*spooof*: Wallflower A___

Happy St Patrick’s Day everybody! While you are reading this, the final *spooof*, especially written for FanstRA 4, I will be donning the greens myself, standing outside in the cold to attend the annual Paddy’s Day Parade, together with thousands of Dubliners. On the occasion of the national holiday of my adopted country I had hoped to write a specially themed *spooof* for the series. The go-to man for that is… *ta dah*… John Mulligan, of course, who must have had an Irish granddad with that kind of name…

And yes, you could be easily mistake Mulligan – or A___ – as Irish. He has the typical look for that. Whot? I hear you say? Yes. The Irish – contrary to popular belief – are not at all all red-haired and freckled! The typical Irish look is actually dark/black hair and bright blue eyes. Remind you of someone? Well, RA’s hair is dyed, so unfortunately my little fantasy ends here, but in the case of fictional character Mulligan – and with *that* name – the interpretation is allowed.

Anyhow, I digress. Mulligan it is today. But – oh woe – there are no official press/promo images from A___’s stint on the 2009 season of Moving on, in which he appears in Episode 3, “Drowning Not Waving”. In lieu of a Mulligan picture, I can present you with another dud, however, from the poison cabinet of A____ as himself *ahem* and taken around the time of his apppearance in Moving on.


Jenny Lewis

A controversial choice for a dud? I have indeed heard that this is a favourite shot for some RA fans. In that case – please tune out here, you may not want to see me picking the image apart. Cos, yeah, I don’t particularly like this shot (although there are others taken by photographer Jenny Lewis in the same series that are quite yummy…). In this case we are looking at a prime example of composition fail. It is a picture that was taken outside of Armitage leaning against some colourful hoarding. Also visible is a roughly cobbled path with a few brown leaves strewn on them.

The background as such is not altogether nasty: The colourful design on the hoarding is actually quite nice and regular in itself with different colour planks of wood painted on. Although not quite graffiti, the background has a lively and yet not altogether distracting effect that adds interest to the shot. However, the fact that part of the grey cobbles of the footpath have sneaked into the frame, is not quite so pleasing to the eye. While the inclusion of the ground in the frame literally anchors the subject in the shot, it also contrasts very starkly in terms of colour and texture with the sleak(-ish) painted hoarding. It also introduces a horizon line into the image – although that is not necessarily a bad thing. I imagine the photographer decided that had to be done so as to not cut off her subject’s feet…

Where the image falls down, though, is the overall composition. The photographer has placed her subject bang in the centre – which is good. But why has she left so much space to either side of him? The easy answer is, because she had to get him into the shot full-length, all the fine 6’2″ of him. IMHO the image would have worked much better if she had decided to shoot this as a half-length portrait instead. She would have cut Armitage’s admittedly nice long legs, yes, but she would have also lost the superfluous and unnecessary expanse of background to either side of him. The way he the picture stands now, A___ looks a bit lost in it.

A couple of words about the posing, too. I think there should have been a bit more direction for A___ in this shot, too. While his leaning pose is meant to convey a sense of being relaxed, it causes a slight bit of distortion in that his left leg – which is closer to the camera than Armitage’s torso – appears a tiny bit bigger than the rest of his body. Overall, the pose looks a bit “slouchy”, especially as Armitage was allowed to keep his hands in his pocket. Together with his *very* casual clothes, this looks a bit geeky and unstylish, imho. Yes, the famous A??? style of menswear is rearing its ugly head again. Wearing what can only be termed as Hobo-trousers (see those fake patches? One shudders…) teemed with a stripey blue shirt that is *not* tucked in in combination with what appears to be a faded soft or suede leather jacket, makes him appear slightly unfashionable and careless. Well, that holds its own attraction for some people (and I would even include myself in that, fashion-challenged as I am) – but is *not* really what should be seen in shots that could appear in the national press… In the words of Martin Freeman, his publicist is probably “having a coronary”.

Thankfully, Mr A??? has learned. He has been dazzling us recently with his yummy outfits, courtesy of the help of a stylist. He really has “moved on”, hasn’t he? Gone are the days of awkward posing and questionable styling, and hello! tight trousers and sexy little cardigans. Personally, I find it very exciting to witness the development of A???’s media persona – from the publicity-shy, awkward “schoolboy” to a man capable of influencing the way he is represented in the media. I doubt he is ever going to be truly media-savvy – but at least he has understood the need to appear and appeal in press images. As those are our main points of contact with him, we can only thank him for cleaning up his act.

And that, darling readers, concludes my stint on my own wordpress blog for 2013. It has been an absolute pleasure blogging on my own platform for FanstRA 4. Through my participation in the event I have come in contact with many RA bloggers from all over the fandom, on various platforms. I have hugely enjoyed the interaction with you on your or my blogs and I hope that the new commenting friendships that have been formed will transfer back over into our regular schedules. I will be returning to my home on me+richard from Tuesday and I would be thrilled to interact with you there. Or on my tumblr home. Whatever rocks your boat – as long as we are all rocking for R___. Much love and happy Paddy’s Day from Ireland,




41 thoughts on “*spooof*: Wallflower A___

  1. Pingback: *spooof*: Wallflower Armitage | FanstRAvaganza

  2. mmmh… does he really dye his hair? What his natural color is, then? He has a pretty dark beard, even if they had to dye it to be same as the fake one in first block of shooting in The Hobbit. His eyebrows are dark, and dark hair seems perfect on his complexion. Why take the disturb to dye hairs is above my comprehension though… probably because I hate to dye mine to cover the white ones 😛
    The pic is a total disaster of course, but RA is pretty nice in it. But yes, this is a case in which we very welcome his stylist! If the wall was uniform things would have probably been slightly better 😉
    Thanks for your funny and clever *spooof* posts and Happy St. Patrick’s Day 😀


    • I have really been wondering if his hair is black, brown or blond. I think he likes his hair black or dark brown and dyes it that way. When he has had really short hair the colour has usually been lighter brownish/dark blond, so I quess that is his actual haircolour. Kinda boring, al my family have that same colour, some lighter, some darker. I usually say our hair has the colour of a rat, al my sisters dye their hair because they hate the colour. But I don’t, I’m proud of the way I look.


      • Yep, his hair is a dark blond shade – look at his early work in Sparkhouse. Then, for N&S, his hair was dyed black – and he probably took a liking to it *ggg*. He was dark blond in Between the sheets, too. And if you look at the Production Videos from the Hobbit, you’ll see him with his hair cropped very short – and lighter than the shade we all know.
        I am not really surprised that his beard appears in keeping with the dark hair – beards are often a different shade to the other body hair. I have on occasion also suspected that his lashes might be dyed… But I am just guessing here…


      • I think sometime the darker or lighter color of his hair could be a trick of the lights. It sounds strange to me he dyes his hair but… well, it’s his business, really.
        I was a dark haired girl but now, with so many white ones I had to turn dark blond 😉


        • Hehe, can I shock you with another piece of news, Micra: The long-haired look in Season 3 of RH was apparently not *all* genuine Armitage but also hair extensions… Yeah, my bubble popped rather loudly on that one. (And I don’t even *like* long hair on men…)
          Nah, I am pretty sure he is a fake raven. But hey, I don’t really care – sure he can dye his hair. It really suits him. And if he wasn’t born a darked haired lad then he should’ve been – he looks much hotter with dark hair than with blond middle-of-the-road hair. No offense, btw, I am a rather dark blondish person myself, and happy enough…


          • Well, I suspected there were some extensions 😉 He had long hair during that period but not so much. I love long hair in man but not quite sure about RA. Perfection was Harry Kennedy (I insist he should wear bangs to cover part of his *strange* forehead) but I also like him with very short hair and I understand that haircut doesn’t suit a *movie star*. Hope he won’t become a *star* for himself and go on doing great acting, reading and not fall for Hollywood.
            And yes, he is perfect with very dark hair 😉


            • I actually loved the look he sported in the interview with Mylene Klass with long bangs on an otherwise crisp short haircut. I am not that much into his current Elvis quiff. The Lucas years were good, hair-cut wise. Not so fond of the closely cropped look from his time under Thorin’s wig. And the mullet – ahhhh, I love the mullet. But only on him…


              • oh yes, he managed to be good even with it! I agree about Elvis quiff, he seems older and that haircut is not quite apt to his face. And he should wear bangs, yes, we have democratically decided. And yes, we are terrible… 😛


      • Hhmm I kinda liked the very short hair he haid when he was playing Thorin, it was cute. I like the “Elvis hair” too even if it makes him look older and more mature (but he is 41 after al).


  3. Wow, this is SO NOT A DUD. This one of my all time faves! This is Armitage, the normal guy I’d want to go out with … who is also amazingly beautiful.

    It’s interesting that the parts you’re okay with, I think are hokey (background, cobblestones). But I love the pose, love the clothes and shoes, and love the expression on his face. The whole view of the leg finishes off the pleasure for me every time I look at this pic.


    • Hehe, sorry, I KNEW that you wouldn’t like this, Servetus. Sorry 🙂 Well, as an excuse let me tell you I was scraping the barrel for a dud that fitted my Paddy’s Day theme. There are worse pictures than this one. My main gripe is with the composition – everything else is ok-ish, I can even tolerate the pose. Not very fond of his outfit, but again tolerable. I just like him as closely framed as possible…


  4. Also — just a detail, it’s irrelevant to your analysis itself — RichardArmitageNet.com has these photos cataloged in 2004, not 2009. They match up with stuff that appeared in the press just as N&S was breaking and then immediately afterward, as he was publicizing the DVD. Do you have reason to believe that’s wrong?


    • Whoopsie, really? Then I must be wrong. For some reason I had this down for 2009. Maybe just wishful thinking on my part so I could construe it as a picture around the time of Moving On…


  5. Hi S. , hallo Du blonder Sonnenschein, Du verläßt uns schon wieder???
    As for this shot I see this a bit differently. First, isn’t that picture a couple of years older? Something around 2004, which explains the way he looks, as this is still back in times before RH and Spooks when he then over the years gradually became more and more used to this kind of work. (I’m far from saying that he enjoys it now!)
    Second, I can’t find any „Mulligan“ in his appearance here (unfortunately, as I luuuv to look at this particular John!! (oh, actually at aaaaal his JOHNS!!!! 🙂 ). Nothing of his sleek aplomb. Yeah you’re right, totally ignorant when it comes to dressing up or even worse, special styling for a promo shot. For me this picture is a weird one, but OTOH it is so unusual with all it’s colours, patterns, lines and angles that it actually keeps my interest and my eye. It still has elements of naivety, gormlessness and genuineness. All that stuff we so much like in Richard’s personality. Certainly nothing of a hunk or an especially sexiness in there. Re that jeans: Do you have any idea how much people spend nowadays on jeans that look like this, as if worn for half a century with patches and sometimes almost torn into pieces? As hardly anybody has any time left to run down one’s jeans „in the wilderness“, one has to pay for this vintage look. They easily come to a couple of hundred Euros!! Designer clothes!!! What I want to say is: Richard is on the fashion edge here!! LOL. True, he does look a bit elongated, which would made me appear even shorter by his side (!), but not for anything in the world I would mind to go for a (or two or more!!) coffee(s) with this guy!!! As you said before, off and on I also have my problems with a newly overstyled RA, always running around with counsellors, assistents, personal trainers, watchdogs and not to forget an omnispresent stylist! Even though, as a result, we have been treated with a couple of spectacularly gorgeous pictures recently. Maybe those leaving us sometimes on the verge of lunacy or almost giving us a heart attack!! Sigh…
    Hope you had an amusing St. Patricks-Day. It actually is pretty sunny here. For a couple of years we in fact also have a quite impressive „Green Parade“ in Munich, supported by loads of kilted Scots with bagpipes. You know there is a special affinity between the Irish and the Bavarians (!!) and Munich is the partner-city of Edinburgh. I’m not talking of the hords of Brits in town….. 😉
    Thanks a lot for your passion this week and tireless efforts to entertain us lusty fangirrrls.
    See you then over at Servetus’! Big hugs…


        • Yes, Servetus got me – I was trying for an ever so tenuous connection to Ireland for a Paddy’s Day post. Unfortunately you got me figured out…
          As for the designer shabby chic jeans – so Armitage was avantgarde? Kudos? *haha*. I am still not quite convinced about the look. I just think the jeans are too loose fitting to be looking good. And the patches are cheesy – rips and tears, on the other hand, would be sexy. That shirt – *ugh*. But yes, the less than polished look has a certain cuteness factor – because it means that he didn’t dress to impress. It seems more genuine than the cleaned up act that I praised in my post. In the end none of it matters much, anyway, as what we really like to see is the man underneath the clothes. And I don’t mean that as in “nude” but as in Armitage as Armitage.
          A Paddy’s Day Parade in Munich? Not surprised! And good on them – this small little island on the edge of Europe is actually so non-threatening that it seems loved by all. That’s one of its attractions for someone like me who comes from a country that has – due to its geographical position in the centre of Europe – always been a bit of a threat to every neighbour…
          Oh, and yes – sorry to be leaving my temporary home here. It is very tempting to continue on my own, but I just know that I cannot keep up my frequency of posting here. This week has been fun – but boy, have I lost time on my usual working hours… I’d lose my job if I kept this up 🙂


  6. Tsk, tsk, trying to pass this off as Mulligan related? Hahaha … Oh, S! While the fashionista in me HATES the patches on the jeans, I do like the bell-bottom-y style, the shirt he is wearing is one of my favorite and, while those are not real cobblestones (to me the ‘real’ ones are the ones the Spanish laid in Old San Juan, which are rectangular in shape, and flat) – brace yourself – I have to agree with Servetus. This is one of my sentimental favorite pictures of Richard. He just looks like he was taking a stroll with someone he cared about and they said ‘let me take a picture’, so he leaned against the wall and posed. He looks so relaxed! I like it. 😉


    • Good point, it looks pretty incidental. It’s all a matter of personal preference. A picture doesn’t have to be studio-shot to be good, but I suppose I prefer that. Maybe I find an informal Armitage “too close” for comfort… My fantasy could be ruined.


      • Really? That’s interesting, because in my fantasies he’s always ‘informal’ and just a ‘regular’ guy. Otherwise, he would be too intimidating and I probably wouldn’t dare to approach him. Thus, Standring. 😉


  7. Hi Guylty,
    Giggles on the “mulligan”. It made me think of bad golf shots–of which I make numerous ones. Ha! In this case, your example was a “bad” RA shot. Ha! But apart from the rest of his portrait here that you critique–blech on the patched clothes, too. Ha!–he still wore great shoes. Ha!
    Cheers! Grati;->


  8. Weighing in a bit late but i’m glad you have sorted out the date issue. i was looking hard at it and thinking it couldn’t possibly be as late as 2009 – i was dating it to around the time of the N&S extra’s footage from RA’s haircut, physique and general vibe.

    With no offence intended to those who identify themselves as ‘dark blond’ but i shudder at the very words when attached to RA! I think his hair is what i would call mid brown, based on BTS and Sparkhouse and pictures from school and musical theatre days. Mr bolly and two of the young bollys have that hair colour (combined with blue eyes and darker body hair) and it does change quite drastically depending on the light. I do believe there has been hair dye applied for various roles and that is another reason i’m going with mid brown as a natural colour – because i can never recall seeing RA with visible regrowth, which i think would be quite obvious if his hair is blond.

    As for the outfit.. i think we are divided along clear lines here as with the 2012 photo from last week – this just makes me glad again that he employed Ilaria 😉


    • Glad you said this. I was like, “blonde? What do you mean?”

      Then again, my hair is about the same color as Armitage’s brown, maybe slightly darker, and I always got called “güera” when I lived in México so it’s a perspective thing, too.


      • Ok, I actually researched it now and I concede defeat – your man was NEVER blonde, not even DARK blonde. He has got BROWN hair.
        Still different from BLACK, though 😛


  9. Hehe, yeah, that was a bit of a gaffe with the dating. I have no idea how that slipped in… definitely wishful thinking. Or a case of temporary blindness in light of so much beauty. Ah, eh, wait – I said I didn’t fancy that photo… Hehe, let’s call it artistic license…
    Re. Hair colour – I suppose it is all a bit arbitrary where you draw the line between dark blond and brown. It probably is a trick of the light. Come to think of it: Maybe he was dyed blonde/mid-brown for Sparkhouse, BTS etc. and his natural hair colour is dark brown??? Although the early actor’s headshots tell us otherwise…
    After all this discussion it actually occurred to me yesterday that hair colour changes even naturally. I used to be darker as a child and teenager than I am nowadays – without the help of Monsieur l’Oreal…


  10. I am really late to the show, but here is my input. I don’t like the background just weird and don’t match with the ground. I do like the darker brown, but also like it a lighter brown too. It is possible to more than one hair color too, son 1 has dark brown and red stubble, his sideburns are also mostly red, plus a little patch of blond with his dark brown hair. I agree about looking Irish, that is me dark brown hair (with a bit of gray that I use semi-prem color not ready to fully take the plunge yet) blue eyes that will look green when I wear green and pale skin. It took me years to come to terms with that coloring and where it even came from. But since I am Irish, English, Scottish with some German and Polish too, why not. My given name is the Irish- English spelling and I just spell it out when I give it, makes life easier. I was named after my dads mom. I hope that everyone had a great St. Patrick’s Day on Sunday.


  11. There’s a lot of space above his head. It would have been nicer to get a closer shot of his face. Really, that face and neck shot is is gorgeous. (Please, though, I hate the choker!)
    The cartoonish background is distracting. I would have preferred something natural to go with his casual look.
    The patches distract from admiring the mile-long legs – throws in an aberration at the knee.
    With his blue eyes, black hair makes a more exotic, sharp contrast.


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

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