Interesting Insights from a New Armitage Interview

This was exactly the thing that I needed to get back into blogging after the holiday. What a pleasant surprise to come across this Armitage interview by Den of Geek, tweeted via RAnet, this morning. Especially as there were some bits and pieces in there where I really pricked up my ears, especially when my much-loved adopted home, Ireland, is mentioned. Asked about how he got involved in Pilgrimage, Armitage reveals:

That’s good to know – and thank you to the unknown Irish agent! It is probably also why Armitage got involved with the Bridget Cleary story. From the interview it sounds as if there is actually work happening – and the fact that he has mentioned the piece a couple of times lately, also points to the story being developed right now. He says:

I very much like the idea of RA being involved in the development of a project *beyond* his own characters. He has proven on other projects that his method of creating backstories (by way of character diaries) is quite successful, in that it allows him to create a multi-layered character. It would be great to see that applied to a whole body of work. And of course I am thrilled that his involvement in the Cleary project means that he’ll be shooting in Ireland again.

What I also found interesting in the interview, was Armitage’s reply in relation to his activities as Cybersmile ambassador and how he got involved.

That is the kind of clarification that would have been nice to be had way back in 2016, when there was much discussion about what Richard might or might not mean with his Cybersmile essays… I would have hated the idea that he was telling his critical fans to shut up – and I never really thought that that censorship is something he believes in. Looks as if he was aiming for passive self-censorship instead: Rather than banning people from writing what they want to write, a suggestion to stop reading what people don’t like to read.

And awwwww, let me highlight this for you again:

This should really come with flashing hearts around it. The fangirl heart has just shattered into a thousand pieces. 😍 New memes, new fantasies, new fan fiction will grow from this, straight as it is from the horse’s mouth. Was he channelling John Porter???

Porter is “all heart”. Screencap from Strike Back

Jokes apart, some interesting insights there on Armitage – never mind that the actual transcript would have benefitted from a bit of editing. I’m all heart, too, now. 😍

Read the whole article HERE.

68 thoughts on “Interesting Insights from a New Armitage Interview

  1. Interesting. On the voice work for Castlevania, I was wondering if they did the voices to a visual or drew the visual to the voices. Now that I know it’s the latter, I wonder what the script said through all of his grunting and breathing while running. “Huh… huh… huh…”! Fascinating!

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    • You’ve put your finger right on a thing that occurred to me, too, Sue. Rewatching Castlevania, I found those panting scenes particularly droll – I was wondering whether Armitage was actually jogging on the spot, in his studio booth, trying to get Trevor to sound out of breath and panting. I suspect not – because those grunts and pants were the one thing where I thought Armitage failed.

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      • Oh! I actually liked the grunting and panting. It’s very video-game-appropriate from the ones I’ve heard played. But I was somehow fascinated by them and was wondering how they were scripted and timed to the action.

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  2. Part of me says, “aww! how sweet – he’s just trying to protect us” (which really is nice). But another part of me (the snarky part) says, “really? I’m a grown woman who can fend for herself.” But that’s just me.

    I do realize, though, that he has a few fans who are overly sensitive & seem to think every harsh post is aimed at them (one in particular comes to mind). They shouldn’t.

    On the whole, it seems to me he’s just trying to be the good, gallant gentleman I think he is. And I love him for that.

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    • I guess I feel like you, Lady – there’s something very sweet about someone wanting to protect others. However, there’s also something patronising in unsolicited protection. Plus, it begs the question how in-touch the ‘protector’ is with his ‘charges’.
      What surprises me about those fans who continuously jump in the breach for Armitage, is that they are more or less doing exactly the thing that they are criticising in others – they are reacting harshly to someone’s opinion. Whenever that happens (no matter whether I am the aim of it, or others), I wish I could explain to them that despite my occasionally voiced criticism, they should take it as a given that I *adore* Armitage. Otherwise I wouldn’t even bother voicing an opinion on what he does or says. Just because I take issue with something he does, doesn’t mean I hate him. It means I am according him the respect of taking him seriously enough to consider his opinion and forming a reaction to it.
      I totally believe that he is trying to be a decent person, too.

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    • I also think there are quite a few younger fans in the mix and their relationship with social media is a more dependent one so protection is probably more applicable there and a good idea ; it’s not bad to give suggestions about how to deal with negative interaction i think. But equally important to encourage discussion, it’s a fine line to tread. I agree with respect being the main feature and also the possibility of walking away if the wall of opinion gets too much. And ultimately he is in practice probably also right that the best solution is walking away and not reading as stopping people from making certain types of comments or such is not an option. It always is very complicated as although he may actually want to protect people or create a safe environment for interaction for everyone, in practice he just wouldn’t be able to do it.

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      • Exactly! I don’t always agree with everything he posts & will occasionally sound off about it, but it doesn’t mean I like him any less (just that we don’t agree). As for getting into arguments with other fans, I’m to the point of being “I’m getting too old for this crap” and choosing to walk away rather than engage in a somewhat pointless fight.

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      • The main point here is the expression “fine line”. I’m not sure whether it really is his duty to encourage discussion. It certainly is *not* his right or duty to *stifle* it. He has a right to voice an opinion – just like we all do. And to give advice on how to deal with things, is fine, too. But I cannot help but think that he fundamentally misunderstands social media.

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        • Agreed, i think he judges it or sees it through the lens of normal conversations? Ie the probably thinks: you wouldn’t say this or act like this face to face, would you? Which is true but it’s just how it works. Not saying it is right. Essentially i think what i am saying or leaning towards in terms of wishful thinking is that it helps nobody to just frustrate about something which will never be the way face to face conversations are. No point in wishing it so, ain’t going to happen. But it can be improved and if one cares enough to then there are plenty forums where one can make a real difference. Frustrating about reality not matching expectations leads to no result. I wish he would have the time and inclination to pick a cause and get involved 🙂 Just because i admire people who do go above and beyond to change the world for the better, silly fool that i am. Not that one can’t make a difference in much smaller ways every day. But public figures do have more clout, it’s true. Anyhow… he is very busy working and that’s fine.

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  3. I don’t want, or need, Richard Armitage’s protection! But I haven’t seen the whole interview yet. [going to check it out]

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    • I hope you realise that I am only appreciative over his ‘need to protect’ in a fangirling way 😉. It fuels certain ideas – call it ‘Kopfkino’. But otherwise I agree that I neither need nor have asked for his protection on the internet. When push comes to shove, I actually think that I am better at protecting myself from the stuff that I don’t want to see/read/hear than he ever could.

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      • Yeah — I found myself wondering if he was responding to a confusion between fan fantasy with reality there. It’s true that I fantasize sometimes about being protected, just like I fantasize about kinds of sex I would never have in reality. Real life is a different thing.

        The other thing is — he’s such a control freak. I was just thinking about this while driving and thinking, okay, I read this and understand it as a general statement. But I can think of at least one fan who is likely to think that he is specifically talking about her and will continue on her merry way now because of this. I guess I’m getting to the point where I wish he would stop talking about it because no matter what he says, someone will interpret this as a reason to treat other fans poorly in his name.

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        • Re. first paragraph: EXACTLY what I mean. I love John Porter’s heroic protectiveness. Would I want a man to eagle-eyedly guard my every move in RL? Eh, NO! But hey, it suits the purposes of fan fantasy, so fine.
          Re. repercussions of such statements – the effect is probably just as you describe it. However, I suspect he’s forever caught in a quandary because whatever he says – it’ll be interpreted and understood by his fans (or the public) whichever way it suits them. I don’t really mind that per se – and I don’t think that he can do anything to stop that. Unless he decides to never speak again. (And I don’t really like that option…) It comes down to switching on the /ignore/ mode: Either ignore him, or ignore the “enforcers”. *shrugs*

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          • I don’t want him never to speak again. On the contrary. I eat up what he has to say about how he works. I don’t want fans to stop interpreting what he says. On the contrary. I wish we could go back to more of that.

            I just think he keeps thinking he’s going to fix this one thing (what fans in general and his fans specifically say on social media), and he’s not, and I wish he would be quiet about that if that is his only motive (which it seems to be — he never says, I love being exposed to all these opinions, or I love the interactions, or I use it to get information, or it’s a tool for keeping up with my friends — all great reasons to use social media, as opposed to policing fan competitiveness, as he said two years ago, or protecting people, as this interview suggests). Indeed, he’d have more legitimacy as a tweep and an influence on fans if he actually used Twitter the way most fans do, because he’d seem less like the dope in the pulpit and more like a human being. (I mean, in the end, how is it different if fans police the speech of other fans vs if he does it? Does he not see that the very fact that he uses Twitter, which levels hierarchies, to promulgate this message undercuts his authority?) As you know, I’m not an advocate of that for other reasons, but it would make more sense in terms of ability to do what he says he wants to do.

            That said, as long as he’s associated with Cybersmile he’s going to get these questions. Cursed be the day that whoever had that idea decided to pursue it.

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            • Totally right – I like all the arguments (pro the use of Twitter) you have given there. And mostly because they all are *constructive*, not *destructive*. It just really surprises me that he doesn’t notice that himself.
              You know, even in spite of his involvement with Cybersmile he could follow a different strategy.

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              • No doubt, but I tend to think, in situations like this, if he really wanted to behave differently, he would already be doing that. I mean, we’re coming up on three years now. He can’t be called a newbie anymore.

                If we look at his variety of explanations for joining Twitter over the years, they don’t really wash; I still suspect that even if some of his personal reflections are not lies, the decisive reason was that a publicist nudged or pushed him to do it. Else why even start after so many years of silence? But he seems to have some issue with ever saying “I am doing this for me / for my career” (probably not in his culture vocabulary to admit those things publicly) and also to have some need to say “I’m doing this for you [fans]” when that doesn’t seem to be the case as he isn’t really doing anything like what fans would like him to do and has done less even of that over time. I mean, we’ve talked many times about the level of personality that it’s appropriate to reveal on social media and whether he has it or is capable of sharing it. In the end effect, his tweeting reveals that it doesn’t matter because he doesn’t in fact share it. I don’t hold this against him although of course, I’d like to see those tidbits. I just wish he would give up the pretense.

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                • I totally agree with the theory that he only started on Twitter for promotional reasons. And that he is somehow embarrassed to admit that. He certainly is not (and never has been) taking part in the social media discourse for the fun of it. His contributions (particularly his reactions – which tend to only occur when he feels he needs to defend himself) are far too heavy-handed for that. I understand and totally expect that he cannot enter “the lightness of SM interaction” with fans. But what about banter with his fellow celeb tweeps? He doesn’t do that, either, so the conclusion must be that he doesn’t feel any inclination to do so. That’s perfectly valid.
                  Mind you, he has said a couple of times that he is on Twitter to promote his work and causes that he is interested in, so that’s as close to a mission statement on Twitter as we are going to get.
                  I find it very telling that the fandom on Twitter is usually at its most peaceful when he has *not* recently tweeted anything…

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              • But putting those out would mean he would have to actively try and justify his presence for what it is not or rationalise use of twitter which doesn’t seem natural to him or let’s just say he doesn’t use it for any of those reasons; many people who do use it for those reasons but never thought he does. So i’d feel it would be trying to appease or invent a story which is not his own by saying that. It’s for publicity use and that’s that and i think that is an acceptable use as well even if a more seldom one. But while people who generally are not much bothered with social media can afford to ignore it and not use it in his case at some point the decision was made that he cannot or should not and there it is. I don’t think not having a desire to use it on a personal or daily level like many of us do also means that one is not concerned by its effects and use.
                I sort of understand the concern and bounce myself between worrying about the problem and the undue impact it seems to have on some people and trying to ignore the problem because i can’t do anything about it. The problem is if one really is concerned, especially around more vulnerable users there are ways to really engage but they are not as simple as just a few communications or such. The complexity of the issues far outweighs the capacity of any one person to change things significantly. And telling people what to do is also not the way. Fostering healthier behaviors and providing more security is very difficult in mediums which rely on freedom of communication. There are however very interesting debates about children’s rights, the right to delete past content and such which create new ideas about how to approach things.
                Anyway, all i am saying is that i don’t think the 2 things need be exclusive of each other, ie not being a dedicated or avid user but being concerned about the way it is used and impact in general. But that concern is just that, action is difficult, complex and requires a different type of commitment/engagement which again is only possible with significant time commitment (not always possible, understandably).

                I guess that is my own small and sometimes temporary disappointment as a fan although i recognise the inherent difficulties. We can all talk and bring up subjects and it’s a good thing to even highlight them. Commitment to change however is something more.

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                • re: someone decided he should care — it may be because his fandom was from the beginning a social media / Internet thing and has remained that, possibly because he doesn’t go to conventions or do a huge number of projects. There were fan meetups from the beginning in England but I think they aren’t happening any more, at least not on a large scale. So it’s kind of like, if you’re an Armitage fan in the sense of more than just an admirer, the web / social media is kind of where you are.

                  re: the questioning of caring even if you’re not using it — I think he could set a good example. That might be useful. (Not clear to me that he’s capable of it.) But there’s a sense in which his attempts to demonstrate his caring have been more destructive than anything else.

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        • 🙂 Sure great control freak. Il veut laisser une image lisse, aucune ride au sens propre (visage) et figurĂ© ( conflits). J’aimerais connaĂźtre sa collection de bobs, de casques, de parapluies, de parasols.

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            • Une harmonie, oui dans un sens, mais elle me semble vouloir ĂȘtre obtenue, grĂące Ă  des discours moralisateurs, qui tendent vers une volontĂ© d’ auto- suggĂ©rer la restriction de la libertĂ© de parole d’autrui et de soi mĂȘme.

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              • I tend to agree. He wants to control what people say, even as he denies it. Otherwise why keep responding the same way? Why not say, say what you want?

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                • Sa rĂ©flexion tourne en boucle, il butte sur cet Ă©cueil. ll n’a rien de nouveau, de constructif Ă  proposer que la bienveillance.
                  Mais j’ai du mal Ă  exprimer que des pensĂ©es positives , la rĂ©volution française gronde encore toujours en moi.

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                  • I don’t think it is so much what people say than how people behave, yes of course in twitter this is almost the same but not quite; i think he’s more about trying to fix the behavior than the words. It feels as if it is more about the aggressive nature of statements and repetitive behaviours than the content of the comment or the object of it for lack of better words

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                    • Maybe, but he was the one who put the 86 on “things that mums and kids shouldn’t hear.” So I think he does care about the words.

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              • That may be true. At the same time, though, I think there is an intent behind the moralising, that is not meant in a self-serving way. Or if self-serving, then only in the sense that by “protecting” others, he creates the harmony that he needs.
                Jeez, this is getting pretty close to APM *argh*

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                • I would in fact agree, the only statement which seems clearly more in defense of himself was the one about his right to an opinion; the rest seems more about ‘pacifying’ storms where he is just the subject of the discussion but which are not actually directed at him. I think he’d like the idea of a fandom which is a bit flower power and all lovely jubbly 😉 Not just to him but to each other, maybe it is that- he thinks the waves of love towards him should be the general feel of the place. Never thought about that, it may be puzzling or rather annoying that it is so different. But that’s probably reality in all fandoms. Doubt it’s something he will ever really learn to live with or just learn to accept or learn to leave alone. 🙂 He seems to try and leave it for some time and then he’s drawn back, maybe by the conscience which tells him to engage or some feeling of ‘duty’ and there we go again 🙂 Or when due to publicity he seems more of it again etc.
                  Do you remember Wet wet wet with Love is all around? Sorry i’m giggling in a bit of irony 😉 LOL He does seem to be able to achieve that kind of harmony in his work place and with his colleagues and i can sort of understand his frustration of not being able to achieve the same in his fandom. Mental image of Porter coming all relaxed and tired from his daily work which went well and then turns phone on and looks at twitter and starts rubbing his hands over his face LOL It’s chaos and madness in comparison, have to admit that 🙂

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                  • The very idea of that (“now I have to come home and take care of this chaos”) is self-serving. That’s fine; I don’t feel that every expression of self-interest is egoistic or even problematic. It’s just so … white savior-ish.

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                    • not sure he wants to take care of it, maybe it just frustrates him because of the contrast and then he gets the odd impulse to get involved or try and fix and it all goes belly up most of the time so he leaves possibly again frustrated? until next time (and repeat) 😉

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                    • sorry, i don’t think i meant it to, more jokingly 😉 But he does seem to come back again and again to the subject now and then but not for long enough to really do much about it 😉 Doesn’t seem like he is really to just ignore it yet.

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  4. So in addition to APM we now have FPM (Fan Protection Mode) from the man himself. There’s a certain symmetry to that. I think he is really sweet to care about people and want to protect them. But the realist in me knows he can’t protect fans from each other. We have to do it ourselves. Put on our thick skins and express our opinions, positive and meh.

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    • TouchĂ© Kathy. It may all be very honourable, but as long as he voices an opinion on fandom matters, it will be misconstrued or appropriated. If I were him, I’d stay out of it.
      But yeah, thanks for fuelling the fantasy, RA…
      FPM – fitting coinage!!!
      PS: You at SDCC yet?

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      • Yes, I am in hotel room with Mimi right now. Thinking of you and binging on RA related every thing. Slept to his dulcet tones from Romeo and Juliet all night. Finished it this morning. One of these years we will get you here.

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  5. C’est sympa les interviews, oĂč de multiples sujets sont abordĂ©s.
    Mais pour les explications sur les retraits de ses twits et les conflits sur internet, n’est ce pas trop tard? Cela manque de spontanĂ©itĂ©.
    Sa pensĂ©e est si peu claire, ses explications sont tellement alambiquĂ©es, que leur comprĂ©hension prĂȘte Ă  interrogations sur leur vĂ©racitĂ©. Est-il franc, sincĂšre, honnĂȘte? Elles poussent Ă  s’interroger sur des interprĂ©tations doubles, un discours Ă  multiples tiroirs. Veut-il nous protĂ©ger ou bien se protĂ©ger? Qui a la peau la plus fine ou la plus Ă©paisse?
    Des fans qui ne font pas de bruit prĂ©servent la tranquillitĂ© de la fanbase. En haute mer, le marin aguerri affronte la mer dĂ©chainĂ©e, la tempĂȘte pour naviguer plus vite, pour le challenge , le calme plat lui est d’un ennui mortel .Alors!

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    • Loved how you put that – calm seas are boring, indeed.
      And I think you are putting your finger on something that I also felt about these statements – too little, too late. Some of that would’ve been interesting to know while the controversy was raging. However, as Servetus has said elsewhere – the trouble with it all is that he is meddling in fandom matters. And since the fandom is not *him* but *about him*, his involvement complicates things.

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      • ” I find it very telling that the fandom on Twitter is usually at its most peaceful when he has *not* recently tweeted anything” C’est la meilleure conclusion possible.
        Mais quel gĂąchis, quel dommage, tant d’occasions manquĂ©es, Ă  jamais perdues…Est-ce que les parties en prĂ©sence retrouveront un jour leurs confiances respectives?

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          • I agree with you but try telling RA that! To me, there is a proprietal sub-text to his comments about feeling responsible for fan abuse on social media (really?!) and becoming a Cyber-Smile ambassador as a way to help “protect” fans. As much as I adore him, it all smacks of his ego to me.

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            • I also am almost getting the point where I wish he would talk directly about what he means as opposed to in general terms. (I’ve always been opposed to that for obvious reasons, but …)

              Like, if he means what happened on imdB in 2014-15, that would be good to know. Because (a) that had almost nothing to do with fans — that was a troll attack on fans — and I’d love to know if he’s figured out a way to protect fans from trolls; and (b) many of the people who were most active there explicitly described their presence there was doing something “for” him, i.e., it wasn’t random people who bopped in to talk and then got savaged (unless you want to talk about what happened there in the period before the trolls (2010-14 as I observed it; can’t say anything about before that), where random people who bopped in to talk were accepted when they conformed to the rules of the people who dominated the forum, which meant no discussion of his romantic life). Those people who happened by weren’t savaged if they didn’t conform, but the people who dominated the forum made clear that they were unwanted. Or, is he talking about the uproar on Twitter in Sept 2014 around the “beard” tweeting event? Because that was fans on fans. So I’d kind of like to know exactly who or what he is talking about — because there are actually moral and communicative valences there. I’d find it incomprehensible if he thought the way to deal with something that happened on imdB was to join Twitter. Again … stories that are hard to make sense of.

              re: ego — I think practically all fan expressions are representative of ego somehow, so I don’t know that what he says separates him from us in that sense. But if he wants to be part of the fandom, his behavior should be different. Sometimes he reminds me of a pet owner who leaves his pet in a cage most of the week and then wants to be greeted with affection when he does have time to take it for a walk.

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              • I take these kind of self-aggrandizing statements he is prone to make in interviews with a big pinch of salt; he has his personal narrative to pursue (in this particular instance, the “caring” thespian concern for his fans on SM). Personally, I find that some of his explanations just don’t stack up when subject to scrutiny which makes me think that a lot of what he says in interviews is mostly (meaningless) actor fluff!

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                • I always remind myself he never took freshman composition and thus was never instructed in the basic rhetorical rules that talk about the logical consequences of absolute statements. I also don’t mind reading actor fluff but it’s a bit like deleting tweets on Twitter. If you want to say implausible things about irrelevant things, fine; but if you’re going to make sweeping statements about the fandom, well, you’re talking about me and something I invest a lot of time in. So tread carefully.

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                  • Well, and not only tread carefully, but also *expect* pushback – or at least reactions. That’s what I don’t get – does he seriously think he can control fan reactions? I mean, whatever we do on public forums, we *always* know to expect dissent. Even I expect that when I write something, and I more or less deal with the worst-case scenario in advance by carefully deciding how I phrase myself. It’s rule #1 of human interaction.

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            • Une expression dĂ©fraie la chronique: “Le maĂźtre des horloges”. J’ai l’impression d’y ĂȘtre continuellement confrontĂ©e.
              1- La mĂ©taphore de l’horloger est empruntĂ©e Ă  Voltaire:
              -« Le monde est une horloge et cette horloge a besoin d’un horloger » dans PoĂ©sies et
              -« L’univers m’embarrasse, et je ne puis songer que cette horloge existe et n’ait point d’horloger » dans Les Cabales de Voltaire (1694-1778).
              Ici, le mĂ©canisme de fonctionnement de la terre ne peut donc ĂȘtre compris et rĂ©glĂ© que par un maĂźtre-horloger suprĂȘme : Dieu. En quelques mots, Voltaire pose ici la question sur l’existence de Dieu en tant qu’ĂȘtre supĂ©rieur et invisible et s’interroge sur son rĂŽle en tant que crĂ©ateur de l’origine de la vie sur Terre.

              2- Pour le gĂ©opoliticien Dominique Moisi il s’agit de dĂ©crire le pouvoir de vie ou de mort d’un dirigeant sur ses sujets.

              3- Pour Philippe Delmas dans son essai: “Le MaĂźtre des Horloges”, l’Etat est le gardien des horloges, le pourvoyeur de la lenteur nĂ©cessaire, contrairement aux marchĂ©s Ă©conomiques dont la force est leur rapiditĂ©.

              4- Pour Emmanuel Macron il semble s’agir de vouloir tenter de contrĂŽler l’agenda et et le tempo mĂ©diatiques.

              5- Pour Richard Armitage, je l’imagine en apprenti sorcier voulant calmer en vain ses fans comme dans le dessin humoristique de Ixene:

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              • But i do think it is always that type of personality which has worked well for the successful French presidents in the past ; you have to believe you can fix the world and that you do know best and hopefully some of what you think is for the better since people agreed with you by voting 🙂 But you have to have a certain ego to believe that and think you can do it 🙂 But what works for politics and governing countries in democracy doesn’t necessarily apply in social medial i think where democracy doesn’t quite apply as the rights of all are not safeguarded or guaranteed (which i guess is what the whole debate about the possible negative impact is about – how do you protect the vulnerable for those who shout loudest or from abuse). Society has developed ways of dealing with it or at least setting the rules of the game, this does not unfortunately really apply to social media.

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                • Grande complexitĂ©! Qui gouverne un illuminĂ© , un opportuniste, un homme providentiel? Il a Ă©tĂ© Ă©lu, sa lĂ©gitimitĂ© vient du vote. Mais ces sujets font rĂ©flĂ©chir au monde actuel et virtuel, au pouvoir et ses limites, aux risques et aux libertĂ©s..

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            • Not sure whether I would call it egotism – but certainly a false sense of responsibility. But yes, you are right, there is a connection between his efforts at policing the discourse, and his activities as a Cybersmile ambassador.

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  6. I haven’t read the interview & I have no interest in reading it either. I find it ironic that he’s the Anti Cyberbullying Ambassador and some of his fans are the nastiest, rudest people I have ever encountered (along with a couple of American Gods loons) . I haven’t come across any other fandom who tells a reporter “next time maybe you’ll learn how to properly pronounce the name of the person you are interviewing”

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    • While i agree with you that is is very unpleasant and wholly uncalled for i think you see more of it because of the level of interaction, i can assure you it is all the same, regardless of the nature of object of fandom 🙂 The stuff music critics have read (or hopefully passed on reading ;-)) because they have said this and that about a singer! No idea about football fans but i’e heard the abuse shouted at trainers and clubs from those who think they know best 😉 Every fandom has a fraction which always thinks it knows best and the object is above all critique, but you also have to remember it is always only a minority, it does not represent the majority. Just because they shout loudest or are the voices most heard does not mean they represent all. And as said, it has no connection whatsoever to the object of the addiction at all.

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    • I know that you have a lot of exposure to many different fandoms, so I don’t doubt that that is your experience, Nancy, but I do think that that is quite a sweeping statement. I have my own criticism of the fandom as you know, but I do not think that this fandom is really worse than any other. Bear in mind that you have a particularly strong following from the Armitage fandom due to your Plushie Richie account – but you are not operating separate accounts that have a direct connection to other fandoms. It’s pretty obvious that you are therefore getting more interaction from Armitage fans, and that may distort the picture.

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      • I didn’t say they were the worse than any other. I said they were among the worse that I personally have encountered (along with a couple of American Gods idiots who were particularly nasty). I’m sure there are worse people out there from other fandoms. I’ve just never interacted with them.
        As you know I am a Mads Mikkelsen/Hannibal fan, although not an obsessed one. But in all the years I’ve been part of the fandom, I personally have never seen nastiness and infighting. Ever. Maybe other people have. I haven’t. Same with The X Files, The Exorcist, Versailles, Black Sails, The Last Kingdom, Dominion, Prison Break.
        I receive awful, rude emails/DMs etc on a regular basis. Most of them are, unfortunately, RA related.
        Apologies if I offended you 😀

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        • No, you never offend me because I know you are not including me in the opinion you have formed about the fandom at large. And as I said, I do believe that you are getting unbelievable crap from some fandom members. (You have shared some with me, so I know the evidence.)
          I would have thought it incredible that there can be fandoms in which there is no infighting or nastiness. With my (limited) experience of fandom, I came to believe that that is part and parcel of it. Much like it is with *any* group, whether virtual or RL. Maybe your choice of fandoms has been wiser than mine 😉

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  7. I find the categorisations of work interesting and they tend to be tailored by him according to the nature of the media he speaks to LOL Bit opportunistic me thinks, i doubt he’s say that to a BBC commissioner or casting director if he applied for any role 😉
    I’m not a particular fan of N&S although i have great respect for the production values and realisation and acting. I don’t think however it quite falls into the bodice ripper label. Arguably Robin Hood was way more that than any romanticised historical fiction, especially in seasons 2 and 3 which were dedicated largely to him or created with him in mind and for a certain audience 😉 Fine line Mr A, fine lines.
    The full length version of NS had considerable content of social value and period specific and i actually enjoyed that very much. It would have been a rather dead bore if all we had in this was Margaret’s story and none of the mill owners and workers and they were by far more interesting characters. The book is even less of a bodice ripper than the series as well. And actually that’s one of the reasons i value it and what makes Thornton interesting, he’s not your typical hollow romantic character.
    And i find it unfair to lump Hobbit with RH 😉 Peter Jackson does not deserve that!
    I love Guy most and ever 😉 but let’s be honest about things here.
    Labels are never a good idea Mr A because you inadvertently stick them on yourself my association and why devalue your own work which is worthy of respect. Let’s not be derogatory about the work which actually put your name on screen so you could go an explore all sort of independent projects. I don’t know why he sometimes seems to look back with a critical eye on past work and praise current work above all else, as if you could disconnect them and as if there wasn’t a continuity in it. It makes me sad when he says such things and i have to admit i never quite understand what the tendency to look back at work like this is a recurring theme. It’s most likely just something said in fleeting conversation matching the interviewers expectations or some such as reality says he’s put as much research and consideration in all roles from what we know and if he was ask about one in isolation his reaction to it is likely to be a very different one ( i hope)

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    • It reminds me a bit of how he’s started to talk about musical theater and dance; more recently his statements have become much more negative than they were at the beginning of his career. Maybe he feels a greater emotional distance from them. I wonder about the extent to which N&S was a double-edged sword, just on the level that (a) it made him a recognizable face but (b) created certain expectations / limitations. I think it’s fine to point out that N&S isn’t really great art (thinking of a long essay I wrote about this seven years ago now!); I agree Gaskell wasn’t Tolstoy; from its 19th c. beginnings, N&S was a mass cultural, serialized project. I wonder (and this is just based on a lot of conversations I had with fans years and years ago) if that distinction wasn’t part of his problem, at least with the fandom (and maybe with casting). Fans saw N&S and the crowd that really is into high cultural projects thought that was the way he was going, and he didn’t go that way at all. Over time, as project after project didn’t move that way, there was an increased level of frustration. Meanwhile it seems from some of the N&S publicity that the industry didn’t see it as high cultural; it was more pitched at Middle England. So it got him recognized but it didn’t move him into more high cultural projects, and maybe that was said to him, at some point — why are you aiming at these prestige projects, you’re known on the basis of a bodice ripper? Just hypothesizing.

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      • yes, NS would certainly not have been a prestige project, BBC does that in documentaries, not series 😉 War and Peace was the same, very good but not high brow. It’s the whole point of these things actually. And why this was probably a good thing for him at the time, exposure. The only way to go high brow from there is to do only theatre, there isn’t a way to do it on screen really. But i do get what you are saying, there is sometimes a sense in the way he talks that he himself looks down on these things a bit, much more than we do actually i feel at times from his tone. Like the constant emphasis on him liking darker, more serious, complex subjects. Could be what he would like to see in himself or think of himself. I disagree strongly on that point. Culture does not need to be that and there is nothing wrong with entertaining while educating or simply entertaining. You know the whole, educate, inform and entertain ;-))) Works for me. Not sure if these distinctions are a thing of British class system expressing itself in a different way or view of culture… just wondering. I didn’t grow up with these distinctions and i don’t agree with them or understand them. I truly enjoy Spiderman as much as i do a Verdi and Wagner as much as i do Ed Sheeran, War and Peace as much as Pride and Prejudice and so on. To me they are absolutely on equal footing and all worth the same respect and experience. In fact i crave that diversity and could not live with just one section of it. I sometimes feel he does? I’m not sure because then again he does seem to enjoy the variety when he works in it. And it seemed he was so much looking forward to the musical comedy for example? I wish i knew what he really liked or enjoyed in that area. Maybe it is the impact of the school system here, i truly don’t know and have a hard time understanding those perceptions and views. I’m glad when i grew up nobody frowned upon me liking cartoons as much as opera, etc. I feel slightly hurt i have to admit every time he does this.

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  8. PS sorry, really not taking over the conversation, just treating this a bit in writing as if the discussion was face to face and since it’s been months since i’ve had the chance to talk about ‘him’ i’m catching up on everything.

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  9. I kind of think that RA feeling responsible for unpleasant interactions revolving around him on social media is like if you invited people for a potluck dinner at your house and people got food poisoning. You’d feel responsible and really bad about it, even though you didn’t do the cooking. So I can understand the feeling, but I’m not sure there’s a solution. People are responsible for what they read and what they write. From what he was saying about the potentially younger fan base from The Hobbit, it sounds like making suggestions as a Cybersmile ambassador may have initially been aimed at younger folks. But it does also seem like he does have a real need for harmony as was said in the comments and for all of these diverse people just to all get along. That’s pretty unrealistic, though.

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    • I wouldn’t feel responsible unless I made the poisoned food or created the poisoning problem with someone else’s food; I would feel bad about it if it happened at my house, though. This is what I mean when I refer off and on to him as the source of a codependency that affects the fandom pervasively and flares up intensely from time to time.

      We had this discussion a lot back in 2015 when he started with CS — who were those statements aimed at? Back then, a lot of people argued that the target demographic for CS was teens and so he wasn’t speaking to us at all, but it seemed like, from things he said, he was talking to older fans. Now, here, he seems to be saying he was talking to his own fandom. Frankly, there were practically no teens before TH. A few twens. But they were also not really represented on the fan forums or imdB or blogs. I can think of maybe a dozen teen fans I’ve encountered in all the these years in those places. The place where the teen fans were tumblr, and the thing that people got savaged over on tumblr was the nature of his romantic life. So again, the story he’s telling doesn’t really fit the circumstances. Maybe it’s just that he doesn’t really process these things first-hand himself and doesn’t have a good idea of the specifics, but you’d think if he’s being advised about social media by anyone they would be a bit more precise about how the contexts affect the interactions.

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      • I actually would feel responsible emotionally, even though logically I wouldn’t be, but that’s just me and how I react to things like that.
        It would be really great, though, if he voiced these kind of ‘explanations’ when stuff was happening rather than after so much time has passed. The specifics aren’t clear and he may know exactly what he means, but it’s still hard to tell.

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