they were said to be born on the same day some 78 years apart). 

In the meantime, let’s enjoy more of that sexy, resourceful, tough and tender hero named Sergeant John Porter, shall we? Remember, Superman wears JP pajamas . . .

The temp is on the rise, methinks.


Quite possibly my favorite erotic fantasy/dream sequence ever on screen. So much to love here.  Two beautiful, sexy people set on full smoulder. Mr. A playing the ardent lover oh, so well. That swan-like neck, the bared shoulders.  The urgency. *thud*

Sand & sweat cannot obscure his beauty


When I was in high school, my art teacher, Priscilla, had a reproduction of an ancient Greek sculpture of a man’s head that we drew in class. It was to help prepare us to draw portraits. We drew that head from every angle: the front, the back, the profile, and the last, the trickiest, was the three-quarter view. Those of you who have studied art will know what I mean.   Because she stored the head in a coffeemaker box, we called it “Mr. Coffee.”

Looking at these screencaps from the SBviral vid, I am somehow reminded of Mr. Coffee. The sculpted planes of that face, the strong nose and jawline. Classical beauty with, in Mr. A’s case, a delightful asymmetry.  And the sand and sweat and dirt can’t diminish it. In a way, they simply emphasize it all the more.

Oh, I do love your three-quarter view, Mr. Armitage.  Even better than Mr. Coffee’s.