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Wonderstruck

Can we talk about Dan Stevens’ acting for a moment?

The man can play a character like David Collins from The Guest, badass psycho that I’m sorta kind of in love with

And then also play someone like David Haller from Legion, sweet, confused, all powerful being that I just want to hug and kiss and cuddle up with forever.

Yes, both those characters are named David. This one is as well

There’s also Tim, from Colossal, who is a bit of a coward but I like the way he parts his hair, and I’ve decided that I’d like to live with him in that apartment.

There’s Spencer, from the short film Babysitting, who’s a pretentious cad but does it so charmingly. I mean, who else could wear that train wreck of an outfit and not have me automatically backing away? no one, that’s who.

And there’s James Harvey from The Ticket, who has me seriously contemplating whether the suit does indeed make the man.

And Noah Dorfman, from Criminal Activities, who’s been stuck in my head as of late.

I don’t know what it is about him. I guess I’ll have to watch the movie a few more times to figure it out. I’ve watched it 5 times already…

There’s also physicist turned hero, Will Porter, in the upcoming Kill Switch. Fingers crossed that he has some depth and the story isn’t just a showcase for special effects.

We’ll also be able to see Dan as Charles Dickens this winter, in The Man Who Invented Christmas. Not a character from the books, but the man himself.

And next year (hopefully) Thomas Richardson will grace us with his presence in Apostle, as he scuffles with early nineteenth century cult members in order to save his sister. Look at this pic of Dan taken on set and tell me you don’t want to see that character in action.

 

There are some characters I haven’t seen yet, like Matthew Crawley from Downton Abbey. I’m letting him age like fine wine.

 

And some supporting characters whose lines may be few but are enjoyable nonetheless. The Cobbler

 

Its exciting for me when I discover an actor who impresses me with their talent, and whose choice in roles I grow to trust because I’m not just watching for him but because I genuinely like the types of projects he picks. Dan Stevens has impressed me.

 

 

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Posted by on May 11, 2017 in Miscellaneous

 

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a fangirl moment

This is a ‘bookmark’ post for me, a collection of Dan Stevens related videos that I’ve found and want to keep coming back to, gathering them in one place to make it easier to view when I need a fix. My bookmarks and ‘likes’ on social media become so chaotic when I start a new crush. Some things I mark because I like them and want to keep coming back to them, other things I mark because they look interesting but I haven’t viewed them yet, while others I mark to remind me to watch more of that type, etc. It all becomes a bit disorganized and confusing! I’ve only touched the very tip of the ice-berg in relation to Dan, so these are just some of my favorites at the moment.

 

Dan Stevens:reading Madame Bovary
a series of videos presented by ‘Carte Noire’ coffee, where Dan reads excerpts from classic books. I find them greatly enjoyable for the combination of his reading voice and eye contact. ‘I need your eyes, your voice, your thoughts.’  too true!

 

Dan Stevens- guilty man crush
at the 2013 GQ Man of the Year awards, Dan was asked who his man crush is. his quick thinking response and dry delivery are priceless, as are his piercing blue eyes when he looks straight at the camera.

 

Interview with Dan Stevens, Narrator of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein audiobook
I love hearing these snippets showcasing the ‘old Hollywood’ voice Dan uses to narrate this book. I’ve never read this classic myself but his description of the story makes me want to.

 

Rainbow Connection
a scene from Dan’s FX show ‘Legion’, where he plays the banjo and sings ‘The Rainbow Connection’. his character is terrified in the moment shown, which is why his voice is all shaky, but I’ve always loved this song. the way Dan’s long legs are drawn up into that sitting position, reminiscent of Kermit the Frog, makes me smile big!

 

Dan speaks French
promo for ‘Beauty and the Beast’ where Dan answers a few questions related to France. his pronunciation sounds lovely to my ear, and his facial expressions during the ‘cemetery’ answer are funny.
he speaks German too. here’s a link to a press conference for the film ‘Hilde’, where he answers a question in German.

 

Vanity Fair: in conversation with Dan Stevens ‘The Guest’ 
(note: this interview snippet cuts off before any mention of Uma Thurman in Kill Bill, like the video title suggests)
Dan looks very sharp in his suit here and his eyes are lovely. and now I kind of want to record myself reciting ‘The Gettysburg Address’ in my accent, just to see what it sounds like.

 

The Guest- Locker Scene
scene from Dan’s movie, ‘The Guest’. I’ve cued this vid to jump to the point when David’s demeanor transforms from normal to menacing by just using his eyes and a slight shift of his lips. it’s creepy and impressive.

 

Dan Stevens-GQ Men of the Year awards Red Carpet with Tom Hiddleston
just a short fuzzy moment where old friends give each other a hug. I like hearing Dan call Tom’s name in surprise and then Tom affectionately calls Dan ‘gorgeous’.

 

confession- I’ve started each day this past week by watching these 4 fanvids while I eat breakfast:

 

only dan stevens (multi character)
I’ve only seen a few of these characters so far but the shots chosen are pleasing, and the song fits my thoughts perfectly at the moment.

 

Sydney & David- As Long As You Love Me (Legion)
David and Syd’s relationship in ‘Legion’ is so cute and swoony. Syd can’t touch others so instead of holding hands they hold onto a ribbon of cloth between them, and they ‘kiss’ by using their reflection in the window. the song chosen is beautiful too.

 

The Guest- Dan Stevens- The Red Crayon Aristocrat Club 
this video and song choice fits the tone of ‘The Guest’ perfectly. the pace and transition between scenes is done really well.

 

legion- friction
the editing in this vid is superb! really great representation of ‘Legion’.

 

and I’ll include these pics too, just because:

 

I don’t know how old Dan is in these pictures or what the backstory is but he just looks so fresh faced and adorable in them!

 

I love airport pics because they give us an unhindered view into the personal clothing style of our crushes, i.e. the ‘hot mess’ look.
okay, I think that’s a good place to stop. for now.
XxXxXx

 

 
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Posted by on April 21, 2017 in Miscellaneous

 

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Parasocial Relationships, or, my history of celebrity crushes

I think it’s become apparent to anyone who has been reading this blog (or my Twitter) that I have a little crush on Jamie Dornan. and yet I have a whole other blog that’s dedicated to Richard Armitage. A recent response I gave to a reader’s comment, joking that I seem to be susceptible to these “captivations”, got me to thinking about how true that actually is.

From Luke to Leo

mark-hamill-as-luke-skywalkerI have been captivated by fictional characters, and the actors who portray them, for as long as I can remember. when I was very young it was limited to the characters themselves. Luke Skywalker (Star Wars) was the first “film” crush that I can remember having. I thought Leia was crazy for picking that show-off Han, over Luke! Luke held my attention for a little while but soon I moved on to that free spirit in the fast car, Bo Duke (The Dukes of Hazard).

when I was 10 years old, my choice was straight-laced Alex P. Keaton (Family Ties). I liked that he was well-alexpmannered and smart, while still having the playfulness that I generally liked about boys. When I saw Marty McFly (Back to the Future) portrayed by the same actor, it grabbed my attention. I knew the characters from movies and tv shows weren’t real, that it was someone’s job to pretend to be them, but I had never given that concept much thought before. Michael J. Fox had portrayed two completely different characters, and I liked them both. so when I saw a book at my school’s bookfair about the actor, I decided to buy it and see who the real person, behind the characters, was.

It was during the latter half of my gradeschool years (5th,6th,7th grades) that I fell head first into my love for movies. I had always enjoyed television, everything from comedy to sci-fi to westerns to cartoons and game shows; we were very much a television watching family. we didn’t have access to a lot of movies though, only going to the cinema maybe once a year and never watching videos at home because we didn’t have a video player. then my parents purchased a satellite dish and my world expanded by leaps and bounds! I went from 5 television channels, maybe 6 depending on antenna reception, to so many I couldn’t even wrap my head around. children’s stations, music stations, educational stations, movie stations; I was in heaven.

soon this mass exposure to movies mingled with my discovery of teen magazines and their removable pin-up posters. I went a little boy crazy but I wasn’t aware of why I liked pinning up all of those pictures or why I found myself choosing certain actors over others. I thought they were cute and I liked the characters they played but it didn’t go beyond that. I started to read up on them after awhile and soon the idea that they were real people, not their characters, became concrete. River Phoenix’s siblings had the weirdest names (that they picked themselves!) and the Estevez/Sheen boys were Spanish? they didn’t look Spanish… As real boys and my confusion concerning them moved to the forefront, the pretend ones played a smaller role in my life. I still crushed on the odd boy band member and daydreamed about fictional characters I saw on screen but I didn’t focus too heavily on them or delve into their real life personas too deeply.

Leonardo-di-caprioFast forward to adulthood when I married at 21 years of age and spent 2 years traveling around the country, living in various states and cities. I had lived in the same house my whole life, so to say I was homesick and feeling rudderless was an understatement! I kept in contact with family and friends through writing letters but I was so far away from them, both literally and figuratively. so I fell back on my love of books, television, and movies; “friends” that would always stay with me. it was during this time that the movie “Titanic” became popular and many of my peers were crushing on Leonardo Dicaprio. The story itself captivated me and Leo’s boyish looks drew me in. I sought out his other movies, cut out random pictures of him from magazines and newspapers (I couldn’t plaster him on my bedroom wall anymore though, because I was married now and “grown-up”) and even bought a biography one day while out shopping. okay, what the hell was I doing? he wasn’t Jack (Titanic), he wasn’t Gilbert (What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?) or Romeo (Romeo & Juliet), he was a real person. but it wasn’t the real person that intrigued me. somewhere along the way I had started having dreams about him. they weren’t particularly feel good dreams, he always ended up rejecting me in some way, but the companionship that “Dream Leo” showed me was something that I craved. the obsessive quality of what I was doing felt odd and I didn’t understand it. adults didn’t act this way, did they? (lies society tells you) I should note that while I was friendless due to my current lack of roots, I was enjoying life with my husband and the companionship that he provided during non-working hours. when he went off to work everyday though, I was confined to a small apartment in a strange city, too anxiety ridden to go out and explore by myself.

From Ewan to Christian

When two years were up and we finally settled in a place longer than 6 months, the Star Wars prequels were the talk89a310536645c03eb14df6d6f2cd7aa0 of the movie world. I had given up my fascination with Leo and had been spending my allotment of daydream hours on fictional Jamie Fraser instead. Then I read a short snippet of an article about the actor who would be playing a younger version of the character Obi-Wan; Ewan McGregor. he had a weird name that I didn’t know how to pronounce and his cockiness made me want to slap him for some reason! but then I saw him with his wife, protectively towering over her like a bearded Jamie Fraser, and he looked happy. I didn’t want to slap him anymore. I ran across one of his older movies one day (A Life Less Ordinary) and decided to rent it. I fell for the character instantly, he was so clueless and sweet! then I rented another movie of his (Velvet Goldmine) but it just made me want to slap him all over again! what was going on with me? alright, there was no hope for it: I had to see who this guy really was. thus began what I consider my first “acting” crush.

I wanted to keep whatever this was on the down low until I figured it out, so I secretly checked out Ewan’s older movies from the library. talk about broadening my horizons! the sensually erotic film The Pillow Book, gritty Trainspotting, scary Nightwatch, tear inducing Brassed Off; the variety of films and genres had my head spinning.

I had always enjoyed the art of storytelling, falling into a different reality as someone else through books and movies and even music, appealed to me greatly. not being an overly social child, daydreaming and pretending became hobbies that I excelled at. something surprising that I discovered during my teenage years, was that I am actually a decent public speaker. it terrified me beforehand but once I was up there in front of everyone, I not only did the job well but I infused my speeches with personal qualities that listeners could relate to. my literature teacher suspected I would be good at acting, especially given my love of storytelling, but sadly our school didn’t have a drama department at that time.

So I guess you could say it was Ewan who kickstarted my interest in the actual craft of acting. it was wrapped up in a tangled web that “crushed” on the actors I admired because I did grow to admire Ewan as a person, in both his professional and personal lives. he knew that he wanted to act like his uncle and he wasn’t afraid to pursue that dream, putting in the grunt work behind the scenes and on stage. as I started to read old interviews and articles about him I suspected that the cockiness was fueled by determination and tried to hide very normal insecurities. slowly my preference for Ewan became apparent to family and friends, Husband became a bit jealous at the thought. I tried to explain that it wasn’t a lust fueled thing, though I did find Ewan attractive. I didn’t want to hunt him down and runaway with him; I was happily married and I liked the fact that he was too. in some ways he was kind of a Peter Pan figment to me, never losing the playful-at-heart mentality that I was struggling with as a new “adult”.

I had dreams about Ewan as well, though he didn’t reject me like Leo did. my Ewan dreams had no rhyme or reason to them in regards to subject matter (the Leo dreams centered around my prior High School life) but they always made me feel good afterwards. sometimes there was a bit of puppy-dog romance playing throughout, hand holding and soft kisses, but mostly it went back to the companionship factor. I became quite fond of “Dream Ewan”. Soon the real Ewan’s life started to slow down, after his motorcycle adventure (Long Way Round), which I followed along with in real time and greatly enjoyed. he became more family focused, eventually adopting children to add to his biological family, which made me happy for him but kind of took him out of my fantasy realm. I was living that life already (I had two kids of my own by then), I wanted someone who could take me places I had never been. I acknowledged my love of the career and now I wanted to explore more of that. enter my “rediscovery” of Christian Bale.

Christian-Bale-2013I had first discovered Christian Bale as the young lead in Stephen Spielberg’s Empire of the Sun. not exactly the kind of movie that my peers were watching at 12 and 13 years of age but I was captivated by it. the historic subject matter and the bond I had developed towards that character. the real life Christian didn’t interest me at that age, he looked too much like someone who could have gone to school with me. I saw him again a few years later in Swing Kids and became entranced all over again, particularly with the moral dilemma his character had to face. and the music. Swing Kids was responsible for the way I became fascinated with the music and culture of that time period. Christian suddenly appeared tall and lanky when he portrayed the classic character Laurie in Little Women. it was a welcome surprise, along with his floppy hair. I didn’t focus on the personal side of Christian Bale yet, just seeing him as someone who tended to pick the kind of characters I liked to see. it wasn’t until years later, when real life was begging that I find an escape of some sort, that I saw him as more than young Jim Graham (Empire of the Sun) who I had bonded with all those years ago.

The second installment of Christopher Nolan’s Batman series, The Dark Knight, was getting a lot of buzz because of Heath Ledger’s Joker portrayal. I was torn between seeing it or James McAvoy’s Wanted, at the cinema. I was all set to see Wanted but at the last minute, I changed my mind and went for The Dark Knight instead. I had enjoyed the first movie, Batman Begins (aside from annoying Rachel and scary as hell Scarecrow) so I expected to enjoy this one as well. I came home from that movie very satisfied not only for the movie itself, but for the embers it flamed in relation to Christian. I set out to view some of his other more recent movies that I had missed. I remembered him getting much acclaim for American Psycho and he also starred alongside Russell Crowe in 3:10 to Yuma; I had always liked westerns. I headed off to the movie store and rented Rescue Dawn…and the frenzy began. I was highly impressed with Christian’s performance in that movie and all subsequent movies of his that I viewed. how did he disappear from my radar for so many years?! this guy was super talented! I hunted down the old interviews and articles, like I did with Ewan previously, and what I found was that Jim Graham wasn’t the only one I felt a bond with: the way Christian approached things, mulled them over in his mind and even procrastinated about them, sounded a lot like me. as did his serious nature when it came to the characters he was portraying, the way he wasn’t just concerned with the story on the page but the one inside of the character as well– how he thought, how he talked, why he made the decisions that he did, etc. I wanted to find someone to further my love of acting, and I found that someone in Christian.

Being fairly new to the wonders of the internet, I didn’t know there were things such as fandoms and fan forums, let alone fan fiction and photo sharing sites. when I decided to join the fan forum that was associated with the fan site I was reading, I didn’t really know what to expect. it was exactly what I needed: a place to discuss the movies, the characters and the man himself, along with viewing pictures and playing silly games while having fun with others who shared this interest of mine. I had no clue what I was doing and felt very intimidated at first. one of my favorite parts of the fan forum experience became conversing with people from all over the world, different ages and different walks of life, and connecting with them. it was very gratifying and exciting. after awhile, an unspoken judgment by some members seemed to emerge hinting that we were spending too much time and energy in off-topic threads, going on about other actors and other interests. that was true to a certain extent. the Twilight books were popular and the first movie had just come out,

From Rob to Richard

I had been avoiding the Twilight madness for awhile, seeing it as another Harry Potter money making machine. I loved the Harry Potter movies, mind you, and I read all of the books but the controversy about Black Magic was annoying; I could only imagine what “vampire love” was going to stir up. I had always liked vampires, being an avid reader of the Anne Rice novels and the various vampire movies from the 1980s. my forum friends kept urging me to read the books, so I finally did. and then I proceeded to gobble up the remaining books faster than I’ve ever read anything before, rereading them again immediately afterwards. the movie was due to come out on dvd and I was curious to see it but apprehensive at the same time. book adaptations were give and take– giving you things that you didn’t expect but taking away things that you really wanted to see with your own eyes. I had scouted around a little and got a feel for who the cast was and what the big things to expect in terms of storyline were. the vampire was that boy who played Cedric (Robert Pattinson) in one of the Harry Potter movies (The Goblet of Fire). his jaw could cut glass it was so sharp, I couldn’t wait to see him as Edward Cullen!

After I had seen the first Twilight movie and followed along with the filming of the second with my forum friends, IRobert Pattinson asked them about Rob. one of them had become a fan and so directed me to her favorite fan sites. I wasn’t sure what to think of him at first, he was so different from both his character and the photoshoots of him that I had seen. he was a lot younger than me (11 years) which felt odd. the more I saw of him though the more I liked him, he was awkward and goofy and still free from the grown-up constraints that I had been fighting against in my life. I soon found a blog and it’s fan forum that was fun and sarcastic and lighthearted, they celebrated what they liked and “mocked with love” what they found ridiculous. it was a very different tone from the Christian Bale world that I had been operating in, so it was hard for me to jump back and forth between them. sometimes I was too serious for the Twilight world and too sarcastic for the Christian Bale one. eventually I had to choose between them. I chose Twilight.

I was still very much a fan of Christian but I visited that forum less and less. so many of the regular members had moved on and the ones who were left rarely talked about Christian’s work anymore. so I went rogue and did my Christian Bale fangirling on my own while also discovering the new world of Twilight, which included Robert Pattinson, fan-fiction, and The Brit Pack (Rob’s musician/actor friends). the Twilight world was so full, always something going on. and the interactions I was having on the forum were silly and nonsensical at times while also being serious and informative at others. I became a moderator on the forum which really boosted my confidence and influenced my online presence. Rob himself became my “crush” focus at that time, he made me feel young…not that I wasn’t, aside from my age difference with him but I had lost myself in family life and I was struggling to find out who I was again. I felt part of a community and my senses were on fire with everything that I was discovering. my crush on Rob was mixed in with all the experiences I was having and the fictional character that I grew to love. he had a knack for smoldering through a picture lens and so the visual gratification I received from that fact fueled my crush. he himself was still awkward and goofy but rounding out into more of a man than a boy as time went on, which was nice to see.

all good things either evolve or fade away and my Twilight/Robert Pattinson fixation was no different. as the movies were reaching their end, the community started to disband. the fanfiction community had taken a big hit with the wave of authors who were publishing their stories and the careers of the Britpack boys were moving forward, granting them less time to spend with one another. male friendships had always held a romanticism for me. the boys I had known in real life tended to have lasting friendships with each other that weren’t bogged down in petty drama or jealous possessiveness. I relished the tendency they had to remain fun and playful too. my childhood was spent around a lot of the male species and I had always gotten along with them, filling the role of little sister or best friend rather seamlessly. I liked boy friendships, they were lasting, unlike every single one of my female ones. so by the time Rob and his girlfriend/costar were involved in the cheating scandal, my enjoyment of it all was fading. I had formed a nice group of female (gasp!) friends that did stay together after all the drama. we’ve essentially converted the forum into our own personal fandom free zone. it’s a nice safety net to have as we continue to explore other fandoms, both individually and collectively.

Richard-Armitage-Outtake-Photo-DAMAN-5at this point I was still enamored with Christian Bale in the acting sense but was craving another fandom type experience with someone new. I looked around for awhile but was not finding anyone that fit the bill…until I saw The Hobbit. Richard Armitage was exactly what I was looking for: he was someone who impressed me with his approach to the craft of acting itself, he was personable and nice to look at, and he had a fandom attached to him already due to his roles in several television shows and mini-series. I found an added bonus this time around in that Richard caused me to want to be a better person. Richard is nice, like super duper nice! and he has a way of giving his full attention to whomever he is speaking with. I’d never seen that before in a celebrity/actor, someone who was actively listening instead of just formulating what to say next. his caring nature influenced my personal outlook greatly.

Richard’s acting took the things I loved about the craft that I had witnessed with Christian Bale and brought it to another level. he too cared about the character’s thought process, used the character’s individual traits and idiosyncrasies to enhance the performance but Richard went one step further and created a backstory, or personal canon, for the character in his mind. this made the characters richer and deeper and come alive for me in a special way. Richard also has a talent for using his eyes and body to convey things that others can only do through voice and dialogue. it became a sensory experience for me to be a fan of Richard Armitage. The fandom experience had it’s pros and cons. the pendulum seemed to swing from one end to the other and back again on a regular basis. I think that had more to do with me and my expectations than anything else. I learned a lot about myself as part of the RA fandom and it has helped me to finally find that balance in myself that I’ve struggled with for so long. a big part of that had to do with the blogging experience and being part of that particular type of community. my creativity blossomed in a way it hadn’t since I was a young adult, and that has had a very positive influence on the way I see myself.

The Hobbit movies are over now and so a new balance to the fandom is trying to emerge, it’s not clear what that balance is going to consist of. it’s not a bad thing, it’s just different. I’m different. I no longer have that consuming fire I did to ingest anything and everything about Richard, and then share each and every thought about it along the way. I’m still very much a fan of Richard Armitage and am following his career with anticipation and elation but there was an opening, a niche that was no longer filled to the brim. and Jamie Dornan walked right in.

From Jamie to…

Jamie Dornan took me by surprise, and he continues to do so, not only because I wasn’t expecting him but that he’slandscape_nrm_1421024073-elle-jamie-dornan breaking down my preconceptions. I had watched him in the series Once Upon a Time but once that role was over, he disappeared from my radar. he popped up again in the promos for Fifty Shades of Grey. I’ve had mixed feelings concerning many things surrounding that book but I do like the characters and their love story. while browsing around to satisfy my curiosity about the film version of the character, I came across Jamie’s television series The Fall. this series spoke to my love of psychology and trying to make sense of why people do the things that they do. I wanted to understand how the character of Paul Spector could maintain a husband/father facade while giving in to the compulsion to kill. I liked Paul, disturbing as that is. I do root for the bad guy on occasion but it’s usually because I feel they are redeemable, that they will eventually find some form of redemption. is Paul redeemable? what could redemption possibly look like for him? do I even want him to reach that point? (hopefully my questions will be answered in season 3!). something that grabbed my attention about Jamie’s performance, was that he didn’t speak very much. we, as the audience, are watching Paul and getting to know him by sight alone. that was possible due to Jamie’s excellent use of body language.

Jamie made a name for himself in modeling before he became an actor. it didn’t take me long to see that Jamie had been perfecting those body language skills for years as a male model: conveying different facets of sexy, smoldering, confident and capable maleness by a look, a head tilt, a change in posture or facial expression. previously noting this difference in regards to Robert Pattinson’s Photoshoot charisma vs his awkward “off camera” self, the phenomenon shouldn’t have surprised me but it did. because when i saw the real Jamie, he appeared to be unassuming, friendly, genuinely nice and playful; he had been acting in those photoshoots. in regards to acting, Jamie does try to understand his characters and give them the respect they deserve but he doesn’t become them; he’s able to stay himself between takes. that approach is different from what I’m used to. this difference intrigues me.

Jamie makes me see things differently, about acting, about modeling, about the way he approaches life. he’s happily married with a little one at home; I will enjoy seeing it shape him as a person. but maybe most importantly, crushing on Jamie isn’t causing me to constantly evaluate myself. I’m not trying to live up to anything, I can just be who I’m supposed to be right now.

Each of these acting crushes have shaped me in their own ways and continue to do so as I follow up on them and their respective careers. my propensity to celebrate male actors and the personal ways they inspire me will continue to be a part of how I choose to express myself. It’s important to me, I don’t know why. maybe it has to do with childhood acceptance, maybe it has to do with adult insecurities, maybe it’s some form of parasocial companionship or just personal preference. it doesn’t really matter why or how. I will continue with it because it’s part of who I am.

 
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Posted by on May 7, 2015 in Self

 

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I Want a Girl Who Reads

The first time I heard poet Mark Grist perform the poem I Want a Girl Who Reads, in this video from YouTube, I proceeded to listen to it several times in succession. Not only did I instantly connect to the poem itself and the sentiment behind it, but I was entranced by the way he performed it. I say “perform” and not “recite” because it’s the performance that really brings it home for me.

It’s a poem but he’s not just saying words, he’s telling a story. and how he tells that story is key: the way he lingers on some words and speeds past others, how the  awkwardness is conveyed at the beginning but then morphs into adoring smiles and respectful passion that we can feel as well as hear and see, the shifting gaze as well as the hand movements that emphasize his points. It makes me feel proud to be a girl who reads, validated. and just a bit naughty…

the written version doesn’t have quite the same effect but the sentiment is still there:

I want a girl who reads

“So, what do you go for in a girl?”
He crows, lifting a lager to his lips
Gestures where his mate sits
Downs his glass
“He prefers tits
I prefer ass.
What do you go for in a girl?”

I don’t feel comfortable
The air left the room a long time ago
All eyes are on me
Well, if you must know

I want a girl who reads
Yeah. Reads.
I’m not trying to call you a chauvinist
Cos I know you’re not alone in this
but…

I want a girl who reads
Who needs the written word
& uses the added vocabulary
She gleans from novels and poetry
To hold lively conversation
In a range of social situations

I want a girl who reads
Who’s heart bleeds at the words of Graham Greene
Or even Heat magazine
Who’ll tie back her hair while reading Jane Eyre
and goes cover to cover with each waterstones three for two offer
but I want a girl who doesn’t stop there

I want a girl who reads
Who feeds her addiction for fiction
With unusual poems and plays
That she hunts out in crooked bookshops for days and days and days
She’ll sit addicted at breakfast, soaking up the back of the conflakes box
And the information she gets from what she reads makes her a total fox
Cos she’s interesting & unique
& her theories make me go weak at the knees

I want a girl who reads

A girl who’s eyes will analyse
The menu over dinner
Who’ll use what she learns to kick my ass in arguments
so she always ends the winner
But she’ll still be sweet and she’ll still be flirty
Cos she loves the classics and the classics are dirty
So late at night she’d always have me in a stupor
As she paraphrases the raunchier moments from the works of Jilly Cooper

See, some guys prefer asses
Some prefer tits
And I’m not saying that I don’t like those bits
But what’s more important
What supercedes
For me
Is a girl a with passion, wit and dreams
So I want a girl who reads

 
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Posted by on April 6, 2015 in poetry

 

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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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