RA Challenge ♡ #2: The Moment

Let’s make hay while the sun shines – and continue on with the RA Challenge. I am uber-pleased that my little distraction has received an enthusiastic response. If you haven’t yet, please also check the answers to Day 1 on other blogs:

Hope I haven’t missed any other responses. And now to my #2.

♡ #2 The Moment That Made Me Fall In Love With RA

Hm. I think I am going to answer this in moving images, again.

Hard to pin down the *exact* moment. Mind you, it could have been this:

I would like to say that I saw greatness in the acting, or was struck by how kind and friendly the actor communicated with his friends. He was and did all that, and I recognised that eventually, but the thunderbolt moment was simply a matter of raw emotion: I just totally fell for this tragic character, and the video above is extremely good at compiling the scenes that reveal Guy’s inner yearnings and hopes, usually buried beneath leather, a sneer and a bloodied sword.

However corny RH the show was, Richard played Guy as a character with several layers beyond the cardboard cut-out henchman/baddie of the piece. And it is always in the silent moments and split-second, almost imperceptible movements – the flutter of the eyelashes, the barely open lips, the slow tilt of the head – which give away the other side of Guy. Sure, the outward attractiveness of the actor, who lends his face and body to the character, greatly helps. And the script that calls for a conflicted character, does too. But all of that would fall flat if it wasn’t for the capabilities of the actor. I don’t think I consciously recognised this – I just emotionally responded to the details.

Hm. Maybe this is the wrong answer to the challenge question. It looks as if I’m describing how I fell in love with the character, not with RA. Ahem, a frequently encountered fangirl-fallacy. Guy of Gisborne ≠ RA. Character ≠ actor. So when it comes to RA the man, I guess the moment I was completely smitten by him, is this:

This was virtually one of the first pieces I reblogged on tumblr in April 2012, and what I wrote then, describes pretty accurately what it is I fell for:

  1. I love the way he smiles so mischievously with his eyes. Ha! What else with? The man is half-hidden under his beard. And he isn’t even in costume *rofl*.
  2. His voice!!!!!!!!!!!!! Particularly when he says “Would you like to be a bit more specific?” He goes down two octaves, it seems, and his voice hits me right in my belly (or possibly a few inches lower *blushes*)
  3. Total onslaught: Combination of deep voice with *that* crinkled brow and look from under the lashes when he says “I’ve got forty years to talk about!” *thud* The man is a coquette! He enjoys being 40 (coquetting with it!) and brandishing his age around – because he knows he’s still as hot as he was seven years ago.
  4. The encouraging, friendly smile he gives to the journalist after he has just taken the piss out of her. Soooo nice – just shows such a sensitive awareness of what he has just done, namely cut across her and made her look like a bit of a fool, but he is taking it back, acknowledging his cheekiness and making it extra easy for her to ask the question again. How sweet is that???
  5. He does come across a bit more masculine than during Spooks time – he has more of the John Porter bulk than the Lucas North sinewy strength. And I like that. I am not a beard fan AT ALL, but it suits him with the strength and confidence he is showing at the mo.
  6. The way a shadow of relief passes over his face when he feels the interview is over – he really is not a fan of standing in the lime-light, it seems, and that makes him even more adorable than he is, anyway, because his modesty is a great credit to him.

Again – some outward attractiveness, but also a lot of what goes on behind the handsome facade. The cheekiness, the shyness, the wit, the mixture of fun and earnestness, the desire to please, the obvious pleasure when receiving a positive response… And a lot of innocent fangirling on my part. Take it as a historic document 😉.

I could go on, but I think that’s enough.

Oh yes, I would like to be that…

On a different note – I am quite excited today because this afternoon, some RL fangirling may commence. Our wonderful fellow fan Helen is coming over to Ireland for one of her bead/glass working workshops, and she will stay with me for the night before travelling on to the “Wild West” where Pilgrimage was filmed. Lots of things to chat about – it has been a year since I last saw her. I better get cracking then – I suspect I won’t have time to compile tomorrow’s weekly round-up later tonight 😇.

Now over to you – any thoughts on the “thunderbolt” moment when RA love struck? Blog, leave comments, write a guest-blog! Looking forward to hear your “aha-experience”.

 

61 thoughts on “RA Challenge ♡ #2: The Moment

  1. “Confession” is one of my favourite fan videos! My first two answers are up, and it looks like I fell into the same trap as you did – answering with the chaRActer, not RA. Hmmmm, very difficult to separate the two so many years later! I do remember though seeing this first press conference and agree with everything you say about it (and you’re spot on about Richard as Guy too) I only had eyes for Richard and when he started speaking……I could hardly breathe….. 🙂

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    • It is weirdly difficult to separate the favourite character from the man, isn’t it? I mean, I know 100% that Guy is so definitely not RA. But there is always so much of the actor in RA’s roles, it’s hard to distinguish…
      I rewatched that press conference video several times this morning. There is something really delightful about it – the boyish wonder shines through, a little bit of awe of this big thing he has signed up for, and that bit of cheekiness, of course. This was such a nice throwback to old times… (I just get the impression that he has become much more nonchalant than back then…)

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  2. Guylty said it so well about Guy. Though initially it was the leathers that drew me in, as he slouched against the Sheriif’s chair of office watching Matilda get dunked. I’m shallow like that. ☺️ I had to sneak watch RH though as I’d loudly rubbished the show beforehand.

    For Mr. A himself, it was one of the CBeebies bedtime stories. The one with the dinosaurs and the ice cream.

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    • Bedtime stories, yeah? Hehe, I bet.
      But seriously – he was really sweet and extremely handsome in that CBeebies series. I only discovered that much later. I regret that I never got to watch it when my kids were small. The secret joy of that…

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  3. Happy to say that we share the #2 moment. After meeting Thorin and Guy, I wanted to know more about the actor himself and the interview from the press conference was the first one I’ve ever watched! “Me, as a person?” He was soooo beautiful! The second encounter was the Vulpes Libris interview from 2009, a great one, already containing some book recommendations! The guy was down-to-earth and intelligent, I loved how he spoke about him, about his roles, about books, I still read that interview at times. I was now convinced that the man behind the actor is also special. Then I discovered the first blog: Nat’s fan-blog and so I found out there is more to be learned about RA.
    Thank you for this challenge! It’s great to do something refreshing involving RA, I was so upset there are 4 new movies I cannot see! Have a great time with Helen!

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    • Oh, I have to go back to the Vulpes Libris interview. It’s been ages since I read that. (This is what I love about challenges like this – reading about my fellow-fans’ experiences and opinions, I get so many reminders of what I should revisit. Or remembering old articles/pictures/interviews myself – going back to them after a long time is as if you are reading them for the first time.)
      Glad you are enjoying the challenge. I am certainly already feeling as if I am rediscovering RA. The challenge is already reinvigorating my interest and appreciation of him. Win win!

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  4. Interesting — that interview was really important to me, too (published on my birthday) but we read it really differently.

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    • Did you write a post about it? It would be interesting to read it! For me everything was fresh and surprising and special, but even now I like that interview, it belongs to my childhood as a fan and I look back at those times with great love.

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      • I didn’t blog about it — diary reveals that I was grading midterm papers that week — but my general reaction in the diary, apart from being visually and physically overwhelmed — the beard meant a lot to me, it felt like a symbol — was that he was not being conciliatory at all, to anyone. He came to the interview “with Thorin on” and he was telling them all to get lost (and on some level, simultaneously proving that he could play the role). At the time, my reading had to do with the months of awareness from some of the TORn folks that they didn’t want him in the role. (And given his remarks afterwards that he was aware that there were people who didn’t think he could do it, potentially substantiated on that level.)

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          • There was a real contrast there to his previous interviews, too. He’d been on a general arc of becoming more energetic or charismatic (as opposed to reticent or even shy) in interviews over the years before then, but it seemed like he had really jumped up a level on that particular day. My best friend at work, who had introduced me to the series, watched it with me and asked me if I thought he’d fallen in love — his energy was just so different.

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            • Even more interesting. Aha! Just goes to prove that impressions really depend on context and previous knowledge.
              However, I am glad I got it so wrong back then – it was the tipping point for my interest in RA. Had I known the background, maybe I wouldn’t have been drawn in.
              Thanks for clearing up the context!

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        • This is really interesting. Without knowing anything about the TORn controversy, at the time I had no idea about a possible subtext, or that there was a deeper meaning to his quip to the journalist.

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    • It was probably one of the first interviews of his that I ever saw, as I was really fresh in the fandom at that point. As I said in my post – I was coming at it with very little previous knowledge and took everything I heard and saw at face value. Now that I know so much more, I realise how naive and innocent I was…

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    • No offense taken! I am always fascinated by how different interpretations/impressions are. What came across as witty and coy, was cocky and cross for others.
      In any case, I think you hit it on the nail when you say “he came to the press conference with Thorin on”. Watching the interview now, his voice is so totally Thorin, as is his bulkiness, all of his presence. I am still fascinated how an actor can create such an impression, leaving/changing their own personality to become something else…

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  5. I’m confused about the rules. Do we answer one question per day, taking our cue from the title of your post (e.g., today is day 2, question 2), or is it a free-for-all where we each answer whatever the hell we want? I’m especially concerned since I now realize I replied about the Awesome Lips shrine on the wrong post. Or did I?

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    • Hehe, nothing is set in stone, Besotted. I suppose the usual idea is to do one question per day. But some participants are doing two or more questions per day. I have also seen posts where participants have simply picked and chosen from the list and done the questions which interest them.
      The full list of questions is here: https://guylty.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/2017-ra-fandom-challenge.png
      And no, your comment about the Awesome Lips shrine is fine where it is. I mentioned the shrine in that post, so all is well…

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  6. I felt an attraction to him in Between the sheets then more-so in Sparkhouse. Enough to search for his name, but then there was a gap until I saw him again in Robin Hood and that was the moment when I really fell, I fell for Guy.

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    • Guy again. Really, for a character that was neither a leading role nor a hero as such, that role attracted a lot of attention. Very much to RA’s credit!!!

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  7. “Confession”. Was für ein unglaublicher Heuler. Drama und Leidenschaft at it’s best. Und dann die Lederschnitte mit den Kohlaugen. Da kann man schon weiche Knie kriegen 😀 Der drückt schamlos alle Knöpfe bei uns Frauen…..

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  8. Oh, i actually didn’t know the confession video! Must see again tonight! As to the NZ interview it’s so attractive in so many ways! He comes across so manly and assertive at the same time, pretty irresistible though i sort of feel a bit sorry for the interviewer.. and not at the same time. She’s got only herself to blame for asking such a careless questions… it comes across as ‘ i have no clue who you are so i’ll just be general and get something’. Fair enough she gets his reaction.. what is he supposed to do, give his life story in one sentence? pretty ridiculous request and can’t blame him for reacting accordingly really. She realises she’s started the thing on totally the wrong foot with him and tries to fix it asking about why him an Thorin and then his defenses are up again.. like as a Brit how can i talk in praise about myself.. which is why his first reaction is to duck and defer LOL. But just as he was saying i think he probably realised he was being too defensive and closing another of her questions as his tone mellows a lot and at the same time she tries to fix it too interrupting and asking him to talk about what he likes about it. Awkward both ways!

    But it’s so RA in many ways, he’s so good at giving back and being generous in answers on specific questions, especially about work but so set behind a wall in anything else where first reaction seem to be always defensive in a way. But it was her unprofessional approach which set him off to begin with anyway. Had she directed a similar question at Martin she would have gotten a very similar or even more blunt reaction i suspect 🙂 When he finally goes into detail about the work he’s much more relaxed and i love when he talks in detail about work anyway.

    But there is a definite vibe, charisma about him in the interview that is utterly irresistible. I wouldn’t call it charm as i don’t think he’s really trying to be that, he’s just a bit assertive and that is rather fetching on him with that physique 🙂 It will always be a winner.

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    • You didn’t know ‘Confession’????? One of my absolute favourites. Totally OTT kitsch, but hey, the heart wants a bit of fodder, too.
      The TH press conference was really interesting to revisit. I think you are spot-on in your analysis of it. Although I think you are a bit harsh when it comes to the interviewer. Her question was not stupid per se, albeit unoriginal. Her main failure was in phrasing it precisely – whether she wanted to it to be answered in terms of the character RA was playing, or in terms of his RL. As I was really new to the fandom when I discovered this interview, the undercurrents that Servetus mentioned did not occur to me. I simply found him cheeky rather than assertive. But I can see where Serv and you are coming from, and I agree. I just laughed at his cheeky response – and noticed how quickly he pedalled back, putting the journo back at ease, returning to the question. I found him shy rather than assertive – almost avoiding answers by ‘humbly’ referring the journo back to the producers. In any case, for me it was definitely an attractive display – funny, cheeky, serious, informative, (eventually) cooperative. I actually find it more “personal” than the way he conducts his interviews nowadays. He volunteered some information (the fact that his first ever stage production was TH), something he doesn’t usually do. And I thought it was quite endearing – because you can hear his cast mates all responding to that. Which means he had not mentioned that to anyone up until that point. (Totally adorable the way he reacts to their surprise – looking down, embarrassed smile, quiet affirmation).
      As you say, there is some charisma in that interview, the elusive “it” which I haven’t really seen in the streamlined, hyper-professional interviews of late. It comes with the experience, of course, and is a normal development. But somehow those early days were much more insightful because he appears less guarded.

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      • i so agree with you, there was a freshness and spontaneity to his reactions and comments which make them so lovely to watch, i literally want to crawl inside the screen and be closer to the interaction 🙂 And yeah that bit of info and their reaction :-))) I loved the pedaling too, some bits of him never change 🙂 He’s much more controlled in everything he says these days and we get so much less variety of reactions and moods. It’s always polite but yeah a bit of mix of assertive and stuff .. i miss that. Like the one which makes me roll laughing when he complimented that journalist on her looks/jumper or something and made a hand gesture to it too, remember? and got her all flustered LOL aw, i really needed the reminder that there is this charming person inside , well hidden sadly all too often…

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    • I think the reporter knew exactly what she was asking, or she wouldn’t have asked the question in that way; and he knew to expect the question, based on what had been happening, and had prepared an answer. He’s not usually that direct or pithy right off the cuff.

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      • hm.. i am glad i only saw the final product and got none of the discussion about him being right for Thorin or not. And i hope that the vast majority of time he was there working those doubts were as far as possible from his mind. I assume so given Peter Jackson was there too 🙂 I guess it could be the kind of thing which would give journalistic gossip but i’m better off without that stuff. Thorin, his version of it was beautiful in every which way and i am so glad we had him 🙂 You can always questions any casting decision but ultimately the final product is what counts, it feels even in hindsight unfair to question him of all choices. Anyway, good on him for standing his ground either way. I don’t think in years to come the people who will be new to the movies (and i do hope they will continue to be watched) will ever question why him 🙂 Off my soapbox now and APM off again 😉

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        • What happened, concretely, to change the discussion, were two things. One was this press conference — one of the loudest “I don’t want Armitage” voices, possibly a TORn reviewer? I’d have to look it up — changed his tune and said that Armitage had a kingly lope or something like that. In general the response to it in the part of the Tolkien fandom that doesn’t despise PJ was positive. The other thing was that PJ et al published the first stills of the dwarves in the summer of 2011 (June, maybe?). There had been some photos of people in rehearsal but there wasn’t a really good indication of how they’d look until then. Although even then there was some dissent (how could there not be?) the non-PJ-hating segment of the Tolkien fans really got on board with those photos. Before that “hot dwarves” had been a negative epithet and it flipped practically overnight to an endearment. I experienced some severe whiplash over that one myself.

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          • Did you now ? 😉 and thanks for the background! I really appreciated since didn’t live it live. I only saw final product and was very impressed with everyone’s efforts especially all the dwarves

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            • yeah, I’d been blogging about 18 months at that point and had never deleted anything I’d written. i was really exasperated and published something mean. Then deleted it a few hours later. Which was weird b/c I’d lasted all the months of listening to the pointless criticism without giving in to my desire to school anyone — but when they changed course, I was pretty angry. It was my first really strong experience of APM coming to the surface.

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                • Here is the the retraction: https://meandrichard.wordpress.com/2011/07/17/whats-hot-is-not-being-boring-for-a-change/
                  The original was the charge that the TORn people were being boring and that coding “hot dwarves” as positive as opposed to negative was just a different version of sexism that was all about Armitage’s appearance as opposed to anything he might bring to the role. I also threw around the terms shallow and stupid. Really not my usual style and I felt bad about it within about two hours.

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                  • It is to your credit that you realised you had overreacted. But at the same time, I can see how you initially got there. Chipping away for months and months would get my APM switched on, too.

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                    • This is a complex topic — but that’s the only post I’ve ever written where I thought, this is over a line I don’t like to cross. There are other posts that I have regrets about for various reasons but this one is unique in that particular regard. In the end, though, seen from the perspective of years later, I felt like the overlap (Schnittmenge) between Armitage and Tolkien fans remained a difficult terrain even so.

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  9. As I discovered RA in winter 2014 I watched an endless stream of fan videos. I still like them, mainly as a source of wonderful pictures of a very attractive guy.
    However, the first interview I saw with RA was the TAC christmas interview and I was totally smitten by RA interacting with Marlise Boland. He appears relaxed and funny, self-assured but not too much. The way he drinks cup after cup of tea just to have something to do with his hands, so sweet…Awww…
    Long gone times if you compare this or the TH interview with all those interviews he did for Berlin Station.

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    • Interesting – your experience really mirrors mine, in the sense that I am seeing that TAC interview far more critically than you do, because I had been in the fandom for a while at the point and came to it with a lot of background knowledge. I can’t bear to watch that interview… I think I have seen it once – never to touch it again.

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  10. It seems that I am easy to please😊.
    Never mind, everyone has his own favourite moment. I tend to like stuff which nobody else likes and vice versa…

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    • No, not at all: those interviews are very popular in the fandom in general (although less so among the superfans). But this particular divergence in reaction demonstrates very much the general point of this discussion, which is that a big component of reaction to any interview has something to do with what you know (and think) about its context(s).

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  11. I’m not sure what the exact moment was that made me fall in love with Mr. A. It wasn’t during Robin Hood. Yes, I was infatuated but not in love. But as I progressed in watching all his roles, I noticed that even his hateful characters had redemptive qualities. You wanted them to win. All I know is somewhere in all my googling of everything about him, he became an obsession. He became The One that all others were compared to and found wanting.

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    • The redemptive qualities are such a good point. Although I am always wondering whether I find the characters redemptive because RA is a great actor who can add layers even to a stereotypical character, or whether it is because he is irresistible. I’d like to think the former…

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  12. Pingback: RA Challenge ♡ #13: Musical Reminder | Guylty Pleasure

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