A Celebration of RA’s Success!

rahobbitgiftbombforcharitynov2612gratianal21Here’s an idea to celebrate the opening of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.  The original post about this effort can be found at  http://www.jagrant.com/watcher/fan-drive-the-hobbit-gift-bomb-of-congratulations/

“For the next week, why don’t we, as a fandom, GIFT BOMB Richard Armitage’s  JustGiving page? It would be an early start on the Christmas giving, plus it would be like sending him flowers in congratulations, except better. Remember the collective ”Just Another Rubbish Richard Armitage Sign” he got a kick out of?

How about we each make a donation, no matter how big or small, anonymously at JustGiving, and comment: “The Armitage Army Rubbish Gift Bomb of Congratulations, With Love, Us” or some such. How about it? If you like the idea, please tweet, Facebook, reblog, and Tumblr.

Remember, the idea is to make a mass congratulatory statement for very worthy causes. (Of course, you can give to other organizations in his name if you so choose).

I think he’d get a kick out of it.”

Thanks! I think he would too. And remember, every little bit counts.

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Red Carpet Extroverts and Introverts

In watching the red carpet event preceding the premiere of The Hobbit last night, I was struck by how different personalities seemed to work on the red carpet live event.

The red carpet is a place for extroverts. As an example, during their first interviews Jimmy Nesbitt and Martin Freeman seemed a little grudging (Martin still had his sunglasses on during the first interview, and while I gather that it was a hot sunny day, it’s just a little off-putting not to be able to see a celebrity’s face especially if that’s what you’re there to see) and their remarks sounded almost forced, like they were searching their memories for nice things to say. But two hours later, both of them were transformed. Jimmy warmly praised everything about Wellington, and his remarks seemed to flow from his heart. Martin was jubilant, almost like he was surfing on a wave of the crowd’s love.

The best “surfer” by far was Andy Serkis, who (probably because he knew what was coming) arrived cheerful and happy and escalated into unrestrained glee. He ran down the red carpet high-fiving members of the crowd who’d stuck their palms out for him to slap. He cheerfully honored a request to “do” Gollum, and came at the TV camera like he was going to eat Wellington whole. He must have a rock star’s appetite for attention, thriving on other people’s notice and goodwill.

And there was plenty of goodwill to go around. The crowd was huge and happy and generally seemed well-behaved. Most people had these big placemat sized sheets (at a distance, they looked a little like Thror’s Map, all aged yellow and bordered in sepia ink) that the stars could sign as they passed by. Maybe that’s what usually happens at premieres, but I don’t know because this is the first red carpet event I’ve ever seen.

But for introverts, I think the red carpet must be more like a gauntlet than a festival of love. In contrast to their more extroverted colleagues, Richard Armitage and Graham McTavish seemed happier and zingier at their very first interviews. Not that they weren’t pleasant, friendly, funny and unfailingly polite in all the interviews I saw them give—it is very hard for me to put into words why I thought they enjoyed themselves more the first time around.

Since I think of myself as something of an introvert, I tried to imagine what my feelings would have been in that situation. The first thing I did was to wish I were an extrovert. Wouldn’t it be nice to relax and bask in all that attention, to just go with the flow of that overwhelming tide? Instead, I would probably feel that I had to meet that outpouring of emotion, counter it, control it, and give back in equal measure. That would be exhausting. Nobody can generate that much energy inside themselves.

Of course, that’s probably the wrong way to go about it—the red carpet can’t be a place for civilized give-and-take. It’s all about riding the emotion.

Well, it was fun to watch and seemed to go off without a hitch. Now I’m waiting to hear about the movie…Not that it would make any difference in terms of increasing my desire to see it multiple times. I couldn’t possibly want to watch this movie more.

Compartments in the Mind

I recently got my official movie guide book for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.  O frabjous day! Callou! Callay! There’s much in the book to rejoice about. By now, I’ve read every bit of it and pored over all of the pictures, the cast interviews (Ahem! Yes, all of them, not just some or one of them), all the production details and behind-the-scenes stuff. Here’s my favorite picture from the book, which I’m sure will come as a total surprise to everyone:

The interview in the book was lovely, too. Lots of new insights into the character, which is nice, considering that we have been treated to lots of other insights in other interviews.  I’m sure by now it must be hard to think of fun, non-spoilerish tidbits to feed to the ravenous audience, but there they were.

Among the recent crop of other interviews, though, I liked this one because of the hand-drawn pictures:

http://io9.com/5954767/massive-secrets-of-the-hobbit–revealed?tag=hobbit

In this interview, the journalist mentions that the only cast member to appear in street clothes for the interview was Richard Armitage. And that, I thought, was interesting.

In all the production vlogs, when Richard is interviewed, he’s just wearing regular clothes. There are candid shots of him as Thorin, sure, running through the tussocks or whatever, but he never talks to the viewers as Richard when he’s dressed as Thorin.

So it seemed to me that for all this time, Richard Armitage has made a point of never speaking to the press while in costume. And I wondered, is this due to the rigors of his role in The Hobbit? Now, his fellow cast members show up on camera in the production vlogs and in magazine interviews wearing their dwarven personae, and I can certainly see why it would be impossible to find a time when all thirteen of them could be at work and not fully kitted out. They probably spend most of their time all dressed up anyway, because it takes so long to apply all the prostheses and things.

But I just wondered if — whether it’s just for The Hobbit or for any role — RA has made a choice not to be “himself” when he’s in costume. It would make a certain amount of sense to make a mental connection between putting on the clothes and putting on the character. Plus, it would be easier to get into character for an intense scene if you were already part of the way there once you put on the costume. I know that in his interview for North and South he mentioned how important his costume was to him, and how if his clothes didn’t feel right, his portrayal felt marred somehow.  Not sure if he felt that way in Robin Hood, because I haven’t watched that show as carefully, and in MI-5 (Spooks) it would be very hard to tell which clothes belonged to Lucas North and which ones to Richard. And it would be equally difficult to tell when he was in costume with respect to the upcoming  tornado disaster movie Black Sky — unless, of course, he showed up at an interview soaking wet, which would be kind of a giveaway.

Whether it’s his choice just for this role, or something he’s decided works for him as an actor, it’s perfectly fine with me. But it’s just something I noticed.