Tag Archives: Richard’s personal qualities

New Year’s Eve: Reflections on Men I Love, BOFTA & What Matters Most *SPOILERS*

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                              Richard, I truly hope you have a terrific NYE, shared with people you love.

It’s New Year’s Eve. Coincidentally, it’s also the 30th anniversary of the night my husband and I got engaged. I still remember the taste of the Cherries Jubilee, the warm tartness of the fruit meshing with the sweet chill of the vanilla bean ice cream. Benny hates cherries, but he knew I liked them and would enjoy the dish. There was the flash of the simple round solitaire sparkling against the black velvet of the case and how he carefully slid it on my finger. His celebratory punch in the air and the exultant “She said, ‘YES!'” that he shouted in the parking lot of the Montgomery restaurant as we headed to the car.  The mix of euphoria and nerves as we embarked on a new chapter in our lives.

That eatery down at the historic Union Depot is no longer in business. We are still here, older, heavier, less hair in some places and more of what’s left turning white fast; hopefully, we are also wiser and stronger (if not physically, then in spirit and soul).  We’ve had our ups and downs–in recent years, a few too many valley experiences, perhaps–but “here we stand and here we’ll stay,” to paraphrase Elsa in “Frozen.”

This is a collage I made of photos of Benny playing with our great-niece Zoe during our family celebration down at Orange Beach before Christmas. It was so wonderful to see everyone, share hugs, memories, play Dirty Santa, sing carols along with the radio, enjoy my sister’s good cooking. But these moments captured below are my favorite moments from the entire weekend: Benny playing with four-year-old great-niece Zoe.

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This is a 55-year-old man with a troublesome shoulder who isn’t accustomed to roughhousing with kids (he had to break out the Ben-Gay cream when we got home Sunday night). But he’s been making generations of Killough women happy–yours truly, our nieces and now our nieces’ children.

He says he’s not sure he’ll be up to it for the next generation, but I can easily imagine my white-haired fella giving small people rides in his wheel chair if it comes to that.

He is awfully easy to love.  Which reminds me of another tall, blue-eyed, smart, talented, sweet-natured guy (who also has fetching nape curls when his hair is longish!) who is so easy to “crush on.”

On Christmas Eve this year, my husband and I went to see “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.” It took me a few days to formulate my thoughts and reactions to the film.

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Richard as Thorin in his kingly attire in a behind-the-scenes still.

I am not going to write a formal review this time around; there are already plenty of those out there by fans and critics alike.

Suffice to say I thought Richard was brilliant. My heart ached along with Bilbo’s and the dwarves as this individual they had pledged to follow, one they so admired and loved (both because of and in spite of his personal qualities) became, as my husband put it, “well and truly the mayor of Crazy Town.” The anger, the paranoia, the vulnerability exposed as he descended into the madness caused by dragon-sickness brought back both memories of my own father suffering the ravages of vascular dementia, and of my dearest Sir Guy. Yes, my buttons were being pushed on several levels.

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The moment I will never forget is Bilbo cradling a dying Thorin, unwilling to believe his friend would soon be no more, and how beautiful Thorin is in those last moments, redeemed, at peace, acknowledging what should truly matter to us in life. More parallels with Sir Guy and his “good death.”

 

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Bilbo and his final moments with Thorin. From Pinterest.

It did not make it any easier. I had started getting upset when Kili and Fili perished–so young, too young!! I knew it was coming (although not how, as I had avoided being “spoiled”) but it was still painful.

Biting my lip, I was trying to fight back the tears as Bilbo cried over his slain friend. I felt Benny’s hand patting my knee and glanced over to see the kindness and concern in his sweet blue eyes. He gave me a sympathetic smile and that made me feel better even in my sadness. He didn’t tease me about my tender heart. He simply understood.

I am not sure I can express how much that simple gesture meant to me. And I thought about all the times Richard has signed autographs and posed for photos and carefully considered questions posed to him, how gracious and affable he manages to be even when he’s tired, jet-lagged and probably done one too many press junket interviews.  He cares–he cares about his family, his work, his co-workers, his fans, people out there in need.
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I truly believe RA is a kind and compassionate person–my kind of fella. All the physical beauty and extraordinary talent and potent charisma aside, I believe Richard Armitage is a good man. And that is a large part of what keeps me coming back. Hey, I am a happily married, middle-aged lady who harbors no illusions that RA and I are going to be an “item”–as if!

But someone who is so gifted and blessed and still humble and grounded, a man who is trying to make his patch of the world a better place to live–I can heartily support that!

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Richard posing with some cosplayers.

Meanwhile, back to BOFTA. There are things about which I could quibble. The battle sequence went on too long IMHO (as did the barrel ride scene in the last installment) and I still think someone loves CGI a little too much. Just because you have the gee-whiz-bang technology doesn’t mean you need to keep pulling it out of the hat. I do think it can get in the way of the progress of the STORY. Also, we saw this installment in 2D, as opposed to the 3D HFR in which we saw the previous films. Not having seen BOFTA in 3D HFR, I don’t have a good point of comparison for this specific film, but Benny and I discussed this and we felt we didn’t miss out on the overall cinematic experience of BOFTA by seeing it in a traditional format. In fact, I think I felt less distracted. I do think it was fashioned to be a good link to the LOTR films . . . and watching them in sequence.  What are your thoughts on the film?

And finally—

I wish you all a wonderful 2015, filled with good health, happiness, prosperity, kindness, creativity, work you love to do and people with whom you can share both your celebrations and your sorrows. And I wish the same for our Richard. ❤

I know we don’t all share the same religious beliefs, but this quote I found on Pinterest expresses a lot of what I personally feel and you can adapt to your system, I think.

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New Assorted and Sundry RA Collages for Your Viewing Pleasure

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Just a few collages with quotes and pics/fanart of Richard/his ChaRActers I made this week. Some have already shown up at my FB page, The Richard Armitage Effect. Hope you enjoy! Have a wonderful weekend! (PRP *finally* has a gig shooting two pageants Saturday. I anticipate being thoroughly tired and sore but happy to be working again).

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How to be amazing. Words that remind me of Richard Armitage.

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I found this quote by Robin Sharma on FB a while ago and saved it. As I read the words, I found myself visualizing Richard Armitage as a prime example of someone who has mastered the art of being amazing.

Here is a man who puts his heart and soul and intellect into his work, carefully crafting his roles, always striving to go from strength to strength; a team player who leads by example and give 100 percent every time.  A wonderful, charismatic performer who has also retained his humility and his good manners and displays such a generous and kind spirit. Someone you can admire and desire to emulate on so many different levels. All this and he’s gorgeous to look at, too! Wow–are we not blessed to be his ardent admirers?

(I would say more but it’s late and I am truly tired and the kitten on my lap says she wants to go beddy-bye very soon . . .)

How to Be Amazing

Risk more than is required. Learn more than is normal. Be strong.

Show courage. Breathe. Excel. Love. Lead. Speak your truth. Live your values. Laugh. Cry, Innovate.

Simplify. Adore mastery. Release mediocrity. Aim for genius. Stay humble. Be kinder than necessary. Deliver more than is needed.
Exude passion. Shatter your limits. Transcend your fears. Inspire others by your bigness. Dream big but start small. Act now. Don’t stop.

Change the world.

~Robin Sharma~

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Amazing. Just—amazing.

The most beautiful ones . . .

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I have a lot I’d like to say but can’t quite wrap my head around it all. Feeling overwhelmed by–stuff lately. I have a busy afternoon tomorrow and need to shampoo the hair in the a.m. so I really should get to sleep soon as it takes me a while to get going these days.

Peace out, y’all.

Look for the good in the bad, the happy in the sad . . .

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It’s been a rather tough day, after an unpleasant night. I am well behind on social media and keeping up with other’s blog entries. A lot on my plate at present, a lot on my mind.

Someone very dear to me, a relative by marriage and a person with a great heart for animals and their welfare in our county, has been hurt by someone else with an equal passion for animals but very little tact and diplomacy. My sister-in-heart has actually been having bad dreams, worrying this may negatively impact our organization’s efforts to help find homes for as many animals as possible.

Yesterday at our humane society board meeting I saw my dear friend cry as she spoke of this. I had to get up and give her a hug. I also gave her the advice above, and I think it may have helped, at least at little. And maybe it will help some of you. I think we also need to remember the words below:

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I have struggled at times with my self-image; I suspect many of us have done or do so, including our own dear Mr. Armitage.  He grew up doubtful of his looks, uncomfortable with his height, never as certain of his talent as he might have wished to be. One of the things I appreciate most about him is the honesty with which he shares his own struggles.

It hasn’t been easy for him by any stretch of the imagination, nothing was ever handed to him on the proverbial silver platter; he’s earned the successes he’s now achieving. It’s said that good things come to those who wait, but in Richard’s case, I would say good things come to those who are patient and still plug away, keep working, keep perfecting their craft, keep behaving like the class act they are. Our awkward duckling has blossomed into this elegant, beautiful swan, while the boyishly cute fellows who relied on their cheeky charm and dimpled smiles are left in the dust.

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I’ve said I think he makes a great role model for other actors and people in general– after all, he’s a true, old-fashioned gentleman and a real professional with a strong work ethic and willingness to be a good team player.

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I think this is what RA strives for in his work and life. I’d like to be the same. I don’t have his good health and natural athleticism, and I am afraid I’d never be able to endure all he does physically; still, when I look at him and his example, I know I’d like to be a better, stronger person in every way.

And so, even though it’s not been a “good” day, there are lessons to be learned, things to be gleaned and tomorrow to look forward to. I leave you with these words of wisdom . . .

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And this adorable image (oh, Uncle Thorin had a few bad days, too, and more than just facing Azog and dragons!)

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Surely a son any mama would be proud to claim.

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A man with a pleasant disposition, kind, blessed with a sense of humor that is keen but never mean-spirited; compassionate, generous, well-mannered.

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A true professional who works hard, takes his craft  seriously and is appreciative of his co-workers–and shows it.

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A man who is equally appreciative of his supporters.

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An attentive, patient listener.

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Extraordinarily talented and gifted, and yet just as extraordinarily humble, modest and well-grounded about it all.

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Bright, witty, charismatic, thoughtful. A true gentleman–and did we mention he’s quite beautiful?

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Dear Mrs. Armitage, thank you so much for bringing such a special son into this world, and bringing him up to be the lovely human being he is today. You’ve shared with the world an extraordinary gift.  And I am so happy you are getting to be a part of some of the excitement as Richard’s dreams are realized. Enjoy the journey!

Richard Armitage: That Sweet, Sexy, Silly Gentleman I Adore

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I’ve just been mulling over how much I like Mr. Armitage. His delightful sense of humor with that merry heart “that doeth good like medicine,” his kindness and generosity, his dedication to his craft, good manners and gentlemanly nature, that amazing charisma and distinctive masculine beauty, all the qualities that mark him as such a special human being. Add in all that talent and versatility . . .

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TAE Word for the Day: My man ain’t no fanfaron!

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Nothing wrong with being a fan or aficionado. But you really don’t want to be a fanfaron. Or be a fan of a fanfaron.

FANFARON: a boaster or a braggart. From the French fanfaron, from the Spanish fanfarron, perhaps from Arabic farfar (talkative), of expressive origin. The words fanfaronade and fanfare have the same origin. Earliest use in English language traced back to 1622.

Fortunately, Richard is many things, but one thing he isn’t is a fanfaron.   Put it down to typical English self-effacement, to a very proper upbringing by John and Margaret, to something innate–Rich is not a lad to go around tooting his own horn. Instead, there is a sort of quiet confidence in his stillness. He’s the thoughtful, grown-up fellow who doesn’t feel the need to try to impress us.

And there’s that rather adorable–if occasionally maddening–tendency to downplay his talents and abilities.   I wouldn’t take a hundred boastful egocentric Kanye West types for one man who’s the real thing. Richard Armitage: my man ain’t no fanfaron! And I love him all the more for it.

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‘He’s a hero on screen and in real life.’ From the new Chronicles II book

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Here I am bloody crying again and it’s not my wonky Even Worse Knee (now being iced) that’s making me tear up. It’s reading both Richard’s words and those of others who’ve worked with him found within Weta Workshop‘s beautiful new book, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Chronicles II, which arrived today.

Here’s a snippet of what Amy Hubbard, UK casting director, had to say about RA (who gave what she called “one of the most committed performances I have ever seen”). Bold font my addition:

“I know he won’t mind me saying that Peter saw potential in Richard that hadn’t been fully exploited before . . . (Richard) turned down the opportunity (to appear in next series of Strike Back) to make himself available to appear in The Hobbit. His commitment to the films . . . was an inspiration to all of us. And I believe it was a much-needed boost to the filmmakers’ morale during a marathon casting process. And Richard really deserves credit for that. He’s a hero on screen and in real life. Other actors made similar sacrifices, but Richard made this one very early in the casting process.”

Amy Hubbard

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The book also states in the opening section on Thorin that “it was essential filmmakers cast an actor in the role with the same charisma and simmering dignity that the character demanded. Fortunately the casting directors found Richard Armitage, an actor with the quiet intensity and thoughtfulness needed for the role, and a man in whom both the rest of the cast and the audience can believe.”

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Didn’t those casting directors do a splendid job? I most definitely do believe in the power of the Armitage, and appreciate all the more the commitment he made to the film when it wasn’t even 100 percent green lighted yet. Richard, you tall, gorgeous drink of water and inspiring morale builder, you.

*Smiling even as I blink back tears* I am so very proud of you, Richard.

Dwarf love for the Leader of the Company: Comments from HobbitCon

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I never grow tired of reading or hearing Richard Armitage’s co-workers discussing what a good guy he is. I think it would be easy to be jealous of and snarky about someone like RA– so blo0dy tall and handsome, so charismatic and talented–and yet he seems to be universally well-liked because he is also truly kind, generous, modest and sweet, with no particular airs and graces. You’d pretty much have to be a troll–or an orc or goblin, methinks–NOT to like him.

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(screencaps courtesy of Heirs of Durin unless otherwise noted; photo edits are my own)

Here’s what some of the actors who made up the dwarves in his Company in The Hobbit had to say about RA at HobbitCon in Bonn recently. Thank you, Herba and also Ali at Richard Armitage Net who shared additional quotes supplied to her via tweets. I confess shedding some tears as I read these words of praise for RA from the guys who spent two years training, rehearsing, filming and living alongside him.

I think under such circumstances you are bound to get to know something of the “real” person, and the “real” person named Richard Armitage is pretty special, indeed. *sigh* I have that sudden urge to hug his mother again, you know?

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RA manfully (dwarfully?) striding forth as the leader of the Company during Dwarf Boot Camp prior to filming of TH.

“When we were done shooting & Richard left the set we’d just follow because he’s such the perfect leader” Jed Brophy 

“How you imagine him to be is exactly how he is, wonderful, kind, and natural leader to our group” Graham

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“Yes he was . The nicest human I have met” Jed Brophy

“Richard was one of my neighbours in New Zealand and we had often breakfast together. He is a generous person and we had to follow him. He totally nailed Thorin.” Jed Brophy

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The lovely, caring, boyish Mr. Armitage peeks out of Thorin’s eyes and smile as he studies his mini-Lego doppelganger. Don’t think I will ever stop loving this photo.

“Richard is a sincere guy, really lovely and caring and the leader of the actors,like Thorin is the leader of the dwarves.” Graham MacTavish

Richard Armitage is a lovely guy. SOme weeks ago I mailed him a question and two minutes later he mailed back and said: ‘Sorry, I can’t answer at the moment but I’ll come back to you as fast as I can.” Adam Brown

“Richard is real and honourable and I was totally in awe when Richard did his first speech in Bag End, I think we were all moved in a really truthful way.” (Graham McTavish nodded) Mark Hadlow

“The amount of energy that Richard put in that role was amazing!” John Callen

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Richard using some of that amazing energy in preparing for the role.

“Richard was really good at the fight training.” Mark Hadlow

“He sat in his fatsuit the wrong way round on a chair, one hand on the back of the chair, the other hand held on Orcrist like a walking stick and his head with Thorin’s long hair leant back. And you also see Dwalin’s hand with a blow-dryer.” Graham MacTavish  (I love visualizing this description, frankly)

“Richard did a lot of homework (Tolkien related).” Adam Brown

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This image is courtesy of the lovely Bechep at “Such is Life.” Thank you, my dear!

“Reality” is overrated. Give me Armitage truths every time.

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You know, I really don’t care about Kim Kardashian’s new colored contact lenses. Or her bangs (fringe) or lack thereof. I couldn’t give a rat’s bladder about any of the Real Housewives of (insert any city) and their plasticized bodies and faces and  (semi) manufactured-for-TV dramatics.

To me, that’s all surreal, if not downright unreal–nothing to do with my daily life, which is far removed from fame and fortune and television cameras, or how I deal with my own fears and doubts, aches and pains, joys and sorrows.

I find I relate far more, far better, to the fictional creations of one Richard Armitage. On the surface, they would seem to have little in common with me. I’m no Victorian businessman or cheeky accountant, tough soldier or haunted henchman from the Middle Ages, certainly no warrior dwarf king from the pages of a children’s fantasy.

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And yet, when I spent time with these characters, they become flesh and blood before my eyes. Their words ring true in my ears, their emotions– frustration, anger, fear, desire, tenderness, hope–ring true in my heart. I go on a journey of discovery with them and see their world through their eyes. The truths they wrangle with are the same as my own.

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Their story somehow becomes part of my story. They battle with their flaws and imperfections, their personal demons and private ghosts, just as I do. And just as I do, they succeed better at certain times than they do others. Even the worst of them I can identify with on some level in ways I cannot with many reality show “stars.”

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I do not believe I would be touched so deeply, so profoundly by these performances if it were not for the man who so carefully crafts these characters. It is raw talent, yes, and years of training and practice and plenty of technical proficiency; but it is also more than those things for me. Somehow the fundamental integrity of the man behind the characters seems to shine through.

It’s a fellow human being who is unashamed to admit to his own flaws and foibles, who does not feel the need to pretend to be what he isn’t, who shows no desire to be put on a pedestal, who admits to nerves and fear and occasional tears. A man who takes on tough challenges and just “gets on with it.” A man who tries his best to treat others the way he himself would wish to be treated.  A man who respects himself and respects others in kind.

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A down-to-earth, modest man with a sweet humility. Those qualities are so refreshing in a business,no, in a world in which so many seem determined to make you look at them, to admire them for–what?

Throwing the biggest, most ridiculously expensive bashes or losing all their baby weight in the shortest possible amount of time or making the sleaziest sex tape or carving the most notches in their bed posts?

Give me the genuine, authentic human being who makes me believe in all those characters, who brings them to life in such an amazing, inspiring way, over most “reality stars” any old day of the week. Give me someone who makes me feel as i could become a finer person from spending time in his company, rather than a lesser one.

Sometimes “truth”–or what passes for it–is far more shallow and ultimately unsatisfying than “fiction.”  In a world filled with so much that is pure poppycock, I want someone, something to encourage and inspire and teach and transport me.

Thank you, Richard Armitage, for doing that for me. Long may you continue to do so.

I am glad I didn’t read this about you, Mr. A.

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In case you missed it, apparently one of those Real Housewives stars slept with actor Gerard Butler. Seems Brandi Glanville claimed it before,
but Gerry wasn’t admitting to anything. This week, apparently having seen photos of Ms. Glanville, he admitted the two had hooked up, but he’d forgotten her name.

Glanville (the ex-wife of Eddie Cibrian, now married to Leeann Rimes, just to fill you in) is  excited that she’s been vindicated in this matter. Oh, Ms. Glanville, I am SO happy for you. And yes, I am being sarcastic.

First of all,  I wouldn’t be all that proud of trumpeting the fact of having slept with some guy who found it such a forgettable experience he couldn’t remember exactly who I was, even if he was some hottie Scots actor. Then again, I am guessing the reason she felt the need to do so in the first place was to boost her own self-esteem (“Look! I bagged a Hottie Scottie even if he doesn’t have any idea who I actually am!”) and brag about shagging an A-lister.

Secondly, I hope to never see or hear this kind of story about Richard Armitage as his star continues to rise.

And I don’t think I will.

Not that I don’t recognize he’s a grown man who lost his virginity a long time ago. He might be one who even possibly enjoys the occasonal casual “hook-up.” We don’t really know, do we? We can only surmise.

But  I am convinced RA is not a man who kisses (or much of anything else) and tells. There’s no evidence of that thus far, at least.  Nor do I think he is attracted to the sort of woman who is likely to go blathering all over the internet about such a tryst, either. Let me say I think he’s just a little–or a lot–classier than that.

I am thankful that Richard Armitage is a class act and a true gentleman.  But then again, that’s one of the reasons we admire him so much, right? Not just your bog-standard celeb.  Not intending to bash Mr. Butler, who is a talented and charming guy, but this is the kind of tabloid fodder behavior of which I grow weary.  And really, Gerry–one of the Real (Fake-*Ass) Housewives? Please.

Sometimes, it’s really nice and refreshing not to have everything about a well-known individual’s personal life splashed out for everyone to see. There really IS such a thing as too much information.  A little mystery can go a very, very long way.

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More Sunday SmoRgAsbord: Random RA Sweetness *sigh*

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Richard Armitage, I don’t know you, but I certainly like what I see. Oh, not just the six feet and two inches of long, lean, muscular masculine beauty with all its grace and agility and amazing sex appeal that I see before me on film and in stills.

It’s also the good-humored, charming, self-deprecating, modest, witty, hard-working, genuinely nice man I perceive you to be.  The man who readily shares hugs and smiles with his fans.  The man who digs so deep to “bring it” with each and every one of his performances, who makes us care just as deeply.  The man who never takes it all for granted or who forgets those less fortunate than he.

More than talented or gorgeous or charismatic. A really sweet guy.

Truly, how can I not love a fellow like you?

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Richard behind the scenes on ‘The Hobbit’

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Whether swinging a sword, singing a haunting melody,  growling at elves or simply taking a break, Richard is always a treat to see and hear in behind-the-scenes vids and stills for The Hobbit. Focus, intensity, dedication, the willingness to do whatever it takes to get the job done right: that’s our Richard!

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Click on GIF to see Thorin and Horsie give a great mane toss.

Holey-moley, He’s a Lollapalooza!: TAE Word for the Day

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lollapalooza (noun): an extraordinary or unusual thing, person or event; an exceptional example or circumstance.

(Also the name of a certain giant rock tour here in the United States.)

Really, can we say Richard, our extraordinarily talented, unusually attractive, amazingly charismatic and exceptionally gentlemanly fellow, is truly a lollapalooza of a guy? I think so.

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As a lollapalooza, Richard, you really do ROCK.

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