If you’re anything like me, then you aren’t just crushing on your alternate universe bae because of his looks or the characters he plays on screen, but also for what he shows of himself in interviews and appearances- his sense of humor and playfulness, his intelligence and professionalism, his gentlemanly manners, his likes and dislikes; the clay we use to sculpt him into our perfect match. as our admiration grows and blossoms, we look forward to spending time with our crush through video interviews and photographs. we regularly indulge in his talent with his movies, television roles, and audio recordings. we’re so proud of our guy! we want to show him off like parents with a portfolio of pictures in our wallets. so we tweet and we blog and we Tumblr, and we read other tweets and blogs and Tumblrs from people who are just as proud. well, maybe not just as proud because we all know that no one loves him as much as we do, but they think they do, so we humor them. it’s good, it’s great, it’s wonderful! until somewhere down the line, it starts to unravel.
maybe we’re not as interested in every single project he signs on for anymore. maybe we’ve seen so many photos of him that we start scrolling past when they show up in our timelines. maybe those other fans start annoying us with their drama, their misinformation, or their overuse of exclamation points. so we mute a few accounts, prune our subscriptions, limit our visits to all those Tumblrs. sometimes these changes are enough, distance makes the heart grow fonder. but sometimes a quick fix won’t do.
In the summer of 2012, I was blindsided by the news that Kristen Stewart had been caught cheating on Robert Pattinson. I felt betrayed on his behalf, I felt disappointed when he didn’t automatically break up with her, I felt relieved that I now had something to blame. I had been waiting for a push, a reason to move on from my crush on Rob and the Twilight fandom, and here it was. so I left. it’s not you, it’s me. I just don’t feel the way I used to. it’s better this way. it took a long time before seeing his picture brought nostalgic smiles instead of frowns, but it did happen. it was an odd reaction for me to take it so personally, I’m not really sure why I did. I was not a Robsten shipper, my dreams were not shattered by their relationship fail. it was just the last straw and I was mad that it was. I moved on quickly, and didn’t look back.
when Richard Armitage started disappointing me, it was a little different. I hid my head in the sand so that I wouldn’t see, I put my fingers in my ears so that I couldn’t hear, I misplaced my dissatisfaction onto other fan’s shoulders so that I wouldn’t have to admit to myself that it was the beginning of the end for me. I stepped back from the fandom, but that didn’t work. I threw myself back in, but that didn’t work. I found a backup bae to take some of the pressure off, but that didn’t really work either. I was stuck- no longer happy but refusing to move on. after taking an introspective look at myself, I was finally able to get there.
When you fall out of love with a celebrity crush, it can feel like a break up. that sounds silly to say, but it’s the honest truth. we form an emotional attachment to our ‘object of affection’. seeing their face, hearing their voice, and playing in the fandom playground, helps us to forget the stressful and confusing things that are going on in our real lives. so when it stops feeling meaningful, inspiring, and fun, well that just sucks! we can’t lament to other fans about it because that would be disloyal to the fan base, we can’t grieve about what has been lost because we were the ones who chose to leave. and that sucks double.
we feel ridiculous when we say these things out loud, we’re told it’s unhealthy. but what I’ve learned through my own experiences is this: it wasn’t really the celebrity that I was breaking up with, it was a version of myself. I was shedding a part of me that I had outgrown; recognizing that, acknowledging it without shame, is the opposite of unhealthy.
so if your guy no longer fits you anymore, it’s not as dire as it may seem. you’ll feel sad for awhile but odds are, you’ll find it all again with someone new, when you’re ready. and your new guy? he’ll be so swoony that you’ll wonder how you could have ever felt so strongly for those other guys. you’ll see.
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!!
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
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
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.
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 apress 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 fanvid to show 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.
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.
When I previously shared my history of celebrity crushes on this blog, I left off with Jamie Dornan, knowing that there would eventually be someone new to add to the list in the future. I tend to collect cinematic crushes. I’ll see someone in a movie that really sparks my fancy, which then leads to a manic bout of researching his past roles and getting a feel for his off screen personality through interviews and career related appearances. Sometimes I’ll join fandoms related to him or his characters in order to share my newfound interest with other fans, and other times I’ll just fangirl on my own (i.e. flood my Twitter and friend groups with pictures and videos of said new crush) Some of these crushes burn out after six months or so, while others stick around for years before the shine starts to fade and I get enraptured by someone new. I’ve recently become enraptured by someone new, and his name is Dan Stevens.
Most people know Dan from his time as Matthew Crawley on ‘Downton Abbey’. I am one of the scant few who have never watched that show. not one episode.
I did recently watch a trailer for the series, so I at least know the premise now. I don’t live under a rock, I have heard of it, but I’m always reluctant to jump into anything that’s popular just for popularity’s sake. I’d much rather stumble across it on my own before it’s gained a heavy following, or years later when the hype has died down. So I found Dan through the FX show ‘Legion’ instead.
I really enjoy the Marvel comic book inspired movies. X-Men, Captain America, The Avengers, and to a lesser extent the DC side of things like Superman and Batman. When I started watching Legion, I didn’t realize it was a tie in to the X-men franchise. I saw ads for it during the Superbowl and it intrigued me, so I set the DVR to record the first episode. That first episode was… odd. I wasn’t sure I wanted to continue but I gave it a chance, and from the second episode onward, I was hooked. Eventually I realized it was indeed a tie in to the X-men and that ‘David’ wasn’t really crazy but a mutant instead.
I wasn’t familiar with the Legion comics though, so I was pretty much in the dark concerning his story. I just wanted to find out who that creepy dude was who kept popping up in the corner of all his memories, and what the bobble-head was trying to distract us from. It was confusing and trippy and sweet and fun and I just couldn’t get enough of it! I didn’t watch/read any of the press concerning the show, and I’m glad of that. Not knowing beforehand what David was capable of or who his father just so happened to be, made it more exciting for me.
As the 8 episode season of ‘Legion’ was winding down, I Googled Dan Stevens to learn more about who he was. Surprise number one: he’s British! His American accent was superb, I never would have guessed that it wasn’t natural. I have a thing for accents, I find the differences in regional dialects really interesting, so I was impressed with Dan’s ability in this area. Surprise number two: he was portraying ‘The Beast’ in the new live-action remake of Disney’s ‘Beauty and The Beast’ with Emma Watson.
My daughter expressed a veiled interest in seeing it (she’s 12 going on 16, so she didn’t want to seem too interested) after finding out Dan was in it, I agreed to take her. I had seen the animated version but I wasn’t sentimentally attached to it; I was 16 years old when it was released and hadn’t actually seen it until years later. I really like the new version though, I was smiling throughout the whole thing. I happen to love Disney and drag my kids to Disney World every few years, when I’m sure they’d rather go to amusement parks filled with thrill rides instead. I had already started my ‘research’ into Dan by this time and so was trying to spot his personal facial expressions in the beast. I found a few but mostly because I was specifically looking for them. Afterwards I came home and gobbled up all the promo interviews he did for Beauty and The Beast, learning about the physical hardships he had to go through in order to portray this motion capture/CGI version. I was doubly impressed.
Now I was in full ‘research’ mode, hunting down photoshoot pictures, past interviews, and anything that gave me insight into who Dan was. I found his personality infectious
his eyes mesmerizing
his facial expressions addicting
and his talent for voices (and fashion) thoroughly enjoyable.
I had learned that he attended school with the likes of Tom Hiddleston and Eddie Redmayne. His natural accent sounded posh to the ear but he didn’t seem so in the videos that I was seeing. His presence felt familiar, not intimidating. I know he’s smart, with a literary degree, an online writing publication, and had even been a Man Booker Prize judge, but he seems so unassuming.
Yesterday I decided to watch his 2014 movie ‘The Guest’. It sounded like something I would enjoy, a creepy throwback to a 1980s-style thriller. So I settled down to watch, with apprehensive expectations. I expected cheesy, I expected over the top sound effects, I expected mediocre performances. I didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I did, or to be so impressed with Dan’s performance.
The sound effects were over the top, but enticingly so. The humor was subtle, in that delicious way that is sometimes hard to catch. I laughed out loud during so many scenes; maybe I just have a twisted sense of humor. I didn’t find ‘David Collins’ all that creepy. A bit off his rocker, certainly, but I wouldn’t back out of a room he was in.
I particularly liked the scene where David blew up the diner. The choice of background music, his facial expression before he does the deed, and then the way he quickly limps out the door. That whole scene cracked me up! (warning: scene contains violence)
I also really liked the pumpkin carving scene. The way David flicks that knife around and the brother’s reaction to it (the brother has great reactions to David’s unstable demeanor) and the advice he gives him about how to go about handling bullies.
The scene where David buys a gun is a high point as well (one of those unexpected moments of violence that made me laugh out loud in shock), and the drink orders before the bar fight scene, can’t forget those!
The shoot out scenes were particularly enjoyable too, a definite throwback to the 80’s. The excessive amount of bullets being bounced around in slow motion, and the way David dives through the window and then army crawls through the house.
Aside from all the fun though, I thought Dan’s acting was very impressive in this, as was his accent. The Southern American accent always seems to trip people up. It either sounds too drawn out, like you’re going to fall off your seat waiting for them to finish a sentence, or it’s a caricature of a Foghorn Leghorn cartoon. Dan’s, on the other hand, was entirely believable and very easy on the ears. I quite liked hearing him talk in that accent. I had to repeatedly remind myself that it wasn’t his real one! Truthfully, if it wasn’t for his striking blue eyes, I wouldn’t have known it was the same guy who portrays David Haller on ‘Legion’.
This crush on Dan Stevens is relatively new for me. I still need to catch up on his past work, read more interviews, see more photoshoots, etc. but I feel very confident placing Dan on my Cinematic Crush list. Since Legion isn’t returning until next year…
I will look forward to his other future projects, and furthering my growing admiration for this talented man.
[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.]
When I first started this series of posts, the purpose was to document my mindset as I struggled with changing perceptions about my celebrity crush and to help me come to terms with the uncertainties. I think it’s served it’s purpose in that way but it’s also made me look more closely at my history of fangirling in general, the patterns of behavior I’ve exhibited through the years with various crushes, and the whys and hows of it all. I’ve been aware of the things that drew me to certain crushes and the role they were playing in my life at that time, but I never really explored the overall mechanics of why it worked for me, and what happened to me internally when I moved on from one crush to another. so in that way, these posts ended up encompassing more than just my Richard Armitage experience. it’s been interesting for me to delve into these things, and it’s brought up a lot of points that I will continue to ponder. because I know I will continue this hobby with actors other than Richard Armitage. but this introspection has taught me that I don’t have to leave one behind for another, that I don’t have to establish a hierarchy, that I can be as intense or as casual as I feel drawn to be.
Just a few weeks ago I talked about taking the casual route to fangirling, how I now find myself preferring to only know ‘just enough’ about a crush in order to maintain a healthy level for myself; only ‘so much & no more’ or things can get out of hand. I also said, just last week, that I will try picking & choosing what I like and leave the rest by the wayside. but in knowing myself like I do, I know there will be times when I crave the intensity, the days/weeks/months when I want to lose myself in the research of a new crush. and that’s okay too.
This thing of mine will continue because it works for me, even if I don’t fully understand how it does. from my prolonged admiration of Christian Bale, through the escapism of Robert Pattinson, to the intensity of Richard Armitage, and the casualness of Jamie Dornan; to every ‘crush’ there is a season. what matters right now is that, with the help of this blog, I’ve been able to sift through the feelings of confusion that I was experiencing for not being able to hold on to the intensity of this crush. and the conflicting emotions that brought about.
do I prefer intensity or ease?
must it be either/or?
is one better than the other?
is it the actor himself or what I’m craving at the time?
I haven’t been sparked in awhile, will it happen again?
I’m sure I will continue to ponder these things, but the goal of working through the Richard Armitage aspect on this blog has been met. I’ve found it extremely helpful. I’m now at a place where I can enjoy him again, without all of that baggage in tow. there is a better balance of positives and negatives now, concerning Richard and this hobby of mine in general.
I like to admire actors,
they give us those nicebright colors, they give us the greens of summers, makes you think all the world’s a sunny day.
Thank you for reading! and here’s to many more days/weeks/months(years) of fangirling ahead.