Looks like The Warrior Agency (a film and TV publicity agency) is doing a spiffing job, getting Richard (or his projects) in the papers. Another article dropped yesterday, and I immediately went out in search of it today. (Mind you, it was a bit of an odyssey b
ecause I didn’t look properly and took me 30 minutes and 3km to find the magazine: I quickly rifled through the Radio Times in my local supermarket but could not locate the article. So I did a deep sigh and walked 10 minutes to a large newsagents only to see the same issue of the magazine there. Nevertheless, I also browsed quickly through it to make sure I had not overlooked the article. But no luck. So I turned back towards home. As I was passing my supermarket again, I decided, fuck it, I’ll buy the issue, because I had rifled so quickly through the pages and chances were, I had overlooked the piece. And what can I tell you… I had. *doh* ) So here it is.
Since the article is on the occasion of Uncle Vanya streaming on the BBC iPlayer, the piece starts off with Richard’s notes on the play. Nothing new here, really – the prescience of Chekhov with the character of Astrov as a doctor who deals with an epidemic and who has understood the ecological implications of deforestation. Then a few remarks on his method of going through the characters’ experiences – from planting trees to being waterboarded for Lucas North.
More interesting are his comments on being (type)cast for action hero or brooding intensity roles. I think he is overstating it a little bit when he says he is asked to channel misery. I mean, yeah, Mr Thornton is unhappily in love, Guy is misunderstood, John Porter has to redeem himself for a crime he didn’t commit. Lucas has been in prison, Thorin in exile, Dolarhyde is obsessed by the red dragon. James is mourning his daughter, Calahan is fighting to keep his alive and sane, Adam Price searches for his wife. John Proctor goes to the gallows, Astrov doesn’t get the woman he wants. Hm. Right, all rather dramatic and frustrating. But are these characters truly miserable? Most often than not they are redeemed (even if in death)… I think Richard has really worked himself up into believing that it is his face and figure which have condemned him to eternal depiction of “misery”. I’ll just throw Monet and Harry Kennedy in here, as well as Chop. Even Claude Becker – at least he was acting in a light-hearted heist drama.
But hey, if Richard’s conclusion is that he feels the time is right to go back to singing and dancing… I can just say, wow, what has brought this change of mind on? Wasn’t that something you always rejected? But yes, yes, Rich, you are absolutely spot on. The public wants to see you singing and dancing.
Complete raggle-taggle mess?
The fangirl heart beat loudly when he recounted the little story about “going out half-washed, looking raggle-taggle because I think no one will recognise me. Then someone will pull me aside and go ‘I loved you in The Stranger’ and that really warms my heart. But I also think, ‘Oh God, I should have brushed my hair. I look a complete mess.!’” That’s the Richard we love. Modest, unfussy and “normal”. And yet also somewhat keen on always looking his best. And wow, it warms his heart to receive an honest bit of praise? Nice :-). But never worry, Richard, you never look a mess, and you can go out with bed hair any day and still look dead attractive!
That also applies to the whole body-issue that Richard continues to flout. Not sure where he thinks he has “sagging breasts” and a “fat belly”, I haven’t really seen the evidence, but ok, he was 48 when I last saw him take his shirt off as Adam Price and Astrov 😛. Jokes aside, I understand the discomfort of being seen that gets worse with age. I personally don’t believe that his general attractiveness has diminished at all, but sure, that also reflects my own taste as a maturing woman of a similar age than him. Fair enough if he doesn’t want to take his kit off. Although I sometimes think that the gentleman does protest too much… ☺️.
We can look forward to whatever else he says he has to offer in the next decade. Hopefully still in front of the camera and not just from behind or from a recording booth. Because *that* would be misery indeed.