*spooof*: What a Hoot(er)

It could have been so nice. A portrait of the artist as a bashful man. Sure, we always love that, don’t we? Who doesn’t feel a sudden surge of motherly emotion towards a seemlingly shy man? A man who deflects attention at every opportunity, who blushes bashfully when his looks are praised and who squirms shyly when confronted with his sex symbol reputation. Real life doesn’t often present you with such unassuming and gentle manners in handsome hunks. Aw. And then some random photographer bursts the bubble. The artist in a portrait that holds the dubious distinction of being the latest in a line of duds.

Honking hunk? R___ A___ in a portrait from the Hobbit promo by George Pimentel/Getty Images

Was this A___ being bashful? He had sat for a series of photographs with photographer George Pimentel in a Canadian bookstore on the occasion of the Hobbit promo tour. If you have a look at the images (which can be easily accessed in the Promo Gallery on RAnet ) you will see that the result is a number of really nice half-length portraits of A___ , all nicely composed with bokeh (blurred backgrounds) and A___ in various sitting and standing poses. And then we have three images that stand out like sore thumbs. Today’s dud is one example that I would like to take a closer look at.

There is nothing wrong with the chosen set-up of this image. In fact, Pimentel got it wonderfully right with a number of half-lengths that were shot in front of the same backdrop – a grey curtain that matches A___ ‘s outfit nicely while giving inobtrusive depth and texture to the background. It is just when he is zooming in on Armitage that things go badly wrong. All of a sudden A___ ‘s head seems out of proportion.

This is the barrel distortion interfering with A___ ‘s face again (cf. this post I wrote a while ago on me+richard that discussed the problem.). It is caused by the photographer getting too close to his subject while zooming out with his lens. As a result A___ ‘s honker suddenly is at the centre of attention, blown out of proportion, far too big for the face which it usually fits so well. No wonder A___ is bending his head – gravity pulls. Or is he bowing his head in shame? If so, then shame on you, photographer, for getting this man’s distinctive nose so wrong!

This is a particular pity as the images could’ve been a very nice antidote to the more posed shots of half-length format. Here, A___ appears more animated – he is caught in mid-gesture. He laughs, grins, talks and bows his head. On danger of over-pushing the point: I personally quite like those kind of images as they give me more of an insight into A___ the man rather than A___ the actor. Any picture where the sitter is aware of the photographer is a conscious collaboration between the two people. Whether the sitter is asked to acknowledge the camera or not – his/her posing is done as a reaction to being photographed, sometimes with the direction of a photographer, sometimes on the sitter’s own impetus. While A___ undoubtedly is aware of the photographer’s presence in the three duds, he is not consciously posing here, but probably chatting with Pimentel and moving naturally. The photographer continues shooting, in the hope of catching some images that will show a different, less guarded, less deliberate aspect of the sitter. Often, this way you get the best and the most telling shots. (cf. my comments on the Victoria Will shoot ) Or you create horrible duds when you don’t pay attention. Duh!

Now, a lot of the Army members would probably agree with me that A___ ‘s impressive nose is one of his best features. This is the nose of a *man*, not a baby-cute, stubby nosynosynosynose [imagine cooing female]. It adds distinction to A___ ‘s face, and since he is now of a physical age where the signs of sophistication and of age are not premature but rather an indication of experience and longevity, the majestic proportions of his nose probably will add to his appeal as a serious actor.

Except that here, I am not overcome with awe, but with giggles. Is it just me or is anyone else reminded of Gonzo’s honker. They could be twins, separated at birth. Actually, I would not be surprised if Pimentel had used the Gonzo image as his cue. Just kiddin’ – but he definitely has managed to make the “Armitagian beak” the centre of the image… I leave you with this:

Gonzo and Richard Armitage, renowned entertainers, twins, separated at birth.

R___ and Gonzo A___.
Renowned entertainers.
Twins, separated at birth.


PS: If you want more evidence, click here.

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17 thoughts on “*spooof*: What a Hoot(er)

  1. You cruel woman! 😀
    Those pics are terrible and should have never been published. But yes, RA is a real man, not a puppy. He’s a handsome man, with single less than perfect characteristics that, all together, conjure up to a very handsomeness. That’s what real beauty is. I can’t stand those perfect boys, so anonymous, so dull. It’s true that my age cannot let me appreciate young and pretty-pretty boys, I so much prefer real men with wrinkles and all. But Gonzo… 😀 thanks for the good laugh 😉


    • It is the flaw that sets off the beauty, I suppose. And I don’t even think that RA’s big nose is a flaw. It suits his face so well, and I am astonished that he has dislikes his own nose so much. It is one of his best features. Having said that – if Pimentel was a fan of the “Armibeak”, then he has really overdone it here.
      Real men rule! 😉


  2. Thanks, S! I was shocked when I saw this picture published because his nose is so obviously out of proportion with the rest of his face and – maybe even worse – it mars (as in ‘defiles, spoils’) the rest of that SexyProfessorA! in The Cardigan of Sapiosexual Lust photoshoot. Believe me, that cardigan is an OOOF! if I ever saw one. Therefore, this picture feels like a slap in the face. 😦


    • Sorry to have inflicted that on you. He has quite a sweet smile in this – well, I *guess*. It is mostly obscured by the massive beak. Gosh, I am really cruel today. But then again, there is so much good material out there, to console oneself with…


  3. I *love* his nose. It could be even bigger than it is in this photo and I would still love it. So it doesn’t bother me, except as this is is an inaccurate representation that would have been easy to fix.


  4. Dear Guylty – i have been reading and loving your posts over the last couple of weeks (and have signed up for your blog – oh the pressure you are under now 😉 ) but haven’t had much time to reply. But i wanted to let you know how much i appreciate them – you always make me look at things with a different eye and you are kind enough to humour my attempts to analyse for myself!

    RA/ Gonzo – this isn’t the first time the likeness has been remarked upon! But Gonzo was my favourite Muppet, apart from perhaps the Cookie monster or the one that lived in the trash can (what does that say about me?) Personally, i think a a large nose is highly attractive in a man and every man i have ever lusted after – in RL or fantasy – has had that in common. Ladies, there is no such thing as ‘too big’. 🙂


    • Indeed there is no too big – it is all very arbitrary, anyway, what we find “normal” and “too big”. It pains me, however, that Armitage himself considers his nose too big – when the prominent nasial projection is certainly part of the whole attraction that is Armitage… On the other hand I find it reassuring that someone as attractive as Armitage could have such insecurities. That, I think, speaks very intensely to his female following.
      Oh Bolly – the cookie monster was my favourite Sesame Street character, too. For a while my nickname was actually the cookie monster’s German name (“Krümel” – crumbs). Ha, what does that say about *me*? The monster in the trash can is called Oscar the grouch – he was good fun, too 🙂
      And thank you so much for your support – it is so gratifying for me to know that I have readers who enjoy what I ramble on about and who may even take something from it. It reinforces my relief at having made that jump over into the blog-world last November, thanks to Servetus. – I hope I will not disappoint you too much when I say that my own wordpress blog here will probably lie idle again after FanstRA. The (largely self-imposed) pressure of posting is too much for me and Servetus willing I will continue my *ooof*s on her blog. Plus, I think I might tire everyone out with my photo-theoretical w*nking if I were to write more often than I usually do on me+richard…


      • You wouldn’t ever tire me out. However, you are also welcome to resume as you please at “me +.” Your stuff fits in really well with my approach, and it improves the blog. It was mostly a question for me if you wouldn’t profit more personally from establishing your own “home base.” I don’t want to take advantage of you.


        • That is extremely flattering of you to say, Servetus. And let me tell you that I absolutely do NOT feel taken advantage of. I prefer the set-up as it is, with me contributing to your blog. You have presented me with an appreciative audience on a silver platter. It is rather me who takes advantage of *you*!! (Haha, do you know the short stories of Ephraim Kishon? Very very popular in Germany in the 70s and 80s – our exchange of compliments above could easily turn into his short story about an encounter with an Englishman where both protagonists try to outplay each other with politeness and manners…)


  5. The nose makes the man, but this is one photo should have not made it on the pile to been seen. I do like the smile! Thank you Guy-ly for all the great insight.


    • Pleasure, Katie :-). Yeah, I am being the devil’s advocate for FanstRA – bringing the worst of the pile all the way up to the surface. *evillaugh* The good thing is – I don’t see Richard’s attraction/attractiveness diminished. *angelicsmile*


  6. Pingback: Happy Armitage-Day with a List of Photo Shoots | GUYLTY PLEASURE

  7. So, six years on, here I am commenting. Almost to the day! I needed something to read while waiting on my computer to do something or other and of course I turned to my dear G. Although I’d seen various photos from this particular shoot, I’d never seen this special photo and OMG! I laughed so loudly that you probably heard me in Ireland! He has such a sweet smile but who can find it underneath THAT NOSE? How could any photographer do such a cruel thing to our beautiful man? You do realize that, thanks to you, if I ever do meet RA in the lovely flesh, I will probably blurt out “hello Mr. Gonzo.”

    I do hope that you will revive this spooof series! Surely there have been some recent examples for you to dissect? (Such as the few most recent selfies? Seriously, although I love his messy hair in the one in which he holds the book from Harlan Cobean, it doesn’t look at all like him and I’m not sure why. I need your expert eye to decipher for me, please. Is it purely the weird angle? Why do his chin and bone structure look so completely different and plain wrong?)


    • Oh cod, LoLo, how did you find this? And is it really already 6 years??? OMG! And re-reading it, my cod, how cruel of *me*, too, knowing that Mr A always had a rather difficult relationship with his nose… – Looking at this pic, it’s pretty obvious now that he did have work done on his nose. Maybe this was the picture that pushed him over the edge? It wouldn’t surprise me…
      So you like this spooof series? It was only done as a contribution to a fandom week. (Yep, back in the day we used to have dedicated fandom weeks every year, in an attempt to raise RA’s profile – no pun intended.) The funny thing is – only yesterday I was looking through a photo gallery with recent images of RA, and I loudly burst out laughing at a truly horrific one. And it wasn’t even a selfie but a professionally taken one. But oh cod, was it bad…
      So, yeah, I am taking this on board. And I may already have a plan…


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