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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

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14 Comments

Posted by on May 29, 2017 in Miscellaneous

 

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Putting Those Misconceptions to Rest

Keira Knightley & Jamie Dornan

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

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

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

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

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

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Dior Homme

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

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Dior Homme

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

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

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

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by Graeme Robertson

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

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

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as Paul Spector in ‘The Fall’

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

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

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

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

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as Christian Grey in ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’

 

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

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by David Venni

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

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

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

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by David Venni

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

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

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

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

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

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by Mary McCartney

 

 

 
4 Comments

Posted by on March 25, 2015 in other

 

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Falling Into “The Fall”

So remember how I was curious about the television show Hannibal because Richard Armitage is set to have an upcoming role in it, but I ended up becoming uncomfortable getting into the “serial killer” head space? Well, it seems I’m just picky about what kind of serial killer because I had no problem jumping headlong into Jamie Dornan’s serial killer, Paul Spector, in The Fall
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It started with me being curious about Jamie Dornan’s part in the Fifty Shades of Grey movie. As I mentioned recently, I’m more than a little familiar with that character and was on the fence about whether or not Jamie could pull off the part. I remember Jamie from his short stint as the Sheriff in the television series Once Upon a Time and knew that the circles he ran in overlapped somewhat with those of my one-time crush Robert Pattinson, but I wasn’t really familiar with Jamie’s acting work. While browsing through clips on YouTube, I kept seeing The Fall suggested in relation to Jamie. After looking it up on IMDb, I saw that it was about a serial killer. Oh. do I really want to click on that? I’m a curious person by nature, so of course I clicked; and it was such a pleasant surprise! (well, maybe “pleasant” isn’t the right word, since he’s a killer and all..) I watched the first two episodes on my laptop while family life bustled around me. Then, when the family left to attend a community event,  I spent the next 5 hours engrossed in a television series about a serial strangler set in Ireland. I did not see that turn of events coming when I decided to search out Christian Grey! 
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What do I like about the series? I like the pace of the story first and foremost, the time it devotes to setting the scene and not just jumping straight into the action. I like that Paul doesn’t really talk that much: we see him indulging in his secret fetish and trying to hide it from his normal life (so in a way, we’re stalking him…). I like that the visuals don’t focus on violence for shock-value, it’s more the whys than the hows, and we understand (at least intellectually) what these acts mean to Paul. I also like the flip side of the storyline, with Stella (Gillian Anderson) as the police investigator who is dealing with political red tape as she tries to link the murders and track down the killer. Stella is very good at her job and her self-assured demeanor, along with a few sexual liaisons, play into the perception that she’s a cold, sexually empowered, modern woman; a similar type of woman to those that Paul seems to be targeting. 
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Paul is a grief counselor (of all things!) who stalks and then strangles professional women, posing them after death and taking pictures of them, to get his personal kicks from later. He’s married to a nurse who often works nights, which clashes with his volunteer work on a suicide hotline. Their life consists of the hustle and bustle of getting the kids dressed, fed and off to school while doing what needs to be done for their jobs; the “ships passing in the night” phenomenon of two working parents. The kids are adorable, by the way, especially the daughter, who plays a significant role in Paul’s life.
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Meanwhile Paul spends his spare time sneaking about and stalking his victims, casing their apartments, breaking in and moving things around to spook them before returning to finish what he’s started. The way the story unfolds bit by bit, presenting the puzzle pieces and then slowly connecting them, is something I greatly appreciate. It seems to be the norm these days to throw all the info at you in a very fast pace, mixed in with all the drama of the main player’s lives that has little to do with the story at hand (the police investigation/crime). I find the camera work stimulating in this series too: the way it flits about from watching Paul, to seeing things from Paul’s point of view, and back again. 
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This is one of those stories that pulls you in opposite and sometimes confusing directions. I know what Paul is doing is wrong and I feel for the innocent people that get hurt along the way but I’m drawn to him, and secretly hope he continues to get away with it. It makes me examine what “normal” really is and how much I might ignore if I were in these character’s shoes.
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I tried to get my husband to rewatch the series with me but after just two episodes he wasn’t impressed. While I liked the slow unfolding of events, he wanted the faster pace. And while I reveled in the Irish accent, I think he found it distracting. At any rate, if you haven’t seen Jamie Dornan in The Fall, I highly recommend it!
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9 Comments

Posted by on March 2, 2015 in television

 

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