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Liebster: take two

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.

for me? thanks!

 

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!

don’t look at me like that! I’m just tweaking the rules to suit me…

 

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!

Raindrops on Roses or Whiskers on Kittens? this is so hard!

 

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’.

they did both

 

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 me that.

 

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.

‘I could live by the light in your eyes’

 

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!)

me, before I hit ‘submit’

 

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).

Dominic Monaghan as Charlie Pace

 

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.

I have a blog. I write about actors and movies. It’s a hobby.

 

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!

XxXxXx

 
14 Comments

Posted by on May 29, 2017 in Miscellaneous

 

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some are assuming I’m going to leave Richard behind

[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.

Yours in Armitage,

Kelly

 
8 Comments

Posted by on March 16, 2017 in Self

 

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Hearts and Flowers

 

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. 

 

fifty_shades_of_grey

 

The Background
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. 

 

Behind-the-Scenes-Photos-from-Fifty-Shades-of-Grey-Movie-02

 

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. 

 

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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.

 

Love-Me-Like-You-Do-Music-Video-by-Ellie-Goulding-With-Scenes-From-Fifty-Shades-of-Grey-Movie

 

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.

 

jamie-dornan-in-50-shades

 

The Movie
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.

 

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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. 

 

dakota-johnson-fifty-shades-grey

 

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).

 

fifty

 

Closing Thoughts
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).

 

fifty_shades_of_grey_piano_a_l

 

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…

 

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7 Comments

Posted by on May 13, 2015 in Movies

 

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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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3 recent dreams of Jamie Dornan

When I have a dream that’s somewhat linear, I write it down so I can look back on it later. Most of them are so random that I find the subject matter funny, in and of itself, but there also tends to be an innocent sweetness to them that I find endearing. I dream every single night but not always about things that make sense or that I remember coherently in the morning. At least once a week I do have one or two that I remember in detail, vivid detail. When I was young and the dreams were scary or disturbing I did not appreciate this fact but now that my brain has settled down, the dreams often make me smile afterwards. So I give you: 3 recent dreams of Jamie Dornan

Dream no.1 

Jamie Dornan was my boyfriend

 

good start!

 

but it was new and we hadn’t come out to anyone with the news yet. he was set to star in a “Survivor” type reality show. there were two celebrity team leaders who picked their team members from a group of contestants. 14 of the contestants had been specifically chosen by the producers for drama and thus the celebrities were required to pick certain ones for their team (unbeknownst to the public, of course) and then each celebrity could pick 3 others on their own. I was among the contestants and had not been pre-chosen by the producers. while I wanted to take part, I really just wanted to share the experience with Jamie. it’s not like I was out to win. 

 

The day the teams were picked, it didn’t take place on film but rather as a VIP event at a location near where the game would take place; the competition would officially start the following day. Jamie was acting like my being picked was a done deal, yet I got the impression that I might not end up on his team. hmm. I didn’t ask him about it though, in case it was a strategy and I would be getting unfair “insider” information. I, on the other hand, was not so confident that I would make a team. I was in shape and had outdoor experience but it wasn’t like I was Sporty-Spice or anything.

 

"I wanna really, really, really wanna zigazig ah"

‘I wanna really, really, really wanna zigazig ah’

 

as soon as we arrived at the event, Jamie went off to do whatever he was supposed to do–so I didn’t get to tell him that not only had I been to this location before, but I used to spend summers there with my grandfather and cousins. how weird was that?! 

 

Soon the picking of teams started and it was like gym class all over again, ugh. and guess who didn’t get picked? this girl! Jamie was horrified that I didn’t get picked, he seemed truly gutted about it. I tried not to look too shocked, because I wasn’t really, but I did want to share the experience with Jamie; he was going to be gone for 6 weeks on this adventure. while the chosen contestants where whisked away for a briefing, I wandered around the property. I remembered coming here with my cousins, for a sort of “family summer camp” that my grandfather led for us each year. he didn’t own the property but he was an avid outdoorsman so I think he must have been friendly with the owner or something. I had mixed feelings about those summers: I was the only girl among my cousins and they were all older than me. it wasn’t exactly fun for me most of the time but rather lonely, and a hardship to put up with the antics of all those boys! my grandfather did let me tag along and help when he put the boys through “boot camp” type activities that I was too young for or not hardy enough to participate in myself. 

 

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not even in my dreams could I do this

 

The property itself was next to a serene lake, greenery all around. I could see the bunkhouse that the boys stayed in along the shore of the lake, and event members were wandering around the big house where I stayed with my grandparents. I took a trip down memory lane as I meandered down halls and rediscovered all the nooks that I played in as a kid. it’s at this point that I spotted Bobby Long and Sam Bradley, two folk musicians that I am fond of, standing by the stairs and laughing about something on Bobby’s cell phone. OMG! Bobby and Sam are right. there. I tried to act calm and cool and hope that I could spot an opening in their conversation to somehow insert myself into. while I was standing there beside them they suddenly laughed loudly and then looked around with smiles on their faces to make sure they didn’t cause too much of a disturbance. they caught my eye and I smiled widely at their antics to which they motioned me over to view whatever they were looking at. I then directed them to something similar that I thought they would find funny as well and so I enjoyed about 10 whole minutes of “hanging out” with Bobby and Sam. but then they wandered away, leaving me awkwardly staying behind. a verbal “later” with a head nod in farewell would have been nice but whatever.
 
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I spotted Jamie across the way so I met up with him as the announcer started wrapping up the the event. Jamie playfully bumped my shoulder and dramatically placed my arm around him. it surprised me that he was initiating this kind of contact in public but made me very pleased. my smile was met with a wink from him as we turned to listen to the person speaking. as the crowd started to disperse, Jamie led me over to a bench and we sat down to discuss what had happened. his “plan” had been for me to to get picked by the other team and then he would have eventually used the option to steal in order to get me on his team. he was so confident that I would be picked that he didn’t even consider a “plan B” scenario. I didn’t know whether to be touched at his confidence in me or annoyed at his arrogance, so I just laughed and shook my head. he was disheartened that I wouldn’t be on this adventure with him, and I could really see that fact sinking in as we sat there quietly talking beside the lake.

 

Disheartened. b/c he lurves me <3

Disheartened. b/c he lurves me

 

I mentioned something about the surrounding area that the game would be taking place in, that it was a good time of year for it because it wouldn’t be so wet and boggy, when Jamie looked at me oddly. he asked if I was familiar with this place because he had been watching me earlier inside the house and noticed that I seemed to know my way around. I told him the odd coincidence of this being a place I spent a lot of time in during my childhood. as I talked and shared some of my memories, Jamie’s face started to light up. 

 

Halfway through a story I was sharing, he grabbed my hands and told me that each team had the option of bringing along a guide that was familiar with the area. this person wouldn’t be on camera but they could travel along with the group and act as a consultant of sorts. Jamie suggested that I be his guide since I was familiar with the area. was I allowed to do that? I mean, I wasn’t a professional or anything. and it had been quite a few years since I’d even been back to this place; that was a lot of pressure! what if I caused him to lose the competition? now it was his turn to laugh and shake his head as he placed an arm around my shoulders and gathered me in for a hug. I knew he didn’t really care about winning, he agreed to participate because he thought it would be a fun challenge and the charity he was playing for would get a large donation whether his team won or lost. he wanted to share this adventure with me, he knew we’d work well together and keep each other grounded. he playfully gave me his puppy dog look then and I knew I had no choice in the matter; I can never resist that face!

 

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Dream no.2 (much shorter)
Jamie was the coach of the university sports team I was practicing for. we were on the practice field with a lot of other students that were doing various exercises and drills. there only seemed to be three of us and our sport was javelin throwing but for some reason we were running around the track with our spears, sideways. I couldn’t quite get the hang of it and kept tripping over my own feet, while my two male teammates were just running straight and snickering at my mishaps. Jamie wasn’t really paying attention, talking to another coach instead.

 

talking shop, aka gossiping

 

my teammates decided they had better things to do and just dropped their spears and walked away, meanwhile I was determined to get this right and kept practicing. I ended up tripping over one of their spears though which caused me to automatically use my spear to keep myself from face planting and I broke the end of it (they were practice spears of some sort that had a blunt end). I really dreaded telling Jamie that I broke the spear, I felt so foolish. but he took it in stride and said that they do tend to break sometimes. he then asked me to help him gather our equipment…and that was it.

 

that one was a bit anti-climatic

 

Dream no.3
I was part of a small crowd of some kind that was waiting for Jamie Dornan, the actor, to appear. it seems like I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time and got caught up in whatever was going on, because although I liked Jamie, I didn’t actually want an autograph

 

b/c I'm so above that kind of thing...

because I’m so above that kind of thing…

 

I seemed to be somewhat annoyed that I was being prevented from doing whatever else I was supposed to be doing. young women were scattered about talking to one another and I knew that if they were ready and organized before he appeared then things would go much quicker, so I tried to get them to come together and form some semblance of a line. easier said than done; their excited chatter was preventing most of them from hearing my plea. one particular group was going on about how hott Jamie was and coming up with silly scenarios to get him into bed when I finally raised my voice and said “no one is fucking Dornan! now would you please get your asses in line so I can get out of here quicker?!” at which point I heard his amused Irish laugh behind me and felt my face go up in flames.

 

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Posted by on May 4, 2015 in Self

 

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