King Richard Armitage Week: Creative Letters of Support from Queen Amidala, John Thornton, Ros Myers, Lady Marian, and Alexandra Porter

To celebrate Richard Armitage’s 40th birthday and to commemorate the anniversary of Richard III’s death, this blog is participating in a weeklong series of RA blog events for the Richard III for Richard Armitage!/King Richard Armitage project (sign the petitionjoin the Facebook group). Enjoy the fun!

Queen Amidala from Star Wars: Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace (courtesy of:

From Padmé Amidala, Queen of Naboo, Senator of The Chommell Sector

I am writing this letter to offer my recommendation for Uncredited Bravo Pilot #22 to fill the role of King Richard III in a non-Shakespearean adaptation.

The force is strong in this one.

I am qualified to give this assessment since my husband is the most powerful Jedi in this far, far away galaxy. (Also, I was in a Tudor film and it was not very good, so I look forward to a smart approach to a Plantagenet era project.)

I would also add that I agree with citizen Carolyn that Bravo Pilot #22 is the hottest Naboo Starfighter pilot in the galaxy. Such exceptional good looks and military prowess would be invaluable assets in tackling the Richard III project and attracting a broad audience.

P.S. My handmaiden Sabé would like to add something.

Dear Bravo Pilot #22,

I support your project. But please note that I am not Natalie Portman.


John Thornton from North and South (courtesy of:

From John Thornton, Milton, England

I offer my whole-hearted endorsement of the Richard III project. The north has experienced tremendous industrial growth in the past half-century and owes a great debt to Richard III who established the infrastructure for economic development in our part of the country. His legacy has led to more opportunities for people to enter and rise within the working classes of society. The growth in the number of businesses has led to rapid progress in machinery and manufacturing and Milton’s trade is rapidly becoming known throughout England and beyond—and we owe it all to King Richard for his transformative achievements which have allowed us to thrive. As Plato said, “The beginning is the most important part of the work.”

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a lovely wife and two little ones to get home to.

Lucas North and Ros Myers in Spooks (courtesy of:

From Ros Myers, Thames House, London, England

I offer my unconditional support for the Richard III project. I have reviewed the execution strategy and found it thoroughly sound and question why this project remains unfunded. Dear Minister of the BBC: there is no need for another bloody Shakespearean Richard III adaptation.

Given his skills in negotiation and combat in addition to his loyalty and service to crown and country, I am confident that Lucas North is the best candidate to manage this project. I look forward to seeing what the final product will be—I love a good intrigue.

Lady Marian and Sir Guy from Robin Hood 2.10 (courtesy of

From Lady Marian, somewhere in Sherwood Forest, England

Please fund Sir Guy of Gisborne’s Richard III project. Guy has fought for King Richard I in the Crusades and has shown his loyalty to the crown. I know how much he admires Richard III and seeks to follow his example. As you are well aware, Guy has great ambitions and this project would allow him to fulfill his dreams and free him from the command of the Sheriff. Although he may seem cold and difficult, I know that he has a good heart and he should be given the chance to prove himself capable of taking on this challenge.

I do admit that I would also like to see him leave Nottingham so that he may come across new female company. Although I cannot express it to Guy, my heart belongs to Robin Hood. Now I must go and see what my mischievous man is up to.

P.S. Sorry for the delayed response: the wifi signal in the forest is not very good despite Much’s repeated efforts.

John Porter embracing his daughter Alexandra from Strike Back 1.2 (courtesy of:

From Alexandra Porter, suburbia, England

My dad would be a great leader for a Richard III project. He’s seen combat—he’s always away—and he is an amazing person. He fights to help others and make things right. He’s so smart and never gives up, so I know that he will succeed in whatever he does. I am proud that he is my dad.

But the main reason I want this project to happen is that it would be fantastic to have him back in England for a long time. Since my mum’s passing, I’ve really missed my dad.

It would also be wicked to see my dad get involved in some period battle work. I’d love to play a soldier!

So now is your turn: in the comments, post your take on these letters or come up with new character letters. What would Gandalf say? Or the Sheriff? (an “anti” letter, perhaps?)

Thoughts on Strike Back: Season 2 Episode 1 and Armitage







Well. Seeing Armitage was exciting. But sleazy machismo has taken over the show and I am glad he was able to leave the series.

Ugh. It’s like I have a visual STD now.

And they executed him in a very graphic, lingering camera shot. Dislike.

Robin Hood, Spooks, Strike Back. Three television series, three Armitage deaths, three shows that went downhill.

Thankfully, he has a leading role in The Hobbit and is working with exceptional writers and directors. I can’t wait to see what will happen next in his career.

Captain America: Today!

For new visitors: do check out this fan-created Richard Armitage initiative and consider signing our petition. Thanks!

I’m on RA Captain America review media blackout until I see the film. Tick tock.

I do love this latest interview where he candidly shares the less pleasant side of the acting business—maddening television writers who completely alter his character’s back story before his exit (SPOOKS!), acting while trying not to drown (Spooks, Captain America)—and heavy lifting (The Hobbit).

He would also prefer to keep his shirt on, ahem.

“I want to be strong enough to cope with the roles, but I don’t want to be cast as the guy that takes his shirt off. I’m looking forward to getting fat and old so I don’t have to lift weights.”

Haha. Erm. He has done quite a lot of shirt removing. And action-based work. Both of which have required a lot of discipline in diet and fitness. Along with the awful writers and water torture, there’s been a lot for Armitage to endure. I can’t wait to see the slower, non-athletic side of Armitage post-Hobbit.

But back to the article. The headline quote was a terrible editorial choice: “I’m a bit mean. I don’t have a nice guy face.”

His actual quote in the article text:

“I suppose I’m a bit mean. My face on camera doesn’t lend itself to happy nice guys. I think it’s just that my bone structure looks menacing. I don’t smile that often.”

He has such a chameleonic face. While he certainly can have that burning look, when it melts away (à la North and South train station scene), it is stunning. He can do radiance as well as ferocity.

We will always be happy (Courtesy of:


I love the way this beloved open-collar Armitage shot is posted above yesterday’s open-collar Armitage shot.

There’s no need to remove the shirt, an undone button is enough.

Thoughts on Vogue: Emma Watson’s Lads, Armitage Speculation, and Downton Abbey Ladies

After mentioning the casting of Jeremy Irvine in the upcoming Great Expectations film, I spotted him as one of four young British actors admiring Emma Watson in a photoshoot for the July 2011 Vogue issue.

Emma Watson has company (l-r: Luke Treadaway, Tom Hughes, Jeremy Irvine, and Harry Lloyd) (photo by: Mario Testino for Vogue)

Vogue has online-exclusive profiles of the actors here. Irvine is on the brink of fame, having won the lead role for Steven Spielberg’s upcoming film War Horse.


When The Hobbit media blitz goes into full effect, I predict that Richard Armitage will show up in Vogue’s “People Are Talking About” section or as a dashing companion for one of the models (Alexander Skarsgard suits up with Lara Stone in the July issue).

If the latter happens, Armitage deserves better positioning than that of a mere man accessory that sulks in the background. Vogue editors should take advantage of his musical theater training and pair him with a dynamic model like Coco Rocha, who is also trained in dance.

The Hobbit is due for release in December so any Armitage coverage will likely be in the November or December issue.

Oh the photoshoot possibilities! It could be a glamping (glamourous camping) scene set in treehouses with the lovely couple dressed in capes and boots inspired by the outdoorsy spirit of The Hobbit. Or an ecstatic party setting with Coco in some sequins and Armitage in black-tie and some scorching Latin dance moves (Servetus did an excellent analysis of Armitage + tango elements in Spooks on her blog earlier this week).

I love the dance action and riveting eye contact in this early photoshoot featuring several young actors including Armitage and Jonathan Rhys-Meyers. Armitage is committed to his partner, fully embracing her and supporting her as they move across the space.

Armitage and partner in unknown photoshoot (Courtesy of:

Look back (Courtesy of:

Take a bow (Courtesy of:

This month, the ladies of Downton Abbey received the glam treatment in Vogue UK – see Tom and Lorenzo coverage here.

UPDATE: Emma Watson wears one of the Bottega Veneta dresses featured in the Downton Abbey spread to the Harry Potter premiere.

Hmm. Now I see why this dress was photographed in profile, while crouching. Standing up, it looks like a draping mess.

He’s A Fighter: Armitage Levels of Combat

Armitage at ease in Strike Back (courtesy of:

After dabbling in archery (Robin Hood level combat) with friends, we had a weapons upgrade to laser tag guns (what I would consider Spooks level combat) this past weekend.

I have a tendency to melt in heat so I was quite content to be the patient assassin that holes up in a shady wooden box and waits for my target to walk by.

Now there is talk of actual gun usage (definitely Strike Back level combat). I hear that shooting ranges are in fashion for bachelorette parties and dates. What a strange prelude to romance—”biting the bullet” indeed.

I would prefer the outdoor shooting of clay targets with a rifle over the indoor shooting of a slowly approaching paper target with a handgun. But really, I want to go back to arrows.


From a print BBC interview on Spooks with Richard Armitage:

. . .There was a shoot-out in the final episode where I surprised myself about the amount of rounds I could pull off and how quickly.

It’s a weird thing. I’m not a violent person but when you put a gun in somebody’s hands something strange happens. It’s like a little animal comes out of you that wants to fire the gun again. I don’t know what that is!

Did you have to have lessons?

I had a very, very quick lesson, but really I should have gone to a shooting range and gone through it properly, but I’d worked for weapons before on Ultimate Force. The weapons chap was the same guy so he knew that I could cope with it. But there is a procedure that you have to go through and it’s very, very strict. They scare you into realising how serious the weapon is before you fire it.

From a Reader’s Digest interview on Strike Back:

When I was researching the character, I read a lot of material on war and the nature of killing. There was a very surprising statistics – I think it was from the Napoleonic Wars – about the number of muskets they found on the battlefield that hadn’t been fired. And it still happens: when the call to fire comes, some soldiers either fire high or they simply don’t fire. It’s like conscientious objecting on the battlefield; some people, when it comes right down to it, won’t or can’t kill in cold blood. I was surprised – and slightly relieved – to know it.

. . .

On the one hand, we decided that at no point must we make the violence gratuitous, or glorified, or any more elevated than it really is. On the other, there must be a point in a soldier’s career where he feels like he’s in a war movie. There is this state of mind which is called “berserking.” You get it in war and you get it in football crowds – where something triggers the adrenaline and there is kind of surge mentality; you break through to a place where everything suddenly becomes much more animal. I hope we’ve accessed a bit of that.

From a video interview (with transcript):

You star in Strike Back too. What draws you to these action-based roles?

I’m sure while I can breathe and get my leg over a horse I’m sure I’ll be asked to do action again. And fine, whatever it is that keeps me in work. But I’m semi-conscious of picking something which doesn’t necessarily have a violent content. I feel like I’m getting to be associated with violence and I’m really not a violent person which is probably why it’s easy to act. So yeah, I’d like to do something nice and calm and all about love.

The Hobbit isn’t completely about love and does involve some combat, but it has lots of laughter and singing. I can’t wait to see how Thorin reacts to sleepy Bombur and adorable Fíli and Kíli.