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I hope Hollywood doesn’t hurt him

11 Jan
[The ‘Yours in Armitage’ series is a collection of posts documenting my changing perceptions about my celebrity crush on Richard Armitage, using excerpts from past correspondence to help me come to terms with the uncertainties. I’m sharing this writing exercise in order to illustrate the highs and lows a fan can go through]

 

July 23, 2013- Richard has always been so grateful for his fans, and lets that be known repeatedly. he seems to be such a genuine good person, I sincerely hope Hollywood doesn’t hurt him.

 

Richard Armitage is not my first celebrity crush. I’ve had many through the years, Ewan McGregor, Christian Bale, Robert Pattinson, Jamie Dornan, just to name the big ones. following their careers, reading of their thoughts and struggles in interviews, seeing them try to navigate life in the public eye, has made me cynical towards Hollywood. you could be the best actor of your generation and stuck in low budget movies that hardly see the light of day, or you could be an amateur that stumbles into a golden opportunity and is set for life; there’s no rhyme or reason to it most of the time. so when I see an actor that I admire ‘moving on up’ it makes me nervous. will he be able to navigate the slippery slopes of fame? will he make it big but lose himself in the process? will he get so many doors shut in his face that he’ll give up completely? and the most important question: will. he. lose. his. accent?!

When I first became a fan of Richard Armitage, he had just started portraying Thorin Oakenshield. he’d had some success in the UK with popular television series but The Hobbit franchise would introduce him to the world at large. I felt like I had gotten to know the ‘old him’ by catching up on past interviews and reading the letters that he wrote to the fandom, and I was getting to know the ‘present him’ from the countless interviews and appearances of the promotional tour. I noticed differences in the two personas but it was nothing that seemed out of the ordinary to me. Richard seemed more open and carefree previously, compared to the more stoic and cautious version, but I chalked that up to age, experience, and the tone of the movie he was working on. what hadn’t changed was his quiet nature, his manners, and his playful self-depreciation. he seemed so nice, so calm, so content with his life. Richard seemed to have it all under control; I had nothing to worry about.

In August of 2014 Richard Armitage, moody actor and anti-socialite, joined Twitter. Now I was doubly apprehensive. this meant that he would have to promote himself, that he would have to sell himself to us, that he would have to kiss ass in order to get ahead. I didn’t like that thought. I had two main fears:

1) that he would fail at it

2) that he would succeed

as it currently stands, I feel he’s failed. that makes me both happy and sad, happy that he’s not very good at playing the marketing game, and sad because his ‘in control’ persona died a slow and painful death for me. so now I’ve come back to my original fear: I hope Hollywood doesn’t hurt him. or more specifically, I hope Hollywood doesn’t hurt me (again) through him.

pod0601_zps4269d10cI hope Hollywood doesn’t make him care about his image too much. I hope Hollywood doesn’t make him second guess himself. I hope Hollywood doesn’t splash his personal struggles all over the gossip magazines. I hope Hollywood leaves him in peace. Richard said in a recent interview that he wants to move back home to England, that he’s accomplished what he set out to accomplish in the States. I was very happy to read those words. I’ll still worry, but I’ll worry less if he keeps his accent.

Yours in Armitage,

Kelly

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16 Comments

Posted by on January 11, 2017 in other

 

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16 responses to “I hope Hollywood doesn’t hurt him

  1. SueBC

    January 11, 2017 at 11:28 pm

    Great idea for a blog. It will be interesting to follow your introspective journey.

    Liked by 1 person

     
  2. Guylty

    January 12, 2017 at 2:00 am

    Very much unlike my usual self, I believe that Hollywood *always* hurts those who attempt it. There’s just no way you get through the entertainment machine with your usual modus operandi intact – even if you successfully resist changing your personality and hang on to “normality”. It’s simply that the attitudes of those around you, change, as do the expectations levelled at you from all stakeholders (agents, writers, studio bosses, casting agents, colleagues, former cast mates, journalists, fans, family…)
    I would love to know what Rich was referring to when he said he had accomplished in the US what he had set out to accomplish. Ok, there was his headlining for an off-Broadway show; a recurring role in a massive TV show, and top bill in another, recurring TV show. All that’s missing is Hollywood, though – but maybe that was not on his list?
    We’ll never know. Because as a rule, the really interesting things are never addressed on social media. I occasionally find myself resenting Richard’s presence there – he (naturally) monopolises the conversation. Conversely, that means that he also kills the conversation by *not* being there. I have the impression that fandom has lost some of its fun – and its diversity – with his advent on Twitter. Not that he is actively policing, but his presence creates invisible restrictions. That’s a pity.

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    • KellyDS

      January 12, 2017 at 8:44 am

      I think the fact that Richard is getting Hollywood attention in middle-age, instead of when he was younger, is a definite advantage. I don’t see him being led around like a puppy when the powers that be court him, or for him to agree to any and everything when it comes to promotion and marketing. he has closed himself off a lot more, which is both understandable to me and appreciated (I’m a fan of the 4th wall, not opposed to it). but I also feel that he is trying too hard at times, in interviews and on Twitter. trying to be funny, trying to appear younger (physically and in personality) trying to look like he’s enjoying himself b/c he feels like he should. so in that sense, I hope it doesn’t become ‘just a job’ for him.

      what he set out to accomplish: maybe he wanted to see if he could do it, and now that he’s proven that to himself, he’ll be happy to go back and do the things he wants rather than the things ‘Hollywood’ feels he should? my wish is that he would do a little bit of both: do the bigger more popular projects to get his name and face out there, which would then afford him the opportunity to take on the smaller more out-of-the-box type roles that he desires. it’s a balancing act. and one that can easily be done from London.

      I agree that fandom has lost some of it’s fun and diversity since Richard joined Twitter. it took the fun out of guessing, of pondering what he was really like and how he might react to things,etc. it’s been interesting to see the answers, but it kind of feels like going on a scavenger hunt with a map that shows where all the items are located :/

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  3. Wendy

    January 12, 2017 at 6:03 am

    After watching the various media interviews towards the end of LLL it came across that he was not that happy a little short at times and also extremely tired. When he stated that he was locating back home that was good news and I hope he is having a good break with family and friends. It did cross my mind that all was not joy & happiness in NYC at th end.

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    • KellyDS

      January 12, 2017 at 8:55 am

      while Richard loves theatre and seems to be good at it, I don’t think he’s used to it. he’s been doing television and movies for the majority of his career, it’s what he’s used to, it’s what he knows. so although he may want to do theatre, I think his mind/body suffer for it. when you factor in not being surrounded by the familiarity of ‘home’, then that just adds to the pressure. where you live and where you consider home can be two different things.

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  4. Servetus

    January 12, 2017 at 3:48 pm

    Assuming Richard Armitage were harmed by his exposure to Hollywood, why would you be hurt? (This is not an argumentative question, but one asking for more information.)

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    • KellyDS

      January 12, 2017 at 4:23 pm

      that was just my way of acknowledging that it’s not really about him, it’s about me and what I need from him. he’ll adapt and change accordingly, while I’ll possibly “lose” the parts of him that fulfilled me; the parts I identified with or that drew me to him in the first place. I tend to project how I would react in those situations and if the crush doesn’t react the way I expect/want them to, it must be Hollywood’s fault 😉

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      • Servetus

        January 12, 2017 at 4:27 pm

        OK, thanks. (I actually didn’t answer comment on this post yesterday when you posted it because I was trying to think of how to ask exactly that question without being an asshole.)

        Liked by 1 person

         
        • KellyDS

          January 12, 2017 at 4:38 pm

          if you didn’t include the straightforward explanation in parenthesis, it might have been taken the wrong way by some. I knew what you were asking either way though, so it’s all good 🙂 it was one of those moments where I was writing along and then somehow that line (about it hurting me) popped in there and I had to stop and stare at it for a few minutes. I didn’t even realize that is what my actual problem was… which is why I started blogging again, so that maybe my subconscious will speak up!

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      • Servetus

        January 12, 2017 at 4:37 pm

        I guess one thing that I *really* struggle with in fandom is what seems to me like a variation of co-dependency (which makes this sound more polemical than it really is, due to the way the twelve-steppers talked about this stuff in the 1990s): so many people feel some kind of apparently necessary impulse to feel the same feelings as the crush. I feel like, assuming that Armitage were hurt (by anything), I could feel sorry for him (sympathize), but even empathy would be a stretch, since I don’t know what it’s like to be him, and I don’t know that I would necessarily feel hurt myself by his feelings of hurt even if I were party to all of the same information he is. If I were having those feelings I would (like you) eventually that they related to me, not to him since my knowledge of him is so shaky (and I would say this despite years of having tried to amass accurate information). It’s not that I don’t feel occasionally “hurt,” I certainly do, but I think it comes from realizing that my needs are either unrealistic / unachievable or (lately) directed at the wrong object.

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        • KellyDS

          January 12, 2017 at 5:33 pm

          it took me a long time to realize that it is about me, that Richard is not an extension of me. when someone would criticize him, I would feel offended for him, not realizing that I was really offended for me. whether that be sensibilities about my education, my background, or more fandom related things like how I fangirl or who I fangirl about. if someone criticizes the object of my affection, that is not automatically a negative judgment of me just b/c I so happen to enjoy that man or that I spend so much time showing how/why I enjoy him. I think many fans don’t realize this, and so we continue to hurt each other in his defense.

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  5. jholland

    January 12, 2017 at 8:16 pm

    Hi Kelly! Glad to see you back and looking forward to your introspective approach. I’m happy to see RA heading back as well and hoping it pays dividends in terms of new roles over there. I’ve generally enjoyed the roles he did in the U.K. =)

    Liked by 1 person

     
  6. armitagebesotte

    January 12, 2017 at 11:00 pm

    Welcome back, Kelly.

    Not to issue directions, but…I’m too lazy to blog, so I’ll throw this “idea” to you. Any insights you can provide on my enduring questions would be much appreciated: Why him? Why me? Why now?

    Good luck! I look forward to your ruminations.

    ps. I’m definitely in the “jolt” category. Not calm. Good heavens—calm? Just looking at photos of him, I can feel my heart rate speed up.

    And I love it. (Fans self.) Ha ha ha!!!

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    • KellyDS

      January 13, 2017 at 7:44 am

      it seems I’m an anomaly with that whole “calm” thing… 😀

      Like

       

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