King Richard Armitage Week: Leading Ladies and That Proposal Scene

To celebrate Richard Armitage’s 40th birthday and to commemorate the anniversary of Richard III’s death, this blog is participating in an extended 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!

We have extended KRA Week since we still have more posts coming from blog contributors. It’s a super-sized week! 

Servetus has another terrific post, this one focuses on the Richard III + Lady Anne relationship. I was also curious about the romantic possibilities for their courtship and proposal scenes in the RIII project, which would be a welcome shift from the sinister seduction of the Shakespearean version and would certainly not involve spitting.

Here is a quick summary of the historical romance: Anne Neville was the daughter of Richard Neville, the Earl of Warwick, who used Anne as a pawn to secure his own political power. At a young age, she was betrothed to RIII, but her father switched alliances and arranged for her to marry Edward of Westminster when she was 14. Then both her father and husband abruptly died and she had no allies since her brother-in-law (Richard’s brother) wanted to claim her part of the inheritance. RIII is said to have rescued her from this drama and the pair quickly married.

In Shakespeare’s play, Act 1 Scene 2 is the proposal scene. RIII woos Anne at the king’s funeral, telling her how he killed her husband and the king (her father-in-law) so that he could marry her. She becomes enthralled by his passion for her and implicit offer of protection and submits to becoming his wife.

Laurence Olivier + Claire Bloom

Laurence Olivier works his seductive charm in the worst haircut in the history of cinema, sending Bloom into a swoon. It almost seems romantic.

Kenneth Branagh + Stella Gonet, audio recording

Branagh goes for the crying and tender murmuring tactics. Gonet does the best job of showing Lady Anne’s rage.

Ian McKellen + Kristin Scott Thomas

McKellen does a commanding job of convincing Lady Anne and his energetic asides to the camera work well. Scott Thomas’ Lady Anne is beaten down and withdrawn in her consent. The least romantic proposal. The ring in the his mouth does not help.

Al Pacino + Winona Ryder (starts at 7:44), goes to Pt 4

Ryder seems a little lost here. Pacino hams it up. Yikes at the age difference. Very predatory. DON’T DO IT GIRL.

I mulled over possible actresses to play Anne (Servetus’ post also has an Anne actress poll), but was not coming up with many age-appropriate choices. One actress I did think about was the lovely and talented Claire Foy (b. 1984) from Little Dorrit since she was able to portray strength and vulnerability so movingly in that production. I also would like to see her do some quality work so that she doesn’t have to settle for being a witch in a Nicholas Cage movie.

Or perhaps Australian actress Abbie Cornish (b. 1982) who played one of Queen Elizabeth’s ladies-in-waiting in Elizabeth: The Golden Age and starred as Fanny Brawne in Bright Star (the video below contains the ending scenes of BS).

Paul Rudd vs. Jon Hamm: For the Love of Bella Swan’s Mom

More on lost love between famous people.

Despite my efforts on the Armitage beat, my highest hit posts are the ones about Winona Ryder and Gwyneth Paltrow, Stephan Jenkins and Charlize Theron, and Kenneth Branagh/Emma Thompson/Helena Bonham-Carter. Apparently, there are other nostalgic people out there curious about the demise of these relationships.

Here is one love triangle that ended happily for all parties involved.

From an interview with Paul Rudd in September 2011 NYLON Guys written by Luke Crisell:

Only a very few times in his almost two-decade-long career has Paul Rudd doubted his decision to pursue acting. The first was when he was 18, and Jon Hamm schooled him in a game of Trivial Pursuit. Rudd was a freshman at the University of Kansas with a major crush on his roommate’s sister, who was still in high school in St. Louis. During a visit to the family’s home, Rudd found himself on a Trivial Pursuit team with the girl of his dreams. It was his chance to impress. But playing against them across the table was Hamm, a high school senior and friend of the family who was “super handsome, really smart, and very good at sports—all of these things that I most certainly was not,” says Rudd. Nevermind though, Rudd would seal the deal with his superior worldly knowledge. He was, after all, in college. Who did this upstart think he was? “But every question that came up, I had no idea what the f***ing answer was,” he recalls. “Jon, my arch nemesis, rolled the dice, and the question was, ‘What’s the biggest lake in Africa?’ and he just goes ‘Victoria.’ And I remember feeling so totally emasculated that the next year when I went away to acting school I thought back to that Trivial Pursuit moment and I just felt, Holy shit, now that I’m in acting school I’m never going to learn what the biggest lake in Africa is.”

According to internet sources, Hamm ended up dating that girl, Sarah Clarke, who would go on to become an actress and play Bella Swan’s mom Renée Dwyer in the Twilight franchise. Hamm and Rudd also developed a friendship that endures to this day. When Rudd hit it big with Clueless in 1995, Hamm decided to pursue his acting dreams and moved to Los Angeles. Despite his good looks, smarts, and jock appeal, success came late for Hamm; he acted in minor roles for over a decade before being cast as Don Draper in Mad Men, beating out over 80 candidates. Both men continue to attract fans for their onscreen performances and offscreen humility. You think Hollywood could change these guys? As if.

So in the end, all three actors found tremendous acting success and romantic partners. Rudd and Clarke are both married (to other people) and Hamm has a long-time girlfriend.

Winona & Gwyneth – Don’t Call It A Comeback

When We Were Young: Gwyneth and Winona in happier times

Wow – my most viewed post has been the Winona v. Gwyneth one.

Both ladies have been back in the limelight with Winona showing up in Black Swan (passing the torch to Natalie Portman, arguably the Winona of her generation) and The Dilemma. Winona even scored two Screen Actors Guild nods—one as part of Black Swan’s ensemble cast and the second for her performance in the Hallmark TV movie When Love Is Not Enough: The Lois Smith Story.

Gwyneth made a refreshing cameo as a substitute singer on Glee, bursting out of her stuffy indie persona and showing off her pipes on Cee-Lo and Rihanna covers. She’s slated to make a return visit to McKinley High. She also sang her way into the film Country Strong. Neither performance was SAG-nominated, but she earned some iTunes money.

Winona Ryder Resurrection: Star Trek and Gwyneth’s Grudge

Winona Ryder takes the Natalie Portman role in the new Star Trek film as Amanda Grayson, the ill-fated mother of Spock.

Mother and Child: Winona Ryder and Zachary Quinto

Mother and Child: Winona Ryder and Zachary Quinto

Winona looked fantastic and as fresh-faced as ever at the premiere, rocking a lace dress that does not look like a doily, Troy Dyer.

It’s widely believed that Gwyneth Paltrow recently took the opportunity to not so subtly trash-talk about her past feud with Winona in her “frenemy” Evil Tongue edition of her GOOP lifestyle newsletter about how Winona’s infamous Saks incident made her happy.

Back in the day, I had a “frenemy” who, as it turned out, was pretty hell-bent on taking me down. This person really did what they could to hurt me. I was deeply upset, I was angry, I was all of those things you feel when you find out that someone you thought you liked was venomous and dangerous. I restrained myself from fighting back. I tried to take the high road. But one day I heard that something unfortunate and humiliating had happened to this person. And my reaction was deep relief and…happiness.

It’s been rumored that their friendship dissolved when Gwyneth stole the Shakespeare in Love role from Winona, a role that Gwyneth won an Oscar for (an Oscar that was stolen from Cate Blanchett, who not only had to romance Joseph Fiennes in Elizabeth but rule all of England). Regardless of the reason, we now know that Gwyneth takes pleasure in the little things. . .other people’s humiliation.

I remember the happier days in the 1990s when Winona was dating Matt Damon and Gwyneth was dating Ben Affleck. Gwyneth was the first-ever guest editor for Marie Claire magazine’s January 1998 edition and saved the last page for a chat session with Winona. Continue reading