“Now And Then” – Richard to Star in LGTBQ+ Drama

Now, *this* is some exciting news. More so than yesterday’s “Quark” news. According to the Hollywood Reporter again, Richard is signed up to play the lead in an LGTBQ+ drama, taking the role of a middle-aged gay man who revisits his past and who works through his relationship with his mother. Says Richard:

With Armitage saying that the character “resonates powerfully” with him, I guess we can expect a particularly intense and detailed performance by him. It sounds as if he might have a very personal connection to the role and the premise of the film. If it is so, I am delighted to see RA becoming more and more open about aspects of himself. I’ve always stayed away from open speculation on this blog about his sexual preferences. But for a while now I have been convinced that he is gay (or bi at least) queer. Not that that matters in a shape or form, neither to my appreciation of his talent as an actor, nor his function as a foil for fantasy. The clinchers have been the photos from the Gods love NY gala and his comment on having a family in an interview earlier this year. His remarks here seal it for me. Good for you, Richard! I really can’t wait to see *this* project come to life. And whether the character is gay or not, I am sure there is a lot to be taken from a story of acceptance and reconciliation, for anyone, no matter what orientation. And I am hoping so much that this will be a film that will help normalise sexual preferences in such a way that a gay actor can play gay and straight roles alike.

 

68 thoughts on ““Now And Then” – Richard to Star in LGTBQ+ Drama

  1. I just said to Mr. Kate that I take this as another step from RA to open up a bit more and he looked at me kind of confused, like “but why? Any actor—straight or queer—can play a gay man or a straight man. It’s acting” and I get it. In principle, that is correct, but I also believe that somebody who was as guarded as RA about, well, almost everything, this is big. Based on the assumption that he is not straight (which has always been my belief, but like you I don‘t discuss it much in public, not least because it is not in my purview to define him when he himself has chosen not to, which I respect) taking on such a role is opening yourself up to a certain set of questions that may come up and I think he wouldn‘t have taken the role if he wasn‘t okay with that. Add to that his comment about the role resonating with him, I fully agree with what you wrote. I can‘t wait to see this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mr Kate is totally spot on. And funnily enough, that logic has always applied to ‘straight’ actors playing gay men. But the other way ’round? Openly gay actors in roles as straight leading men? Few and far between. (I am thinking of Rupert Everett as I am writing this – I think he suffered quite badly as an openly gay actor.)
      But yeah, I agree – this is actually big *specifically* for Armitage. As you said, he has always been so guarded – to the point of secrecy, actually. So this feels like a milestone. Maybe it is the wisdom and confidence that age brings, that is making him unwilling to stay closeted much longer? I mean, I honestly couldn’t care less whether he is gay or not. The whole gay-shipping thing somehow always flummoxed me. (Just for the record: I wouldn’t ship a straight couple, either.) But I am definitely here to ship any de-closeting, if needed.

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      • Exactly. It’s—more broadly speaking—always been the case that privileged actors (straight, white, cis, educated) are allowed to play any role, including minorities of any description, but the reverse is not true for actors who are a member of any such group. Often, they don’t even get those roles because one of the big privileged names snap them up. So this is not a neutral role choice IMO.
        Everett in My Best Friend’s Wedding immediately leapt to mind. We have a long way to go as a society of supposedly evolved mammals.

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          • Two projects in the pipeline, and hopefully we will get to see them both without any difficulty – no more UATSC frustration please! He sounds so excited about this one, I’m very happy for him. I daresay there will be some tough moments emotionally when filming though, it’s so close to his heart.

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            • I hope we are not reading more into this than he is, actually. He is always so professional about his work – and enthusiastic about any role he is taking on. This might feel more personal, which can actually go both ways – he’ll even more of his heart blood into it and make it outstanding, or it’ll get too close to the bone. I’m almost worried for him because he always maintains that he is best (and enjoys it most) when he is playing a character that is so completely not himself.

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  2. Gay it’s ok. If Laura in her 60 means around 70 it’s ok, too. Anthony Head was only 17 years older, it worked fine but he is 66. I can’t wait to see this, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hadn’t seen this yet and ooh, yes, I love the sound of his project! I’ve personally come to the same conclusions you have (not that it’s in any way, shape or form important what I think on the subject but you can’t stop a woman from drawing her own conclusions), and I agree that taking this role will open him up to certain questions. Good for him for facing that music. Finally a project, which sounds like a good indie film, that I can really relate to (more than the priest one – love seeing him dressed as priest but that story interests me far less than this one does). I hope it turns out to be really good film!

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  4. I agree with all the commenteers. I think it is a big step for him and I feel stupidly proud [!!- why?] and uplifted by the news. Yes of course actors should be able to play most roles but it feels as though he’s given himself the chance to exhale – finally.

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    • I am with you re. feeling uplifted by these news. It feels as if he is taking a big step – at least in terms of disclosing something about himself. It’s not as if he is under obligation to make his whole life transparent, but I would think that it is easier to live life to the fullest when you can be yourself without holding anything back. I hope he is on the way to feeling safe, secure and confident.

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  5. Thanks for posting; hadn’t seen this news yet. Wonderful project and can’t to see him in it! For me, the photo of him with Lee Pace on that NYC park bench confirmed it, but as you said, that knowledge did nothing to lessen my enthusiasm, (fan)love, and excitement for him. He seems to remain always at the top of my ever-changing crush list! 🙂

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    • Also just noticed at the end of the article, they mention casting the 2 young leads, which I assume would be a younger version of RA’s character and the other student he had the affair with. Oooh, wonder who could be a good younger version of RA?

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    • I think it speaks very much for Richard’s talents that the enthusiasm with which his career is being followed has been unabated (for most) over a long time. I have to admit that I used to be much more curious about his private life than I am nowadays. And I have mostly lost interest in his communications also. But his acting still thrills me. He must be doing *something* right 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Sounds like a good project and I know he always ‘big ups’ any project he does, but he seems genuinely thrilled with this one. I think a piece that explores Mother/Son relationships is terribly close to his heart. The other themes…well we shall wait and see what else may ‘come out’ of that! 😉
    It seems like The Stranger has opened up some doors…made him more desirable (lol)
    And as long as he’s happy, healthy and working on screen (rather than audiobook lol) I’m good!

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    • Well, he hasn’t yet said anything about the project himself, apart from that one comment. Or has he? (Was offline the last few hours – who knows what the man has spewed since then 😂) So it’ll be interesting to see whether he bigs this one up as much as he does other projects.
      I think Now & Then was already on the cards before The Stranger came out.

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      • Oh yes, I didn’t think about this project being mentioned before The Stranger.
        Yes only that comment, but I felt “This is a beaitiful script” was pretty strong wording

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        • I think the stronger wording was that the role “resonated” with him. He is suddenly taking big steps, it seems, especially in light of his latest tweet (about trans rights). Good for him!

          Liked by 2 people

            • Mind you, with only tiny little morsels that RA gives us, everything takes up so much meaning… Of course, “resonated with me” could refer to a lot of things about that character and his journey. But yeah, in the context of recent statements, I took this to mean that he feels himself and his life strongly represented in that character.

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              • In context, I choose to assign meaning to it. As avoidy as he’s been with that subject for 20+ years, I don’t buy that it’s a casual remark. He can take that however he wants (not that he knows or cares).

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  7. Pingback: Counteracting prejudice with movies | The Book of Esther

    • I second Sinead Cusack.
      Max Macmillan I had to look up because the name did not mean anything to me. But yes, he would make a very convincing younger version of RA.

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  8. Ohhh, exciting. I love it already and who could play his mother? Would love to see Susan Sarandon or Michelle Pfeiffer once again. They are heroines of my youth.

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    • Those are definitely noteworthy actors, although I would prefer to see a British actress in the role of the mother – just because this sounds as if it is going to be set in Britain.

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        • I’ve just realised that I was on board for Sinead Cusack as the mother. Um. And she is not British, but Irish. So I better pedal back…
          Not knowing what kind of woman the mother is, it’s hard actually dreamcasting someone. Is she the warm and cheerful type? Or more elegant and aloof? I mean, Emma Thompson is 61 and would fit the former. Or a haughty Helen Mirren for the latter?

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          • Ja, I cleverly said “no Americans” so Sinead is fine in my book.
            But I absolutely agree. Fancasting in a void is fun but pretty tricky.

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      • Agree. British actors only, please! I would love to see Sinead Cusack (she’s Irish) as the mother or the actress who plays Mrs. C on Grantchester, Tessa something or other. She’s a very accomplished actor.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. When I saw this I jumped and and thought, yep, he’s going all out now. I think the story might be alot like his life, especially in relation to his mother and not wanting to disappoint his parents.
    I have noticed what his relationship with his Dad is like as whenever he has been asked about what characteristics he get from his Dad, especially during the Hobbit interviews, he never answered.

    I am looking forward to this project and I’ll prepare to cry. I also look forward to little Armitages, even if he goes it alone.
    He did ask on Twitter about same sex parents picking up their children from school and how others would approach and treat the matter

    He is definitely paving the way.

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    • Like you, I also immediately drew comparisons with his own life. Not least because he said so emphatically that the character of Chris really resonated with him. It really sounds as if RA was very close to his mother – and less so to his father.
      I have to admit I am always slightly put off by entertainment people pursuing their dream of a family of their own in a high-profile (i.e. public) way. That is not to say that celebs shouldn’t have children. I just think that they should get on with it in private and stop making a big fuss of it.

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      • Oh I agree about pushing a family as a part of being accomplished. I do however like the idea of leaving a part of oneself in the world to live on after you have passed. In my mind, I would like to have him enjoy the joy of parenthood and pour into someone his love and creativity. He has so much to offer that I wish he would have all life has to offer him, not just in work, and of course keep his privacy.

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        • I agree with all of that – in theory. However, I must admit that I am cynical about celebrities (and particularly busy actors) having children. Mostly because (from the outside) it looks as if many actors have children but barely look after them themselves. Sure, that is due to their busy worklives that take them away on shoots for weeks and months at a stretch. But having a child only to then have it looked after by a nanny, somehow does not make sense to me. But that is very much only *my* personal opinion on the matter. My husband and I very consciously made the decision to *always* have one of us stay at home to look after our brood while only one of us worked. That came with huge financial sacrifices (that are haunting us to this day) and occasionally rather hairy times when we lived on 10 Euro for two weeks, eating everything we had in our pantry 😂 while pretending to our kids that it was all a big adventure. However, it makes me feel good to look back now and know that we brought them up ourselves and were there for them, all the time.
          Ah well, maybe things are different, now. We’ve got technology that makes it easier to be in touch, and so a working actor dad can easily speak to his children via Zoom every night…

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      • And he‘s never seemed like he was particularly bothered about that outside of commonplace “yes, doesn‘t everyone want a family“ type of answers which were IMO due to the question being asked and him not wanting to out himself by saying the wrong thing, as it were.

        It‘s also completely okay to not want kids. I think that is something that still needs to be normalized to a degree in society. Sometimes it seems as if people almost feel compelled to explain or apologize.

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        • Completely agree with you there. I really hate those “would you like to have a family” questions (even though I myself went the conventional route and have family with kids). There is absolutely nothing wrong with deciding NOT to have children. And when I look at the planet we are living on, then it almost seems like a kindness to NOT bring children into this failing world. This whole marriage + kids thing is grossly overrated, anyway.

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    • Sorry to disagree about the children thing. He didn‘t ask about it on Twitter, he came out against people saying that children shouldn‘t be taught about homosexuality in schools. He did not refer to himself in any way.

      I just tried to find the tweets. Apparently he deleted them. Huh. Must have done that much later than he tweeted because I don‘t remember a tweet-delete incident at that time. *huffs*

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        • Yeah. I have to be honest, this one hit me right in the solar plexus. Weak, weak, weak. I’m upset. 😡

          There’s a huge discussion attached to those tweets and it’s now completely untethered out in space. Be an ally (or an own voice?) or don’t. Ducking frustrating.

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      • I had a nose and he seems to have deleted them recently. There was someone who wrote some nasty replies to those tweets end of April. So he’s deleted them sometime since then but I don’t know when or why he deleted but it may be in response to that person?

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        • Probably. I understand his desire to keep discussions clean or positive, but once again, by deleting his original tweet, he has completely destroyed the context of the ensuing discussion. And I wonder why it is so important to him, to censor his TL? There is no celebrity Twitter TL where there *aren’t* critics. That’s part and parcel of engaging in communication. He apparently does not seem to understand that his deleting sprees are acts of communication, too.

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  10. Agree with everyone. Boring of me, I have nothing to add. Hope he is happy and we can continue to enjoy his work/looks.

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  11. This sounds like an amazing role!! Can’t wait to see this. I don’t care what sexual preference Richard has, I think he’s awesome and a great actor. I do think a lot of his ‘bland’ interviews show he’s trying very hard to keep his private life private though, whatever that means. I just want the world to be a better place so that people can be who they really are, straight, gay, trans, whatever and nobody judges them. I don’t judge at all. I’ve got too many issues of my own!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Oh wow, this sounds a wonderful project! I haven’t been too much on the loop as I had to lessen socmed in this quarantine. Now I check your blog and Servetus for RCA updates. This is something to look forward to!

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    • Well done for dialing down your SM activities, Nix. It sometimes gets a bit too intense, doesn’t it? I have come to the same conclusion a little bit late, and have as of two days ago decided to stop my Twitter activities.
      It’s an exciting project. Fingers crossed that it all happens.

      Liked by 1 person

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