Benedict Cumberbatch just became the new president of LAMDA(London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art). that’s an impressive accomplishment, congrats! how do I know this, since I’m not really a Cumberbatch fan? because I follow someone on Twitter who is. why do I follow a fan account of an actor I’m not interested in? because I enjoy her passion.
Once upon a time, when I was active on a Christian Bale forum, I became friendly with a fellow fan who adored the actor William Fichtner. he acted alongside Christian in ‘Equilibrium’ and also had a bit part in ‘The Dark Knight’. this fan loved to make manips/signatures/avatars of both Christian and William, so she started her own thread in the art area of the forum. it tended to be heavy on the Bill and light on the Chris, but I didn’t mind. I liked seeing the different ideas that she came up with and how she applied them.
Wm. Fichtner aka Badass Bank Manager, The Dark Knight:
On the Twilight fan forum, we had a chat area where we would talk about anything and everything, from Robert Pattinson’s button fly jeans
to how annoying our coworkers were. if any of us were following other actors alongside Rob & the Twilight gang, we’d routinely discuss them too. that’s how I found Richard Armitage. come to think of it, Matthew Crawley was sometimes mentioned as well, but I scrolled past him. sorry, Dan! I just wasn’t ready for you yet.
I like when fellow fans expose me to things I may not be familiar with, be that movies, television shows, books, music, or actors. I also find it insightful to read about fan experiences in other fandoms. The Lost fandom was constantly divided among Jack and Sawyer fans, much like Twilight and ‘Team Edward vs Team Jacob’. Outlander and Twilight share their zealot shipper wars, though Outlander has William Shatner fighting with them in their ring! Jamie Dornan fandom seems to get wrapped up in what is and is not acceptable content to post, often using the phrase ‘true fan’ to shame each other (I despise that phrase, I absolutely loathe it). Richard Armitage fandom shares many of these as well. each fandom likes to think they’re different, and they are to some extent, but we’re more the same than not.
So the Benedict Cumberbatch fan I follow on Twitter, or the Robert Downey Jr. fan I sometimes peek in on, or the former Robert Pattinson fan who is now all about Chris Evans, and the Dan Stevens fan who knows all the ins and outs of Star Wars, and that other one who idolizes Michelle Dockery, or the one who swoons over Jared Leto… thank you for sharing your passion with me. I hope no one ever dulls your shine.
Jamie Dornan has a habit of only buttoning/zipping the top of his jackets.
I found this odd at first but the more I saw him do it, the more it made me shake my head and smile.
A few weeks ago, once the weather turned extremely cold and I had to bundle up with my favorite sweater inside the house, I happened to catch a glance of myself in the mirror…and saw that I only had the top two buttons fastened. now I’m doing it too! this caused me to think about the fashion statements that other actors may have influenced me to adopt.
When I was 13 years old, I convinced my mother to cut my hair super short like Watts (Mary Stuart Masterson) from the movie Some Kind of Wonderful. after the fourth time of being mistaken for a boy, the look lost it’s appeal.
I also tried Meg Ryan’s hair style from You’ve Got Mail. it worked for awhile, until my husband complained that it was too short. I gave in and let it grow out.
When toting toddlers around all day left me in need of an extra pair of hands, Christian Bale’s affinity for cargo pants seemed extra appealing. they’re not only comfy but very practical! my kids are teens now but my love of pockets is still strong.
I also purchased a particular pair of shoes because of Christian Bale. sorry to say they never did fit right.
Speaking of shoes, I really wanted the blue Nikes that Robert Pattinson used to wear. unfortunately (or fortunately?) I couldn’t find them.
I went through a t-shirt-over-long-sleeves phase like Sheldon Cooper. but the ‘no matching’ aspect proved to be too challenging for me.
I seem to be getting better at clashing my colors, with socks this time, thanks to Richard Armitage and Dan Stevens.
I’m also very close to taking the plunge and getting my own whimsical Dr. Martens. this is outside of my comfort zone but Dan makes them look so fun to wear!
I have officially been nominated for the Liebster Award by SueBC of the ‘I’m Feeling This’ blog. I say ‘officially’ because the questions I recently answered in relation to the Liebster Award were a general shout out from zees muse to anyone who wanted to answer them; this time, SueBC nominated me directly.
One of the stipulations of this blogging award is that you not only answer the questions presented to you, but you then come up with a set of questions for the 5 other blogs that you nominate. Problem is, the blogs I read have either already been nominated or they don’t like to participate in these question/answer type of challenges. I can NOT pass up the opportunity to answer a blogging questionnaire though, so I will forfeit the ‘award’ but answer the questions anyway!
The first few questions are duplicates from the set I answered for zees muse, but I will be giving different answers this time around. I very rarely have just one favorite anything, so it’s not like I’ll be wracking my brain to come up with more answers!
1.) What is the best movie you have seen in the past year?
Does this question mean ‘best new release’ or just any movie that I’ve seen for the first time recently? If it’s the latter, then that would definitely be ‘The Guest’, which I wrote a little about here. If it’s ‘best newer release’, then my answer is: Doctor Strange. I really enjoy the Marvel movies but for some reason I had low expectations for this one. Benedict Cumberbatch proved me so wrong, I am very happy to say! I loved his look, I loved his accent, I loved the way I started out scoffing at the character’s selfish arrogance but grew to feel so warmly towards him by the end. I thought Tilda Swinton and Mads Mikkelsen were excellent as well.
2.) What is the most memorable live theatre and/or concert experience you’ve had in the past year?
My daughter’s Spring Concert for Middle School Choir. I was really impressed with the selections, particularly Michael Jackson’s ‘Man in the Mirror’ and Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’.
3.) What is the best book you’ve read in the past year?
Truthfully, I’ve not read anything in the past year that could qualify. I did stumble across a Twilight fanfic that I really enjoyed though, and ended up reading more than once. It was called ‘Because of a Boy’. The story centered around a single mother of a child with Asperger’s, who meets and falls in love with a man whose father has Asperger’s as well. It made me cry several times throughout the story, not in sadness, but more for the way the families acknowledged and adapted to their circumstances so willingly. Edward understood the little boy in a way that most others could not because he had grown up with a father who was so similar. Edward not only loved his father but he genuinely liked being around him, and so he always made time for him. On the flip side, Bella was able to understand Edward’s father in a way that he never experienced as a young boy, because his parents were not as understanding and accepting as she was. One of my favorite aspects of the story was the way that Edward’s father called him several times a day to inform him of random facts. Because of this, Edward was able to bond with Bella’s son in the same way, the two often trying to stump each other. The story really touched me because of my struggles with anxiety as a child, and just imagining how much easier things could have been if I didn’t feel like I had to hide it all of the time. That, and the fact that the phrase ‘did you know’ is one that my husband and children are quite familiar with…speaking of, did you know that ‘Google’ is a misspelling of the term ‘googol’, which is the number 10 raised to the 100th power? Dan Stevens taught methat.
4.) What is your favorite photo of the past week on your mobile phone and are you willing to share it?
My son completed his Eagle Scout rank for Boy Scouts. This photo was taken at the ceremony, of him awarding me my ‘Mother’s Pin’. It’s funny to me because I had just fumbled with the pin I placed on his uniform; I couldn’t figure out how it worked (you had to push, then pull). So when it was his turn, he didn’t know how it worked either and I had to show him.
5.) What is your favorite photo ever of your favorite actor/actress?
I’m supposed to pick just one photo? Ha! That’s not happening. I’ll narrow it down to 3 instead:
and anytime he makes the ‘confused’ face, because I love the raised eyebrow.
6.) What songs are at the top of your playlist right now?
Two different songs by Sara Bareilles. ‘The Light‘ because I think it’s a beautiful song, both musically and lyrically.
You are the air in my breath, filling up my love soaked lungs
Such a beautiful mess, intertwined and overrun
Nothing better than this, knowing that the storm can come
You feel just like the sun
Just like the sun
and ‘I Choose You’because I find the beat uplifting and the lyrics optimistic.
7.) What is the most recent TV show that you binge-watched?
The Fall: season 3. And it was so good! I was nervous, with it being the last season and the assumption that Paul Spector would probably die. It was a lot more exciting than I anticipated, and Jamie Dornan delivered with some incredible eye acting! It feels wrong to say I ‘enjoyed’ the ending but I liked the way it turned out, and I really can’t imagine an alternate ending that would stay true to the story. All in all, this last batch of episodes was one of those rare times for me when the anticipation payed off.
8.) What time of day do you usually write and/or blog and why?
I do the writing part in the morning, because it’s quiet and I have time to myself without anything distracting me. Sometimes I post directly afterwards, while other times I’ll wait and just plug in the pics and post it in the evening before I sign off for the night (so that I can’t change my mind!)
9.) Does your avatar have special significance and if so, what is that significance?
Yes. The ‘DS’ image is a prop (a ring) from the television show Lost, which is my all time favorite show. ‘DS’ also happens to be the initials of my last name (I have one of those capital-lowercase-capital surnames).
10.) In your real life, how open are you about the fact that you have a blog?
In discussions that relate to fandom, blogging or the internet, I might mention that I blog in order to help illustrate a point, but I don’t elaborate about the blog itself/what I blog about unless I’m asked about it further (which I’m usually not). It’s not so much that I’m hiding it (though I don’t exactly want to shout it from the rooftops either) but just that I don’t normally share information about myself that isn’t relevant to the conversation at hand.
11.) What are the boundaries for you in terms of how much of your real life you share on your blog?
I have shared personal stories on this blog in the past, in answer to writing prompts but I don’t refer to the people in my stories by their names, just their relationship to me; it seems like the polite thing to do. I’m pretty open about who I am in real life, I don’t blog under an alter ego because I really have no reason to. I might say some embarrassing things sometimes in relation to fangirling but generally I’m rather mild. I have thought about how therapeutic it could be to blog about more personal things, get the negativity off of my chest and out of my system, but I wouldn’t want to hurt the people I talked about. Plus, I’m afraid if I started, it would become a habit of complaining. I’ve burned my fair share of bridges on Facebook, I’ll stick to blogging about actors/movies and retweeting on Twitter instead, it’s safer!
[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.]
July 29, 2015- I know some are assuming I’m going to leave Richard behind and chase Jamie Dornan instead, but I’m not going to throw myself into another obsession like that (fandom, fan-blog, etc.) I just don’t have the energy!
Being part of a fandom does take energy, whether you’re creating and posting or following and commenting, but the interaction can be beneficial. it can also be tiring at times, frustrating, a responsibility that I don’t always want to deal with. especially if I lose track of Richard in the process. that may sound odd, how can Richard get lost within his own fandom? it literally revolves around him! but sometimes it becomes more about fan interaction than the object of our affection. that’s not always a bad thing, many fans say that’s a plus for them, they came here for Richard but stay for the fans. it’s a heartwarming thought but it’s not true for me. I enjoy the fans, but I need Richard; he’s why I’m here.
I’ve been involved in three different fandoms in my time online as a fangirl. each experience has been unique, but not, at the same time. overall there have been more pros than cons, but there’s something they’ve all shared: ‘curiosity killed the cat’; the more I know about the crush, the higher my expectations rise. my quest to acquire insight into what makes them tick and how that influences their acting, creating a depth that continually draws me to them, can sometimes backfire into raising my expectations to unattainable levels; my pedestals are high. so with Jamie Dornan, I decided to adjust my approach. I switched from ‘all’ to ‘just enough’ instead. know just enough about him to draw me in, just enough to keep me interested, just enough to touch me in a meaningful way.
I’m not part of the Jamie Dornan fandom. I follow a few fan accounts on Twitter but no blogs, forums, or fan groups. my interaction with the fandom is zero. the Twitter accounts keep me updated on current happenings, but I mostly follow them for the random pictures and quotes that they post. this way, I never lose track of Jamie, or myself. this has carried over into my side interests as well, those ‘for the moment’ actors that I’m curious about and follow for awhile. I feel an even less need to know about their personal lives/background than I did before. a quick run down of their career and a general feel for their off screen personality is usually all it takes to satisfy me these days. I’m done with the extensive biographies, the unabridged list of interviews and appearances, the clothing portfolios. I like not knowing. I like being surprised.
I’m not joining another fandom, I like this one. I’m not trading Richard Armitage for Jamie Dornan, I can keep them both. my need for absolutes is changing. I’m giving myself permission to just like what I like. it sounds simple, but for me, it’s a big step.
I’ve put it off long enough: I finally saw Fifty Shades of Grey. Why did I wait so long to see it, especially given my recent interest in Jamie Dornan? Well, that’s complicated. pretty much everything concerning that story is complicated for me.
I bring a lot of baggage to the table in regards to personal feelings about the author and the conundrum of liking the story but critiquing the writing. yadda, yadda, all you really need to know is that I like the love story, and find the red flags that should appear for every woman who reads this story, interesting. interesting for those who acknowledge those flags but keep moving forwards, regardless. I can personally relate to Ana in many ways, so when she gets to the point where she realizes she’s in too deep but can’t get out- doesn’t want to get out- because she’s already in love with Christian, I understand. because I’ve fallen for him too.
Why would you fall for someone who wants to punish and control you? who doesn’t permit himself to show you affection? because I want to help him see that he is worth more, that what happened to him as a child doesn’t have to define him as an adult. would I have been strong enough to do that without losing myself in the process? that’s the real question. the punishment angle really bothers me but the control issue doesn’t as much. once upon a time I often relinquished control in order to feel safe, cared for, free from daily stress. not to the extreme described in the story, of course, but there are undercurrents running through the story that can be viewed apart from BDSM. over time I decided I didn’t like it, my stubborn streak was too strong and my sense of self needed much more breathing room. it was, and continues to be, a learning process.
Some question how realistic the character of Ana actually is, in her naivete towards the kinkier side of life. I didn’t know a lot of things concerning my own body because I was embarrassed to talk about them and when my peers did, I didn’t want to be ridiculed for not knowing. so I didn’t ask questions, even though I didn’t have buttoned-up parents who wouldn’t talk to me if I had asked– quite the opposite, at least in regards to my mother. I could draw definite parallels between Ana’s parents and mine. I learned more as life went on, from movies and books and keeping my ears open when others had those kinds of conversations but it wasn’t until I started reading erotic fan-fiction that I really became educated. did I mention I was 30 years old by that time and the mother of two children? yeah. so I can relate to Ana. I can relate to her curiosity, to her self-worth. I can relate to her romantic notions, and the longing to be noticed by someone who wasn’t a friend first.
Why did I avoid the movie? well, first and foremost I was embarrassed to see it in the cinema. I didn’t want to see it with someone because I would have been too conscious of their body language, wondering whether they thought it was ridiculous or not. I didn’t exactly want to see it alone either–the stigma of a middle-aged woman going to see soft porn alone at 10 am on a weekday morning! I was tempted, mind you, but I never gave in, opting to wait for the dvd release instead. that occurred this past weekend. part of me wanted to run out and rent it on the first day but then Husband said he’d watch it with me. umm…maybe I should see it myself first? again, the worry of having to defend what was on screen to someone who wasn’t familiar with the whole story beforehand.
I was apprehensive for other reasons too. fear that it would be less-than-satisfactory, like most of the Twilight movies. fear that it’s similarities to Twilight would distract me too much (I was a fan of the fanfiction form first, so the changes tend to stick out to me like a sore thumb) fear that it would take the character I loved (Christian/Edward) and make him less, somehow. but here’s the thing: it took the character I loved, and made him more.
Christian was softer in the movie version, more methodical than mean, charming than suave. he seemed more mysterious than closed off, at least at first. it was easy to see why Ana would be drawn to him and why she wouldn’t have run away screaming when she found out about the playroom. he was trusting, through all of it, until the very end when the darkness finally peeked through. the movie version made it more clear that Ana thought it was a game. she thought it was odd, but exciting. she liked teasing Christian, flirting with him and testing his boundaries. slowly she started to see that it wasn’t a game but by that time she was in over her head.
I thought Dakota did an excellent job portraying Ana. she made her playful and ditzy and adorable, but with a sense of self that was admirable. I can easily see why Christian was captivated by her, why the darkness inside of him craved her light. by the same token I thought Jamie did a fine job portraying Christian, though his strong points were more subtle. I was impressed with the scene in the coffee shop when Ana said she was a romantic: Christian’s eyes lost their light and you were able to see a real emptiness there almost instantly; that was impressive. I also appreciated the fine balance of drawing Ana in and then pushing her away.
The movie itself was visually pleasant to watch. the wide shots of Christian’s apartment with all of it’s classic modern lines, and the rich sophistication of the playroom with all of it’s reds and golds. the sex scenes were tastefully done, though I felt they were a bit choppy, not having enough of a lead in or cool down. I particularly enjoyed the montage of playroom activities that flitted between Christian and Ana using the ceiling grid and shots of Ana’s body being caressed by the riding crops; the background music really enhanced that scene (as did the Sinatra song during the dance scene).
All in all I felt the movie was cute, more a fluffy romance than taboo erotica. I wasn’t expecting that kind of tone going in but I liked it. I liked that it started light, touching upon the mysterious, before transforming into darker angst. I didn’t like that we were just getting a taste of plot before it ended abruptly. that’s how the book was, so really they had no choice but to end it there; it was still frustrating (the fanfic version was two installments vs the published version’s three. I’ve always felt that ending the first book where it did was a blatant marketing ploy).
The next movie will have more plot and we’ll get to see more of the darkness that Christian has been keeping locked inside of him. Ana will be riding an emotional rollercoaster and so I look forward to seeing how this version of her character will approach that. a new screenwriter and a new director will be coming on board though, so I’m apprehensive once again (the screenwriter is the author’s husband). at least I can stop wondering whether or not I would like the movie. I did like it and am off to watch it again before my rental runs out…