[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.
I 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,