Tag Archives: richard armitage

It really *is* all in the perspective.

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Recently, this photo taken last year in London of RA with that bottle of champagne (one that was ultimately auctioned off for charity) popped up and pretty much everybody agreed it just looked–odd. Servetus blogged about it over at Me + Richard Armitage as commenters chimed on what made it such a funny-looking photo of Mr. A.

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Holding that oversized bottle (is it a magnum or a jeroboam?) in his hands makes our strapping six-foot two (or three) inch tall actor look positively diminutive, doesn’t it? The lighting doesn’t help, casting shadows that somehow make his slender yet solid neck look downright skinny.

We are accustomed to others looking petite in RA’s majestic presence. Below, a still of Dexter Fletcher as the German “boobie” on the set of Robin Hood with RA as Sir Guy. At 5’6″ Dexter is my height (and the same height as Lucy Griffiths, who played Marian), yet from this angle he appears even shorter, doesn’t he?

 

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Now, take a look at this photo of pro basketball player turned commercial pitchman and occasional actor, Shaquille O’Neal.  I should point out that is a normal 12 oz. soft drink can he is holding.  Shaq is 7’1″ with a weight of 325 lbs. and wears a size 23 shoe. I am guessing he has them custom-made . . . he can certainly afford it.

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It really IS all in the perspective, isn’t it? Next to Shaq, almost all of us are shrimps! 😉

 

 

I do wonder what Richard thinks about it all.

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A pensive Richard on board the TV Guide yacht at Comic Con in San Diego.

A penny for your thoughts, Richard. How do you really feel about events like Comic Con?

Is it sometimes silly yet satisfying fun as you promote your projects?

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.

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.

Or do you just feel like throwing things at people??

(Not that you actually would, of course.)

What set me to thinking about this was something I saw on the Bing homepage here on my laptop.

This is excerpted from an AP article by Linda S. Zhang who interviewed actor Jesse Eisenberg, one of many celebrities featured at SDCC last week.

 

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Jesse Eisenberg’s Comic-Con experience apparently wasn’t a joy.

Eisenberg, who plays Lex Luthor in the upcoming “Batman v. Superman, ” was at the massive San Diego convention last week with co-stars Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill. In an interview Monday, he was decidedly negative about the experience.

“It is like being screamed at by thousands of people. I don’t know what the experience is throughout history, probably some kind of genocide. I can’t think of anything that’s equivalent,” he said.

Here’s the link to the short interview with Eisenberg:

http://www.msn.com/en-us/movies/news/actor-jesse-eisenberg-compares-comic-con-to-genocide/ar-AAcYpVR?ocid=ansentap11

He got himself into hot water for his comments, which led to Eisenberg trying to clarify today while speaking to Ms. Zhang what he’d said in that interview last week.

“I of course was using hyperbole to describe the sensory overload I experienced. I sometimes do employ that,” he said. “I’m a normal person who has normal sensory experiences, so Comic-Con was very overwhelming for me. That said, it was really an honor to be on that end of such jubilation.”

Eisenberg said it was “wonderful” to be involved in something that is so highly anticipated and loved.

“That people are excited about it in that way is unheard of and thrilling,” he said.

He added: “I’ve been on the receiving end of movies that no one loves and no one anticipates. That’s worse, even though it’s a much quieter press tour.”

It led me to wonder just how the typical celebrity really views an event like this, which is one of the largest of its kind on the entire planet, I suppose. I imagine it can be overwhelming (especially for a first-timer) and I am sure it is grueling.  Maybe it’s not the right fit for every actor or every fan.

I have a condition that makes being in large, noisy crowds sometimes difficult and I really have to force myself to stay calm and to concentrate. I can do it–I’ve survived everything so far, so my track record is good–but it does take its psychic toll on me. I must have some time to recharge.

I also know what it’s like to be part of the “pariahs” (as Eisenberg refers to the media)  just doing what the media is paid to do,  although I have never had to jockey for position with quite so many other photographers and journalists trying to get the best angle and/or that sound bite to make their editors/producers happy campers. Seeing how they lead the actors from one group after another to pose for pix, answer a few questions or move to a new spot for yet another group or individual interview, I know the celebs have to be running on empty by the time their day is done.

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Richard Armitage on his rounds at ComicCon, including the EW SoundCloud interview and wearing the teensy dragon and ever-present floral crown for the Pannibal. And giving a former co-star a tongue-in-cheek shout out.

However, I am sure the actors who participate in CC also feed off the fans’ enthusiasm and energy, their passionate devotion to their characters, the shows and the films. Some fans have come a long way to attend and all seem determined to make the most of their experience. They line up early and wait hours to get autographs and pix of their favorite celebs. It’s easy to see in the selfies posted by fans taken with these actors and other celebs, for them, those brief Comic-Con encounters are exhilarating, and not soon forgotten.

 

 

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As Eisenberg said in today’s comments, being on the receiving end of movies that are not loved or anticipated is a whole lot worse, even if it’s not so nerve-wracking at the time.  When nobody wants your autograph on their ankle or book or theatre program, or a photo with you, when they stop buying tickets to see you or tuning in to watch your show–then, just maybe, you’ve got a problem.

Richard has always shown a genuine appreciation for his fans, not to mention that fear of not getting more work (which I really don’t think need ever be the case anymore). I think he understands you have to deal with  craziness and hoopla along the way. It’s part of the business, part of the job. You have to promote yourself and your projects in order to keep practicing your art, your craft.

And hey, Richard, you really DO look good in floral crowns and loud jackets. Just sayin’ . . .  😉

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Things I have learned lately. Some of which include Richard Armitage.

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Bras are inherently humorous.

Along with the lack thereof.  Also, that bras have their very own personalities . . . I always suspected this, but now there’s PROOF.

 

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Richard Armitage looks cute in a flower crown.

And I was really chuffed he finally won an award for Thorin. So very much deserved. ❤

 

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Even hard-core Hannibal fans seem to find the current season less than spectacular. Good to know it is not just me, a newbie to the show: this general sense that watching paint dry–or golf–would be about as compelling. I suspect that if the first few episodes of the production’s first season had been like what I’ve seen thus far, there never would have been a second.  Not entirely surprised the ratings continue to drop. I just hope someone sticks around to watch RA–because I know in my heart that he will give an amazing, nuanced performance, even if it breaks said poor old heart to watch it.  Sometimes I think I may be a glutton for punishment.  Shades of watching the calculated dismantling of Lucas North episode by episode. At least I know this time around what to expect . . .

Let’s see, three more episodes before Francis Dolarhyde makes his appearance. I feel oddly like a kid anticipating Christmas.  Christmas as interpreted by David Lynch, perhaps (hey, I loved “Twin Peaks” before it got just a little too weird). Nothing like looking forward to a serial killer who slaughters entire families and likes sinking his teeth into some of his victims, is there? Oh, Richard Armitage, the things I put myself through in order to appreciate your artistry (currently re-reading “Red Dragon”). Will I be drawn to making fanvids or fanart from this character? I have to say the jury is still out on that. So far, I haven’t felt that tug . . . I tend to be drawn towards the humorous, irreverent and “sexy with a wink “approach (as most of you who are familiar with my vids know).

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Stay away from your FB feed on certain days. Just because.

When people start getting on their hobby horses about Confederate flags being removed, gay people getting married, and the latest in a long line of presidential candidates announcing they are running, it is better for my blood pressure and general stress levels to back away. For the record, this born-and-bred Alabama girl supports the first two and has no idea who she will vote for in the next election. It may be a case of choosing the lesser of the evils.

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I think I’d rather vote for this cat than I would “The Donald.” But that’s just me . . .

 

I still love to write.

And I am reasonably good at it.

I love making videos.

I do it for pay now as part of our video production company’s DVD packages, and it still gives me a great deal of pleasure.  And photography and photo editing continues to be a wonderful creative (and cathartic) outlet that also allows me to earn a little extra money. As a friend and neighbor who has also been a client commented, “It’s so good you can do something you really love like that.”

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I am also capturing the young people of our community as they grow and change from year to year, watching them gain in knowledge, skill, confidence. Watching them blossom. That, I think, is a good thing.

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And now I’ve got a castle I need to draw . . . it’s good to flex our creative muscles, yes?

Congrats, Mr A. Looks like you had a fun night. And richly deserved.

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I hope your Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Fantasy film–your truly epic performance as Thorin in The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies –is just the first in many more accolades won for your acting prowess. You looked as if you were having a good time hanging out with the Hannibal peeps. And that cool trophy echoes the selfie you recently posted. A premonition of things to come? 😉11061955_809071129210855_8692823586910927282_nAnd what do you know? The flower crown teased on Twitter appeared on that handsome head after your win. CIZ5iNiUwAAgR2Q

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And somehow it all made me think of an image like this (with apologies to Caravaggio):

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I hope you enjoyed good drink, good food and good friends on your big night. You deserve it.

P.S. Loving the slightly longer hair (any way I could talk you into growing out those nape curls? Pretty please?) and that neatly trimmed beard. And those faithful old boots.  😉 Those boots make certain fans VERY happy.

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.

Take heart, Fannibals. Axed NBC shows can have long lives . . . a case in point.

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thRFX1OAB8I know a lot of “Hannibal” fans are pretty unhappy right now since the news broke that this cult-favorite show has been officially axed by NBC at the end of its current, and third, season.

I can’t consider myself one of those Fannibals–I am watching the current season simply as preparation to see one of my all-time favorite actors perform for the first time on American TV screens (discounting a very brief appearance on the Cinemax version of “Strike Back”), the very same Richard Armitage for whom this blog is named. Starting with episode 8, RA will be playing the serial killer Francis Dolarhyde, aka “Tooth Fairy,” previously portrayed on screen by Ralph Fiennes (“Red Dragon”) and Tom Noonan (“Manhunter”).

Mr. A was only lined up to be in those final six eps, so none of his fans were anticipating seeing him in any future seasons of the show.  Some RA fans haven’t and won’t be watching because of the blood and gore attached to this production. Just not their cup of tea (and I am not too sure it is mine, either).

However, I know there are Armitage fans who are also Hannibal fans, who watched before and would have watched after Richard Armitage had come and gone.

For all of you Fannibals out there–take heart. Cult favs can and do have second lives, particularly when you consider all the television channels now existing, not to mention streaming services.

Many of you are probably too young to remember seeing a certain NBC production from the mid-1960s. It was different from pretty much anything else on television at the time–science fiction when westerns and crime dramas were staple fare. I wasn’t even six years old yet when it first aired, but I was captivated, as was my 12-year-old sister. We watched faithfully every week as this ground-breaking series took us “where no man has gone before.”  What it lacked in sleek and pricey production values, it made up for in a set of unforgettable characters and riveting storylines.

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(courtesy of Bing images)

Who knew when “Star Trek” was cancelled by NBC after three seasons that this cult favorite would go on to spawn an animated series, books, several successful TV spin-offs, films and more?  Now, realistically I don’t anticipate Hannibal dolls, cartoons or a slew of TV spin-offs–I would say it’s even more of a niche show tailored to specific tastes (no pun intended) than “Star Trek: The Original Series” ever was.

Still, I say there is very likely life after cancellation for “Hannibal.” Show creator Bryan Fuller seems stoked on taking his show to a new home and there are a number of possibilities out there. Fans are rallying to the cause (see link below).

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And Fuller tweeting photos like this probably can’t hurt his cause. 😉

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Richard Armitage getting his Red Dragon tats painted on for his Dolarhyde role. What that man won’t go through for his art.

Maybe the honeymoon is over . . . Fedoralady, RA & the fandom

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I used to experience many more highs and lows when it came to my participation in the RA fandom.

I would be giddy with anticipation awaiting any new project, gleeful when new images (or old images new to me) surfaced, glum when we went weeks, months without hearing or seeing much of anything concerning my favorite actor, desperate for some small bone to be thrown the fandom’s way.

I wept with frustration when my not-so-high-speed internet connection didn’t allow me to properly watch live streaming from various premieres and other events. And to be perfectly honest, I was more than a little green with jealousy when others got to see him perform or be interviewed in person, got to meet him, feel his arm around their shoulders, or just bask in the glory of his presence. Don’t get me wrong; I was also genuinely happy for those fortunate fans, too.

Still.

Something has happened to me in regarding how I view the fandom and Richard himself. I am not completely sure why.

Maybe part of it is I am tired of the squabbling amongst various factions of the fandom over things that just don’t seem all that important to me, and weary of efforts to police other fans, which I find abhorrent.

Maybe it’s Twitter and Weibo and other social media making him more accessible and thus, the mystique I always appreciated about him has been encroached upon . . . again, I really am not sure.

I just know there have been internal changes as far as I as a fan am concerned.

I went to my Pinterest board for RA a little earlier and changed its title. It used to be “Richard Armitage Owns Me *sigh*” and now it’s “The Armitage Effect on Pinterest.” I guess I just don’t want to be owned anymore? Go figure.  I haven’t really wanted to make a fanvid, create fanart or write fanfiction in a while. I still do and (enjoy) video/photo editing and writing, only now it’s for our production company and for the newspaper.

I still admire, respect and love Richard as much as I can anyone I don’t actually know, will never know or have as a daily presence in my life. Not in the same way I know and treasure my husband, pets, family and friends, both in real life and online.

I think Richard is well-intentioned and a truly kind person at heart. He’s a bright, wonderful, versatile talent with the gifts and the drive to go far in his chosen profession. And I will always be grateful for the creative inspiration he and his ChaRActers brought into my life and the difficult, dark waters he helped me navigate.

Perhaps, I have moved through the blazing bonfire of infatuation/obsession and on to a sort of low, slow, steady burn that comforts rather than ignites?  I can’t speak (and have never pretended to speak) for any other Armitage admirer. I can only tell you what I am experiencing.

I will keep you posted.

Fedoralady on ‘Manhunter,’ ‘Hannibal’ and Armitage’s flawed heroes (who haven’t actually eaten anyone)

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Richard and I have “been together” for just under eight years now. I discovered him as that absolutely delicious baddie (who turned into a goodie but still had to die for his past sins) Sir Guy on BBC America.

Initially I found Sir Guy to be a smarmy bastard, albeit a good-looking one. I did not fall for him right away as many viewers did when watching RA as John Thornton three years earlier in “North and South.” It was more of a slow burn . . .

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I noticed something curious happening—the villainous master-of-arms actually had a heart, damaged and flawed though it might be, with glimmers of humanity in all its vulnerability peeking through that arrogant, brutish facade.

By the end of the first series, I was solidly Team Leather, and angry with Marian for leaving him at the altar. I grew increasingly tired of her machinations in the second series. Marian was a tease, and it was a dangerous game she played with this passionate man who went out of his way more than once to protect her from Vasey.

When she taunted him so cruelly in the desert, I decided she had lost her mind. Poor, devastated Sir Guy acted in desperation and disbelief to her words, and went on to clearly mourn her far more than her husband of five minutes ever seemed to do.

By the end of the third and final series, I cried like a baby. I mourned the death of Sir Guy more than I did  some of the actual flesh-and-blood relatives in my extended family. I was, and am, and shall ever remain a Sir Guy of Gisborne apologist.

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Richard Armitage doesn’t have to play “good” characters for me to relate to them, care about them, root for and mourn for them. I love his flawed heroes like John Porter, Lucas North (I don’t believe in Bateman) and Thorin. These characters are all complicated and damaged creatures with their own particular emotional baggage: professional disgrace and estrangement from family, prison, loss of home and fortune, each of them struggling in his own way to reclaim his former life and redeem himself (John Proctor I will discuss in a future post. He deserves one all his own).

Richard has himself said in the past his fans won’t like all the roles he chooses, and at the time I thought primarily of Thorin. Let’s face it, more than a few people, fans and non-fans alike, raised eyebrows over the idea of our tall, handsome heartthrob of a fellow as a 250-odd-year-old hirsute dwarf who could have played Disney’s “Grumpy” as far as his personality was sketched out in Tolkien’s original novel. This character certainly wasn’t the romantic period hero or the charming rom-com leading man some fans were hoping to see him play.

Today, Thorin is the favorite RA character of many newer fans, their gateway to discover other Armitage projects, and they can’t imagine anyone else performing in that role (neither can I). It turns out vertically-challenged hairy dudes can become major heartthrobs, too–at least when played by Richard Armitage.

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Richard managed to not only look majestic and handsome beneath the dwarf suit, wig and prosthetics, he also fleshed out that role and brought those subtle layers to Thorin. We felt our hearts constrict when the paranoia and gold lust overcame the warrior king, we cried when he saw him fall “one last time.” Another death, another redeemed character.

But how do I deal with Francis Dolarhyde, a cannibalistic serial killer? Here is a character who does not kill people as part of his employment as a medieval henchman in a difficult time when life was “nasty, short and brutish.” Nor is this character a member of the military or the secret service who sometimes must take a life to save many others.

He’s not a warrior prince fighting to take back the kingdom lost to a fierce dragon years before in order to reclaim a throne and restore his people to their rightful place.

Dolarhyde is a monster who kills innocent people and eats portions of them . . . and let me be perfectly honest. It makes me more than a little uneasy to think I might possibly fall for a monster, even one that’s a fictional character. I guess I wonder if I do get infatuated with Dolarhyde, just what might that say about me? Yes, I know the character had an awful childhood. So do a lot of other people who don’t turn out like this.

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I have read the book “Red Dragon” and while I didn’t see the film of the same name, I have viewed the 1986 Michael Mann film “Manhunter” starring William Petersen of CSI fame as the Will Graham character. It’s actually a very well-made film with solid performances, including that of Tom Noonan in the Dolarhyde role. I felt a certain pity for Dolarhyde in this film, but he also scared the daylights out of me.

thHB7J4B83It’s been a number of years since I last saw it, and I would like to see it again.  ( Images found on Bing. Noonan as Dolarhyde and Petersen as Graham).

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I am currently watching the new season of “Hannibal” and find I have no desire to re-watch the two eps I have seen so far. I have read raves about this series from critics and some of its fans, but somehow, I am not “getting it,” not yet. I suppose it would help if I had seen the first two seasons, but I have no desire to do that, either.

Does it have great production values? Yes. Does it have a talented cast? Yes. Do I thus far find it excessively bloody, at times pretentious and on the boring side? Yes, yes and yes. Apparently the ratings are down, making me suspect many of RA’s legion of fans are opting out of watching it until RA appears in the last six eps, and some, not even then. Cannibalistic serial killer seems to be that deal-breaker role for some of us.

I certainly haven’t shied away from scary, spooky, even gory films and TV series in the past. I am not averse to dark, morbid humor. I loved “Dexter,” and its protagonist was a Miami crime scene blood specialist who, oh yeah, was also a serial killer, BUT he only killed other serial killers and similarly rotten individuals. He had a code taught to him by his adoptive father, a cop who recognized the tendencies within his son and taught him how to channel his “dark passenger.” Michael C. Hall did a marvelous job of making Dexter somehow likeable and relatable even as we glimpsed the monster within.

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(Michael C. Hall as Dexter Morgan. Bing IMages)

So I am truly curious to see what Mr. Armitage will bring to the table (other than body parts) in this role. We know from the stills already released that he is in fine physical form for the role and if nothing else, we can enjoy that, I suppose. But I have always found more to appreciate in his performances than merely those bodacious biceps and broad shoulders. Those attributes are the yummy icing on the cake of the chaRActers for me.

Thus far, “Hannibal” just isn’t doing it for me. I want to tell Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) to get away from that crazy nutcase, the same for Gillian Anderson (who plays Hannibal’s wife).

Mads Mikkelsen is a very prominent and respected actor in his native Denmark, and considered quite sexy by many, but honestly, he was creeping me out before I saw him in this role. Granted, I’ve only seen him as a Bond baddie, a BBC Sherlock Holmes baddie and as Igor Stravinski in a film about his affair with Coco Chanel that I found beautiful to look at but ultimately empty—style over substance. The sex scenes seemed clinical and cold. He doesn’t capture my imagination the same way RA does. Maybe if he did, I wouldn’t find “Hannibal” such a disappointment  . . .

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This role is not helping the gut “ick” reaction I have to Mr. Mikkelsen to subside. Then again, he is also playing a cannibalistic serial killer, so should I not be icked out? I just have very, very, very mixed feelings about all of this.  I don’t like what I call “torture porn” such as one sees in films like the “Saw” franchise and this show is feeling like that for me, albeit with an elegant and refined façade tacked over it.

Oh, Richard. I understand and applaud your desire to take on a variety of roles rather than falling into the rut of playing the same character again and again. To challenge yourself, to stretch yourself as an actor. To take us on new journeys of discovery with your characters.

And I am sure you will do a brilliant job of bringing Francis Dolarhyde to the small screen, just as you have in so many other roles.  I have complete faith in your acting abilities and good sense.

I just wish that you had stretched in a different direction this time around.

Then again, what do I know? This controversial character may become a new fan favorite–and bring you a whole new crop of fans. We shall see . . .

I just noted this. Yay for y’all and my little blog.

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While getting ready to publish my last post, I happened to look at site stats for the first time in quite a while. I discovered I now have over one million, one hundred thousand hits on this blog.  So thank you to all who have visited here since its inception. No one is making you stop in, so I do very much appreciate it.   Many thanks to you and to the always fascinating fellow who was the reason I started blogging in the first place. 1461153_405122766286348_1428413154_n

Richard is no plaster saint. It’s OK not to agree with him 100 percent of the time

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I’ve thought a lot about the subject of RA as ambassador for Cybersmile, about bullying in general and cyber-bullying in particular over the last few days. I’ve read various blog posts concerning RA’s blog post for Cybersmile. I’ve voiced my own opinion in comments.

Clearly, this fandom is not a united front when it comes this issue, just as it is not over RA’s selfies, RA’s choice of roles, RA’s friendships and possible romances and a laundry list of other aspects of the man’s personal and professional life. Frankly, I don’t think the fandom has ever really been completely harmonious (not in the eight years I’ve been part of it, anyway). And I don’t think it ever will be.

With a growing number of fans quite different from the middle-aged, educated, BBC Radio 4-loving motherly creatures we were reported to be back in the day—with more kids, teens, guys, male and female fans of adventure/fantasy films vs. period dramas, individuals from very different cultures than our own joining the ranks—there are bound to be differences in tastes, attitudes and viewpoints on his work and his life–and how we should and should not behave as fans.

Some in the fandom seem to imply that if we do not show wholehearted agreement with everything Richard Armitage says or does, displaying a sort of slavish adoration of every word issuing from his mouth or keyboard, then we are not “nice” or “good” or “loyal” fans.

I beg to differ. I have tremendous respect and admiration for Richard and how he’s conducted his career, which I have watched closely over these eight years, and for the man I perceive him to be: a kind-hearted, compassionate, sensitive and well-mannered gentleman with a lively and slightly naughty sense of humor.

I have seen him grow in confidence and poise in public appearances and interviews, and in terms of his physical beauty and overall attractiveness, he really does seem to grow better with age.

But what I do not see him as, is this faultless, saintly individual who can absolutely never do wrong and whose words and actions should never be questioned. Frankly, if RA was a perfect human being, I doubt I could be the long-term fan that I am. I’d have found him an insufferable “goody two shoes” to whom I could not remotely relate and ditched my interest in him long ago (other than strictly as an actor).

Richard Armitage isn’t some plaster saint to be parked on a pedestal, but a real, flesh-and-blood human being who happens to be nearly 44 years of age. HE is not a vulnerable child in need of our protection from the big, bad world, even if his boyish impishness still surfaces.

Surely he is capable of recognizing and coping with the idea everyone isn’t going to agree with all his choices or comments. Aren’t we doing him a disservice by treating him as if he isn’t capable?

The man I love most in my life, the man I married thirty years ago come Monday, is a wonderful man—intelligent, talented, modest, funny, kind and thoughtful. Yet I hold no illusions he is perfect, and he certainly knows his wife isn’t.

We’ve both got our bad habits, our quirks and our failings. Sometimes he gets on my nerves and I get on his. Sometimes, he makes a comment I don’t like and vice-versa. Sometimes, we have to agree to disagree on certain subjects, but it doesn’t make us any less respectful or appreciative of one another.  We are still besties and will be for life.

Recognizing and acknowledging our human frailties doesn’t make us bad spouses or our marriage an unsuccessful one. I like to say we aren’t perfect, but we are perfect for each other.

There have always been those who would seek to police this fandom. As many of you know, I was the direct target of one of them and lost a paying writing assignment at Comic-Con a few years back due to their machinations, after being described as a “dangerous, obsessed fan” from whom Richard Armitage needed protection. This is the same individual who has interfered in the real lives of other fans/bloggers. My sincerest empathy is extended to anyone who has been the target of her and other “fans” like her. And yes, like many of us, I endured some bullying by classmates as a child. My heart hurts for anyone who has had to, or is, enduring it.

At the same time, I have grown really wary of, and quite uncomfortable with, attempts to police or shame fans and their fanfic, blog posts and comments. There is room for many different voices in this fandom. If you don’t like a particular voice, you don’t have to listen to it. It’s never a good idea to tell a blogger they shouldn’t be expressing a particular opinion; it’s their blog and their right to do so.

I am not saying I think RA should not be ambassador to Cybersmile; I am saying I am not sure he was completely prepared for the task. And that surprises me, given his track record of dedication to and research for projects undertaken. I guess I’ve grown to expect him to always bring his “A” game, as we say here.

Given his short time spent immersed in the sometimes murky and potentially dangerous waters of social media, I simply wish he had given himself a little more time. I sincerely hope that this organization can accomplish all that it desires to, with RA as its face and voice; I also wish they were a bit less vague in their mission statement, but maybe that will change. We shall see.  Looking forward to quantitative positive results from the project.

I do applaud him for his continued desire to aid young people in need of a helping hand, just as I applaud him for taking on controversial roles he believes will challenge and strengthen his acting chops—yes, even if they aren’t the kind of project with which I most wish to see him involved.

And speaking of “Hannibal”—well, that, my dears, is another post.

Shallow Fan Fedora Lady will note he looks damned good wearing only his fancy tats. Mmmm, mmmmm.

(A little laughter in life, boys and girls, a little laughter in life.)

Cinemablend: Hannibal, HACF two of ‘great shows not nearly enough people are watching’

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I was reading an article online the other day, and it recommended other stories, and somehow or another I ended up running across a link to a Cinemablend article by Jessica Rawden titled “7 Great Shows Not Nearly Enough People are Watching.” My curiosity was piqued and I had a look.

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The number one show on their list? “Hannibal.” Of course, as you all surely know by now, Richard is currently filming his role in this critically acclaimed NBC series as serial killer Francis Dolarhyde, aka the Tooth Fairy, featured in the Thomas Harris novel and film “Red Dragon” (and the movie “Manhunter”).  Another show on the list which some of us found addictive during its freshman season, offering the “collateral attraction” of Thranduil himself, Lee Pace is “Halt and Catch Fire.”

Here’s what the article had to say about “Hannibal”—

‘NBC’s Hannibal is currently gearing up for its third season premiere. While the drama is probably one of the most-watched on this list, it has potentially been up for cancellation every season, thanks to airing on network television rather than on cable. This time around, NBC will air the series as part of its summer lineup, and we hope that will prove to be a good spot for the thrilling drama. Give Hannibal a watch; it may give you nightmares, but in this case, that’s a good thing.’ 

I am hoping the black humor and stylized approach to the murders reputed to be found on “Hannibal” will keep it from being too much of a stomach-churning experience for me. Then again, it’s going to feature the incredible Richard in six episodes of US television I don’t have to do anything of suspect legality to watch, so I will be on board anyway. 😀

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The article says this about “Halt and Catch Fire”–

‘Halt and Catch Fire is one of the rare cable dramas with lower ratings that still managed to nab a second season on the network. It’s a tough series to sell, following the rise of a computer start-up in Texas and the various problems the team encounters as they attempt to do the impossible: create a brand new computer brand. Regardless, Halt and Catch Fire had one of the most compelling pilots we’ve ever seen, not to mention an intense first season featuring incredible performances from Lee Pace (Ronan in Guardians of the Galaxy) and Scoot McNairy (Argo). Maybe this time around, more people will be willing to plug in to the series. If not, it’ll stay on our under-watched programs list.’  

I really do hope more people give HACF a chance–it definitely captured my interest in that first season, in spite of the fact I am not exactly a computer nerd (A nerd, yes. Computer nerd, no.) The series offers intelligent scripts, some fine acting on the part of Pace and Scoot McNairy in particular, and enough twists and turns to keep you guessing and thinking. It’s a bit of a nostalgia kick, too. 😀

You can see the entire article by clicking on the link below:

http://www.cinemablend.com/television/7-Great-Shows-Nearly-Enough-People-Watching-70602-p8.html

I am currently spending a week here with my sister and BIL . . . and packed the novel “Red Dragon” to read and the DVD of  BOTFA to watch on the computer at night when I can’t sleep.  So RA came with me–

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–but then again, he always is with me. You all know what I mean. 😉

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Richard Armitage: So Much to AppReCiAte. Remember, it’s ALL good.

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Richard Armitage is all that and a bag of chips. An extra-large bag of Golden Flakes, made right here in Alabama and one of  favorite guilty pleasures to this day.

 

golden-flake-potato-chips-86225Actually, I prefer their regular chips for everyday eating, but the hot variety seemed ever so appropriate for the subject at hand . .

I believe we all can agree that Richard is enormously talented and versatile in his gifts. The man can act phenomenally well, using every facet of his physical being–that deep, earthy voice, amazingly mobile face, those big, elegant hands and so much more–to bring his characters to vivid (and at time, heart-wrenching) life. We can easily believe he is the individual he is portraying as we take a journey alongside him. We watch, we listen, hang on the edge of our seats as we hold our collective breath; we cheer and we shed tears. We mourn. We do not forget. Those characters, this man, sticks with us.

 

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Richard as Thorin back inside Erebor for the first time in years. Courtesy of The Arkenstone-ck.tumblr.com

Along with those acting chops we have a man who can sing, play instruments, ride horseback and perform fight scenes with the grace and agility of the professional dancer he once was.  All that he has experienced in his life and learned and trained for in each of his roles has helped bring him to where he is today–an increasingly acclaimed actor of both stage and screen with several new projects on the horizon. Workaholic that he appears to be, I don’t think we have to worry about Richard “resting” (as unemployed actors refer to being in between roles) for very long.

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He’s also a consummate professional described in glowing terms by co-stars, crew members, scriptwriters and directors. Richard is hard working and humble, affable and kind, generous and good hearted with an infectious laugh that reaches right up into  those twinkling blue eyes. What’s not to love?

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Now, not only is he an amazing talent, he also happens to be really, really attractive.  Easy on the eyes with that arrestingly handsome face and the sort of tall, broad-shouldered masculine physique that invites daydreams and fantasies.  “Oh child of Venus, you’re just made for love . . .” He was always a cutie, but I swear he’s grown into more masculine gorgeousness with each passing year.

And it’s perfectly OK to celebrate that physical beauty along with his intelligence, talent, work ethic, charisma and charitable instincts. Because these qualities, inner and outer, are all part and parcel of what makes Richard Armitage Richard Armitage. And keeps us coming back for more . . . and more.

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Hubba-hubba.

So don’t be hatin’ on bloggers who take time out from their serious discussions of his work to light-heartedly enjoy the siren call of Mr. Armitage’s outward qualities, whether it be nipples, biceps, bum or other physical attributes. Because it’s ALL good. Just like a big ol’ bag of Golden Flakes . . .

I guess you could sort of say I’m prepping for ‘Hannibal’ . . .

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I haven’t watched any of “Hannibal” yet, not having the ability to satisfactorily live stream and not being willing to pay for DVDs (after all, they don’t have Richard in them). 😉

 

I do intend to read the  book “Red Dragon,” if I can just get to the library one day or locate an inexpensive copy. Having seen the film “Manhunter,” I am already  familiar with the story.  But I am indulging in a little blood and nuttiness tonight. It’s less fattening than Blue Bell ice cream, anyway.

 

Currently, I’m re-watching the 2000 film “American Psycho” on Sundance TV.  IMHO, Christian Bale is brilliant in the role of handsome Harvard grad, Patrick Bateman, an investment banker on Wall Street in the 1980s . Patrick is obsessed with looking good, going to the right restaurants, the hottest clubs, living in the best part of town, having the most attractive business card. He’s greedy and vain, pretentious and self-absorbed, the complete narcissist. And those are his good qualities.

 

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He’s also a sadistic serial killer, lusting after blood even more than Valentino suits and high-rise apartments with great views.  He doesn’t merely want to take his victims’ lives; he takes bites right out of their bodies (hmmm,  what is this reminding me of?). Ultimately, we are not certain if all or any of his horrendous crimes have actually taken place or happen solely inside one man’s sick and twisted psyche.

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AP is a searing indictment of a decade during which many of the “haves” believed greed was good and nothing succeeded like excess (why have one prostitute when you can afford two, and have sex in front of a big mirror so you can admire your buff physique and sexual prowess while you are at it?).

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american_psycho-131The Huey Lewis scene always cracks me up.

It’s a satire, it’s a horror film and often it’s–hilarious. In a rather dark way, of course.  I haven’t read the 1991 Brett Easton Ellis book on which the film is based; from what I have read online, the movie does a great job of hinting at some of Bateman’s more horrific acts without actually displaying them all on screen. Sometimes, less IS more.  I always found the alien in the film franchise of the same name to be far more frightening when we only caught fleeting glimpses of the creature.

AP almost received an NC-17 rating, but it seems this wasn’t due to violence or blood and gore, rather to that graphic three-way scene with the prostitutes. It was trimmed enough to make the MPA satisfied with giving the film an “R” rating.  Of all the characters in the film, those girls and Bateman’s sweet secretary are the only ones I feel any sort of sympathy for.

There’s some smarts on display here–it’s definitely not your bog-standard slasher flick, as it could have so easily been.  Mary Harron does an excellent job in the director’s chair, and there are several good performances, but ultimately, it’s Bales’ movie .

 

There’s this promotional image below I remember seeing in Entertainment Weekly when the film came out .  I know, I know, the man’s got (fake) blood on his face, and I shouldn’t find it alluring–yet, I do (I’m sure that the fact I find Christian Bale attractive doesn’t hurt).  What if it was Mr. A’s tongue on display . . .

Oh, my, how might Francis Dolarhyde affect me? Guess I will find out this summer when he arrives on the scene.

 

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Catching up on things and choosing one’s soul. Fedoralady’s back! (with RA, too)

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After this long period of silence from me here at the blog (largely due to constant outage issues with our internet which seem to be resolved for now, *fervently crossing fingers* not to mention a serious case of the winter blaahs), here I am!

 

8bbf660788c85c0584c79319afcde2d2I used to be called the “Hat Lady “around town. I hope to be a lady worth knowing . . . hat or no hat.

Things finally seem to be looking up. I have been asked back as a regular contributor (as in once or twice a week, instead of once or twice a month, if that) at The Greenville Advocate . I will also assist with copyediting and writing for the quarterly “Camellia” Magazine. Tracy wants to see my byline more often, and judging by the response I got when I posted about it on FB, quite a few others do, too. I won’t get rich–that wasn’t happening when I worked full-time–but it will be nice to have more of a regular income to look forward to.  And so far this year, I haven’t had to go back to the doctor. Still paying off bills from last year, so this is good!

 

We did a community service video for Healthy Kids last month, tailoring it to their “Superheroes Unite” theme for the year. We don’t charge for this kind of project, but that doesn’t mean we don’t work just as hard to make it good. Lisa, the director for the group, was thrilled with the results, especially since we didn’t get a huge amount of advance notice on the project (a week and half, roughly).

 

 

A YT version should soon be up so everyone who didn’t attend the HK sponsorship luncheon can also enjoy and learn from it. Sometimes, (moving) pictures and captions, along with some brief interviews and voice-overs, are worth a thousand words! 😀 And I think it will be good advertising for our video production company. I am also proud of the fact I shot and edited ALL the footage for each segment of this 10-minute video, except for the superhero fx integrated into it by Benny *giving myself a little pat on the back.*

 

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Spring is in the air here–although it can’t quite make up its mind whether to stay yet. I feel as if I need to come out of hibernation, shake off my winter malaise, and–write. Create.  Connect. Keep choosing my soul. And try not to beat up on myself quite so often. I ran across some posts on Pinterest that spoke to me . . . maybe to you, too.

 

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And lest you think this will be an RA-less post, au contraire, mes amies! Scroll on, my darlings, scroll on!

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A fine madness, or maybe not. Fedoralady’s very personal take on it all.

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This is a story of madness, in both the jocular and more literal sense.

For example, our ISP has become notoriously unreliable over the last few weeks and frankly, it’s driving me a tad—crazy.

They also provide our land line phone, which went dead as a doornail today. Not even a hopeful crackle and not a storm cloud in sight. Retrieved my cell phone so that I could touch base with Benny and let him know, and of course, the cell battery was dead. Thank goodness Hubby brought home a recharge for the wi-fi hotspot.

I felt so out of touch with the world earlier–disconnected. I could have walked outside and screamed my head off and the only ones who would have heard it would be my two dogs, who would presume Mama had officially become the mayor of Crazy Town.

Speaking of crazy, mental health has been on my mind lately, what with the news that our Richard is going to play Francis Dolarhyde, a cannibalistic serial killer in six episodes of the upcoming season of “Hannibal.”

I admit I have a certain fascination with abnormal psychology. I like reading and watching stories of true crime and trying to learn what makes some people became psychopaths and sociopaths. Is there some sort of defective gene involved, a sort of “bad seed,” or is it the environment? Nature or nurture or a combination of both?

It’s been said here in the south we don’t hide our crazy relatives, we bring them out to the front porch, give them a glass a sweet tea and show them off.

 

My paternal family could easily be described as “eccentric.” There was the boy-crazy aunt who used to dye her hair to match the color of her current automobile. Another aunt, a pharmacist who self-medicated herself into bliss, eventually did a strip tease in the middle of the nursing home hallway, announcing with gleeful relish, “Well, NOW I guess they will pay attention to me!” My grandfather over-indulged in food and other women and never tried to hide his vices. Oh, the stories I could tell about Big Daddy. And yes, he was called Big Daddy. Tennessee Williams, you ain’t got nothing on me. 

And then there’s Uncle Comer, who was committed to the state insane asylum. Yes, a genuine crazy uncle.

I have a copy of an old family photo, with all the Killoughs, the nine living children and my grandparents, posed together in front of the big Victorian farmhouse, c. 1922 or ’23. Among the offspring, some twenty years between the oldest and youngest, there stands a bespectacled blonde boy, neatly dressed in a suit and tie for this formal photo. He’s handsome and a bit solemn. For me, there’s no hint of what was to come, the unreasonable outbursts and frightening violence. The need to “put him away.”

Daddy, who was much younger than his brother, used to talk about Comer’s periodic furloughs home. What he remembered most was when it was time for Comer to return to Tuscaloosa.

Comer got so upset when he knew he had to go back. It took four or five of Daddy’s strongest field hands to wrestle him into the car,” Daddy would say, the pain of the memory evident in his faded blue eyes. He had a lifelong fear after that of institutionalization, just as he feared fire following that big house burning to the ground when he was a teenager.

There were flashes of—something, some imbalance, something disconnecting—in my own father from time to time, and,as we learned, in his younger brother Dan, the baby of the family. There was never anything on the scale of Comer’s behavior, but we knew it was happening when the look came into Daddy’s eyes. When we saw that darkening, that anger and—emptiness. Thundering rage and that strange emptiness.

Those moments were frightening and confusing for all of us. When they passed, regret and melancholy would wash over my father, who is so very many ways was such a good man and a good daddy. It took me years to really come to terms with the contradictions that were my father. 

I have always had this fear in the back of my head that it would happen to me one day–the disconnect, the imbalance. I have a temper I have worked on controlling for much of my adult life. Would I, someday, fly into uncontrollable and dangerous rages and hurt people I loved?

I have made it 54 years and stayed out of jail and the mental ward thus far.

Still, that gnawing fear keeps nibbling away in a corner of my mind. Maybe it always will.

In the meantime, I read, I watch and I try to understand what makes some of us go more than slightly mad. And I lament the stigma that mental illness still carries with it in the 21st century. I wonder if modern drugs and therapies could have helped my uncle. 

I will be very interested to see Richard Armitage’s take on a flesh-gnawing serial killer (thankfully, I don’t have one of those in my family. At least, not that I know of). Maybe he can bring something to the table (sorry, pun not intended, but I do have a slightly dark and twisted sense of humor) that will help me see things more clearly. Who knows? Whatever the case, I am certain he will wow me with his performance. Life has dealt me a fair share of disappointments, but RA is not one of them. 

(FYI My uncle died from complications after an appendectomy while he was still a young man and still an inmate at the asylum. My grandfather went to Tuscaloosa and asked to see his body to thoroughly check it over and make sure the death was from natural causes.)