Tag Archives: Urban and the Shed Crew

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

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Richard Armitage, you really are a pretty special guy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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And right now—I am anticipating the 12th episode of “Hannibal.” I admit I am feeling sad to know there are only two more new eps counting this one for me to watch. It’s been such a treat to see you on American TV, to be able to DVR your performances and re-watch them when I choose to do so. And I am absolutely thrilled your performance as Francis has been so well received!
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As much as I was dreading this role in some ways, and as difficult as it is for me to watch certain scenes (when the Red Dragon was beating the sh*t out of Francis, I knew you had to be inflicting pain on yourself, too), I am mesmerized by your performance, by all the careful and artful shadings you bring to this role.

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

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

 

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

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Guyday Friday: Sir Guy plays Fashion Police

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The corner of Sir Guy’s mouth was definitely twitching, one supercilious eyebrow raised high.  Oh, yes–he was amused.

“Sir Guy–I do think you are on the verge of a giggle.”

The World’s Hottest Henchman gave a pronounced and lordly sniff and drew himself to his full, imposing height. “I do NOT giggle.”

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Her grin was quite maddening.

“I beg to differ, Sir Guy. Have you forgotten the time we had a pillow fight–and I tickled you?”

He lifted his chin and gave another sniff. “THAT, my lady–that was cheating.” 

He flicked back his lustrous mane of hair. “At any rate, my dear LW, I can hardly be blamed for expressing a certain degree of mirth at–that.”

Ladywriter shook her head and sighed. “It’s not nice to laugh at your CReAtor’s ChaRActers, you know.”

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He gave her one of those looks. “Ladywriter . . . not only does this ChaRActer have a ridiculous name–he dresses atrociously! I mean–just LOOK at him!”

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Ladywriter shook her head. “Sir Guy, Chop is an ex-social worker from back in the ’90s who’s dropped out of society and is living rough. He’s not supposed to be an example of sartorial splendor.” She tilted her head and gave him a little smirk. “You know–he’s not YOU.”

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“Well . . . that is certainly true.” There was a familiar glint in those kohl-rimmed eyes as he returned her smirk. “I am one of a kind, am I not?”

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Uhmmm–hmmmm. Coming AND going!

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“Now, forget about Chop and his style–or lack of it–for now, and come and share some milk and chocolate chip cookies with me, Sir Guy.” She winked at him. “I want to see you with one of those cute milk mustaches again . . .”
A dark chuckle. “YOU just want to imagine licking it off . . .”
“You think?”

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I sure do, Sir Guy!

Happy Guyday Friday to all!

So, I’ve ordered the book.

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IMG_2129-632x290Top photo courtesy of ebay.co.uk and bottom photo courtesy of bernardhare.wix.com

I always seem to read any books on which RA’s projects are based (although I did not make it all the way through the novel Strike Back, I confess), so it’s no big surprise that I ordered a used paperback of the Bernard Hare book on which RA’s upcoming film Urban and the Shed Crew is based.  Published in 2005, the book was both a critical and commercial success. I think I will actually finish this one. It’s coming from the U.K. so it will take a month or so.

RA’s character “Chop” is based on author Hare’s own experiences as a disillusioned man trying to clean up his life and help an illiterate runaway nicknamed Urban and others of his ilk on Leed’s poorest streets back in the 1990s.

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Hare, a native of the Yorkshire mining town, had himself left his job and turned to drugs and drink by the time he encountered Urban. Just judging from what I have read in synopses and reviews, this role sounds as if it offers elements of John Porter ( a man fallen on hard times and seeking a sort of redemption) and the soldier character leading a band of children to safety that he was slated to play in the “Charlie” film.  Bernard “Chop” Hare is described as an “unlikely savior,” and as I’ve said, I suspect the role is just the sort of thing RA relishes sinking those rather lovely teeth right into.

Blenheim Films, http://www.blenheimfilms.com/ is a well-regarded production company in the UK “dedicated to producing films with integrity.” I like the sound of that, personally.  A small film, not a blockbuster with a huge budget and elaborate special effects. A film about people, struggle, tragedy, transformation and the resilience of the human spirit.

Here’s the real-life Chop and Urban engaged in a chess game, courtesy of the “Urban and the Shed” Crew Facebook Page.

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So–are you planning to read the book? And what do you think about this project for RA?

Guyday Friday and Who’s this ‘Chop?’

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“Well, it took you long enough today.” He was standing there with a raised eyebrow and a smirk on his handsome face, his dark chocolate voice a dry rumble.

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Ladywriter looked a little chagrined. “I know, I know–it’s almost 8 p.m. here and I am just getting around to a Guyday Friday post. If it makes you feel any better, Sir Guy, I am just getting around to—everything today. Don’t know if it’s the allergies or the FMS or what, but it was one of those ‘Meh I feel as if I’ve been drugged heavily even though I haven’t’ kind of days . . .” She gave him a tired smile and shrugged her shoulders. “But hey, the good news is your CReAtor has an interesting new project filming overseas!”

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Guy’s smirk grew broader. “Ah–so all the fangurlz are–stirred–by the thought of our CReAtor bringing them a new ChaRACter to discuss, dissect, adore, drool over and so forth, my lady?”

LW chuckled.
“Something along those lines, my dear dark knight.”

She slowly nodded. “And this Chop is a jaded ex-social worker who’s been into drinking and drugging and living hard in the grittiest part of Leeds in the ’90s. He tries to clean up his act to help a young street kid called Urban. It sounds like the sort of role our fella would love to sink his teeth into. Complex, with both light and dark shadings.  A real-life character, too.”

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“NOT–” She raised an admonishing finger. “Not that those who love you will ever forget Sir Guy, of course.”

As IF . . .

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Happy Guyday Friday and congrats to our Richard for a fascinating new role! Good on you!