Have you seen it? I hope you did. We envy you up there in the UK, so , please , at least tell us that you liked it! After such a massive, impressively hammering advertising campaign, personally  I'd turn my TV off as soon as it started. But as I already told you, since Richard Armitage is in there , I promise I'll see it as a piece of his talented career.  I must see and  study it . Yes, as I usually  study any adaptation of  classics (though this is not the case) enjoying myself while watching, trying to find the good and bad in it. I've read the novel by Chris Ryan ( my review here) , I've read much  about Strike Back the series, I've listened to/watched Richard's interviews but ... I fear it is not exactly my cup of tea. Anyhow,  if a pacifist like Richard could act in it, why can't a pacifist  like me  just see it?

This is an interesting bit about John Porter and glamorizing war from one of Richard's latest interviews:

He says: "Porter has guts and he is prepared to make judgements based on a moral code - and to put his life on the line if he thinks he needs to. I don't want him to be perceived as this one-dimensional killing machine with no humanity.'
So does he think his hunky SAS hero will set hearts fluttering? Looking baffled, Richard says: 'I cannot think how someone willing to die for their country would be a person who you would want to put a picture of on your bedroom wall.
'You admire someone like that for their bravery, but not for their attractiveness. Strike Back is about war, and I don't think war is something to glamorise.'     (Read more HERE)
This is why I've chosen  tender moments, non-violent caps from the first two episodes .
(STRIKE BACK ep. 3/4 will be on Sky 1 next Wednesday 12 May)


I like to watch  Richard while speaking, his facial expressions and gestures,  his quiet ways  are rather  familiar. Thanks to ITV1 GMTV for giving us  the possibility of enjoying RA chatting on that sofa again. Last Tuesday, 4th May, he was interviewed about Strike Back but he also talked about Spooks 9.
( You can see the interview HERE)
On that same day he went on a real tour de force and we have another video souvenir of that :  a long webcam video of his interview at Radio 5.

Richard  couldn't avoid it. In more than one interview they wanted to know about his fans (in the AArmy or not in the AArmy). These are  the bits about this issue I liked the least. I actually didn't like them at all. Was it Richard or the journalist... I didn't like them.


This is something I've just found in the Net today, instead:
"There's lots of derring-do, and the chance to tear off his shirt at every opportunity. No wonder he's built up a fan base of adoring women.

But he's bewildered at his attraction. 'I'm just a geek,' he protests.
'My idea of a passionate weekend is doing DIY. I'm pretty handy with a screwdriver. But is that sexy? I don't think so!" (Read more HERE )

His Orwellian presence, haunting people from huge posters all over the country, has started puzzling the man himself:


It’s bad enough when you catch a glimpse of yourself unawares in a shop window. So imagine running smack-bang into a massive poster of yourself. Wearing army fatigues. Doing a bit of a glower. “It sort of makes your stomach churn,” admits Richard Armitage – currently plastered across posters for Sky 1’s Strike Back. “I saw one and I had to look away quite quickly.”

They’ve proved fairly disconcerting for friends, too. His Spooks co-star Nicola Walker called to say one of the posters had appeared outside her home. “She said: ‘I can’t believe it – you’re looking in through my bedroom window’.”


"It's almost like what you've seen so far is only part of the picture…"

And you're filming the next series of Spooks at the moment. It doesn't have a problem with killing off its main characters, does it? Does that worry you?
"No - I think it's why Spooks is coming into its ninth series and probably will be going into a tenth and an eleventh. I think it deals with its exits really interestingly and when it brings new characters in, it furnishes the show with something really exciting. It's good to know that the show will go on despite a single character and I'm sure when it's Lucas's turn, he'll go out in style."
So you're not flicking through all the scripts trying to see if you're still alive?
"You kind of do. There is a code of honour where they'll pull you in and say, 'OK, we've decided to do this with your character', but you're still unsure. There's a few surprises in there."
What's it like working with the new cast members like Laila Rouass?
"She's playing a character called Maya who is an old flame of Lucas's, possibly his first love, so that's been really interesting. She plays a doctor. We were shooting in a hospital on the South Bank the other day and it was like those Carlsberg adverts - if Carlsberg did hospitals, what the hospital would be like. It was super clean, and Laila Rouass walked down the corridor as a doctor and I was like, 'This is definitely a Carlsberg hospital'."
Lucas had a difficult relationship with Sarah Caulfield last series. Will that affect his ability to trust Maya?
"Yeah, I think he's had a string of quite disastrous love affairs. This one is particularly different and it's quite hard to tell you without revealing too much of the story but Lucas isn't quite who you think he is and she's part of that story, so there's a whole other character that's contained within Maya."
How was that for you, having this whole other side to Lucas?
"It's interesting because you have to just rethink the character and retrace your steps and go back and make sure that everything fits and rework things that don't work. It's very exciting. And I think this series is very much about identity. All of the characters from the very beginning are not what they seem. All of the new characters that come in actually turn out to be slightly different from what you think."
And will Nightingale be a part of that or is that over now?
"Nightingale comes through as a thread with the old home secretary that was in the last series. That thread is still alive, but it does come to an end at that point and then we have a new problem. Albany. I actually don't know what it is yet. I'm chasing this file called 'Albany' and I still don't know what's in it yet. I think it's something to do with genetics, but they won't tell me. It's sort of top secret." ( The rest of the interview HERE)


About BBC ROBIN HOOD being cancelled after series 3 Richard said: 
"I was disappointed. I felt that it probably had life beyond three series. At the back of my mind, I still think that they could resurrect it at some point. And it's a shame that it's not in production at the moment as the Russell Crowe movie comes out, because I'm sure there'll be a bit of Robin Hood fever. Although I probably wouldn't want to be competing against that big-budget movie! I still think that there's a passion for it and a love for it, so it was a shame that it finished. I loved doing it, it was brilliant. I'd definitely do a spinoff, a Guy of Gisborne spinoff!" 

Please, dear  journalists, radio speakers, reporters, TV interviewers next time you meet Mr Armitage in your working activity could you avoid
1.  teasing him about his Army? (I didn't enlist, but please ...)
2.  mentioning him the huge amount of female supporters he ( actually )  has?
3.  asking him about the average age of the above mentioned?
4.  asking him always and repeatedly the same boring questions?
5.  annoying him with questions about his past experience in the circus? (maybe,  this time you already succeeded in  it!)

Could you , please, instead
1. prepare yourself  a bit better about his career and work (not simply reading his official biography) and, especially,  ask him much more interesting , challenging questions?
2. remember he trained a lot  and  worked hard before becoming relatively popular at the age of 34?   
3. respect more his audience since it is not made up of  simpletons, neither of shallow inexperienced people, nor of naive dreamers?
4. listen carefully to what he has to say, since he really cares about his characters and the works he is in?
5. learn from him a little humbleness?

Thank you very much indeed


Anonymous said...

Nice recap. SB just by its plot is not my cup of tea either but because of RA's comments and from experience of his characters being complex&interesting I do want to watch it.

About point N.3, I think it has a lot to do with the context and the way it is said and how it ends up being read on 'paper'. For example the bit where he says 'middle aged, well educated......' I take it that is his way of answering the 'old boring question' with a little of humor plus maybe and indirect for journalists.
I mean, in the interview with Scott Mills (May 4th) when asked about his fanbase he said something like "one is 25 and the other I think is 35" in a funny and nice way, it didn't sound offending, at least it made *me* chuckle, I sensed humor and teasing directed at the questioner, not at the fans. In that same interview he was asked about being 'thrown pants' at, he said it has never happened.

The second bit about 'not being the one for signing autographs' and 'being polite' sounds a little harsh but with these last radio interviews as I said before, when asked those questions his answers don't sound offending, so I take it as bad 'wording'.

I heartily agree with your letter at journalists,interviewers, etc., actually is quite safe to say that all his fans join you in that petition.

Unknown said...

Thank you once again, dear MG, for this well informed (and up-to-date) press review! I was going to miss this Spooks interview, if it weren't for you!

I loved the first 2 eps of Strike Back, but unlike you I'm a fan of this genre, so it didn't cost me a great effort to watch it. I'm glad to say that I wasn't disappointed at all.

I love his hands!!! It's fascinating how he uses them when he talks... <3

Last but not least, I absolutely second your plea to the journalists: please, please, PLEASE stop talking circus and AA, we are bored to death reading about this stuff!

Luciana said...

You know, journalists can be really annoying! Some of them just don't want to know serious things, just keep asking the same silly stuff. I agree with your suggestions for his next interviews. I also didn't like those bits you pointed. But the poor guy probably don't like to hear that people only like him because he has opportunities to take his shirt off. And it is totally wrong, there are lots of handsome actors out there and that's not the only reason why we like RA. Anyway... I like war stuff, so I might like SB. And I really enjoyed his interview at GMTV. However, I'm sorry about what they are going to do with Lucas, even he was surprised.

Unknown said...

Okay, I absolutely loved all of those screen caps from RA's interviews...his facial expressions are so much fun to watch (and drool over, LOL!!). I loved the bit about him being a geek and a DIY-er...the fact that he is so self-effacing and down-to-earth makes him even more endearing. Could the man GET any more perfect? I might not be able to stand it...

Marg said...

I love your RA Friday posts, simply because it is the perfect way to start my Saturday morning! I will probably think about watching Strike Back if and when it comes out here, but mainly only for RA.

I love that he is still so humble despite all the adoring fans that he has.

mulubinba said...

Maria - thank you for this post. It has been a nice summary of all the hype of the last weeks, much of which I have missed. I haven't seen SB yet but hope to see it on DVD. I don't mind action as long as there is not too much gratuitous violence.

As for the journalists, I agree with your pleas to them. Unfortunately RA keeps getting asked the same questions over and over again. Here is a classic quote ... "he sends legions of his obsessed female fans – the so-called “Armitage Army” – into paroxysms of orgasmic delight." (Quote from article written in Times Online 2008). Now, a few ladies did protest on a public forum about the journalists portrayal of them a year or so ago making similar points to those you raise here. RA heard about it via his agents. That was the reason behind his August 3rd message. (See RAOnline). Those ladies, interestingly got chastised harshly for raising the issue by their own fandoms after that message was sent as it was felt RA should never have been made to feel he should offer an explanation/apology. I notice RA has been pretty guarded ever since but I hadn't seen the first article you posted above. The journalists just can't resist digging it all up however - I think they sometimes put words into his mouth and misquote him so that the humour behind his words is not conveyed to the readers. There are warning signs that he finds the attention from fans intrusive however. It's going to be interesting to see what happens if he goes on stage and whether he manages to avoid unwanted stage door encounters.

A return of Guy? I'm not sure that would be a good idea .... He's avoided being typecast to date - I think that was a bit of journalistic license on the part of the Digital Spy interviewer as he has stated elsewhere to the contrary. Time will tell ...

lunarossa said...

Hi MG, don't have Sky so I will have to wait for the dvd. But being stuck at home at the moment with a bad cold/flu/temperature and very cold outside, I've watched North & South between yesterday night and this morning and I was imply blown away! Thanks, MG, without you and your "army" of RA's supporters' recommandations, I wouldn't have discovered it and I have would have missed out a lot...Have a good weekend. Ciao. A.

Phylly3 said...

Great post MG! I like almost any genre (if it is well done) and I know anything that RA wants to be a part of must be top-notch, or a least better because he's in it!
As for the journalists questions, I am thinking that they are writing for "the great unwashed" -- that is, people who are unfamiliar with his wonderfulness.
Maybe WE should post a list of questions that we would like him to answer (if we ever got the chance to interview him)?
The TV interview was fab and I DO love watching his face -- and how his eyes sparkle!! He is the very definition of charm!

Roman Tales said...

Ciao MG, I don't know do you prefer Italian or English soooo, let's speak English ;-). I just finished watching SB part one, waiting for second part (still downloading) ... Sorry to disappoint you, but I realy, realy don't like it. Can't point my finger at exact part that I don't like, it's all package I guess ... RA was OK, but not excellent, must say that I realy like the way he pronounces vagina ;-)
All that "go, go, go" makes me laugh (plus sooooo male fantasy about mercy shag, if not mercy than therapeutic, with goodlooking one, of course) so I must go, go, go and watch second part :-))) just because I am midleaged RA fan ... lol
XOXO from Roma

Seccionista said...

Hi, I haven't watched yet although I am a bit curious... what I am really looking forward to is the return of Spooks ;-)

Judy said...

Hi Maria, I've now watched the first two episodes and must say it wasn't really my cup of tea - I liked the first episode better than the second one, which was extremely violent. I think Richard Armitage does a good job of finding some depths to the character, and the rest of the cast is also excellent - with Jodhi May, who is brilliant in Daniel Deronda, and Andrew Lincoln, who played Edgar Linton in the last Wuthering Heights, it is almost a costume drama cast in exile! To be honest, my husband probably liked it more than I did as he is quite keen on SAS-type series and watched the Ross Kemp drama Ultimate Force, which never appealed to me. My husband also likes Shelley Conn and I suspect is hoping she will have a bigger part in the next episodes.