Tag Archives: Richard’s versatility as actor

Kaleidoscopic Armitage: An Actor of Shifting Colors & Patterns

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Blogger’s note: I am short on sleep and long on pain (see previous entry) so I hope this all makes sense. At least the colors are pretty. Hope you have a good day/night wherever you are.

I remember being charmed by the vivid and ever-changing colors I discovered inside a simple metal tube as a child. Years later, I found one at the local Woolworth’s and shared it with my students at the School for the Blind. Contrary to popular belief, certain visually impaired individuals can and do have some usable degree of vision.

And those who did were completely captivated by what they saw in that inexpensive kaleidoscope.

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Just to give you a little background on it, the kaleidoscope was invented by a Scotsman named David Brewster back in 1816. He was intrigued by many aspects of the physical sciences, including polarization optics and the properties of light. While looking at some objects at the end of two mirrors, he noticed that patterns and colors were recreated and re-formed into beautiful new arrangements.

To name his new invention, Brewster took several words from Greek: kalos, the Greek word for “beautiful,”  eodos, the word for “form,” and scopeo, the word for “to look at.”

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Now, there’s the obvious link to Mr. Armitage I could make here–that he has a beautiful form to look at, which he does, and that I delight in watching it, which I clearly do.

However, I want to go in a different direction (surprise, surprise!)

I would say that Richard Armitage is an actor who brings many shades and colors to his characters; that he, himself, is a complex individual whose personality possesses an extensive color pattern (and far more than simply grey).

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He could be described as kaleidoscopic, “of shifting colors and patterns.”  An acting chameleon, Richard Armitage gives us an iron-hard warrior dwarf king, a gentle, painfully shy Yorkshire farmhand, a sternly handsome Victorian mill owner fighting a “foolish passion,” a cerebral, enigmatic, dedicated spy, a smooth, silver-tongued, criminally attractive businessman, a tough, ruthless soldier still capable of compassion, a sweet, sunny-natured, cheeky accountant, a volatile, seductive medieval master at arms hungry for both power and love–so many characters, and each and every one believable.  Each one possesses his own colors and shades as Richard breathes life into them.

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Each one looks different, and not just in terms of their haircolor or style, facial hair or lack thereof, or the clothes they wear.  There is something in the way they hold themselves, how they walk, talk, gesture, smile; suble differences, perhaps, but they are there, and they allow us to immerse ourselves in the character and to forget the actor playing the role.

Richard Armitage–a veritable kaleidoscope of talent, beauty and brains.

Possible Movie RemAkes: Richard as Atticus Finch

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Original_movie_poster_for_the_film_To_Kill_a_MockingbirdIn a previous post, we’ve discussed Richard Armitage‘s versatility as an actor and chosen the roles we think best display his varied talents (see link below). So now, let’s discuss, just for the fun of it, some of our dream roles for Mr. A., focusing initially on possible remakes of classic films. This will be the first of several periodic posts on these films and your suggestions and input would be greatly welcomed and appreciated.

A principled small-town lawyer

I’ve talked before about my dream of seeing Richard take on the role of Atticus Finch, small-town southern lawyer and widowed father in To Kill a Mockingbird, based on the classic Depression-Era novel of the same name. I admit this project is one close to my heart because the novel’s author, Nell Harper Lee, is also a native Alabamian who lives in LA. (Lower Alabama). This year marked the 50th anniversary of the film.

Atticus Finch (Gregory Peck) with daughter Scout (Mary Badham).

Atticus Finch (Gregory Peck) with daughter Scout (Mary Badham).

I have also had the privilege to know a real-life Atticus Finch who was involved in one of the murder trials for a slain Civil Rights worker. He and his family received death threats during that ordeal but, like the fictional Atticus Finch, this gentleman never backed down from standing up for what he believed was right. I have a particular admiration for this sort of quiet man who speaks as loudly with his actions as he does with his words.

Atticus is a gentle and caring father and a principled man who refuses to be cowed by a group of would-be vigilantes, determined to lynch the black handyman accused of raping a white woman in the fictional town of Maycomb.

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Gregory Peck is much beloved in this role, but I think Richard, who’s proven he makes a great on-camera dad (can’t wait to see him in father role in Black Sky) would be more than up to the challenge of bringing this classic American novel’s central character to the screen again.  Atticus has been described as a “quiet man with strong shoulders.” Remind you of anyone?