Long Awaited, Finally Here: Latest Armitage Q&A via Audible

Phew, that’s taken a while. Just before March turns to April, Audible has finally posted the Q&A they conducted with Richard Armitage. I haven’t seen it posted on YT yet; so far it is only available on Twitter itself via a tweet.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js
I had a whole post prepared on “How to ask questions that receive answers” but since as always my question didn’t receive an answer, I am going to retire that post unseen 😂. Obviously not an expert.

Comments

  • The choice of questions this time veers between audiobook-related stuff all the way to the Olympic Winter Games – which were happening as the Q&A was conducted and now seems strangely out of context. Well, that’s what happens if a Q&A takes so long to be published… RA mentions a book he is reading at the moment – The Children of God – and can’t remember the name of the author. There is a book of that title by Mary Doria Russell, however, it is not a non-fiction book as RA says, so it might be a different book. The way he explained some of the themes of the book (keyword: “suppression of the females”) immediately also made me think of Wolverine…
  • With the day that was in it when the Q&A was conducted, RA really plays to his female audience – 5 women writers. Interesting choices, especially Charlotte Brontë. Hello, Rich, and you left out the woman who gave you the big break? Elizabeth Gaskell? Hehe.
  • Barefoot, belt-less comfort in the recording booth. Almost like curling up on the sofa, comfy with a book. Interesting – also when compared to what we saw in the BTS videos from Wolverine. An altogether different approach to audio performance, of course, with an emphasis on performance, rather than “just” audio, I suppose.
  • And – heheh – I was amused that his pickings for audiobook recommendations came exclusively from his own body of work. Not his usual self-deflecting, complimentary self? His take on Tattooist was interesting, certainly adds something to my own thoughts on the story of Lale.

Edit: Double Bill

The master instagrams himself. The Lodge has apparently wrapped.

Au revoir Montréal, á bientôt. #The Lodge

A post shared by Richard Armitage (@richardcarmitage) on

//www.instagram.com/embed.js

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38 thoughts on “Long Awaited, Finally Here: Latest Armitage Q&A via Audible

  1. This might be the book. He’s reading about the Children of God cult:

    My library senses were tingling. Note: The is the same cult Joaquin and River Phoenix spent their childhood.

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    • If these interviews are meant as a way of maintaining fan interest i wish he would return to the format that followed the audiobooks he did for Naxos and Big FInish they were interesting and chatty I find the Audible stuff sterile and boring.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well, I guess they maintain fan interest in the sense that these are questions that were posed by fans – rather than questions by an interviewer. The trouble is always that Audible (or any other entity that asks fans to tweet questions to be forwarded to RA) curates the questions. Also, a Q&A is not a conversation, but isolated, individual questions. The best interview with added input by fans imo was the Following Films podcast where interviewer and RA chatted, rather than RA just ticking off question by question. http://richardarmitagecentral.co.uk/main.php?g2_itemId=415065

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      • Yeah, exactly. Those interviews were great and we learned interesting things about him AND his attitude toward the material he narrated. Sorry, fellow fans, but I’m not that interested in which Disney character he’d play but I would love to have known what he was thinking while narrating “The Snow Child” or where he took his inspiration for “Puss in Boots” from.

        Also, I’m guessing the reason he picked his own work from the list of audiobooks to recommend is that he doesn’t listen to them. It’s not really in character for him to recommend his own work otherwise.

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        • Agree with you re. the questions, but in defense of the questions that were posed – in this case we didn’t even know yet which stories he was reading for the supposed Women’s Day Project at the time of the request for submission of questions. And in fairness I will also concede that a Q&A simply determines the superficiality, no matter how good the questions submitted. It’s inherent in the format. Once again – an easy way of creating the impression that it is a fan service while simultaneously giving maximum exposure to the organisers/interviewee.
          (BTW: Puss in Boots is just fantastic. What a firework of audio performance. The trills and thrills of the piece are unlike anything I have ever heard Armitage voice before. I loved it.)
          As for reason for picking his own work: Do you mean he doesn’t listen to *his* audiobooks, or to *any* audiobooks, period?

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          • You’re making my point for me, I think. The fans are/were in no position to ask any interesting question that hadn’t been asked seventy seven times already. They didn’t take any of the questions about Wanderlust or Tattooist of Auschwitz at all, which might have provided some opportunity at least for something new and interesting, even if I am not personally very interested (although a part of me would have loved to watch him squirm talking about Wanderlust, and part of me is curious about what he’d say about the Shoah, although part of me also fears he’d descend immediately into cliché). Had they hired an interviewer, there would have been a subject specified, the interviewer presumably would have prepared at least a little. This was “ask random questions in the dark” as fans could only assume it would be about the earlier projects.

            To his credit, he seemed to try to steer this discussion with his own tweet. Although I wonder if he realized he was going to have to answer questions about Wanderlust and/or Tattooist and didn’t want to. I really don’t have a strong feeling on that, but I assume he could refuse to answer questions he didn’t want to answer.

            I think if he listened to audiobooks, period, he’d be able to suggest one by someone else. I don’t think he listens to his own work just because he’s always said he tries to avoid watching himself on screen (with the exception of the Jackson years). I think that he didn’t have anyone else’s to suggest because he doesn’t listen to them. Just a hypothesis. Otherwise he could have said, well, the latest I’ve listened to is (for example).

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            • All touché, “ask random questions in the dark”. However, I don’t want to completely discredit the whole thing. At least it means we get to SEE him in interview *at all*. (I do suspect though, that the choice of questions is not exclusively up to the Audible “interviewer” on the day. And who knows what gets edited out in the final cut…)
              Yeah, I doubt he listens to his own material. Not just for being critical in retrospect about performing choices, but even just having to hear one’s own voice. Most people hate hearing themselves. And it sounds as if he prefers reading books to listening to them, anyway.

              Liked by 1 person

              • Yeah, I dunno. My feeling on this seems to be changing; I feel like for years we’ve been saying, well at least we got to see him. I partially subscribe to that view. But you know, if it’s all based on the visual — we’ve seen him in this outfit now twice before. If that’s what I’m supposed to be happy about, then I want more variety. I mean, today I was served by the publicity machine this boring Q & A, another episode of Wolverine in which he has less than ten words, and a few pictures I hadn’t noticed before from Urban. It’s like we’re getting the worst of both worlds — the most boring publicity, the most tiresome content.

                Or, if you’re going to stick with the Q & A format: ask him some really out of the way questions (again, unfortunately, the kind fans are least likely to generate). Or just follow up on the ones you do ask. Like I thought it was interesting to hear him say his Olympic event would be Super G and if he had twenty years’ practice maybe he’d be competing. Why not follow up on that? Why Super G and not slalom? Is there a skier he particularly follows or admires? What kind of bindings does he wear on his skis? Or even: is there a sense in which he thinks of everything as a competition, i.e., if I’m a skier, I only want to be the best, most competitive one? Why is that possibility coming up for him? As it is it’s just cliché after cliché most of the time.

                Liked by 1 person

                • Yeah, my “at least we get to see him” comment was just an attempt at putting lipstick on the pig *hehe*. Nihil novi sub sole.
                  Funny you mention the Super G answer. That was one of the questions where I thought they chose badly – not that it is any less interesting than other Qs, but because it was so obviously current at the time of asking, and NOW feels completely out of context. That’s the sort of detail that disappoints me, too – because I think it is careless, negligent planning. Follow up questions would be great in theory – but in a Q&A that is not going to happen. It is just isolated Q after isolated Q. Bottom line: conversational interviews have a greater potential for true insight.

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                  • Yeah, it ended up being an unseasonal question, but had they shown this in a more timely fashion, it wouldn’t have been. That was the only question that was at all memorable to me from the interview at all, frankly.

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          • I also disagree about fan questions (it’s part of the rationale for why I never ask any). Fans tend to want to ask questions that affirm information they already know rather than revealing anything that might truly surprise them. I understand that it’s thrilling if yours is the question that gets chosen for an answer. I also I get this that this is a huge interest generator for Audible — it’s just not very interesting for any other reason. I’m looking for new insights and fan Q & As will never generate that. That doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with the fans, or even with the Q &A if that is what they want to do. They should do this to their heart’s content. It’s just boring to see it repeated.

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            • I agree by and large, but would also add that sometimes fan questions can be far more interesting and insightful than those by random interviewers. Just because fans are well-informed and thus *could* potentially ask detailed questions. However, Q&As usually end up the way you describe them – either answers to random curios, or confirming already known information. Nothing but a PR exercise, really, but an effective one, enjoyed and appreciated because it creates a potential touchpoint.

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              • I think I’ve said this before, but: the only place where I’ve actually seen that demonstrated in reality re: Armitage was the Green Dragon interviews for the first two Hobbit films. And she is a trained journalist, AND an expert fan, AND she had the opportunity to interview him. It wasn’t a crowdsourced effort, which is what Audible always gives us. (And I’m not arguing for some other fan interview format; I don’t think I would be qualified to interview him, either. I think a professional needs to do this to generate anything of real interest.) I don’t hate these things; I just find them boring and I really wonder why they are wasting our time. If you judge by responses to them on Twitter, the level of interest is actually quite low, if engagement is the index of measurement. You’ve got essentially 2-3 dozen responses to them that are visible to me (in comparison to at least a seven dozen questions he got, before I stopped counting them.) I.e., they get engagement on the front end but very little in comparison in response. It should be the other way around for their publicity model to be working.

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                • The lack of response has surprised me too, especially given the high response rate when they were *asking* for questions. But that’s probably exactly the point: hundreds of questions posed and only a handful answered, for 3.45 minutes’ worth of video. That is bound to disappoint/underwhelm some people. As you conclude: PR gone tits up…

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                  • Since there are clips of him talking about their book in the general promo vid for the series of Carter audiobooks, I wonder if they decided that it was inappropriate to have a man front that project too aggressively? Esp since there was likely to be a larger active interest in the item he was participating in than in a lot of the rest of her oeuvre? If so, I get that. I just don’t appreciate the bait and switch with regard to fans. They have may have had the idea to have another Q & A, and then realized their timing was off, in which case I suppose they could have edited the skiing question out, but that would have made it even shorter. I dunno, the more exposure I have to Audible the less I like them.

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                    • Tbh, him fronting the Women’s Day release of the Carter collection would’ve definitely raised my eyebrows, too, no matter how much I like him. I think it is not just fitting but necessary to have men contribute to such events, but the emphasis should be on women, so from that POV I am glad they didn’t make him the front of that project. Other than that, it is pretty clear that Audible likes to pander to the Armitage audience. All fine – IF they come up with the goods. In this case I don’t think they did. Too little, too late.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • The longer I live, the more I appreciate Peter Jackson. Yes, I was totally being manipulated to spend (and spend I did) but there were goods there. (Marvel: I am looking at you.)

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • I just read this tweet on Twitter: “I’m still pissed that the MCU had Richard Armitage and they wasted him”. Touché. And sure Jackson manipulated fans into spending – but aside the goods there were also ‘goodies’ – and a PR machine that knew very well what fans wanted.

                      Liked by 1 person

      • Well, it was nice to see and hear him. That´s all, nothing more. After all it´s a marketing instrument for audible first and a goodie for fans in second place. It creates a sense of interaction with him. I agree that the questions are not the most interesting ones. Considering the things asked it´s so obvious that audible chose them (and they could have probably found more interesting ones). I also agree that the Q&A is rather short. I´d expected more. I wonder if they didn´t ask more or if they just excised some stuff.
        Given his answer it makes sense that he doesn´t listen to audio books. He just couldn´t tell audible that he doesn´t waste his time with audio books 😉. I´m not into audio books and I did not listen to Angela Carter. But after reading Servetus´ reviews I would not suppose that Angela Carter is a good starter for someone not familiar with audio books (but that impression of mine might be wrong).

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        • I liked his performance of these stories a lot — they reveal a truly sophisticated level of performance that hasn’t been demanded in some of his other stuff and he absolutely rises to the occasion — but I wouldn’t recommend them as a starter unless you really like the genre of the pieces. I’m maybe not a good person to ask b/c I don’t like the audiobook format either, but I think as a starter I’d suggest something with a more traditional narrative. He’s at his best when he can draw the listener into a whole world and make one want to keep listening, and that’s more character of Lords of the North or the Georgette Heyer pieces. Or maybe the Robin Hood audiobooks.

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        • Agreed. Given the amount of questions submitted, I expected more. Just speaking for myself, but the whole thing hasn’t exactly endeared Audible to me. I just dislike being used for promo purposes.
          As for audiobooks – same here, not a fan of them as such, but am stubbornly fighting my way through them. The Carter narration is actually surprisingly good, given the tough material. There are certainly individual stories there that I would consider potential material for first forays into audiobooks – not least because they are short stories rather than *one* eight-hour novel. Having said that – I have only listened to Armitage’s narration and completely ignored Emilia Fox’s stories so far…

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          • I trust you both that he did a really good job with the narration of Angela Carter. And I became a bit curious about it. But knowing myself I tend to Servs suggestion for a starter. Although I have to admit that the argument about the length of the story has some merit.

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    • I think your assessment is right. No disrespect at all to the fans whose questions were chosen – they were fun, of course, and they were definitely more original than what I could’ve come up with, so kudos to everyone who had a question answered. I am glad he answered them, but the trouble with questions like the ones chosen this time, is that they are fairly impersonal and leave very little room for deeper insights because they are answered on the spot. If I am quite honest, I am a tiny bit disappointed about the shortness of the Q&A. Considering that there literally were hundreds of questions tweeted back at Audible, 3.45 minutes really is brief.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well, yes, I am of course happy for those whose questions he answered. But partly he just didn’t seem to have the same sense of fun that he often has wit Q&A — maybe the way that the interview was set up, the combination of questions, and usually he says the name of the person whose question he is answering, so maybe he wasn’t seeing them. And yes it was pretty short too.

        Liked by 1 person

        • IMO, the only thing that Q&As are good for, is actually having fun with them – as in: giving silly answers and just doing it as an exercise in entertainment, due to the limited time that the interviewee has for answering questions. Maybe he wasn’t in the mood…

          Liked by 1 person

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