The Fan A to Z – #B

First leg of the journey done, I arrived yesterday in Northern Germany. Boy, that was a rough landing… felt as if the pilot crashed the undercarriage of the plane. After my favourite food (white asparagus with smoked ham and new potatoes *waves at Servetus*) I am now sitting on the terrace. It’s considerably cooled down since yesterday evening when we arrived into 32°C – but hey, anything that is dry and sunny is good in my books.

Anyhow, while Zee, Esther and Nellindreams have already started the challenge and have ploughed ahead to B, E, and M respectively, I have trouble even getting to B. Typical! So yeah, I want to get B out of the way before I am setting of on the second leg of the holiday journey tomorrow morning. So here goes…

B – Which of his characters do you think RA is most like? Which is he most unlike?

I’ll try to do a long answer and not just write down two character names.

What is RA like, anyway? Hard to say, since we obviously don’t know him personally. The picture that emerges of him through his own words, his interviews, tweets, selfies – and through the praise (!) we hear from his colleagues – is one of a very friendly, polite, eager to please man, often mischievous and cheeky with unexpected jokes, but also eloquent and bookish, occasionally verging on nerdy. There is an obvious interest in music and arts there, as well as undertones of left-leaning, liberal ideology. And then there is the humble, self-disparaging side of him, staying in the background, deflecting praise unto colleagues and collaborators, combined with an openness towards new genres and different types of work, from audio to stage. Negative characteristics? Well, veil of silence and all that, but by his own admission he can be moody and temperamental. I suspect there may also be a propensity to be single-mindedly self-centred – in the sense that he seems to concentrate on his roles or preparation for his roles so much that there is very little else he will make time for. That’s my very general reading of the man.

So RA once said that the character he was most like, was Harry Kennedy. Sure, nice one. A very happy, sweet man, our Harry. With humour, conviction, courage, patience. But for some reason I find Harry just a little bit to cheerful for RA. So here’s my unpopular (?) opinion: I think he’s a bit of a Lucas. Lucas! Not that Bateman fella! Of course he’s neither a spy, nor has he been incarcerated and tortured in a Russian prison for 8 years. But the whole secrecy thing kind of does it for me. RA seems such a private man, carefully guarding his privacy. Spies are actors, like RA kept saying about BS, so there’s a bit of that, too. Plus, it seems as if RA has some strong convictions that he is standing up for. Not for the defense of the realm as his Lucas alter ego, but occasionally the political animal shines through. Lucas isn’t always deadly serious but can also be light-hearted, he is sometimes very caring (although rather misguided in his choice of partners). Ok, he’s missing the strong eagerness to please, but well – there can never be 100% congruence. So yeah, I am going for Lucas here. Gratuitous photo:

As for which of his characters he is most UNlike… I agree with the others that Francis Dolarhyde is probably top of the list. And some of the lesser known characters – sneering William Chatforth, that *awful* Craig in Doctors, or Lee in Between the Sheets. But here’s another suggestion – I haven’t even seen the film yet, but what about Claude Becker? Supposedly a slimy, arrogant, superficial snitch of a cad? As a “realistic” character (rather than a “fantastical” figure such as dragon-obsessed serial killer Dolarhyde) he might be the opposite to polite, decent, reflecting actor-with-a-conscience Armitage?

Well, I guess I’ll find out whether my theory holds when I watch the thing in July.

Until then – do let me know what your opinion on the matter is. It’ll pass the time ⏳. And don’t forget to check what Esther, Nell and Zee have to say – or pen a post yourself on any of the blogs which are offering guest post opportunity!

 

25 thoughts on “The Fan A to Z – #B

  1. I don’t know the name of the character, but the role I think he is least like is the guy in the speedos. Only because that guy hung around in a swimming pool and RA has major issues with aquaphobia, if there is such a word. Can’t say hydrophobia since I don’t think the character had rabies. For most like, can’t guess. I like your reasoning, though, Guylty. Maybe he has a lot of Lucas in him. Or Standring. He seems shy in public, based on personal observation of premier, SDCC, and various stage door brief (brief as in nanosecond) encounters.

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    • Speedo guy is Lee. Yep, deffo not like RA. I hope. Hehehe. And not just because of the water phobia. Standring was on my list, too, but I actually do not really think that RA is shy at all – just reserved and unassuming.

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      • You are probably right. Maybe reserved and unassuming are British qualities that I misinterpret as shy. I think you have observed him more often and in closer quarters than I have. And you have certainly known many more Brits than I have. So I am persuaded that he is not shy.

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        • Hehe, totally bullied you into accepting my opinion. Who knows – I could be wrong and he is really coy in RL and only puts on a brave show for us 😉

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          • Yes, I am a pushover. I just thought I should bow to your extensive RA encounters. He has looked me in the eye more than once. Probably because I am almost as tall as he is. Anyway, didn’t seem particularly shy if he can do that. I am accidentally quite intimidating to shy people. It must be my overbearing personality.

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  2. @ Kathy: you mean Lee Preston and his flirty-gerty womanizing airs? 😂

    Er hat schon ein paar Unsympathen gespielt… 😉 Tom Steele aus Doctors war sicher einer davon. Craig war der Name seiner Rolle in Casualty – wenn ich mich dunkel erinnere, eher zur sympathischeren Kategorie zu zählen.

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    • Du hast Recht, ich meinte Tom Steele. Den hab ich mir neulich gerade noch mal angeguckt. Was für ein K’brocken. Und das als Arzt… Craig aus Casualty dagegen muss ich mir dringend nochmal ins Gedächtnis rufen!

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    • Yes. I have only seen screen caps from that show, so I was thinking about swimming rather than womanizing. He has spoken so often of his aversion to water so being a swimming instructor, or whatever he was, would be a big no for him.

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  3. I hope he’s very different from Dolarhyde, too. Not only for eating people – how impolite – but for that burden of pain and misery.
    As an artist, he probably must be stubborn, stronghead, single minded and so on; to me he seems a person who find happiness in work, so maybe he’s alikeThornton, or maybe Monet, someone ambitious and hard working.

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    • Yeah I think maybe Thornton for his work ethic and emotional stoicism and love of family and Standring for his compassion, messiness (ok in my book) and DIY skills. Least likely would be Becker he is just vapid and narcissistic although cute, just not enough screen time there to swoon over

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      • Those are good points. I agree, Michele. He’s also often said that he felt a certain amount of connection with Thornton, what with his ancestors coming from Northern England and working in the cotton industry. Although I don’t consider RA as conservative as Thornton, he certainly seems to share some characteristics with the hardworking mill-owner.
        Standring – I’d even add the social awkwardness here. RA is good at hiding it, but I often have the impression that he is not the best at social situations… Not necessarily shy or introverted, but perplexed and slightly embarrassed.
        Becker is definitely his polar opposite. Probably exactly why he had fun playing him.

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        • That is interesting, I kinda thought he was an introvert maybe not shy but reserved, fussing off any attention, good at deflecting questions, hard at taking praise. Although his #pokerface was a little odd-did he mean stoic or was he being cheeky? I think maybe he keeps company with colleagues like Michelle Forbes or Yael Farber bec they are so outspoken and confident (well my impression of them) bec he is insecure to an extent but then aren’t we all. I’m an introvert and I gravitate to people that are more outspoken bec that makes me feel more comfortable in my space if that makes any sense.

          My impression of him politically is a moderate/progressive ie conservative maybe on money but more outspoken on social issues like the refugee crisis. I hesitate to use the word liberal here if you know what I mean…
          I would cringe if I ever met a Claude type although I liked Claude’s wardrobe just not how he styled his loft.

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          • Depends of the definition of introvert, I suppose. Reserved and avoiding attention is a good description, though. Interesting theory/reaction that you as an introvert feel most comfortable in the company of extroverts. Sounds logical.
            Hehe, I wouldn’t hesitate to use the word. Liberal – possibly a little bit further left than that, although it doesn’t seem to me as if politics is something that he has a *major* interest in or that he has ever spent time studying. (Which is fine, of course.)

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            • Introverts aren’t really attention avoiders (or shy); rather, they are people who experience energy deficit when they are around many others and so tend to seek out solitude when they are tired or overwhelmed. In contrast, extroverts are not necessarily attention seeking. Rather, they are people who gain energy when in the presence of others, and so seek them out when they are feeling tired. Introverts are more likely to be reserved than extroverts, but they are not more likely to be socially awkward.

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  4. It’s near impossible to come up with a character he is like. Not Harry Kennedy – I agree. Lucas didn’t have much of a sense of humor and what he did have ( so rare) was a little more sophisticated. I’m going to land on John Standring from Sparkhouse – hardworking, honest, tolerant, slightly naive, helpful, understanding, at first glance, shy, forgiving, loyal. The one he is least like is – all the rest of them with a special nod to Raymond DeMerville (Pilgrimage).

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    • Yes. Standring was my first choice years ago before I knew that he himself had said that Harry was closest to him in character. It’s not a 100% likeness, either – a little bit too shy and awkward, but the whole decent guy side of Standring seems to apply very much to RA.
      Raymond – was on my list, too but then I decided to exclude the propensity for torture and murder from the catalog of characteristics 😉

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    • At the risk of sounding pedantic, here’s the interview where he said that: http://ew.com/article/2008/08/01/bits-and-bobs-v-5/

      I feel like there are two things to be noted: (a), it was 2008, as he was filming RH 3 — so many of the roles we associate him with were not on the table (late Lucas, Porter, all of Thorin, etc., etc.). Not saying he would necessarily choose differently now but he hasn’t been asked the question since and (b) in the interview, he goes on to say in the followup that he and Harry have a similar sense of humor. That’s quite a bit of a qualification. Anyway, in my case, at the moment I read that (spring of 2010), I thought, Kennedy was the only halfway “normal” character he had played — not a villain, not a hero, not a historical icon of some kind.

      re: Standring — I don’t think it’s possible that he’s anywhere as naive as Standring seems and as Armitage thought he was at the time, again citing a source: http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/filmography/sparkhouse.pdf

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      • Totally males sense! For lack of other characters, maybe Harry was the closest to him *then*. But yes, a good few new characters have joined the fray since then. I always thought Harry was just a little bit too light-hearted for RA. Sense of humour may be right, though. Thanks for linking that article, btw.
        Agree with you on Standring now. The decency and occasional awkwardness may be spot on, but the naivety doesn’t quite fit.

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  5. I thought about that problem and since I can’t judge about HK (never really seen, because I dislike this pairing…) I decided to choose young Kenneth from LLL as a character which is most unlike to RA and gentleman-like Percy (in his good moments) as somebody with the largest coincidence. Young Kenneth seems so naive and silly and I guess that Richard was even as a child or teen quite serious and quiet. Probably, I am totally wrong…
    And I chose Percy (can’t remember his last name) and not John Thornton as the character which fits best to RA. Percy is polite, funny, intelligent and charming, but shows also signs of anger and violence when disturbed. Like Richard himself
    With the right woman on his side, everything could have been better…

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    • Ooops, noticing lots of unanswered comments very late… Young Kenneth – interesting choice. Problematic, though, because of the age difference, I guess. Just in the sense that that youthful optimism and self-belief is something that a lot of us had – and then it got eroded by the years. But yeah, very naive and silly, too.
      Percy – wow, controversial choice! Those characteristics are right – ignoring his later metamorphosis into a wife-battering, philandering arse.

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