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)

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

November 4, 2013 - November 4, 2014

In the busyness of the weekday work world I almost forgot today that it's been a year since The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug Fan Event in New York.

I often think of that leather jacket Richard was wearing that day. Such a vivid memory still. It was such a soft leather, like a buttery suede, but clearly leather.  The color was not a chocolate brown as in the photos, but a softer brown, almost a taupe color. The quilted sleeves, looking so cushiony soft. If only I could reach out to touch him from the third row. 

I remember gazing at his back while he was being interviewed after the event was over in the vestibule of the theater.  Tall and thin, longer dark thick hair, very long legs in those blue jeans, and the back of that soft leather jacket just hitting the top of his waist. 

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