Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year - Welcome 2015

"You Are My Sunshine"

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy when skies are grey
You never know, dear, how much I love you
Please don't take my sunshine away

 written by Jimmie Davis and Charles Mitchell

My wish for my two favorite actors for 2015:


A feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements.

Respect is a positive feeling of esteem or deference for a person or other entity, and also specific actions and conduct representative of that esteem. Respect can be a specific feeling of regard for the actual qualities of the one respected. 


I'm grateful to be in manageable health, still with most if not all my wits,to have a job, and a roof over my head. May this continue in the New Year. 

I'm grateful for my friends in Real Life and in Virtual Life
 (and in both worlds)

I'm grateful for Richard Armitage and Sean Bean who are my sunshine every day

Feliz y Prospero 2015

(definition thanks to Wikipedia)

Sunday, December 28, 2014

My MI-5 Men

Spooks  (or MI-5 in the US) is one of my favorite TV shows of all time. I first started watching on the A&E Network. For several years at the start they were a network to watch for new or newer UK shows. 

Later lovers of Spooks in the US had to become intelligence officers themselves to figure out where to find the series and when it was on. PBS in my area at least is notorious for moving the series around from prime time to midnight time with no notice. 

I'm having my own Spooks marathon this evening watching my favorite spy Lucas North

So happy that my favorite spies are doing so well these days.

Two Examples:

Richard Armitage - Lucas North

The Hobbit Trilogy and The Crucible 

David Oyelowo -  Danny Hunter

Selma and A Most Violent Year

"Colleagues are OK"

If you want to know more about Spooks (MI-5) click HERE

More about the wonderful cast click HERE

I have to admit I'm a bit underwhelmed by news of the new Spooks film that should be out spring 2015. I'm glad Harry (Peter Firth) is still around and it also stars Kit Harington.  

(Pics from Google Images)

Richard Tying His Shoe

How beautiful 

the simple task of tying a shoe 

(and I love the little furrows of concentration between his eyebrows)

Thanks to Richard Armitage Central, DaMan, Esquire UK, and Glamour UK magazines

Friday, December 19, 2014

Working with Richard Armitage


Thorin represents for Fili and Kili someone whom they would like to follow in his footsteps, and seeing him lose his mind through the third film is something that they are both very aware of. It was amazing to watch Richard’s performance… looking back on it now it’s quite phenomenal.

Martin Freeman:

" didn't take me long with Richard to like him, I think he's a very decent person, you know – not just a laugh or whatever, a very solidly decent human being. He's fairly quiet, he keeps himself to himself in a way that I respect because I understand that as well."…/the-hobbit-star-martin-freeman-not-

Peter Jackson: 

“It’s hard because he’s not a scene-stealer,” Jackson said (about Richard Armitage) in an interview with The Times earlier this year from his New Zealand home. “He’s just a quiet, strong, powerful presence who is the backbone of the story. This time around … he lets go a little bit, he’s able to really crank it up and dominate the movie in a way. His strengths are all on display here, that’s for sure.”

Ian McKellen:

“It’s not easy to play a troubled hero,” says McKellen. “You want your hero to carry the day without a care in the world and be as good looking as Richard is. But Richard carries inside Thorin a soulfulness which is necessary, which Gandalf doesn’t really know how to cope with ...
“Richard’s done very well and his reward is the absolutely leading character, the one dwarf that really sticks out"
(Added 12/25/14)

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Impressions of My Day and Night at Hero Complex (LA Times) Screening and Q&A with Richard Armitage and Lee Pace in NYC December 11, 2014

All fan events start with a journey.  I live about five hours, give or take an hour or so, from New York City depending on what mode of transportation I use.  Thursday my choice was the bus, not my preferred mode of transport, but the cheapest.  As people chatted around me on the crowded bus, a song kept playing inside my head.

I'll fast forward through things a bit.  Got to New York, stopped to get something to eat, and got to the theater around 11:30am.  Now remember, the movie was starting at 7:00pm and the Q&A with Richard and Lee would follow.  As I got closer I saw there was a line already, about 12 or so people at that moment, though I knew that would change.  I took my place in the line.  After a while it started to snow, wet snow, and it was cold.  A man came out to talk to us a few times, later discovered he was from the Los Angeles Times, and told us they were going to take us into the theater shortly.  True to his word, this first group, our group.was guided into the theater to get our wrist bands and go up to the 4th floor, to stand in line again.  We stood, or sat, or leaned, against the wall, and that was our home until about 6:30pm.  (I'm not always checking my watch so times are approximate.) But we were inside and warm.  

I talked to a few of the people in line when I first joined.  Those near me seemed to be a group of RA and LP fans. We didn't talk much after we got inside. The others around me seemed to be a combination of Hobbit/Tolkien fans, RA fans, LP fans, movie fans...all excited about the night events to come. 

There was another line outside now, waiting. 

I'm just going to give some of my impressions of the Q&A with Armitage and Pace and of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.  

Hero Complex said there would be a video of the Q&A posted on their site. I hope they post the entire Q&A and not just bits and pieces. Some intrepid fans have already posted vids with some of the Q&A that evening. 

*  I was two seats away from Richard when he came down the steps on my side of the theater towards the stage at the start of the Q&A.  It was very quick, so I only caught a glimpse of the stubble, and his profile. (Lee also came down the steps first, but I was concentrating on seeing Richard, so didn't look at him.)

*  This is the third time I've seen Richard "in-the-flesh" and he's looked slightly different each time, though the same Richard as a person. He was in a slightly mischievous mood I thought, having a great time with the fabulous cosplayers, and enjoying the audience of fans in his reserved and quiet way and naughty twinkle in his eye.

* This is the second time I've seen Lee Pace in person. The first time was at The Hobbit: AUJ premiere in New York more than two years ago, Then he had these ugly sideburns because of a play he was in at the time. We didn't talk to him that night, but saw him several times. He seemed taller this time, and much better looking without those sideburns.

* My personal highlights of the Q&A: 
1. Richard's revelation that he won a fastest growing beard award or title from the Royal Shakespeare Company (something like that, can't remember exact words) when he was in Macbeth. Apparently it is truly a "beard of wonder". Not only a funny and cute moment, but also a new bit of info about him!

 2. The little girl and her mother who made the cookies and sweets for Lee and Richard as a present, that was a sweet and magical moment, and Lee's story about his mother bringing homemade cookies home from school at Christmas (his mother was a teacher).They both looked so delighted with the present.  

3. Bringing the marvelous cosplayers on stage with them and taking the time to take photos together, 

4. Richard's delight at speaking Khuzdul and his favorite insult! 

* There were really no new questions asked or answered about The Hobbit in the interview, either from the moderator or the fans. I hoped that since we had all just seen the movie and they were all aware we had, that there would be more questions about the final scenes that we couldn't discuss because of spoilers. Then again, others would still see the vid (or vids) and there would have been spoilers in any case. 

* I really haven't seen many video interviews with Lee Pace,or many interviews really,and never live of course, and found him to have a very "guy next door" easygoing charm, very comfortable interacting with fans, and seemed to be having lots of fun sharing with us. 

* Richard's eyebrows! Think he could create and entire character and make a movie just using the movement of his eyebrows alone, no words. One raising of one eyebrow can say a thousand words. (And I wasn't even sitting that close!)

* The special thrill of hearing Richard's voice coming from him in person, still as addictive as ever.

I was happy to share the Q&A and movie experience with a group of fellow RA fans. Thank you for inviting me to join you, it was great fun to spend time with you all. See you around Armitage World and hope to see you all again for the next Armitage movie happening. 

What a pleasure to have the opportunity of spending this special time with two charming and very talented men after just having watched their work on screen in the company of fellow fans. I'm ready to do this again right now! Thank you Lee and Richard. 

The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies:

Again, just some impressions, not really a review. I'll try not to have any spoilers. Very difficult to talk about the movie without going into that forbidden territory of what happens to the story of the heirs of Durin, but I'll try.

%  Movie starts out all action and it really grabs your attention and from that moment time just flew by for me. 

%  The movie belongs to Thorin.  Oh yes, I'm a Richard Armitage fan, but I truly believe even if I had never heard of him before, I would admit the movie belongs to him. 

%  I love Ryan Gage, and he's even favorited one of my Tweets on Twitter (love you more Ryan), and I enjoy Alfrid, but there is maybe a little too much of a good thing in this film. Time the movie could spend with the Dwarves and Bilbo. 

% Too many elves, especially Legolas. Good to see Orlando Bloom, but some scenes again took time better spent elsewhere exploring other characters. I wanted to get back to Erebor. 

%  The romance between Tauriel and Kili still doesn't entirely work for me, but I confess tears were streaming down my cheeks watching a certain scene between the two of them. 

%  Several of the battle scenes, despite all that CGI, are thrilling to watch.  Close to Helm's Deep level.

% Great moment for LOTR fans to see Saruman (Christopher Lee), Elrond (Hugo Weaving) and Galadriel (Cate Blanchett) battling evil together

%  Spoilers (possibly): Without venturing into the forbidden scenes, two that will stand out for me: 1. Thorin giving a certain gift to Bilbo and what happens in that scene between them knowing what we know and Thorin doesn't, 2. Thorin and Dwalin surrounded by gold, I wasn't sure about this scene seeing it in the trailer, but it's an entire different scene in the movie from what I expected, and it engaged my feelings about these two old friends.

%  Bilbo might not have been afraid of Thorin Oakenshield, but I was, afraid of him, and afraid for him. 

%  My favorite scene outside of Erebor before the evil ones arrive is the tent scene with Thranduil, Gandalf, and Bard. Three political powers maneuvering for their side. 

% Thorin's battle - the word that came to my mind is "elegant" and once it started I could barely breathe. Ice and Fire.

% Wonderful performances by all the cast, especially Richard Armitage, Martin Freeman, Luke Evans,Aidan Turner, Lee Pace, Graham McTavish, everyone in the cast

%   Whatever quibbles I may have about some of Peter Jackson's choices in this film, they were inconsequential as emotions swept me away at the end. I'm looking forward more than ever to the Extended Edition. 

I will see the film again on Monday. Oh yes, I'm going to The Hobbit Trilogy Marathon at a theater near me. 

I take horrible photos, but a few more below anyway.

(Farther away than they actually were)


Saturday, December 6, 2014

Richard Armitage BOFTA Press Tour: Some Lovely NEW Interview Clips

From The Anglophile Channel

My Two Year Anniversary of Meeting Richard- December 6, 2012 - Hobbit AUJ New York Premiere

Enchanting Richard

Some enchanted evening
You may see a stranger,
a familiar stranger
Across a crowded room
And somehow you know,
You know even then
you will remember this moment
Again and again.

Some enchanted evening
Someone may be laughing,
You may hear him laughing
Across a crowded room
And night after night,
As strange as it seems
The sound of his laughter
Will sing in your dreams.

Who can explain it?
Who can tell you why?

(apologies to Rodgers and Hammerstein for altering some of their lyrics)

It was really a more innocent time, that first Hobbit Premiere year. 

I am grateful every day that I was able to go that night, we were very lucky, and also privileged that we could attend, I'm very much aware of how rare it was. It was 
an enchanted evening.

All the talented and friendly men (king, princes, dwarves, hobbits, wizard, gollum etc.) and women that we met that night were lovely, charming, funny, and friendly. It's not difficult to say wonderful things about The Hobbit cast because it's all true. Thank you all, it was very special for us to meet you and talk to you.

Wherever my three fellow RA friends that I went with on December 6, 2012 are today, I hope they will at some moment during their day stop and remember what a special night we shared two years ago. 

We also met some more wonderful RA friends for tea earlier in the evening, and that was so much fun.

For Richard Armitage an Ella interlude

we can dream one day a Richard hug

To read  more details of what happened that night to a group of RA fans, go to the links below:

My Story:

One of my premiere companions shares her own experience of the magical night:

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Photos I Loved Today

Good Morning Sunshine

My favorite photo from The Hobbit PR Junket So Far 
Three Favorite Men in Paris 

By the way Peter Jackson, I so agree with you about Richard Armitage as the perfect James Bond and Martin Freeman as his perfect Villain, and with you as director!! Please, what can we do to help make this happen soon.

Fraser Kelly and Richard Armitage - Urban and the Shed Crew

How can a man with dirty, shaggy hair, and clothes that looks like he's slept in them for ages, look so beautiful 

(Photos from Twitter, Richard Armitage Central, and The Wall Street Journal online) 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

World (London) Premiere A Success and Reviews Rolling In - All About Thorin

"In a film with universally strong performances and one that is supposed to focus on the titular Hobbit, the now complete trilogy is dominated by the mesmerising presence of Richard Armitage’s Thorin Oakenshield, whose story arc finally sees the heroic leader get his big moments in the spotlight. I really can’t say enough good things about Armitage’s work here – from the moment he first arrived in Bag End he managed to immediately capture what makes Thorin such a compelling and charismatic leader and his work in The Battle Of The Five Armies is excellent."

Read more:

Friday, November 28, 2014

So It Begins - Or It Had Already - BOTFA Press Marathon

From DAMAN Magazine

Two great interviews today - one from DAMAN Magazine, 
my new favorite 
Men's Fashion Magazine

One of my favorite quotes (had to write it down since am not able to cut and paste it, so forgive errors)

"DA MAN: You're one of a growing community of English actors now living and having considerable success in the US. Why do you think this is happening?

RA: Perhaps it's connected to the last question. Brooding, (disdain?), dark humor and irony, all provide great contrast to that "All-American" feel-good factor, but it's always about balance. I also think there is a great literary tradition in Europe , script first, picture later. It can be reverse in the US. Again, it's about a good balance of opposites." 

Here's a link to the other interview from The Times:

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

I Remember

I've been toying with a post about a new (well, new for me) international mystery series I'm watching, but my mind and heart right now is with Thorin, Kili, and Fili, and my Dwarves, and BOTFA. 

RA just tweeted this video and watching it I'm remembering all the years I've followed these films and the movie magic of Peter Jackson.  For me it all started with Sean Bean when he was first cast as Boromir.  I don't believe if not for Sean that I would have followed these films as I have. I wasn't a Tolkien reader at that point either. So I thank Sean with all my heart for leading me, not for the first or last time, to a world I have since followed and love.

Sean Bean during the filming of LOTR - Don't remember source of photo

I still remember following the making and the constant postponement of The Hobbit before a certain someone was cast in the film. As a fan of LOTR I was curious, and I thought Guillermo del Toro was an interesting choice for director.  I'm not a follower of all his films, but I would include his film Pan's Labyrinth on my favorite fantasy/political films list. So it was for that reason that I found myself joining a live online fan Q&A session with Peter Jackson and Guillermo del Toro about plans for The Hobbit.  This must have been when del Toro was first in New Zealand making plans. I think that must be at least five or six years now if not more? 

I remember somewhere in there, maybe after del Toro dropped out and Peter Jackson opted in to direct The Hobbit, voting or posting my agreement, or comments, to fan casting lists that had Richard Armitage on it for the role of Bard. Think I voted on several of these fan cast lists that had Richard as Bard. Looking at all the characters in the book, I thought the one role Richard was perfect for was Bard. 

I have never been so wrong in all my life. 

Thanks to

That's why Peter Jackson is a genius and I'm not. Thank you Peter Jackson for having the vision to know that Richard Armitage is Thorin Oakenshield.  No one else but Richard could have brought Thorin to life as majestically and made the character so real to so many. He created such a vivid character in Thorin that he exists to me as a separate "person" (or separate dwarf), from the actor I know and love, Richard Armitage. No matter how many times I've seen AUJ and DOS now, a few seconds after the movies start, I am totally invested in Thorin's quest. Armitage brought the story of the Heirs of Durin into our hearts, together with Aidan Turner and Dean O'Gorman, and now many of us are emotional about what is to come in BOTFA. 

I'm in love with all thirteen of them, my dear Dwarves. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Mi Corazon - Mi Tierra Media

My Two Beautiful Men


My Love for Middle-earth

are joined together


I'm so happy that Billy Boyd is singing the song 

(thanks to for the video)

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

"I don’t think I had fully understood his range as an actor"

Richard Armitage reading Hamlet: A Novel 
by A.J. Hartley and David Hewson

A writer I've gotten to know a bit and like is A.J. Hartley and I have Richard Armitage to thank for that.  His Deborah Miller series is on my list of books to read. 

Hartley was recently interviewed by and had some very nice things to say about Richard Armitage:

"...we did a Hamlet, which has just come out, performed by Richard Armitage of The Hobbit.
JMW: Yes, and also the BBC Robin Hood series, I believe.
A. J. Hartley: Yeah, among other things and a show called North and South, which is very good. He’s currently in The Crucible in London, which has received very, very good reviews. He’s a terrific actor and he’s a very popular actor, has a very powerful fan base, because he’s among other things, cute.
JMW: Yeah, well, hey, it’s really important to sell those audio box.
A. J. Hartley: Absolutely, but I don’t think I had fully understood his range as an actor until I heard what he was doing that one, because a voice actor has to do everything, not just narration, but all the different characters and such. He is terrific, wonderful."
If you're interested in the entire interview watch the video below, or read the article by clicking on the link below. 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Happy 10th Anniversary North & South - Memories of John Thornton

November 14, 2014 is the 10th Anniversary of the first airing, the premiere in the UK, of the BBC series North & South, starring Richard Armitage and Daniela Denby-Ashe.

Like so many fans/supporters/well-wishers the first time I saw Richard Armitage was in this series as John Thornton. No, I didn't see it on November 14, 2004, but one night on my local U.S. public television station (yes on PBS) in 2005.  I will admit I had not heard of Elizabeth Gaskell before, and had no idea what the series was about, but I saw it was a period drama, and that was enough incentive for me to watch.

I remember feeling a bit annoyed towards this interfering busybody, Mr. Thornton, as Margaret Hale marched to the mill to confront him. Then amid the noise and the floating cotton fluff there he was, standing above it all, the most beautiful man I had ever seen. 

By the start of the second episode I made sure I knew the name of the actor: 

Richard Armitage

video by lucifmello

Five Years Later

It was the first weekend in the few months since my mother had passed away that I was alone. No family or friends making sure I had company for part of the day, or calling to check if I was OK.  

Somehow on this weekend they all had gone back to their own lives, leaving me alone with mine. The door had closed on my life and I sat in my living room not knowing what to do with the rest of it. I only knew I couldn't continue this way.  

Why I suddenly remembered North & South that day I don’t really know. It had been a while since I watched it, but somehow I remembered the strong bond between John Thornton and his mother.  My mother and I had a similar bond. Very much like John and Hannah, as a single mother and child, we had worked, trusted, and depended on each other in order to survive. 

In the last few years of my mother's life, as she declined rapidly and I became the inadequate caregiver, our world changed. I desperately needed to remember an earlier time in our lives as mother and daughter, somehow I felt it would console me.  

I watched North & South all the way through that night. I cried at all the scenes with John and Hannah, cried when Margaret’s parents both died and cried again when John said “look back, look back at me." That night I fell in love again with John Thornton. 

More than that, for reasons I still don’t understand, watching North & South that weekend gave me the will and the strength to continue on. John Thornton and the man who gave him life, Richard Armitage, will always have a special place in my heart. 

It was also that night that I first searched for "Richard Armitage fan sites."   

That most handsome man of all I first saw as John Thornton in 2005 is now handsomer than ever.  

Join a special 10th Anniversary  ArmitageWatch:

 and the NS10 Group on Facebook:

Friday, November 7, 2014

Una Ultima Vez

" was largely due to him that the Kingdom under the Mountain was restored...we might now only hope to return from the victory here to ruin and ash. But that has been averted ...because I met Thorin Oakenshield one evening...not far from Bree."  Gandalf talking about Thorin to Frodo, Pippin, Merry, and Gimli. (Unfinished Tales, J.R.R. Tolkien)

Screencaps from Heirs of Durin


(crop of Fili, Thorin, and Kili is mine)
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