Richard Armitage: Mean Face or Romantic Lead?

Richard Armitage has said several times lately in interviews, including the Popcorn Taxi video of the Q&A in Sydney above,  that he “fantasizes” about being the romantic lead in a film, but that his face is “too mean”. His Army, of course, begs to differ. We can most definitely see him as the romantic lead in a film! Why did the BBC message boards crash when he appeared on screen as that most romantic lead, John Thornton?? He even admits he “got the girl” for once in that show. If he could do it then, why not now??

Romantic leads are not always pretty boys. RA is surely not a Leonardo DiCaprio type pretty boy. He has a man’s face, not a boy’s. He has a no nonsense look about him, that is, in my opinion, heroic, if not beautiful. He does look tough. He looks like he can kick some ass. He has certainly proved that by playing Thorin, Porter, and Lucas North. To say nothing of Guy of Gisborne, who is the bad guy and certainly not the “romantic lead”. But he brought more romance to his bad guy than the so-called lead brought to his good guy.

Why does he keep saying this, though? I wonder if he’s just teasing. In the Q&A video he says to the audience “You agree?” and then the interviewer says “I think you’re right. You do look inherently evil”. And he says “I do!”.  Like he’s trying to convince us, but he knows he won’t. 

Seriously, though, I bet he does have a hard time with casting. Also, he’s British. American film makers like to case Brits as the bad guy. Like Benedict Cumberbatch in the Star Trek movie. And Sean Bean in just about every movie. You’d think casting directors would be a bit more adventurous.

RA Lucas North

Thanks to YouTube for the video and for the Lucas picture.



From New York City. Anglophile, theater-goer, love books, music and LIFE.
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7 Responses to Richard Armitage: Mean Face or Romantic Lead?

  1. It’s probably what he hears from casting directors a lot. That can make a lasting impression on anyone. I remember reading somewhere that the casting director for Captain America took one look at his Strike Back poster and said that she’d found the villain they were looking for – but then, I could be wrong though.

    • marieastra says:

      I remember that story about Strike Back from an interview where RA was talking about how you never know how you get a part. That’s true. I remember the buzz Hugh Jackman got from his performance in The Boy from Oz. He was only known as Wolverine before that, but the industry got to see him in a different way. I remember that helped him get other, non action figure, parts. Especially stuff like hosting the Tony Awards.

      I’m sure RA has heard that from casting directors. Sometimes it seems like they are just looking for a type, not someone who can act.

  2. bollyknickers says:

    I often hear actors say that the villains are more interesting to play so perhaps it’s a blessing casting directors seem to see RA as the baddie. Imagine a world without RA’s Guy of Gisborne..that would be a tragedy!

    At the Q&A RA also said he got nervous when he found a role that was too close to his real personality as he rarely got cast. He also said he would love to play the romantic lead.. all this led me to fantasise that the speculation on the forums about him possibly playing Ross Poldark could have some basis in fact. Quite honestly, i don’t think that is going to happen for reasons too numerous to go into here, but i for one would be on cloud 9 if he were to play RP in a well made, big budget adaptation of Winston Graham’s books. For me, he would be the perfect romantic lead in anything that required a ruggedly handsome and extremely masculine leading man.

    • marieastra says:

      You know, it seems to me like he ALWAYS plays the romantic lead to me! Who looks more romantic than Lucas North or John Porter? Hot, hot, hot!! 😀

      I think it’s very telling that he feels he never gets roles that are like him. Maybe a good thing if he think’s he’s boring. LOL Just kidding. It’s such a competitive industry. One can only imagine who is vying for the Ross Poldark role! I loved that story. Read all the books. But back to how he never gets roles that are like him, I think that is part of his insecurity – his inside doesn’t match his outside.

      Thanks for commenting!

      • Giggles! I agree, Marie

        RA–in whatever guise/guys *wink*–is usually swoonworthy. Sighhh! But actors like to stretch themselves.

        I wonder if after North & South, Richard Armitage had a lot of romantic lead parts thrown at him, but that he held out for other roles that were opposite that? It certainly seems so from his electic role choices after that–Ricky Deeming, Percy Courtenay, Claude Monet, John Mulligan, etc.

        So I hope after playing villains and hard charging action adventure heroes as he has done the last few years, Richard Armitage will look for something different next–a charming little romantic comedy where he finds love, marriage, and kids, etc. There is lots of fodder there for humor. You’ll recall that big and tough guy Arnold Swartzenegger was a complete giggle amongst the kiddies in Kindergarten copy. Can you imagine Richard Armitage having to change a dirty diaper? It would be a fish out of water treat! *swoon* *thud* Ha!
        Cheers! Grati ;->

      • marieastra8 says:

        LOL, Grati! Yes that would be something — to see RA changing a dirty diaper! I’m sure he would do as conscientiously as he does every part he plays. 😉 I must say I am very anxious to see what part he chooses next. I hope he has lots of choices. Thanks for the comment.

  3. Pingback: Richard Armitage Legenda 81: Stuff worth reading | Me + Richard Armitage

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