Tag Archives: richard armitage

Contrary to what you might have thought . . .


Fedoralady is still alive and (reasonably) well and definitely still an admirer of Mr. Armitage. I enjoy those little snippets we get of him now and again. Thank you, Michelle Forbes, “Berlin Station” co-star and apparent new fan of our amazing guy, for your lovely tweets and twitpics. They do help fans hungry for any morsels of Armitage.

As for me, I’ve had a few issues with writer’s block, a dodgy left shoulder and the usual money worries. There have been frequent bouts of melancholy, what with one actor/musician after another from my youth shuffling off their collective mortal coils. As the late, great southern writer Lewis Grizzard once more or less said, “Elvis is dead and I’m not feeling so good myself.”

Amen, Lewis. Amen.

We haven’t been hit with blizzards as in other parts of the country, but we’ve had some violent thunderstorms that kept me awake all night.  And enough cold, wet days this winter to make my cats alternately stir crazy/ extra clingy and me simply not want to get out of bed. Some days I haven’t. My eyes are doing strange things–too much time online, perhaps?–or maybe my baby cataracts have finally ripened. I flinch at the idea of what surgery will cost me, even with insurance. Those damned co-pays.

A friend’s husband was killed in a traffic accident ten days or so ago. Their daughter is in high school, playing on the girls’ basketball team. She had to miss a game, but was able to play in the game that won her team the regional trophy. My friend was there, eyes still puffy but a smile on her face, posing for a photo holding the trophy, surrounded by the girls.

Life goes on. Celebration and mourning, elation and grief can come fast on one another’s heels.

Our furry babies are growing and in my eyes, absolutely gorgeous. I forget just how much they’ve grown until I look at their older pix and see the difference. I delight in working on photo edits of them.

A prodigal son, a former feral we adopted after his elderly owner had to give him up before moving to assisted living, has returned. Billie Jeff disappeared after literally breaking out of our house and running away months ago. He’s a huge, beautiful boy, his clipped ear giving him a distinctly rakish look. He’s cautious around the other felines but very open to petting and being picked up and cuddled by the humans.
I think he got lonely. And tired of trying to cope on his own.

Billie Jeff, the prodigal who has returned to the fold.

Billie Jeff, the prodigal who has returned to the fold.

I guess we all need a place to call home.

Benny emailed me today to say another cat has appeared at the house, one who quickly headed for the old farmhouse when he saw my husband. That means we now have ten cats in the vicinity, only two of whom have been “fixed.”

I actually dreamed recently that someone had dumped a box full of puppies in our yard. I was alternately elated and completely dismayed. I love puppies and can’t imagine life without my Crick Bank Kitties. But any more mouths to feed . . . no. Just no.  No more room at this inn.

Now I am working on a retrospective video that will be shown at the Ritz each night before the 10th anniversary of our arts council’s musical fundraisers this April. It’s good to get those creative juices flowing again; I hope it helps jumpstart some other projects for me.  Still working on promoting my Crick Bank Kitty Collection at Spreadshirt; got another order on Wednesday. Every little bit helps.















Spring’s coming; according to the groundhog, it will arrive early.

I remain hopeful. Stressed and a bit “beat down,” maybe. But hopeful. And there are images like this to help tide me over.  Thanks again, Michelle.


My seasonal guilty pleasure; or, surprised by a former RA co-star! Who’da thunk it.


For most of the year, my TV is likely to be tuned into Investigation Discovery for a good whodunit, PBS for the classy Masterpiece Theatre or a thought-provoking documentary, or BBC America for fantastical fun via “Doctor Who.”
But somehow, come late November, this gal’s thoughts turn in the direction of sweet, snow-capped sentiments, predictable plotlines, sprightly holiday tunes and Norman Rockwell-esque small town Americana at its finest, where the denizens never meet a stranger and often speak with distinctly Canadian accents.

Yes, I fall down the rabbit hole of Hallmark holiday films, and willingly so.  They may frequently be sappy, corny and require the viewer to suspend their disbelief, but there’s just something about them that makes me come back for more.

What can I say? I have always loved Christmas and I’ve always had a sweet tooth.

(All images courtesy of Crown Media)

hallmark 2countdown-to-christmas-hallmark

When Riley Vance is hired after a case of mistaken identity, she keeps the truth a secret so she can help her boss William Young save a town at risk of losing their main livelihood just before Christmas even as she gets closer to William. Photo: Steve Lund, Shenae Grimes-Beech Credit: Copyright 2015 Crown Media United States, LLC/Photographer: Ben Mark Holzberg

One of my favorite Hallmark holiday films is this one, and not just because it features some adorable felines.

One of my favorite Hallmark holiday films is this one, and not just because it features some adorable felines.

The holiday movies are pretty much non-stop on both the Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies and Mysteries this time of year, with a dozen or more new ones churned out every annum for Thanksgiving and Christmas, almost all of them filmed in Canada (hence those distinctly North of the Border vowels).

I find I can go about my business online, doing photo and video edits, creating and flogging my Crick Bank Kitty merchandise, working on humane society projects and have one of these films playing in the background without it being a distraction from RL work. I don’t have to hang on to every word or every visual to know how it’s all going to end. Into every life there comes a need for some feel-good fluff.

The films usually star actors who had hit TV shows in the US back in the ’80s or ’90s, or beloved character actors in supporting roles (these folks often steal the show). One of the leads might come from a stable of Canadian actors who have become familiar faces to me and my fellow sugar addicts. Make no mistake, there are some genuinely talented folks who appear in these films (and often make them watchable in spite of lackluster/ludicrous scripts). Let’s be honest, though–you don’t find a lot of current A- or even B-listers roaming around the set of a Hallmark film.  Certainly not one of the oft classically-trained Brit actors I so admire.


Lucas and Adam meet on RA's first (and RPJ's last) episode of Spooks. They had nice on-screen chemistry in their scenes together.

Lucas and Adam meet on RA’s first (and RPJ’s last) episode of Spooks. They had nice on-screen chemistry in their scenes together.



So I have to admit I was surprised to see RA’s former “Spooks” co-star Rupert Penry-Jones in one of the Hallmark Channel’s new holiday offerings for 2015, “Crown for Christmas.” The film pairs Rupert with Danica McKellar, formerly of the dramedy “The Wonder Years” and reality show “Dancing with the Stars.”  Danica plays an aspiring artist who scrapes by as a maid at a ritzy big city hotel–a job from which she is fired when she tries to help out her sister and fellow maid. But never fear, Danica’s honesty (she turns in the pricey Rolex left by a certain distinguished guest) leads to her being whisked off to Europe to serve as a governess to a princess.

Naturally, with his delicious English accent and tall, regal good looks, Rupert plays Prince Charming, er, King Maximilian, the widowed ruler of a mythical European kingdom. He has troubled connecting with his little princess, Theodosia, who, in turn, acts out and drives one governess after the other out of the castle. Do we all know where the plot is going from here? Of course, we do. The adorable fish-out-of-water American lass wins the hearts of the child, the staff and ultimately, the king himself. And they live happily ever after . . .

Danica McKellar as the spirited American whisked away to a royal castle to serve as a governess to a little princess.

Danica McKellar as the spirited American whisked away to a royal castle to serve as a governess to a little princess.

Yes, I know, it’s been done before, over and over, variations of the same theme. And Danica, while lovely, is, at 40, probably a little long in the tooth for this particular role (something else common to these films–actresses and actors are frequently cast in roles more suitable to performers a decade or two younger).

But I found I did enjoy this offering more than some of the Hallmark holiday fare (there are a few so wretchedly scripted and acted I just can’t force myself to watch. Avoid the Santa films with Steve Guttenberg at all costs).

Rupert definitely brought some class and nicely understated acting to the role. Only a handful of reviews so far, but it’s got a solid 7.2 on IMDB, considerably better than most Hallmark films (admittedly, most of the reviewers seemed to watch primarily for RPJ). Rupert also had truly nice chemistry with the talented young actress playing his daughter, who actually looked as if she might be his offspring.

Rupert Penry-Jones and Ellie Botteril as father and daughter in "Crown for Christmas."

Rupert Penry-Jones and Ellie Botteril as father and daughter in “Crown for Christmas.”

So– how did the lovely Rupert, who has, like RA, performed in legitimate theater in London, end up doing a fluffy Hallmark film? It seems he has joined the cast of the acclaimed FX thriller  “The Strain” (created and co-produced by no less than Guillermo De Toro).  And the show just happens to film in–yep, Canada (a number of US series do shoot in Canada–like “Hannibal.”).  (I haven’t watched this vampire drama yet, but we have all the eps on our DVR.)


So, I have to ask myself–would I mind it if Mr. A showed up in a Hallmark film? Would his fans mind?  Would there be thudding and squeezing or weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth–or some of both?
No doubt he’s done some controversial roles before (thinking of the polarization caused by “Hannibal”) and likely will in the future, because we know he’s not content to play the same type of character over and over again.  And I think he rather enjoys surprising his fandom with some of his choices. He does maintain a sense of humor about it all.

And he hasn’t actually played a human king . . .    😉   Or maybe they could bring back RPJ for a second “Crown” film with RA as his royal cousin looking for love . . . hmmmmm.

(Tongue firmly tucked into to cheek tonight, dear ladies. Have a wonderful week!)


"A Royal Holiday," starring Richard Armitage

“A Royal Holiday,” starring Richard Armitage


A great black cat crossed her path today . . . Happy Guyday Friday the 13th!


“Some people think days like today are most unlucky …” He purred.

She smiled, tilting her head. “But I’ve never been superstitious.”

A flash of white teeth. Clear blue eyes tinged with grey gleamed as he leaned in close. Dangerously close.

“So you have no fear of black cats crossing your path, my lady?” A dark whisper, murmured in her ear.

Her heart thumped hard in her chest. Could he hear it?

“No . . . not at all. They are such–beautiful, elegant creatures. Who simply need to be–appreciated.”
She caught her breath as she felt his strong, nimble fingers wrap around one wrist, gently caressing it. He spoke again, his voice husky and deep.

“And you have the right touch to tame the beast, my lady?”

She sighed. “Just let me show you . . .”

A dark laugh. “With pleasure . . .”

guyday friday 13th

Dog tired but glad to get a dose of Thorin


Have you ever been so tired you could barely hold your head up? Part of it’s physical and part of it’s mental and emotional. We have a humane society pet calendar due two weeks from tomorrow and I haven’t been able to meet with the publisher yet due to issues for both of us. She’s been swamped and I’ve been sick. Thursday should finally be the day.

She has all the photos and stories and info in her possession that I have put together and supplied to her and I have complete faith in her ability to lay it all out and I will step in and supply captions and proofing. I’ve known her for years, I know her skill set and ability to meet deadlines. But the humane society president doesn’t know all these things and I feel him breathing down my neck because this isn’t the way the previous printer and the previous project chair did things. *sigh*

Of course, the previous printer, who undeniably did good work, was charging us so much for the print job we weren’t making a lot of profit. And the previous project chair got burned out and also managed to alienate some of the people submitting photos by more or less insulting their precious pets. As someone confided to me, “No one wants to hear their dog’s too ugly to be in the calendar.”

No, indeed. Don’t bite the hand that shells out the dollars for the calendars, dear.

Anyway, I am on my second round of antibiotics now and I think the remaining lesions are beginning to fade a bit. I haven’t had a weeping blister in several days and should definitely be past the contagious stage. I think the meds are starting to really sap what energy I have, which is never where I would like it to be.

I was able to go out in public and cover two events Saturday with normal makeup and just a little extra concealer. I didn’t scare the children or farm animals (Old Time Farm Day was one of the events). My skin’s still itchy and tender and molting a bit, but at least I don’t feel so ickily leprous. There’s improvement; I guess I am just too impatient. Today, I’ve been nauseous and dizzy and overwhelmingly tired.

And then something came tonight after dark via the UPS lady, who calls me “sugah” and “darlin'” but keeps a sharp eye out for our GSD (“Once you’ve been bitten, you just extra careful, ya know?”)
I do know.

The parcel, heavy for its size, contained the final Weta Chronicles book on the Hobbit films and it completes my collection. I haven’t had the money to splurge on some of the Hobbit merchandising but I always seem to find room for books.

And these books are something special, handsomely bound with lavish illustrations and copious photographs, so much detail about the costuming, makeup and prosthetics, set design and decoration, and the artists and craftspeople who painstakingly create worlds upon the screen that only previously existed in the imagination. These are keepsakes and the sort of books I love to revisit from time to time.


Naturally, the first thing I look for is anything related to Thorin and Richard.




There’s more I’d like to say about Richard’s own thoughts and impressions recorded in this volume and those of the individuals who worked with him, but my brain is too sludgy tonight to even attempt it. Maybe tomorrow . . . tomorrow is another day.

Happy Halloween from The Dark Side . . .


“You are still such a temptation . . .”

A single saturnine brow is raised.

“Oh–am I?” A husky purr from deep in his throat.

“Ummmm-hmmmmm.” Her lips curved into a teasing smile.

“So many of us ready to fall at your feet . . .”

A flash of white teeth in the semi-darkness.

“Including–you, my lady?”

A soft sigh slowly exhaled. “Always . . .”

A velvet chuckle. “Well, then—I shall see you on the dark side, my angel.”

be reborn

Happy Halloween!

After eight years, Richard Armitage, you still move me.


I don’t have the extended edition of the BOTFA yet (maybe for Christmas if I am a very good girl). However, I have certainly appreciated getting to see the clip of   the preparation for Thorin’s final scene and the numerous screen caps from various bonus videos people have posted.


Seeing these various images–some solemn, others light-hearted–touched off a wellspring of emotions inside me.  How could I not fail to be moved seeing Richard’s preparation for Thorin’s death scene? Seeing how he lay there so quiet, so still and deep in thought, as the crew members moved around him, shifting snow, adjusting his costume, saying very little themselves as if recognizing the solemnity of the occasion.

untitled (2)

And then watching Martin and Richard acting that scene–absolutely heartbreaking. I remembered my husband reaching over and squeezing my hand to comfort me as the tears flowed freely down my face watching that scene in the theater. And I cried once again as I watched it unfold on the screen of my laptop.

Richard Armitage, I am not sure there is anybody who can die more–beautifully, poetically–than you onscreen.  I might be prejudiced, of course–but you do have a tremendous capacity to move me with your artistry.


I was also very touched seeing the little shrine the crew created on the spot where the death scene took place.

It was a fitting way to honor this larger-than-life character and the rather extraordinary man who brought him so vividly, unforgettably to life.  Here’s to Thorza!


Seeing the smile on your face as you talk about it makes me believe you were also touched by the tribute, both proud and humbled by this gesture.

Seeing you in full concentration mode–the dedicated, focused actor who is always on task–and in those lighter moments when Richard breaks through the Thorin guise and we see the grins and laughter, the humor, sweetness and genuineness reflected in those eyes–well, I am once again impressed by that dedication and drawn to the man I perceive you to be. Unpretentious, good-humored, attentive, discerning.







And huggable. Huggable is very important.



Oh, those eyes. That smile. I won’t even get into how impossibly sexy you also are here (ah, there goes that head bob as you murmur a self-deprecating remark). Beyond the obvious attractions of grey-tinged beard (growing older ever so gracefully, you are), glimpsed chest hair, lovely crinkles and that plaid shirt with its tempting snaps, there’s that aura you exhude. Yes, even in a screen cap of a candid moment.  Especially in such a moment.

Richard Armitage, after more than eight years as a fan, you still move me. Move me to tears, to smiles, to giggles, to that funny little flutter in my heart and in my stomach.

ARRRRR! Just some Sunday afternoon silliness. Good for ails ye!


I did a few photo edits of Face in Hole graphics of Richard as a pirate a while back and posted some of them on Twitter and FB. I ended up playing around with some more while trying to take my mind off the pain, itching and ugly blisters all over my body.
So as I fight something called Erysipelas and mourn the passing of one of our kittens, I still take comfort in imagining a lot of Tall, Dark and Toothsome with a cutlass and gold earring or two . . . Arrrrrrrrr! Arrrrmitage is good for what ails ye, wenches!








Happy Guyday Friday! It’s Fur-Tastic!


“You’ve added to the family, I see. More orphans in need of–what do you call it?–a FUR-ever home, Ladywriter?” Sir Guy raised a single brow as he gave her a lopsided smile.

LW glanced over at the three kittens cuddled up next to her. “Benny saw them on his way to work the other day and asked me to go on a kitten rescue mission after work.” She shrugged and added sheepishly, “You know I’m a sucker for furry little baby animals.” Ladywriter’s mouth curved into a besotted smile as she looked at the threesome playing together. “And these babies are so—SWEET.”









The dark knight gave a chuckle. “Apparently that’s not what Scarlett thinks. I believe she said in Katteese they were ‘The Spawn of Satan.'”

LW sighed. “Yeah . . . jealousy and the whole territorial thing’s been rearing its ugly head since we brought off the deck and into the house yesterday.” She grinned up at Sir Guy, a mischievous gleam in her bespectacled eyes. “You big cats can be very territorial at times, you know.”

Sir Guy sniffed and shot her one of *those* sideways glances.  “If your heart wasn’t so divided amongst my CReAtor’s ChaRActers, both living and So Not Dead, perhaps we would have no need to have those feelings, my lady.”

“Sir Guy—you know perfectly well that you are THE number one ChaRActer for me, I just happen to have a big heart with lots of room for compelling  ChaRActers and cute little furry creatures, ” she replied in a chiding tone.  Ladywriter spun her laptop around so that her raven-haired visitor could see the screen and tapped its edge with her finger.

“Look–I even worked on some new edits of you last night!”

The flash of white teeth was dazzling as he gave a deep, rumbling laugh of approval.

“Well–wait until Soldier Boy and Chewy Man hear this!”

Chewy Man?! Oh, riiiight.

Happy Guyday Friday!






So, what kind of ‘tipsy’ is tipsy Armitage? I admit I’d like to know, wouldn’t you?


I found this little chart on Pinterest and saved it. For what it’s worth, I’m glad to see I am a happy drunk rather than a sad one.

Earlier I was filling out some of the gazillion forms required for my neurologist appointment Wednesday. Among the many other health-related questions, I was asked how much alcohol I consume on average–how many drinks and how many days a week.  I asked Benny, “Uhm–do you think drinking something alcoholic roughly once or twice every couple of years would be the equivalent of ‘never,’ kiddo?”  He agreed.

Now, I haven’t always been such a Sober Sallie. In my long-ago college days, when the legal drinking age was 19 instead of 21, I did imbibe (albeit in the safety of our on-campus apartment and not out roaming the streets). And purportedly, I was very entertaining when I got tipsy. Silly and giggly and quite a lot of fun.


I think my widow was definitely a sad drunk. Probably a Pisces, since she drank like a fish.

A couple of years ago, I played a rich widow in a mystery dinner theater production. This lady liked her liquor a little too much and started making a lot of accusatory remarks about certain acquaintances before she ended up dead in the library. Afterwards, I was told I made a very believable drunk and I suspect from the sly glances they gave me that some people thought I did indulge . . . but as I told them, “Really, it’s all a matter of observation–and distant memory.”                                                            

So all of this got me to thinking, “What’s Richard Armitage like when he’s had a little too much to drink?” Is he giggly, jokey, playful? Somehow I can’t see him as the mean and moody type . . .

He’s told us a couple of drinks at a club turn him into “an animal on the dance floor.” Mmmmm, I’d like to see that. Richard taking off his jacket, loosening his tie, and with a slightly wicked grin, stepping onto the dance floor . . . and extending a hand to you to join him.




Remember these moves from his 2003 promo shoot for “Cold Feet?” Somehow I suspect that genial dorkiness just might show itself in a tipsy Armitage tripping the light fantastic.  Or how about some sexy snake hips tango, purportedly his favorite? Mmmmmmmmmm . . .


If you’ll dance with me, Mr. A, I’m there with you!



He’d apparently been indulging a bit at the Saturn Awards before receiving his trophy for his performance as Thorin and it certainly looked like he was having fun that night.  One could fantasize about having a right old Bacchanalia with this chap  . . .


Or a little dirty dancing, maybe? *wibble*



And just look at RA and his cast mates on the final day of Hobbit filming (July 23, 2013). Oh yes, there’s been some partying. An RA looks as if he’s full of mischief! Mischievous Armitage, I like.



Tipsy Armitage. It is such an appealing idea to me . . .

Cheeky, Silly Armitage is good for what ails you.

Cheeky, Silly Armitage is good for what ails you.

I love cheeky, silly Richard. Whether he’s telling one of his jokes, reacting with mirth to someone else’s comment, making sly double entendres and naughty sideways glances, tossing fish into a cast mate’s barrel–it all makes me smile.  I want to hug him, have those long, strong arms wrapped around me and actually feel one of those huge belly laughs of his reverberate through me.  I think that would be absolutely marvelous.












speaks onstage at the "Hannibal" Savor the Hunt panel during Comic-Con International 2015 at the San Diego Convention Center on July 11, 2015 in San Diego, California.


Edit courtesy of Fernanda Matias

Yep, I am always ready for some Mirthful Armitage. For all the sturm and drang exhibited by many of his characters, in real life he does seem to be a man who loves to laugh and refuses to take himself too seriously.

Looking at and listening to him is a very nice distraction, indeed, and I am in need of distractions right now.

I have had two bad falls in less than the space of a week, yielding some magnificent bruises and a pretty fair amount of pain. Vertigo hit me after the first fall and my balance (which is never good) has been off more than usual. I’ve been plagued by worsening headaches. My doctor prescribed some medication for the headaches a few weeks ago. The headaches lessened, but the meds also led to morbid thoughts and horrible anxiety spells. I also cried every time I turned around, it seemed.

I decided the headaches were easier to tolerate and I’d be easier to live with so I stopped taking those meds.

I now have an appointment with a neurologist next week and I hope he can provide some insight (too bad he’s not Dr. Track, but I hear he’s quite a good doctor).

In the meantime, I will close my eyes and imagine a sweet smile and big bear hug from Mr. A, along with a  “Feel better soon, Angie.”



Why, yes, doctor–I do believe I am!



I like RA just a little shaggy and grungy around the edges . . .


Every time Richard Armitage’s hair begins to grow out a tad I have a little celebration. It’s not that he isn’t still very attractive with the cropped head, because he is. He could shave his head and tattoo it and no doubt I’d still fancy him. It’s just that for me, Richard is even more attractive when those tempting nape curls begin to sprout in back and that endearing cowlick starts to kick up a fuss on top. When there’s enough of that soft-looking hair to imagine running one’s fingers through the waves and playfully messing it up. When there’s a stray lock of hair that begs to be pushed back . . . 654c9c1752e6bab9c8df1d082a4ab725


I certainly didn’t find Francis Dolarhyde’s scar from cleft palate surgery off-putting in terms of his physical appearance, and the musculature RA honed for the character was, erm, inspiring, to say the least. But I think of how Reba said Dolarhyde’s co-workers described him as “clean.” And he was certainly that: clean-shaven, very short hair, clothing crisp and perfectly laundered, ironed and buttoned up to the last button. Not a hair nor thread out-of-place. That quality I DID find off-putting.  A little disarray can be appealing, you know?


Only later, as Francis succumbed more and more to his own special brand of “Dragon sickness,” did we see him trade his buttoned-down look for sexy black leather (reminiscent, apparently, of a look Hannibal had sported, but for long-time RA fans, it was Lucas North he was channeling) and–ooh, look!–heavy stubble.  This version of Francis scared the ever-loving sh*t out of me, but I can’t deny I thought he also looked very good doing it.  If he’d had nape curls, too—*wibble*


source: Candida Brady


Of course, it was Sir Guy of Gisborne who first introduced me to RA as an actor, and Sir Guy’s raven locks were part and parcel of his persona.  Richard had to wear “baby” hair extensions in the back until he could grow his own “medieval mullet” for the first two seasons.  And then, for RH’s final season–we were rewarded with Guy’s Glorious Mane (and one excellent set of long hair extensions. My compliments to the set hairdresser).

In the beginning, that mane was a wild, dirty tangle worn by a drunken, vengeful man half-mad with grief and self-loathing AND OHMYGOD WAS I SMITTEN.  And introduced to the great art of hair acting via Richard Armitage.



We had two Guyless episodes (during which RA was shooting some additional scenes for Spooks) but oh, how it was worth it when Glamour Guy (fresh from Prince John’s Red Door Spa, it seemed) reappeared before our eyes.  Still, Guy being Guy, he wasn’t completely tamed (even if his lustrous locks were). And we wouldn’t want him any other way.  He was like a gorgeous black stallion . . .  proud and defiant.  And the way he could toss that mane with arrogance, anger and frustration!

5_033guybeautyBeFunky_5_1118f9ae10f_o (1)5_089

I loved how Richard incorporated his long S3 locks into Guy’s character arc. And how he equally “rocked the locks” when it came to Thorin’s beautiful long tresses in The Hobbit trilogy. Hard to imagine that character without the long, wavy dark mane shot through with silver and those fetching braids . . .


Of course, like Guy, Thorin was also magnificent when he wasn’t in the midst of a fray. Behold, Glamour Dwarf!

Richard kept his real hair quite short during the period of shooting TH (not surprising with that dome he had to wear atop his head plus that voluminous wig) and it was short for “Into the Storm” and close-cropped for his role in “The Crucible” on stage in London last year.  It will also be short in “Sleepwalker” and “Pilgrimage.”

For the role of Chop in “Urban and the Shed Crew,” we get Richard with long hair as he dons extensions once more.  Chop is definitely not a character that looks as if he just stepped out of a band box and I doubt “clean” is the first adjective that would pop into people’s minds when describing him. He’s shaggy-haired, doesn’t appear to shave too often, and mostly likes to dress down in fatigue jackets, plaid shirts with rolled up sleeves and faded jeans.  And I think Chop’s rather beautiful even when he’s a bit bloodied up and in need of some first aid. 213b91d0fc677a0e3e58cf34ccb07aaf (1)



untitled (4)


And OK, it looks like it would be fun to get up close and personal with Chop . . . as Anna Friel’s character does here. 😉


Richard and his ChaRActers clean up nicely, no doubt about it.  But there’s something about the man of many faces when he’s more casual, shall we say–the “blue jeans and t-shirt or plaid shirt” RA–that is really appealing to me. Perhaps because I can more easily relate to that image rather than the gobsmackingly stunning man in a designer tuxedo . . . perhaps he seems more approachable, more like someone I might know in real life?  Someone I might sit down and share a snack with and shoot the breeze?



Maybe it’s the plaid shirts with the rolled-up sleeves . . . the hairy forearms . . . and the floppy hair.  And stubble.  *sigh*

Whatever, he’s got it.

(Yeah, baby, he’s got it!!)

And I like *it*with a little extra hair on top. 😉


The Big Charity Auction is Underway with Bounty of cRAfty Booty to Bid Upon!


Just a few of the RA-licious goodies up for auction right now . . .











Guylty has organized an online auction featuring wonderful RA-related items hand-crafted and donated by RA fans around the world. The very worthy cause is a fund aiding the youngest of the Syrian refugees via Save the Children. I have links to all of the auctions below. If you don’t wish to bid on an item, you can also contact Guylty about making a donation through some other channel. So browse the offerings and make your bid(s)!










I hear it’s your biRthdAy (Na-na-na-na-NANA-na-na)


Richard Armitage, you really are a pretty special guy.

And I have very high standards when it comes to the men I admire, crush on, fall in love with and marry. I did the latter two deeds over 30 years ago and haven’t regretted a moment I’ve spent with one incredibly smart, talented, witty, kind and cuddly guy, a gentle man whose smiles are always reflected in those pretty blue eyes of his. As I said, I know how to pick ’em.

So here it is, the 44th birthday of my favorite actor. I hope you feel really good about what you’ve accomplished since your last birthday.  You’ve certainly been productive, and it seems to me the projects you’ve done are things that really interest and challenge you.

My timeline may be slightly jumbled. I am not only nearly 11 years your senior, I am also feeling lots of “discognition” of late–but anyway, here goes!0a4b2e8b886ae86caf1cbde381e61887

Last summer you managed to win over the hearts of critics and audiences alike with the raw intensity of your performance night after night in “The Crucible,” earning your first (but, I am confident, NOT the last) Olivier Award nomination for best actor. So proud for you!





Later in the year we all marveled once more at Thorin’s majesty, fretted and feared for him in the depths of his madness, grieving his loss with our tears as “The Hobbit” trilogy came to a close (my own dear blue-eyed fella was so kind when I started weeping in the theater). You were nominated and won a Saturn Award for your performance as Thorin–and it was much deserved, my dear fellow. That character has certainly brought you a legion of new fans of both sexes and in a wide range of ages.






You also have three films in the can (or in post production), “Urban,” “Sleepwalker” and “Pilgrimage” offering you three diverse roles: a disillusioned former social worker turned unlikely savior in the UK of a generation ago, a doctor in a contemporary psychological thriller and a medieval French nobleman in a period action/adventure tale.

Production is underway on “Brain on Fire,” you’ve got a cameo in a Tim Burton fantasy film and there is that Edith Wharton period drama project, along with the action film “Clearance” coming up for you.28a955f11c4110059bb9f27a1cdeb31e




And right now—I am anticipating the 12th episode of “Hannibal.” I admit I am feeling sad to know there are only two more new eps counting this one for me to watch. It’s been such a treat to see you on American TV, to be able to DVR your performances and re-watch them when I choose to do so. And I am absolutely thrilled your performance as Francis has been so well received!
hannibalgifra as francis fractured edit

As much as I was dreading this role in some ways, and as difficult as it is for me to watch certain scenes (when the Red Dragon was beating the sh*t out of Francis, I knew you had to be inflicting pain on yourself, too), I am mesmerized by your performance, by all the careful and artful shadings you bring to this role.

Dolarhyde is a monster and yet he is also, as Reba says, “a sweet man.” He’s a calculating and methodical killer of entire families and a tender lover with a touch of the poet in his soul, all bundled into one complex package. I am, indeed, in awe of what you bring to the character of Francis Dolarhyde. Bravo!

Of course, there have also been all the interviews and appearances to promote the various projects, which you managed with your usual grace, good humor and aplomb during the past year. It’s always a pleasure when you are given the opportunity to talk about your craft. And it’s always fun to see what you are wearing! 😉



So I raise my glass of sweet tea in a toast to you, dear Richard–Happy Birthday today and for many years to come. I look forward to seeing what this next year brings for you!

rabdy 5

Feeling ‘Sympathy for the Devil’ : Thoughts on Sir Guy & Francis Dolarhyde


The viewing options for early morning TV, even with 150 satellite channels, isn’t all that great. Infomercials reign. If you want to watch “Breaking Bald” or “Fish Oil Benefits Examined,” you’re good. If not . . .

So I sometimes find myself awake in the early morning hours watching reruns of “Charmed,” a cheesy production about three cute witch sisters from San Francisco whose names all start with “P.” “Charmed” features laughably bad special effects and copious amounts of scenery chewing by the Guest Supernatural Villain of the Week. The costumes and makeup at the local haunted house looks more professional.

Yet, who am I to question all this?  After all, the show stayed on for eight years, so it obviously had its devoted fans.

And I suppose “Robin Hood” was pretty cheese-tastic, too, but at least we had the glories of Sir Guy to make up for flimsy castle walls, anachronisms run rampant (Hang gliding? Casinos? Bustles? In the 12th century?) and groan-worthy scripts.  And he and the odious Vasey were such fun to watch together.

rh111_019 (2)

With Richard as Sir Guy, we got the visual enjoyment of six feet, two inches of a trim, toned athletic physique (those long lean horseman’s thighs! Those PEACHES!) clad in sleek black leather–and later, his memorable medieval couture featuring the Sexy Pirate Shirt and the Marvel of Engineering Trousers with Ties and Laces in All the Right Places.  Add in seductive kohl-rimmed azure eyes, tempting stubble, raven black rock star tresses, a rumbling baritone and hey! presto . . . the World’s Most Smouldering Sidekick was born. Wait . . . who is the star of this show again?!  ‘Cause for this chick, it ain’t Arrow Boy.


rh111_034 (2)



rh203_1045_001pod2302ROBIN HOOD8_094A3
But the thing about Richard as Guy of Gisborne is that he was so much more than another pretty face in another lightweight, rather silly television show. So much more than the standard-issue cardboard cut-out of an evil henchman.

You watched not just because you visually enjoyed him and got a kick out of the general campiness of the show. You watched because he was that character, that damaged soul, proud and arrogant, naïve and gullible, a passionate man desperate for love and a home, a mercurial creature capable of both great violence and great tenderness. A beautiful disaster.  You hated some of his actions, yet–you couldn’t hate him. Richard made you care. And cry. And wonder what might have been for Sir Guy.

Which brings me to Francis Dolarhyde, a character with even darker and more terrifying corners in his soul than Sir Guy. Dolarhyde is cripplingly shy, emotionally stunted and deeply lonely. He feels impotent, unloved, a nonentity. He longs to make a real connection, to become something, someone different–stronger, more powerful, better than he is.  His self-improvement course of action, alas, will ultimately bring death, grief and misery.


Dolarhyde, clearly uncomfortable with the thought of Reba touching him–touching the hated scar on his face?

Sir Guy sought to raise himself by accumulating wealth, power and status, hoping to restore respect for the name of Gisborne. He sought to cleanse his blackened soul by marrying a good, pure woman (who, of course, clocked him and then left him at the altar).

Sir Guy ends up burning down Marian’s house in retaliation, but that’s nothing compared to what Francis does. He murders two entire families and he doesn’t have a wicked boss who orders him to take the lives of perfectly innocent people, or else.

Francis is a serial killer, an odious monster. A dangerous man.

And yet.

As much as I despise the heinous actions of Francis Dolarhyde, I can no more hate him or look away from him than I could from Sir Guy.

FD’s intensity is heartbreaking as he watches so carefully Reba stroking the sleeping tiger, imagining that those caresses are being given to him. This is a middle-aged man who has experienced pitifully little in the way of physical affection.  It’s a staggering experience for both Reba and Francis.



And after their lovemaking, there is his gentleness towards a sleeping Reba.



It is an astonishing performance and I am glad I am able to see it. I am still not a “Hannibal” convert, but I am so, so impressed with Richard’s complex and nuanced interpretation of this role and of the amazing way he is fleshing out Francis Dolarhyde for us.

Call it sympathy for the devil–and kudos to the actor taking us on the journey.

All Hannibal stills and GIFs found on Pinterest; RH stills from Richard Armitage Net

What do you know? Mr. A and FD have inspired me again.


So, yes, I did watch the first episode of “Hannibal” featuring Richard as Francis Dolarhyde last Saturday and I was going to post about it. However, I got so wrapped up in the humane society calendar project and trying to get some photo galleries up before the recital DVDs go out so that I can pimp my stills, that I just never go around to posting. Life’s been busy, but in a largely positive way. Hopefully, my efforts will pay off for the humane society and fatten my own bank account–two things that would be awfully nice.

I have managed to work on a few Hannibal-related photo edits in between editing submitted pet photos and I thought I would share them with you, along with a few thoughts.

ra as francis fractured edit

I am not sure what the diagnosis for Francis’s mental illness would be (I think we can all agree he is mentally ill). Paranoid schizophrenia has been suggested and it seems a fairly spot-on diagnosis.

However, seeing Francis’s struggle with his inner demons and how unhappy he is with life, his desire to reinvent himself–to Become–his battle with those voices in his head–I could only think of the word “fractured.” He’s broken inside and looking to be put back together. Sadly, he seeks that wholeness in such horrific ways.   It’s amazing how much Richard telegraphed about the character without dialogue.

I remember Sir Peter Jackson talking about the quality of stillness Richard brings as an actor, how one can be captivated by this man when he isn’t even speaking a word. We saw that in this episode introducing us to Dolarhyde. Whether still or moving in that sort of stylized dance,  straining and contorting his muscles in an almost tortuous way as part of his terrifying metamorphosis into the Red Dragon, I simply couldn’t take my eyes away.

dolarhyde demons hideI find words from “Imagine Dragons” songs running through my head when I think of this character, too, and used some quotes from two of their songs in the photo edits.

francisbeastinsideedit2francishidetruthRichard has talked about the tragic romance between Francis and a character that will enter the picture in the next episode, Reba. This blind co-worker manages to get under his skin and awaken tender feelings inside.


I admit I am very much looking forward to the episode featuring the visit to the zoo and the opportunity to touch the sedated tiger, a visit arranged for Reba by Francis. I suppose it was my favorite passage in the novel “Red Dragon.”

FRANCISREBAWAKINGUPI don’t think I can be considered a “fannibal,” but I am impressed with Richard’s interpretation of this complex character, a serial killer for whom one can feel some pity and compassion, even as you are repelled by his heinous crimes. Yes, I am actually looking forward to the next episode–although I won’t be able to watch it until later that night. I have an event to cover for the paper and hopefully, I will also sell some more stills. Fedoralady wears a lot of hats.


I will leave you with one more image that I simply lightened so we could enjoy all the hard work Mr. A put into having that muscular physique described in Harris’ book.  Thank you, Richard. Even when a role you undertake isn’t a first choice for many of us, you make it worthwhile to watch on a number of levels.