OMG, Richard will you kiss me!

TheOneRing.net has posted a transcript of Richard Armitage’s fan Q&A in Sydney here:

http://bit.ly/10cc52G

I am posting the last page of the article, which is a brief interview with the man who was the interviewer for the event. Interesting what he says about the fans:

After Richard Armitage had finished speaking and had left the theatre to a rousing cheer and enthusiastic applause from the audience – the screening of The Hobbit was about to begin but, I decided to go outside and see if I could find someone to interview. I was delighted to meet up with Oscar Hillerstrom and he talked with me about the nights Q&A and some of Popcorn Taxi’s other Middle-Earth guests.

Deleece: And we are talking to: from Popcorn Taxi…

Oscar Hillerstrom: Oscar Hillerstrom

Deleece: And Oscar was one of the main people this evening that had Richard Armitage come to speak to us about The Hobbit. And Popcorn Taxi is renowned for their guest speakers, their presentations that they put on; How long have you been doing this?

Oscar Hillerstrom: Well I’ve been working full time for Popcorn Taxi for I guess almost 2 years, but I’ve been working on and off for them for their entire 14 year history.

Deleece: That’s amazing! So, how do you think tonight went?

Oscar Hillerstrom: Very well. It’s extraordinary to see, and it’s lovely to sell out such a very big room – and to have such intense and passionate fans but also well-read and well educated fans. It’s not just a whole bunch of ‘Oh my God – Richard will you kiss me’ fans but thoughtful interesting questions which Popcorn Taxi love for our audience to do so that’s what we saw tonight.

Deleece: And you found that Richard was very happy to do these sorts of things (Q&A)? Have you done anything before with Richard through Popcorn Taxi?

Oscar Hillerstrom: No, this is the first time we’ve worked with Richard. But, at the same time, I had a chat with him yesterday and I found him remarkably candid, very thoughtful, and a straight forward actor. It’s really interesting when you talk to him just as a normal human being how you see the qualities of Thorin onstage come through him. But, at the same time he’s just a regular guy who is very interested in the craft of acting, and that kind of thing really comes out on stage. I think he is fascinating. Especially for the fans who get to see a bit of stuff behind the scenes and obviously the interviews. But, when you’re on a Popcorn Taxi stage the curtains are let down – I guess ‘the pants’ in this particular aspect are also let down (laugh). You get to see something you don’t normally get to see – which is a normal human being discussing what they do for a living. And perhaps it takes a smidgeon of mystery out of it but at the same time it gives you so much more. And that for me is the real joy of it.

Deleece: That is a joy! The last time I was here (at Cremorne Orpheum Theatre) we were talking to Viggo Mortensen, a member of Lord of The Rings, and Popcorn Taxi was part of that were they?

Oscar Hillerstrom: I’ve certainly had a chat with Viggo a while ago myself with Popcorn Taxi. I think perhaps it was 3 or 4 years ago we spoke with Guillermo del Toro about Hellboy 2 when he was in – we hooked him up on the phone from Germany while we were in Sydney, but obviously at that time he was talking about The Hobbit, which was certainly one of his dream projects. And it’s interesting obviously now that to see this story come to life but, at the same time you can see perhaps elements of Guillermo’s DNA there still today. But also obviously the way that Peter Jackson has worked so hard for so long that you really can’t begrudge him any of the success, and certainly you can’t begrudge any of the actors any of their success.

Deleece: Yes, and it was at Popcorn Taxi when Guillermo was talking from Berlin Live that he broke the news that the very first script was finished – that they had actually finished the very first script of The Hobbit – now at that stage there was only a 2 part series, so Popcorn Taxi picked up a really nice World headline there (laughs)…

Oscar Hillerstrom: Yes. Well, I mean for us we’re not about the scoop. We’re not trying to get ‘the story’ and we don’t have our Fedora with a Press Hat. What we want to do is just have a chat and occasionally somebody will just relax and they will let it slip. And so if you’re in that audience of 200 or sometimes 600 people then you do get something a little bit special and I think tonight certainly there were a couple of moments where you could feel a real thrill echo through the audience. I certainly felt it myself when talking about Benedict Cumberbatch doing motion capture work – which I don’t think anyone has thought of before. And also the lost Love interest of Thorin Oakenshield which ended the night – which I think was absolutely wonderful and certainly most of the audience just ‘lost it’ which is a lot of fun.

Deleece: That was brilliant wasn’t it? Thank you so much for this interview! And all the best, and I’ll be at the next Popcorn Taxi Event as usual.

Oscar Hillerstrom: Thank-you so much. I really appreciate it.

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28 Responses to OMG, Richard will you kiss me!

  1. Servetus says:

    Wow, nasty much? It’s those “Richard will you kiss me” fans who keep Armitage, and thus Oscar Hillerstrom employed. Many minus points for fan hate and sawing off the branch upon which one sits.

  2. marieastra8 says:

    Really? Not seeing the fan hate here. Seemed to me like he was complimenting RA’s fans. Not sure I totally agree with him, but still.

    • Servetus says:

      He was the one who said this: “It’s not just a whole bunch of ‘Oh my God – Richard will you kiss me’ fans but thoughtful interesting questions”. I.e., total dichotomy between “worthy” fans and those who are not.

      • marieastra8 says:

        Who do you think are the “worthy” fans? 🙂 Its funny but I was thinking of the difference between the descriptions of the Sydney audience and the audiences I saw when Hugh Jackman was on stage. HJ’s fans got somewhat out of hand, IMO, when they had the chance. It was funny, in a way, but I’m glad RA’s fans didn’t act that way. My perspective.

      • Servetus says:

        “But” is a statement of disjunction. Not this “but” that. Not “kiss me Richard fans” BUT “thoughtful interesting questions.” First of all, plenty of fans are in both those campus, but even if they were, there is NOTHING wrong with “kiss me Richard” fans who buy tickets for any reason. If you discount all those people from the beginning, you’ve lost them as a potential audience. And how do you suppose “Kiss me Richard” fans might develop a more serious attitude (if that’s really what’s desired in a fan)? Possibly by attending events like this one. Again, he should be careful of sawing off the branch he’s sitting on.

      • marieastra8 says:

        OK. Thanks, as ever, for your comments!! Love having discussions with you.

      • Servetus says:

        I don’t think *either* fan is more worthy than the other. That was a dichotomy that he made.

    • Servetus says:

      think about it this way. Let’s imagine an AU in which professors were interviewed about their students after successful lectures. Someone interviews me and asks, “How do you feel about the students who came to your lecture today?” Would it be acceptable for me to say, “What a relief that the students who came to my class are serious and not from the group of idiots out there who just want three hours of credit for their degrees.” It would absolutely not. Those students — whoever they are — ensure my livelihood. I may get annoyed by them from time to time and want to tear my hair out about their behavior, and I would be the first to admit that sometimes I wish they were different, but it is just not on to insult them because they were interested in my class for whatever reason that got them there and registered for it.

      • marieastra8 says:

        OK I got it. Perspective. Who would be the someone who is interviewing you? A student, a parent, a peer? Agreed that sometimes it’s not appropriate to express and opinion. I think the more interesting point is why that is hitting you so hard. Do you think there are “OMG” fans and “worthy” fans? How fans act I think depends ont he circumstances and as an interviewer of a celebrity I would probably be happy that celebrity’s fans were not of the OMG variety who would rushing up the to the stage and throwing panties! I think there is a difference in evaluating the behaviour of fans and that of students.

      • Servetus says:

        No, I don’t. My whole blog is an argument against Hillerstrom’s position, which I find condescending and repugnant and, as I’ve said, self-damaging. There’s no hidden agenda on my part — I’m on record as opposing his attitude and I’ve written about why before. Contrast that to what Peter Jackson said at Comic-Con 2012: A fan is just the kind of person I’d like to spend my time with.

        Students vs fans: I think that there are a lot of similarities, esp if you teach in one place for a long time, in structure if not in numbers. Professors develop student followings based on evaluations, word of mouth, and now web evaluation sites. I know people who’ve been professoring for fifty years who’ve had grandparents, parents and kids of the same families in their classes. We also perform a show on demand three times a week — and the situation that bolly was describing Armitage in last night is one that’s familiar to me in structure if not in intensity (women don’t throw themselves at me). Students seek out our classes or end up there accidentally or because they have to be there (that last is the only difference). They follow us to our offices afterwards and we have to send them away in order to get work done. We get love letters and hate mail and stuffed animals and “creepy gifts” (I also thought that was really annoying, btw) and everything in between.

        It doesn’t really matter to my point about Hillerstrom, though; I’m just using a metaphor — my point is: as an actor or a film critic, *you* don’t get to decide what kind of fans you have. If you work in a job like Hillerstrom’s, you don’t get to decide that only the people who ask thoughtful interesting questions get to pay your salary. If Armitage’s career were dependent only on fans who had thoughtful, interesting questions, he wouldn’t have been in this film in the first place.

      • marieastra8 says:

        I accidently lost my response to this twice, so all I’ll say is that I’m happy this posting generated a discussion about fandom, because I am a fan, and that is a topic I am most interested in. I don’t give a damn about HIllerstrom. I don’t care what his opinion is.

      • Servetus says:

        What’s troubling is that it’s Hillerstrom’s job to bring / mediate culture to you / me. We may not care about him, but without distribution networks and cultural venues, we wouldn’t have this kind of opportunity to encounter the artists whom we admire. Armitage may be a great actor, but if Hillerstrom decides that the projects he’s in or the fans of the projects he’s in are only going to generate “will you kiss me” audiences as opposed to “thoughtful, interesting questions,” he’s not going to program Armitage. So I don’t care about him personally, but I care very much about what he does. It’s a sort of ongoing problem in the cultural sphere right now that this sort of judgment is laming the culture industry as art critics get snobbier and studios go to certain kinds of films for audiences because the critics are helping the more difficult films lose their audience with attitudes like this. The “gatekeepers” make themselves irrelevant in this way — with comments like this, they turn off fans who might want to try something out of their normal comfort zone, with the result that they make exactly what they claim to despise — culture that’s “only” entertainment, culture that only generates “kiss me” fans, or if I had to describe it, I would say, culture that prioritizes accessible entertainment over greater challenges to the viewer — over precisely the more consciously artistic stuff they claim to love and claim to want audiences to love. Hillerstrom seems to want serious film fans at his events — but he should be asking himself why audiences for serious films are shrinking visibly as we speak. It’s in part because of the judgment of people just like him. In that sense, talking about him is just a synecdoche for a larger problem — but he doesn’t get a pass because of that.

      • marieastra8 says:

        Yes, but if he had remarked on the lack of “kiss me” fans in a way that seemed to be a negative comment on Armitage I wouldn’t have been happy with that! What could he have said?

      • Servetus says:

        How about: “great fans tonight!”

      • Servetus says:

        yeah, it’s totally possible to give comments without dissing people. “I loved how thoughtful and interesting the questions were tonight!” would have gotten the same point across without dissing women who have crushes. Women who’ve got leisure and money to buy these tickets, I might add.

      • marieastra8 says:

        Absolutely! Still sort of wish I could have been there. ;-/ It’s just so unlikely that something like that would happen again. Can only hope for a glimpse on the red carpet. Oh well.

      • Servetus says:

        I always wonder why they pick particular cities for particular events. Why Sydney for this and why did NYC have such a subdued premiere and really exclusive event? I get that NYC is not really a “film town” for the masses, but still I wonder what the reasoning was.

      • marieastra8 says:

        Nothing like this has ever happened in RA fandom before, has it? An opportunity for lots of fans to see him in person? They had a big LOTR even at Lincoln Center in NYC where I saw Elijah Wood and Sean Astin and some other LOTR folks. Peter Jackson was supposed to be there, but he phoned it in from NZ. It was pretty cool. Wonder if there’s ever going to be anything like it for The Hobbit. Also, there’s the New York Comic Con in October. Wondering if anyone from The Hobbit will be there. I guess the San Diego Comic Con was similar to the Sydney event, come to think of it.

      • Servetus says:

        He was all by himself in Toronto and introduced the film; I assume it wasn’t 40 minutes of Q & A, though. Maybe now that he’s done it once he’ll be more comfortable the next time.

      • marieastra8 says:

        That would be great if he would do that in several cities! Maybe? It’s such a great opportunity to see him. If that’s what you want to do. Fingers crossed for a NYC opportunity. 😀

      • Servetus says:

        I won’t ever say, “I won’t do that,” because I learned my lesson on that awhile ago with regard to this. Still, I don’t have a strong urge to see him in person. I could have afforded Toronto, New York or London this last time around and felt no impulses in that direction. There’s a kind of very minor “film city” close to me — if for some reason he were there, i.e., within easy driving distance, I would probably make the effort.

      • marieastra8 says:

        I know how you feel. I’m starting to feel the same way, like really not want to see him in person. But I know if there is an opportunity I probably will take it. If it’s NYC, you always have a place to stay with me! LOL 🙂 I have LOTS of room. I could invite LOTS of the Army to stay with me, actually. LOL!

      • Servetus says:

        Be careful not to say that too publicly! You might have to open an Armitage Army B&B!

      • marieastra8 says:

        LOLThere are worse things that could happen LOL 😉

  3. Pingback: Richard Armitage Legenda 77: Stuff worth reading | Me + Richard Armitage

  4. Servetus says:

    I know another NYC appearance would make a lot of people happy!

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