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Simple Tastes and Odd Notions

There’s nothing that intrigues me more than when I discover an actor that I admire who has tattoos. Not temporary tattoos that belong to the character he is portraying

flimsy excuse to post a pic of Richard Armitage as Lucas North

 

but personal ones that belong to his own self. It’s the mystery of them that grabs me: what are they? what do they represent to him? It can drive me batty trying to figure them out. And when I finally give up and go looking for fan mentions of them, and they have no clue either? The frustration!

flimsy excuse to post pic of Dan Stevens making his ‘Beast’ face

 

When Jack O’Connell started sporting a new tattoo, I became consumed for days.

I finally made the educated guess that it was Cambodian, after trolling his Instagram and seeing that he had made a trip to Cambodia that fit into the time frame I had established through photoshoot pictures and candids. By that point though, I didn’t really need to know what it said, I was satisfied with just knowing what it was.

 

Matthew Fox’s colorful array of tattoos sent me on similar treasure hunts. The shoulder tattoo was referenced in an episode of ‘Lost’, but the actual translation is different from the one given in the show. So what was it’s significance really?

Some fans speculated that the number 5 was a nod to his days on the ‘Party of Five’ television show, and that the translation was part of a Chinese poem about an eagle. I did find out, through lurking on fan forum threads, that the small skull on the inside of his elbow is thought to pay homage to good friend Billy Joe Armstrong and his band ‘Green Day’. That was something I wasn’t expecting. The others are less distinguishable, but I think they’re pretty.

The stars are my favorite.

Adam Levine’s tattoos, well, it’s pretty apparent the boy is just addicted to ink!

I’m sure each of his tattoos have personal meaning to him (I hope) but the images seem so random and they all bleed together, which makes them less interesting to me. Once upon a time, when he only had a few, I thought the shark was kind of cool.

but as he added more and more, it’s all become a bit much.

Chris Evans seems to prefer symbols and words instead of picture tattoos. He has one on his upper stomach in memory of a friend who died in an accident, and others that represent different family members.

The script on his chest reads:

when you lose touch with inner stillness, you lose touch with yourself. when you lose touch with yourself, you lose yourself in the world.

I really like that one, not only for the lesson it teaches, but I also like the way it peeks out from beneath his shirt when he has a few buttons undone.

And now there’s Dan Stevens in this still from the movie ‘Permission’.

Those two tiny tattoos are really his. I had seen the triangle one before

and can make a pretty solid guess on it’s relevance, since his movie ‘The Guest’ includes multiple instances of triangles showing up throughout the movie.

But what about that other one? I had seen mentions of him having a tattoo on the inside of his elbow, but hadn’t really seen a clear shot of it until now. So I zoomed, and I rotated, and… could it be just a simple letter D? I like the thought of that; simplicity.

Tattoos can be beautiful works of art but I prefer the more subtle approach of quotes or symbols. I’m a woman of simple tastes and odd notions. Hey, that phrase would make a good tattoo…

 

 
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Posted by on May 16, 2017 in other

 

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Sharp Dressed Man

This post is about Dan Stevens in a suit

And Dan Stevens in a blazer

And a blazer with a scarf

Or a scarf and a hat

but mostly it’s about Dan Stevens & his funky(in the good sense) taste in shoes.

I really like the current fad of peek-a-boo splashes of color that appear under a man’s suit or trouser leg in sock form; it’s fun but classy. Dan Stevens takes it one step farther and adds personality through his shoes. I first noticed this when I saw a clip of his appearance on the ‘Late Late show with James Corden’. My eye was drawn to the red socks and then… are those flowers on his shoes? Oh, I hope so!!

I love a bit of unexpected eccentricity

 

In interviews and appearances he seems to favor boots or chunky shoes

No matter if he’s going for the ‘I just threw this together’ look

Or a more ‘office appropriate’ style.

Then I saw him in a ‘Late Night with Seth Meyers’ interview. He was wearing a striped number that was in no way understated, but he wore it well and it was fun. I could get on board with that.

One of the shared pastimes of my celebrity crush fandoms is ‘premiere suit appreciation’. When a movie is released, it is usually accompanied by multiple premiere’s in different cities/countries, all of which require a different suit for it’s leading men. I became a Dan Stevens fan after ‘Beauty and the Beast’ premiered, so I had to go looking for examples of his suit style. What I found really tickled my fancy! Dan isn’t afraid of color. He often shows up in jewel toned suits

With an occasional ‘out of the box’ pick thrown in for good measure.

After discovering those flower shoes, I found myself looking more closely at his feet. And I found a treasure trove of awesomeness! Dan sometimes matches his shoe color to what he’s wearing

 

this tie deserves a closer look, because I love it

 

There have also been metallic pixels

And blue suede.

I don’t know whether these choices are purely Dan, his stylist, or a collaboration between them both but I wholeheartedly approve!

I was curious how his off camera style might differ, so I looked for some out-and-about candids too. He likes boots and jackets

And scarves and hats.

His most recent appearance was at the Tribecca film festival for his film ‘Permission’, which gave us a bold Houndstooth

And a funky maroon number that I adored.

Maybe it wasn’t just the suit but the shaggy hair and captivating eyes.

(to see the suit in action, check out this interview. it gives a great example of his laugh and dry sense of humor)

Dan’s next movie release is sci-fi ‘Kill Switch’, due out June 16. No matter if he decides to go bold or classic with his attire

 

 I’ll be holding out hope for more funky shoes!

XxXxXx

 

Edited to Add: Roses

 

Hieronymous Bosch

 

 
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Posted by on April 30, 2017 in other

 

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Don’t Get Me Wrong

Chrissie Hynde, lead singer of The Pretenders, recently made comments supporting the “don’t dress provocatively” stance in regards to rape. while I understand the need to act proactively and help women help themselves, these kinds of statements suggest that responsibility lies with the victim.

I feel this stance is too simplistic and even a hindrance to the overall problem. yes, women should be proactive and protect themselves but men should also control their baser nature and not expect that just because they want something, they should get it. where do you draw the line with this angle? “provocative” can be subjective. look at what goes on in some parts of the Middle-East: covering women from head to toe, and in some instances even shielding their eyes, because skin is enticing, hair is enticing, eyes are enticing, and so women should cover themselves to help the men fight their natural urges. if the men see something and can’t be trusted to take it without permission, why not blindfold them instead? why does the responsibility lay with the woman alone? 

 

debating rape issues isn’t so black and white because there is not just one kind of rape. there’s violent rape that takes place in back alleys by strangers and there’s drunken rape that takes place at parties by people you know, there’s even rape that happens between couples when sex has already been initiated, but it’s all rape and it’s all a power play and I suspect that a large number of them would still happen regardless of how the woman was dressed. what about the women who don’t dress provocatively? they get raped too (more often than you might think); covering too much can be seen as a form of provocation, a challenge to see what’s really underneath.

 

although most discussions regarding rape involve a female as the victim of a male, rape is not only a female issue: males can also be rape victims of females, along with same gender instances as well. when it all comes down to it though, when someone says they are uncomfortable– for any reason–and they want to stop, you STOP. it doesn’t matter how you got to that point or why you got to that point, they are no longer willing.

 

so although I’m sure that Chrissie had good intentions with the statements that she made, I feel she is just helping to reinforce the view that it’s the woman who needs to take responsibility while the man (or “rapist”, regardless of gender) can continue to take none.

man-leering-at-woman

 

 
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Posted by on August 31, 2015 in other

 

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There is No Harder, There is Just Hard

“There is no harder, there is just hard” and “Meet people where they are”–these concepts really resonate with me. The speaker in this video may be gay and talking about coming out of her “closet” but she emphasizes that everyone’s closet is different. just because your closet isn’t a political platform, doesn’t mean it wasn’t just as hard for you to overcome. And just as it was hard for her to come out of her closet, it was also hard for those she came out to. We all have struggles, one is not more important or more difficult than another. shaming someone’s struggles so that you can feel a sense of accomplishment in your own, only ends up devaluing it instead. 

 

Another message that I think this video conveys wonderfully, is that sometimes the simplest answer is best. when the little girl asked Ash if she was a boy or a girl, the explanation about being a ‘pajamas kind of girl’ instead of a dress wearing one was perfect. it answered the question and gave a brief example, but didn’t try to justify or lead to more confusing aspects. as adults, we so often hide within long, drawn out explanations. questions do not automatically equal judgments. answers are not required to be summaries. Don’t apologize for who you are.
 
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Posted by on May 22, 2015 in other

 

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Putting Those Misconceptions to Rest

Keira Knightley & Jamie Dornan

There was an interview in The Guardian the other day about Jamie Dornan, that touched upon some common misconceptions about him. I’d like to share it here along with my own thoughts

(colored type=the interview, black type=my thoughts).

The person writing the article (Hadley Freeman) seems to know Jamie personally and helps puts those misconceptions to rest.

The only thing worse than a model/actress, the old snarky joke goes, is a model/actor.And I might once have snarked along with that joke, until I met Jamie Dornan. Jamie and I became friends exactly a decade ago, when he was 22 and I was 26 and a mutual friend introduced us at a party. Neither of us, to be honest, was in the best of shape at the time. He was heartbroken after the recent end of his long-term relationship with Keira Knightley (it took about a month before I even saw him smile) and I, meanwhile, was deep in my belief that the way to make the most of my 20s was to get as wasted as possible, as often as possible.But somehow through our own personal fogs, we clicked.

I found out rather quickly, when looking into who Jamie was, that he used to date Keira Knightley. I vaguely recall seeing pics of them together at that time and Jamie being referred to as the “model-boyfriend” of the popular movie actress. When Jamie was younger he seemed to still be growing into his bone structure. I would see one picture of him and think he was really attractive and then see another, and pass right by.

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Dior Homme

Someone whispered to me early on that Jamie was a model, but I didn’t pay much attention to this information. It wasn’t until I went to New York for fashion week a few months after meeting him and saw him nearly naked on a giant billboard advert for Calvin Klein that I began to think my condescension might have been a tad misplaced. In fact, my new sweet and sweary friend from Belfast was one of the most successful male models in the world at the time, working for Dior Homme, Aquascutum, Zara, Armani and dozens of others. But you would never have known it from talking to him: as much as I tried to goad him by quoting Zoolander, he would just shrug and smile and change the subject. He never mentioned that he had spent the day, say, writhing naked with Gisele or Eva Mendes for a shoot, as most young men might reasonably have done, and in 10 years of knowing him I have never once seen him glance at his reflection in a mirror or window. I’ve never even heard him mention going to the gym.

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Dior Homme

He’s married now, to film composer Amelia Warner, and father to 16-month-old Dulcie. But when he was single, he was neither a shagger nor a flirt. Though some of my female friends made it very clear they would be happy to do either with him, he simply seemed to have no interest in his looks, or the benefits they could bring.

and that is a suspicion of mine that I’m happy to see confirmed. Jamie was a young man when he first became a model and that career seemed to take off rather quickly for him. When you factor in that he did happen to be dating someone in the movie industry, he had his foot in two very enticing worlds. It would be understandable how certain opportunities could go to your head but from what I’ve seen and read myself, he just didn’t seem to be that type. this thought intrigued me: how could one not be a flirt, oozing confidence about yourself and your body, in the situations that Jamie found himself in? I’ve seen him say in other interviews that he was self-conscious about his body, always having been lanky with a baby-faced look about him. So was he honing his acting craft even back then? or was there a certain kind of inherent charisma present instead? (I think it was both)

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Today is the first and only time I’ve seen him wear a fashion freebie; we meet for this interview in a west London cafe and he turns up, having come straight from the golf course, wearing a cap with the slogan “Double Bogey” on the rim. “A golfwear company gave it to me; isn’t it cool?” grins the former face of Calvin Klein.

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by Graeme Robertson

It wasn’t that he was ashamed of being a model, exactly, just that he knew he wanted to be something else, and that something was, of course, an actor. And to be honest, that puzzled me as much as his fondness for golf. I used to assume that when people said they wanted to be an actor, they really meant that they wanted to be famous. But Jamie didn’t show interest in any of that. He is the only celebrity I’ve met who never namedrops, even now when he is working with A-listers. “I just never thought any of that was relevant,” he says, looking surprised that I find this surprising.

He does have a group of acting friends (including Eddie Redmayne, Rafe Spall and Andrew Garfield), but the only people he ever brings up in conversation are his father and two sisters (his mother died from cancer when he was 16) and the tight group of friends from Belfast he has known since childhood. I couldn’t imagine him hanging out with luvvies in the Groucho, competing about who knows Harvey Weinstein the best. Why does he want to be an actor, I’d wonder? Why not just take the modelling money and spend the rest of his life on the golf course? It never occurred to me that it might be because he was good at acting.

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as Paul Spector in ‘The Fall’

In 2013, I eventually learned that I had underestimated him, when he appeared as Paul Spector, the psychopathic murderer in Allan Cubitt’s acclaimed BBC2 series, The Fall. Jamie, who was almost unrecognisable to me in the role, promptly won several awards. “That show has given me ev-er-y-thing,” he says, with rolling Irish emphasis on the last word. “It’s a serious bit of fucking culture and just such a treat to do. I know that every opportunity I get from now on is because of The Fall.”

Jamie’s Irish accent is mentioned here, and this is something I find particularly enjoyable about him. He still has a nice voice when he tries to disguise the accent but a big part of the essence it brings to him is lost. I think this is what people who aren’t familiar with Jamie and are only seeing clips of him in Fifty Shades of Grey, react to. I see again and again the perception that he’s creepy, arrogant, or just a pretty-boy. that’s due in part to the character he is portraying, of course, who is supposed to be all of those things but Jamie has used that faux accent previously in commercial ads as well. this is why I try to direct others to interviews where he’s speaking in his everyday voice.

A third series of the thriller has just been commissioned although the critical consensus turned during the last season, which was widely panned for plot implausibility. “The thing is, the show had to develop and expand. You can’t just regurgitate what you did in the first series. But then, some people’s argument is that you should stop after the first series,” Jamie says. “But I would happily play Paul for ever and one thing I’m learning is: ‘Ah, fuck it, you can’t please everyone.’ Which is hard for you because you’re a people-pleaser, I say. “Yeah, exactly. And now I’ve chosen a job where I see just how much or little I’m pleasing people!”

I’m afraid you set yourself up for that one, Jamie. Agreeing to portray Christian Grey, with not one but two fandoms already attached (the Fifty Shades book fandom and theTwilight fandom that the book grew out of), is a lot of pressure no matter how you look at it. someone, somewhere is going to find fault with you somehow. always.

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as Christian Grey in ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’

 

There is, though, another character that’s as little like Jamie as The Fall’s serial killer; Fifty Shades’s cold, money-obsessed S&M freak Christian Grey. “I know, I know, that’s the thing,” he says. “I consider myself quite light-hearted, pretty easy-going, and I keep playing sick psychopath bastards! It kinda worries me sometimes how comfortable I am in that zone.”

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by David Venni

When it was announced that he had the part in Fifty Shades of Grey, I texted him to say it was the funniest thing I’d ever heard. “And I still feel that way myself!” he laughs. “There are times when I’ll be like: ‘Huh, someone made a Fifty Shades movie, that’s funny.’ And then I’ll be like: ‘Wait, I’m the guy?!’

It’s not easy to find a tactful way to ask a friend why he is doing something that you find hilarious but, well, why did he take the part?“You know, I’m not naive as to why people would think it was a bad [career] choice, or why there is a snobbery about it. But I’m also not stupid, and I knew with [director] Sam [Taylor-Johnson], and [cinematographer] Seamus McGarvey, the film would be in safe hands. And, you know, it does no harm to be in a film that makes half a billion dollars.”

When it comes to Fifty Shades of Grey, either you see the love story that’s hidden in those pages or you don’t. If you don’t, then it’s really easy to scoff and make fun. Even if you do, it’s still easy to make fun, but you know why an actor would want to tackle that character. it’s a challenge to find that balance between intimidating and intriguing, between creepy and taboo, between meanness and self-loathing.

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by David Venni

Aside from the occasional awkward moment, of course: Jamie recently took Dulcie to a playgroup, which was being held in his local cinema. As they walked in, a screening of Fifty Shades was ending. He held his daughter up in front of his face and used her as a mask until he was safely beyond the Christian Grey fans.

The film has, unsurprisingly, been a massive commercial success, but, just as predictably, not a critical one (“The Guardian’s my homepage, but of course it would give it one star!” he laughs). But in its defence, it is a thousand times better than the book; classier and free of EL James’s verbal diarrhoea. The Daily Telegraph, which loved the movie, described Jamie’s performance as “a good kind of absurd … a cold slate with questioning eyes”. (Jamie, however, prefers to quote his bad reviews.) It is a testament to both the film and the actor that Christian Grey feels like a character at all considering that in the books he’s barely a cipher. I didn’t fall off my cinema seat laughing when Jamie/Christian snarls: “I don’t make love, Miss Steele – I fuck. Hard.” Which surely says something, although I did have to cover my eyes during the sex scenes. “So did my sisters,” he says. “But Dad was well into it …”

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Since the film’s release, there have been rumours of discord from the set: that James and Taylor- Johnson hate each other; that Jamie and his female co-star Dakota Johnson loathe one another; that both Taylor-Johnson and Jamie are desperate to get out of the next two instalments. Jamie is far too tactful to comment on personal relations, but is he on board for the next two Fifty Shades shag-a-thons?

“That was always the plan,” he replies with careful wording. And Taylor-Johnson? “The plan was always for her to do them, so hopefully that will happen. But I don’t think it’s going to be imminent.”

More imminent are his other projects. As well as the next series of The Fall, he has a slew of films coming up, including two war movies that he’s shooting back-to-back this year, and an untitled project in which he’ll co-star with Bradley Cooper. Pretty validating for that 22-year-old model who so desperately wanted to act, right? “I know, I know,” he smiles, with an embarrassed tug on his Double Bogey cap. But honestly, I still think he’d be just as happy playing golf.

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by Mary McCartney

 

 

 
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Posted by on March 25, 2015 in other

 

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