Meeting Richard Armitage | Rencontrer Richard Armitage

Retrouvez cet article en français sous « lire la suite » 😉

Like everyone in the Armitage Army, I couldn’t have been more delighted to read the stories (especially the very detailed one by ItsJSforMe 🙂 ) of fans meeting Richard. It may be stupid to write, but I’m really happy for them. I was excited, amazed and thrilled by what I read. I had the impression of being with them, and experience first hand a certain reality. A reality including somewhere on the other side of the world the man who has been occupying my thoughts way too often  for almost 1 year. Even though I’m very curious of who he is , I’ve accepted that my role as a fan is to never really grasp him as a person. Therefore, I rarely think of Mr A as himself, but rather as his fantasized version, as a character.

To read these encounters confronted me with his reality. Suddenly he became tangible, palpable, so far and yet so close. While I’m writing these words, he’s living his life in this foreign country, he’s working, he’s laughing at a joke, sharing a good meal, or yawning because he’s been up  since 5am. It’s not Richard Armitage, the actor, neither his characters that I had in mind while reading these recap, but a man, just a man, and almost a young man with this strangely boyish look . A man I could, you could cross at an unpretentious party, at the counter of a pub drinking a beer or at a park jogging, etc. In short, Richard.

I don’t know if I’m expressing myself correctly. What I’m trying to say is that I had a sense of identification so intense that I gasped. Even though my brain was screaming that I was in front of my computer and not in front of Richard, my body reacted as if this was the case. And that’s when I realized something. Something I touched in my questioning of the interest to possess an autograph from Richard Armitage. Just the use of the word « possess » sums it all : if we can’t « possess » him, at least we can « possess » a part of him.  Truth be told, I don’t want to meet him. This is not a « maybe » or « why not » or a « this is unlikely, however. » I have no desire to meet him. And if  by a pure miracle he found himself on my way, I’d turn back to avoid him. I had considered the idea that the most likely way to see him with my own eyes would be at a premiere or a ceremony, where I would be far away from me, drowned in the crowd and making no effort to get closer to him.

I do not want an autograph. I do not want to meet him. I do not want to be photographed next to him or even just take a picture of him. And yet I consider myself a fan. And yet I was overwhelmed and overjoyed at the idea that some of us have had the chance to meet and talk to him. Once again I wonder what that makes of me and what it says about me. What kind of fan am I to try to escape at all costs the object of my affection? It’s not shyness. I’m introverted, but not shy, and my hotheaded side can make me do really crazy things. I don’t think it’s because I’m too self-conscious. The media like to give caricatural and distorted image of us. However, I’m not ashamed to be a fan. At most, I wouldn’t want to disturb him, not to force my admiration on him because I respect him too much for that. But I know that this is still not the real reason.

I’ve always been honest here, I’ve always tried not to censor my thoughts and feelings  since for me the purpose of a blog is to let go the pressure. What’s the point of writing here if I can’t write what I really think? Then fine, allons-y. If I make the effort to consider the problem,  there are two reasons that lead me to have a position as categorical about meeting with Mr A. First, as I’ve already written here, my heart doesn’t beat for him but for his fantasized version (see fantaisies 1 and 2) . He provides his looks, a few character traits showing through in his interviews. So it’s about 20% of the man he is in my head. The remaining 80% are filled by my desires, by my thoughts and cravings. Richard Armitage is not my fantasy, he only gives me the shell for shelter. In a way, I am my own fantasy. With this in mind, it makes perfect sense that I lack interest in meeting him. At most to admire his looks 🙂

The second reason is much simpler. To meet him is to take the risk of being disappointed. It’s my reality vs his. The latter being fundamentally different from mine, I know that in any case I would be disappointed. Not because of my sudden realization that Richard is an asshole full of himself (there’s little chance it’s the case) but because a meeting with him will never happen the way I want. It’s all or nothing with me. If I can’t have everything I want, if I can’t have him as a whole (understand what you want to understand 😉 )  I’d rather not have him at all. I don’t want crumbs. I don’t belittle any people seeking contact, on the contrary, I could repeat it a thousand times, I’ve loved to read and see photos of these meetings. It’s just not for me.

So yes, I am a fan. Demanding, surely. Neurotic, without a doubt. But lucid and very self-deprecating.

And you, would you like to meet Richard Armitage ?

Edit : checking my post one last time before publishing it and guess what, one of the Cbeebies stories has just started to play 🙂

Edit 2 : And another fan gets to meet Richard ! 

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SDCC styling issues 1/2

Retrouvez cet article en français sous « lire la suite » 😉

What better way to resume blogging than a styling lesson with Mr A ? I’ve already expressed my dismay to Richard’s questionable choice  in clothes – although, if I’m really honest, the credit goes to misguided stylists unfamiliar with a lad of his stature rather than him . After a rather chaotic fashion journey – some « gems » can be found here in a conversation with the object of our affection – Richard has made ​​notable progress, especially through raiding Lucas North’s wardrobe. It was worth it, him playing in Spooks, just for that! I can’t thank Spooks’s stylist enough  for being able to instil some common sense in Mr A’s wardrobe and style. The last two photoshoots in which he participated also confirmed this change, the peak being the one for Project Magazine. Thus it is possible to dress this man without making him look ridiculous. Simple and structured cuts, tailored clothing in the good size, neutral colors, a classic style reinterpreted. Frankly, was it that hard?

From this…. to THIS.

Now let’s start with what interests me in this case: his style at the San Diego Comic Con in July. With the reappearance of Richard in public besides Peter Jackson’s vlogs (and therefore Thorin’s costume ), we could appreciate his fashion sense, or at least its evolution. Because yes, there is no doubt that, for public appearances like these, rather casual, he wears his own clothes without having received specific advice, let’s face it 🙂

Having experienced the SDCC flood live on tumblr like a 13 years old hysterical lassie (I think I could have screamed  like a Justin Bieber fan at every emergence of a new photo/video of our bearded god in that blessed day), I still retained a critical sense regarding  Richard’s stylistic choice. Now that the frenzy is – just – settled, I think I’m able to articulate my thoughts. I want to say that despite the criticism I will make, if  Mr A were to stand before me in a giant banana costume I’d always find him incredibly attractive, all negative remarks on my part do not question his degree of attraction but rather the packaging. And whether he likes it or not, whether we like it or not, he’s in the big league now and he will have to play the game by the rules.

Two outfits. Two different occasions during the weekend. Do and don’t.

Don’t versus Do.

The outfit  itself is not « wrong » but a set of details give the impression of the most unpleasant carelessness  (yes, I know, a promo marathon, jetlag, he is tired, etc. but … whatever) I’ll proceed from head to toe. First, his hair is not styled, his beard is not trimmed nor styled because yes, a beard, like hair, must be styled, especially when it’s so long. Another detail, a sexy lumberjack beard, I vote for, but not to a « fallow » look. In addition to the trimming, it’s necessary to shave the hair from the Adam’s apple and bellow  (if not to the jaw ….). A man yes,  but not a bear.

First positive thing I meet, the necklace barely visible and playing with our nerves. I’m sure I’m not the only one to wonder what it is 🙂 I only have one desire, move my hand around his neck to discover this treasure. Anyway …

You do not wear a shirt over a t-shirt, whatever the shirt, whatever the t-shirt, especially when you’ll soon be 41 years old. The shirt itself is not bad although not really suited to his body, dark, simple, a cowboy style – press buttons and pockets worked on the chest – modernized by the color and material. But it’s how he wears it which is wrong. Yet it started well with the sleeves rolled up, showing his muscular forearms and especially his very nice watch … He shouldn’t have worn a t-shirt underneath, even if  v necks  suits him very well, leaving only a button open, and especially back in his pants. Personally I’m not a  « put your shirt into your pants » maniac like my grandmother, but in a case like Richard’s with a body like his, there’s no alternative (or maybe half in half out, but not entirely out). His figure would have been more pronounced and the cut would have seemed more fitting. In the end, while watching his upper body,  I have an unkempt  (the flabby  neck and the too opened shirt ….) and bloated feeling, which is ridiculous when we know how muscular he got for Thorin !

A few words  on the watch. I love men’s watch. If there’s one thing I like to steal from men in my life, it’s their watch –  and perfume. This one is the quintessence of what I like. A black leather strap, a steel dial, simple, practical and resistant. Nothing too flashy. An excellent choice.

And now, the cherry over the cake, or should I say the essence of what doesn’t work in this outfit : the jeans. At first glance, nothing too serious, faded black jeans, rather fitting. But when I focus a little more on the beast, I start to become disillusioned. Primary concern in terms of color: while wearing shades of black seems a good solution not too risky, it is a mistake. Black T-shirt + black shirt + black jeans + black shoes, this is a definite no. You only have to look at  Serkis for a more unfortunate result. A black shirt with blue jeans, I say yes, black jeans with white/blue/pink/green/etc shirt  I also say yes, but not a total black look. I don’t ask Mr A to be in tune with the eccentricities of his colleagues (Sir Ian McKellen and Martin Freeman have shown a very personal taste and color in their outfits :)), but a little color would have made his outfit more exciting.

From left to right : bootcut, straight (or normal fit) and semi slim

Now the core of the problem, the jeans itself. I don’t think I, as an individual, hold the ultimate knowledge regarding the choice of jeans. Simply, my job, my real job is visual merchandiser for a major brand of ready-to-wear. I spend my days dressing mannequins and offer customers coherent outfits  so I think have an eye not too bad in terms of fashion. Richard has a particular body  with long legs and muscular thighs that are not easily enhanced by most cuts of jeans. So what cut for Mr A? Three choices available for him: straight jeans (with the ultimate example of Levi’s 501) which is a classic and whose cut is perfect for men with large/muscular thighs or bootcut jeans (regularly worn by Lucas North) which only works on long legs. We still lack a solution, my favorite :). The bootcut and straight jeans are classics that do not pervert Richard’s figure. What he needs is a cut that emphasizes his long legs and his adorable « peaches ». And the holy grail is the semi-slim: the jeans are slightly narrower on the thighs and ankle. Better than a straight cut and wider than a slim, the semi slim is the perfect compromise: thighs are adjusted which refines them and buttocks are emphasized without being molded. Which brings us back to the jeans worn by Mr A at SDCC, a slim, THE cut too tight that disproportionate legs (this type of jean suits only one man out of 10). This unflattering effect is reinforced by decorative stitching and reinforcements added to the thighs and knees that break the leg. Moreover, the washout is too artificial thus enlarging his  legs.

From a purely external eye, Richard looks like a 40 year old man who lets himself go a bit in that outfit. Straw!

As always, I write too much, so see you tomorrow for the good outfit 😉

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Fantasies / Fantasmes part 2

Comme toujours, en français sous « lire la suite « 

Following the excellent article by Servetus, I have slightly delayed the publication of this one because I felt the need to develop certain aspects of my thinking. What I found particularly interesting in her article is that she conjures different characters played by Mr A in her fantasies. Richard as himself, or at least as she sees him, only came later, when she allowed herself to fantasize about him. Personally, I’ve never fantasized about one of his character, ever. I understand the attraction they may have for some, but not for me. Only Mr A as himself takes part in my fantasies, because as I said during the 30 day RA challenge , my favorite of his characters is his public persona,  therefore it’s logical that he’s the hero of my scenarios. Why should I be embarrassed to admit this ? The vision I have of Richard is as fictional than the one I have of Guy or Lucas, so I see no reason to police what I say.

Richard Armitage at the Hobbit press conference, the only protagonist of my fantasies

After my childhood fantasies, the one that makes me endure my job when  it exhausts me or when there’s a tension with le BF is Richard. I only have two fantasy about him, and only the most recent (and most powerful) interests me here. This is a not a writing master piece, I’ve simply tried to summarize the scenario I play with so do not expect a work of art! 🙂

Journalist for a magazine, I’m on my way to the Hobbit press conference for the movie promotional tour in Bordeaux (even if it’s a major french city, it’s far from enough to attract the Hobbit but… fantasy :)). I’m dogged by misfortunes, the tram I’m in goes down  and I have to finish the journey on foot. It starts raining and my shoes hurt. I wanted to be a « real woman » by wearing heels,  but now I regret it. I always have a pair of flat shoes in my bag, so I changed, keeping the other pair in hand, and resume my route. I finally get to the hotel, drenched and exhausted, only to realize that I missed the conference.

The Regent Hotel in Bordeaux, one of my fantasy scenery

Annoyed, I’m about to leave , thinking about my boss’ future scolding when I see two men coming off the hotel bar. I know it’s him. His back is turned to me, accompanied by his publicist, but I’d recognize him amongst a thousand. I know I look miserable, hair dripping, mascara probably streaming on my cheeks, heels in hand, but I can’t miss this opportunity. I approach him but his agent is standing before him, putting a distance between us. He tries to push me away, but I insist. Richard intervenes, interrupting  his agent to let me speak, staring at me from head to toe, which makes me even more self-conscious of what I look like. I’m mortified but gathering my courage, I quickly explained my situation, begging for a few minutes of his time. Something in my words or my attitude makes him took pity of me because he accepts my offer, much to the chagrin of his agent. I ask him how long he can give me. 15 minutes. If he gives me 10 more, I take him to a pub next door to be out of the Hobbit madness . A pint of beer is an excellent argument because once again he agrees. Follows an idle chatter on the way.

The Charles Dickens pub

I keep for myself the questions I’d ask him  because they change depending on my mood – and they’re too dear to me. The interview goes well, I’m professional, I don’t fangirl, which might embarrass him, and I even managed to gain his trust despite a difficult start. I’m especially interested in him, I try to capture him in the time allotted to me. Some questions are very specific  other completely anecdotic. He’s sometimes elusive, but he avoids no questions. I’d be lying if I said I don’t flirt a little with him, but it’s not what this whole fantasy is about. Mr A isn’t famous in France, not yet, so we aren’t disturbed in the pub or on the way.

Once the interview ended, I pay for our consomations and accompanies him to his hotel. On the way, an idle chatter again. I ask him if he had time to visit Bordeaux since his arrival. No, their schedule is too tight so they have no time for sightseeing, to his chagrin. I stop and stare at him. Without even thinking, I suggest, if he wishes to and if he has time, to give him a tour of my city. Polite, he smiles and replies that he’d love to but can’t. I interrupt him by saying that it’s okay, I understand. He laughs again and goes on, saying that if I want him to, he can join me once his obligations fulfilled. A stupid grin on my face, I scribbles my number on a piece of paper and hands him before I leave.

Parking Victor Hugo

Does he call me ? Yes. Do I give him a tour of my beloved Bordeaux ? Yes. Another pub that I love (  beer+me = the perfect equation), a wine bar whose main room is built around a huge fake real-looking tree, a parking with a car giving the impression of to be about falling into the void, the narrow streets and crooked places crawling with restaurants and nightlife, a huge square with a massive fountain, the ruins of a Roman arena, the quays of the Garonne and « Le miroir d’eau » for a final evening walk. It’s adorable, funny, moving. In one word,  perfect. Does he kiss me or more ? No. I touch his hands, his face, he does the same. Nothing more, nothing less. But there is this connection, just this once, just once, for one evening. And that’s all.

This fantasy is deeply rooted in reality. I’m not nice with myself, on the contrary, I’m in trouble (rain, tram going down). I try to take an exacerbated femininity that isn’t mine (the shoes). As a child I wanted to be a writer. Growing up, I told myself  journalist would be a good financial alternative. Adoring film critic, it’s a job I’ve considered for long. In the end, I took a different path but it’s something I could have done. As in my real life, I’ve just started my job and I suffers from pressure from my boss. I see Richard as a case study I want to dissect and solve his mystery. I take him to a place where I feel comfortable, I control the setting if not the effect he has on me. A pint of beer always helps ! What I want is to see the world through his eyes and let him see the world through mine, hence the proposition to visit my town.

Le Palais Gallien, ruins of a roman arena

aside

I’ve always have this fascination with what happens in people’s head. We all have a different way of seeing, feeling and thinking, and I find it extraordinary.The differences are further exacerbated between two people from different cultures and languages. The language we speak and the words we have shape our thoughts, so I’m often frustrated when I speak/write in English, because words fail me and therefore my thoughts are not as precise as I’d like. I always have in mind this example of Inuit languages with about thirty words for « snow ». Thus an Inuit succeed to think and express nuances that I would be unable to seize, as French.

End of aside.

By paying the bill and proposing to give him a tour, keep control while remaining independent. I take the lead, leaving him my number, but doesn’t ask for his because he has to come to me. If he wants to see me, let him come. I’m definitely proud. But by leaving the choice to call me or not, I leave an opening that prevents me to suffer the full brunt of rejection. My insecurities. In real life, I’m in a relationship, but not in my fantasy. However, nothing happens between me and Mr A. Not because unconsciously I refuse to « cheat » on le BF, but because it’s not what I want. I’m looking for this connection, the communion between two minds, just once, just one night. Nothing more, nothing less. Therefore an autographed photo will never satisfy me 😉

Le miroir d'eau

Lire la suite

RA’s autograph

Version française de l’article sous « lire la suite » 🙂

In the early stages of my addiction, when I was still deep in North and South, the very origin of the existence of this blog, I felt a compelling need to express what I felt. For Richard, in his incredible talent, is an actor who makes me feel things, feelings, emotions, sensations. It’s not only his job that triggers this phenomenon but his whole being. A well-chosen photo of him, a particular quote, and especially his voice makes me feel. Never an actor had caused this reaction before him. In contact with his work, through what I felt so badly, I felt alive too. Therefore, overflowing with these intense feelings, I needed to externalize and put words on it.

Richard's autograph, taken from here

The very first thing I did was to write. Specifically write to him. I need to say that this letter, although written for and about him, was not really intended to him. It was a way like another to express what I felt with and for him. Indeed, the only time I’ve written to a celebrity, was at 9 and it was for the Spice Girls – please don’t judge me ! XD-. Suffice to say that I wasn’t used to this stuff ! So I wrote this letter, this long letter in English to explain, and above all, to explain to myself the reasons of my sudden and disproportionate dedication to this man I’ll never meet. Some extracts of this letter have been incorporated into my Why now? ,Why him?  and Why me?posts

That was a release but it wasn’t enough. Starting to look up information about him via Google (like everyone :D), I discovered blogs, forums and wonderful sites, designed to fuel my addiction. I wanted to know everything about him. But strangely, the only thing I didn’t sought was if he were in a relationship or not, returning key word in research related to his name 🙂 Then I discovered the special relationship he maintains with his fans, these lovely messages he’s sent them, and also the subject I wanted to raise here : autographed photos. I didn’t even think you could write to a celebrity asking for one !
So I now had a letter and an address. What would I do? I thought to send my pages. I thought about it seriously. Even if I knew that my letter would not arrive in his hands, I needed to express all the good I thought of him because it never hurts to receive a compliment ;). I  prepared everything,  I just had to post it. But I couldn’t. For a whole month I kept this envelope at the bottom of my bag, to the point that it got damaged. And then I put it away in a drawer, where it’s still there, crumpled and stained.Why? Why did I not send it? Why would I never ask for an autograph from Richard ?

This one is Jonia's, found on her wonderful blog 🙂

I understand the need some people feel to request an autograph, be it face to face with a celebrity or by mail, it’s a trace, a proof of the encounter in the first case, and it’s a piece of said celebrity in the second. I do not judge this practice. But it doesn’t reflect me at all. Actually if I were to send this letter, it weren’t an autographed photo I’d  wish to receive in return but an answer, not necessarily a letter, but at least a few lines, something personal, real, addressed to me.  An autograph is not enough for me, I must be too demanding ! It’s like in the case of an encounter. I don’t picture myself  to a premiere, crushed between dozens and dozens other fans, begging for an autograph. Perhaps I would see  him from afar, but I certainly would not be in the crowd. Again, don’t get me wrong, I do not denigrate these attitudes, it’s just that it’s not what I’m looking for. If he were in front of me, I would want to talk to him, ask him questions (one day I’d have to dig  this interview fantasy I have …), and try to capture a little of his being during these precious seconds (minutes ? 🙂 ), not take a picture of me with him or his autograph on a photo.
I want more from him, so much more than what he can give to his fans (and no, I’m not talking about what might happen in a bed or elsewhere ….;)) Thus I prefer to keep my distance I prefer to have nothing from him rather than have those scraps that’ll never satisfy my hunger of him.

Why me ? (part 3 )

Last but not least – i hope ! -, the final question. Actually, this is very stupid, but there’s a simple reason why I, an almost 25 years old french woman – oh my god, I‘m a grown up – have succumbed to his charm. He reminds me of an ex, especially with the beard. When I was 18/19 years old, basically a kid I went out with two actors, two opposites, both physically and mentally, but they were united in their profession, their passion. The one who was the most important to me was a tall dark haired guy with a long nose and piercing blue eyes. Quite older than me too, he was already a man when I was not yet a woman. His beard stung my cheeks every time he kissed me and I do not think I need to specify his name to complete the picture yes it starts with a R.

a momentary Richard interruption

My tastes haven’t really changed since. I keep three memories of him, the 1st, he, lying on his bed and, when he has just explain to me the necessity of his single life, the fact that he he can’t take his eyes off my backside when I get up. I still smile when I think about it. His contradiction. He’s also the man with a hard and indecipherable face, the man who suddenly imposes himself on me in a shout “I exist!”. Ultimate expression of his being. He frightens me, he hurts me. His violence, his toughness, strength. He’s this fragile man with tear-filled eyes who stumbles, who flays his mouth in confessing to me ”but I love my father.” His weakness.

and another one… 🙂

He was a child, not a man. He was no longer a man when he pressed me against him, when he laid his head on my lap and he buried it in the pit of my arm. I think what I like about Ra is part of what he shares with that other Richard. I’ve the same protective instinct, very maternal towards him, I feel his strength but also his vulnerability. I feel this duality in him, but also the fierce passion that fascinates me. I still googled this ex from time to time, to see where his career takes him, and what he does 🙂

Why him ? Why me ? Why now ?

Thoughts about fangirling (with Spooks behind the scenes pictures because, come on, nobody’s gonna read so many words without RA pictures 😛 (and I’m still not over Lucas…))

I’m sorry if I post very little original content this week but my job takes a lot of my time (and energy…). So unfortunately I just react and reblogg. In default of creating content, I want to provoke a reflection amongst Ra’s fans. And when I say fans, I don’t think of those who only admire his body ‘hmmmm what a pretty boy’, but of hopeless cases like mine, desperately addicted (these questions can also well be applied to all die hard fans, be it RA, Fassy, Hiddles or Eoin 😉 ) 

As I’ve written several times on this blog, being a fan reveals as much, if not more, of us than of our fangirling’s subject. Of course, when I say I’m a fan of RA, it necessarily concerns him, as he remains the object of my affection. But I think, above all, by liking him, I define and also reveals who I am. 

First question, the easiest : why now ? 

I’ve already explained here it wasn’t love at first sight with Richard, far from it. So why have I yield this time? I’ve fallen for him about 4 months ago. This coincides almost perfectly with my new job.  

By getting this position, I hadn’t expected three things : stress, pressure and management. I do what I love, but there are certain aspects that are really hard on me. This is my first real job, I can’t screw it, I’ve worked too much for this. Furthermore, I had to leave all my friends and a city I love for the middle of nowhere. 

All this to say that I was in period of doubt, change and stress when RA came into my life. He was a distraction, literally, he diverted me from my daily worries. He became a haven, as a comforting cuddly toy, and I fucking needed it. I’ve always tended to isolate myself from the world when things got too hard to deal with, as a child I used to live thousands and thousands adventures in my imaginary world. And that’s what I found in this addiction. It’s the way I found to bear my real life difficulties.