Category Archives: vicar of dibley

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

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“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.

 

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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.)

 

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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.

 

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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.

I knew I woke up before dawn for a reason. Read. this. now. *squee*

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PT: It’s remarkable. And the female response to your character and obviously yourself, which I find fundamentally puzzling. I mean, you’re a nice looking bloke, I’m sure you can act a bit.

RA: I can string a sentence together and walk and talk without bumping into the furniture. But that’s about it.

PT: Why?

RA: You know what? You need to point the microphone into the audience. Actually, don’t do that. I don’t know. I’ve been really lucky. I’ve got a really loyal little fan base of very well-educated, well-read ladies. Well I don’t think they’re all ladies. God, you know. But they’re incredibly supportive. I often do a lot of research. I didn’t know I was doing a Q & A screening until I read it on one of the websites and they were booking tickets. I was like, ‘Oh, that’ll be nice. I better brush my hair then’. No, they’re great. They’re really supportive. I try to look after them.

A fantastic  pre Q&A interview by Popcorn Taxi with Richard Armitage has appeared at their site! This one is really a goodie IMHO. Lots of info about the process of getting into his characters mentally and physically, which I always find fascinating.

RA’s relaxed, thoughtful, witty, silly and thoroughly delightful and the interviewer does manage to ask new questions! And not a word about that bloody circus! WIN. Click on the link to read it all:

http://www.popcorntaxi.com.au/2013/05/blog/interview-richard-armitage-mr-majestic-of-the-hobbit/

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Have a happy Monday, everyone!

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Eupeptic Armitage: TAE Word for the Day

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Eupeptic: (adjective) of good digestion; producting or relating to good digestion. Cheerfu, happyl; having a cheerful manner or disposition. Origin: from the Greek eupeptos

I unfortunately have acid reflux disease and have to take medication for it daily. Makes my tummy much happier, more eupeptic, you might say.

I try to be a eupeptic individual in the sense of how I conduct myself each day, to look at life seeing “the glass half full” and the positive side of things.

I think it’s safe to say that Harry Kennedy, that sunny-natured accountant with the sweetest smile that Richard brings to life in The Vicar of Dibley, is a man with a eupeptic nature.

And just think: Mr. A has said that the character most like him happens to be the delightfully eupeptic Harry Jasper Kennedy.  *sigh*

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Aside

The good news is, my knees are better.  Hooray! The bad news, well . . .

After some research and probing, what I thought was a pulled muscle in my side now seems more likely to be a hairline fracture on the left upper rib cage. Since I have no health insurance (and I can tell you from past experience fractures and breaks of this type don’t always show up on X-rays anyway), I can’t say with absolute certainty. Then again, I could shell out money to the doc only to be told what I was told several years ago:

“Yeah, appears to be broken/fractured. Take some pain relievers, rest it and try using heat and a pillow.  Taping? No, taping/wrapping are not recommended anymore, good luck! Oh, and here’s my bill.” 😉

(OK, he didn’t actually hand me the bill then and there, but I did feel worse after I saw a list of the charges.)

Hey, I know it could be worse. And it’s not going to kill me, it’s just gonna continue to hurt a lot at times. The weather is about to turn cooler and wet for a few days, too.  This will not help.

Obviously, I need something–or someone–to take my mind off it all.

So I thought of the wonderful sunny-smiled, sweet-natured, funny, cheeky, hopeful romantic Harry Kennedy, one of the first RA ChaRActers I discovered after meeting him as Sir Guy of Gisborne in Robin Hood.

Harry, an asylum for the spirit, a balm for the blues; Harry, the frown-flipping antidote to a bad day.

And so I wrote this ditty, to be sung to the tune of “We Need a Little Christmas” from the musical “Mame.”

We Need a Little Harry Right Now

Haul-out-the screencaps!

the pain is diggin’ in — I quic-kly need a fix!

Pop-in-that DVD–

it’s the anti–dote to what is ailin’ me–

Now . . . .

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‘Cause

I need some sunny Harry right this very minute

A smile that simply dazzles, so much sweetness in it

Yes, I need a little Harry, right this very minute

I need some Mr. Kenn–e-dy!

I–need–the Jumpered One

all co–zy, striped and ve–ry cud-dl-y

tall, lean and lan-ky

with a gorgeous smile that is just–for–me NOW

Yes, I need some gorgeous Harry, right this very minute

A heart that is so lovely, so much goodness in it

Oh, I need a little Harry, right this very minute

I need some Mr. Kennedy!

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I need a little Harry right now.

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

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(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.

Harry’s Got That Gemutlichkeit: TAE Word for the Day

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Gemutlichkeit: (noun) warm friendliness; coziness, comfortableness.  The word comes from German word gemutlich (comfortable, cozy). Earliest documented use: 1892.

If “troth” made me think of John Standring, this word made me think of a certain tall, lanky handsome stranger with a penchant for striped jumpers.

 

I think of the warmth of that dazzling smile with which he greets the vicar and Alice on their visit to Sleepy Cottage; of his sweet and sunny personality and how good it must be to cuddle with someone like Mr. Kennedy.

Harry exudes gemutlichkeit.

I can easily imagine a cold winter’s eve, curling up beneath a quilt on a comfy sofa in front of a cozy fire, head resting on one broad and reliable jumper-clad shoulder,  listening to Harry read aloud in that delicious chocolate voice . . .

 

 

I hope you find some gemutlichkeit in your life this holiday season, my friends.

Black Sky & Birthday Preparations

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OK, we now know the film Richard is currently filming will be called Black Sky.  Very ominous sounding, which is suitable for a film about a tornado and its terrible aftermath.  Less ominous sounding (and much more festive) is the fact Richard will be celebrating the big Four-One right here in the good ol’ USA in just a couple of days. Word on the street is the ChaRActers are already gearing up for the big celebration . . .

If you haven’t been to iwanttobeapinup.wordpress.com and participated in the birthday celebration countdown by AgzyM and Gisbornesboy, you’ve still got time to throw your name in the pot by answering the question of the day for a chance to win an amazing tote bag featuring Gisby’s own Little RA character cartoons.  Congrats to all the winners thus far!  And I have an RA birthday surprise or two for y’all of my own . . . 😉

Sunny Saturday with Harry & Gerri

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As I have said before, who in the world doesn’t love Harry Kennedy? There’s pure sunshine in that smile. He’s sweet, he’s a cutie pie (I’d want to pinch those cheeks just as Trudy did!) and he’s downright adorable, this clever accountant who loves a good read and knows a good woman when he sees her. 

Harry is cuddly and sexy wrapped up in one tall, lanky, floppy-haired, jumper-clad ChaRActer. And he and Gerri make one lovely and lovable couple. So, Dawn French wanted someone gorgeous for the role? I think Richard Armitage was surely made to order for the part.  And VoD and Harry offer us that rarity in RA’s career–a happy ending for his ChaRActer.

Some hearts & flowers for Hump Day

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That’s what we call Wednesday in the U.S. It’s the middle of the week and only two days away from Guyday Friday.  I have had a whole 3.5 hours of sleep. I may snooze this afternoon at the hair salon. I always get sleepy when I am being pampered.

Benny and I will both be getting our tresses trimmed. He’s tired of his John Standring curls–well, it is summer and hot weather and he’d like a cooler ‘do–and I’ve got sheep dog bangs and tons of white roots and I surely am NOT old enough to have so much of God’s platinum blonde hair just yet, am I? Well, I like to think so, anyway.  Although, if I don’t get more sleep, I fear I am going to look old enough for every white strand.

At any rate, here’s some images with a “hearts and flowers” feel to them. More fun with various free photo editors along with Photoshop Elements. I hope you all enjoy.  Visit fun.pho.to, photofunia,  photofunny.net or photo fun box to create your own giggles and pretty images.

Two weeks from today I will be flying to San Diego for Comic-Con International. In fact, right about now I should be at Dannelly Field in Montgomery getting ready to board the plane to Atlanta. Thank you to all who have supported my fund for the trip. While I earned the reporter position with Comic Book Resources through my experience and writing samples,  I would never have been able to make the trip without the financial aid of my fellow RA bloggers and fans. 

For those who still wish to donate, the button is still up. And Dawn still offers these lovely winged heart necklaces which she will make to order for you.  You can also purchase them through the PayPal button and send me your address info and the specified necklace length.

This charming little sterling silver necklace can be yours for $35 including shipping, thanks to Dawn, who will make it to your specified length. A generous portion of the sale goes to my Comic-Con trip fund.

Some Harry Kennedy can be good for what ails you

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Back again.  Thanks for all your good wishes and for keeping up the comments whilst I was away for a bit. I finally managed to get close to six hours of sleep this morning. My back is still hurting, but none of the sudden, intense spasms experienced yesterday. I just feel–what was that expression my daddy used to use?–weak as tater water (Daddy was full of colorful expressions, some of which could not be repeated in mixed company).

Apparently in the midst of tossing and turning in a right old Lucas moment during my futile attempt at a nap yesterday, I somehow twisted my back, then proceeded to re-twist it whilst playing with Callie. After I almost fell walking through the den, Benny gently suggested I might want to lie down again. And so I did. 😉  The humidity is back up with a chance of rain and thunderstorms, which always plagues my fibromyalgia. Same ol’ same ol’ . . . and so I indulge in something that satisfies my need for something sweet.

I’ve been communing with Harry Kennedy this morning–with his images, at least–and with those of his cReAtor from his behind-the-scenes VoD interviews. Harry is such a sunny, funny, honey of a character, so endearing. And Richard does say Harry is the character most like him in real life. Which makes me wibble a bit just to think of it. *sigh*

There’s a reason why Harry is one of the anchor characters in my Sloth Fiction series.  He’s the peacemaker, the voice of reason, the gentle yet strong soul who binds the group together.  He seemed the perfect choice to deliver the inspirational speech from Shakespeare to the lads before they set out on the black ops mission to avenge Lucas.  Harry, like my husband, never fails to make me feel better. To make me smile. To remind me there is still goodness and light in the world.

Seeing Richard having such a good time during the VoD rehearsals is a real pleasure. I love his big, genuine belly laughs and those geeky giggles we get now and again.  I know he says he is “so NOT funny” but I think once again it is a case of selling himself a bit short. Yes, he’s primarily the straight man to Dawn French, but he definitely has comedy chops, too, and his own delightful sense of humor.

 

 

 

Bad Boys vs. Bad Guys: there IS a difference, ladies

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Fedoralady would like to clarify something for readers. She does not equate bad boys and bad guys as being one and the same. Please note an earlier post was entitled And the Bad Boys, not the Bad Guys.

When I refer to someone as a bad boy, he isn’t necessarily involved in criminal activity. Maybe he just can’t keep it in his speedos (hello, Lee!) maybe his ethics are weak, his morals are a bit too fluid.  Maybe he’s an habitual liar and a cheat. Doesn’t have to be an ax murderer to qualify as a “bad boy.” Under that definition, Philip Turner does qualify as a bad boy, if not a bad guy. And an extremely attractive one, I might add.  Bad boys are often quite charming and disarming when they take the notion to be.

 

A “bad guy,” on the other hand, is how I would categorize Heinz Kruger. He’s a enemy spy responsible for the deaths of a number of people. If John Bateman actually existed, he would definitely have to be considered a bad guy.  Guy starts out a bad guy, killing and torturing for the sheriff, but we see a transformation take place as he becomes an anti-hero and redeems himself as a good guy.  Of course, to those of us who adore Guy, he was never really bad, just–misunderstood. 😉 Sometimes goodness or badness re a character  is in the mind of the beholder, I do believe.

 

 

Now, sometimes it’s just not easy to classify a character as a good guy or a bad guy or a bad boy. Sometimes they overlap because, as we know, Richard’ s characters have many shadings.  As would be the case in real life, no character is all bad or all good.. Paul Andrews is a character that fits into this area for me. He is a complex fellow with good intentions. He’s not a monster; he’s a loving dad and tries to discipline his partner’s brattish son.  But he has certain character flaws, weaknesses, vulnerabilities that lead him into foolish, irresponsible actions that result in a terrible tragedy.  You could consider him as a bad boy and/or a bad guy, depending on how you look at things

 

 

I hope this helps to sort things out. Sorry I didn’t define things more clearly for you all in terms of how I categorize the characters. Don’t want you worrying yourself into a frazzle about who’s good, bad or indifferent. 😉 I leave you with one of the undisputed good guys, Harry Jasper Kennedy.

Harry and Richard–definitely two of the good guys.

Mr. Sunshine: the delightful Harry Jasper Kennedy

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And then there’s Harry Kennedy, very possibly the world’s most adorable and sexy accountant. Tall, lanky Harry with his floppy hair, his cozy jumpers, those little reading glasses and stacks and stacks of books–he can’t get enough of ’em. A little shy and yet a bit flirtatious, too, with a smile that transforms the darkest day into a sunny one, Harry is surely Richard’s most genial character. He loves his vicar and he’s determined to make her his own, in spite of the extremely eccentric denizens of Dibley. Sum up Harry in one word? Adorable.

What people are reading: top posts at TAE

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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.