RA as Suburban Dad?



intothestorm.2Glimpses of Richard Armitage as Gary Morris, suburban Dad

Richard Armitage is currently filming some additional scenes for the movie now called Into the Storm, a movie about a tornado’s impact on some high school students and their families. The action takes place in Oklahoma, U.S.A. This means that RA must have an American accent.

I must admit that the idea of a tornado film doesn’t thrill me. Not that I don’t like disaster movies – I really do. But I find this role for Richard Armitage somewhat disturbing. In the first place, the American accent. I love Mr. Armitage’s Britishness. I don’t want him to be an American.

Then, there is the suburban Dad aspect. Again, somewhat disturbing to me. Richard Armitage is an actor. He is an artist who creates characters. I find it a little odd to have him, Mr. Richard Armitage, inhabiting a role that could be someone I know. I mean, a spy? a soldier? a henchman? a dwarf? – not gonna meet any of them in RL. But a divorced teacher with teenage sons? Hey, I know him!

An actor inhabits different characters. It strikes me as odd that Richard Armitage would inhabit the character of an ordinary person. What I am trying to say is that the thought of Richard Armitage pretending to be someone who is an everyday character in my life is WEIRD! It’s the thought that his RL is so different from the character he would be portraying is kind of creepy to me. Why is that? It makes me feel like he is light years in a different direction from my life. Not easier to relate to – harder. Am I nuts? (Well, I already know I am, but….)

Glamour-24Not a suburban Dad. At all!

Now, someone commented somewhere that the suburban Dad aspect made fantasies about him in RL easier. Β For me, I prefer his more exotic characters for fantasy. Mmmm, Thorin. Mmmm, John Porter. Mmmm, Lucas North. Mmmm, Richard Armitage, actor and urbanite. πŸ˜€




From New York City. Anglophile, theater-goer, love books, music and LIFE.
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43 Responses to RA as Suburban Dad?

  1. kelbel75 says:

    this character will probably have some kind of internal struggle going on, or else Richard wouldn’t have been interested; so that alone, already gives the character depth to me. will it be something the suburban parent inside of me can relate to on a personal level? will the fact that I live in a tornado prevalent area hinder or enhance the realism? it doesn’t bother me that I could know this character, since I relate everything and everyone to a RA character in some way *laughs* but I wouldn’t say it entices me all on it’s own either. I live with a clean-cut suburban dad who wears dress slacks and ties everyday, after all, so Richard’s going to have to bring something more to the table to impress me πŸ˜‰

    • Marie Astra says:

      I agree that RA probably had a reason we don’t know for taking role – some kind of interesting twist to the character which he will bring to it. It’s just the thought that he would PLAY a charcter that is so common to my life – that is that he is so NOT that character in RL, that gets me.

      • kelbel75 says:

        in instances like this is where I tend to judge an actor’s talent. it comes more naturally to most to play something that is fantasy or far out of reach to the average person, as is the emotions that go with that: evil, angry, sad; but to play someone “normal” who isn’t a basket-case takes a certain kind of finesse. in my opinion πŸ™‚ I am nervous about the accent though. if he’s supposed to be a native I hope he goes with a subtle approach, because that accent can sound over-the-top rather easily.

  2. Perry says:

    Even if he is an ordinary guy, he’s obviously in an extraordinary situation. I for one would like to see him playing an ordinary person for once. It would be a change. Othereise, he’ll het stuck in those action roles forever.

  3. guylty says:

    Well, I see where you are coming from. Movies are an escape route, that’s why we like them. They show us a world that is different from our day-to-day struggle and therefore we can dream ourselves into them and leave our own world behind for an hour or two. However, they also place *ordinary* characters in *extraordinary* circumstances, much like a suburban, high-school teacher dad in a tornado desaster. And whether RA has played a spy, a medieval knight or a dwarf, all his characters were faced with problems or situations that we are exposed to, in our own suburban ordinariness, too, and hence we relate. Whether it is the betrayal of a loved one (Spooks), the unrequited love (RH) or a heavy burden (TH), we can feel with Lucas, Guy and Thorin. I expect to feel with Gary, too. The accent will be an interesting detail. You guys will know much better than me how well he pulls it off. My own experience with accents, as a non-native speaker of a foreign language and someone who also has much exposure to bilingualism, is that generally those who have a musical ear tend to be great at emulating an accent. It’s all about *hearing* the subtle nuances and then *reproducing* them. I have high hopes for RA because he seems to be a musical chap for all we know…

    • Marie Astra says:

      Thanks, Guylty. Acting is what it is. I guess I was reacting to the image more than the role. So much of my Armitageing is about looking at pictures of him, not really watching him act.

      • guylty says:

        I know what you mean. I am getting to the point with RA where I find it hard to see the character and not the actor. Reminds me of the time I saw Ralph Fiennes on stage in “The Faith Healer”. I was sitting in the first row, so had a prime observation spot. I just couldn’t get past the thought of “That’s Ralph Fiennes there. That is RALPH FIENNES!” A pity really, because the play was very demanding and Fiennes did an amazing job (there is a half-hour monologue that he had to sustain). Sometimes the actor’s celebrity impedes their impact.

      • Marie Astra says:

        LOL I saw that play! Demanding? I thought it was quite a snooze fest despite the great acting. Your comment reminds me of my friend who went to see Sean Bean in Macbeth and just stared at his chest when he had his shirt off – didn’t hear a word of what he was saying! #SadNotSad

      • Marie Astra says:

        That was rude of me to say

      • Marie Astra says:

        That was very rude of me to dis something you enjoyed, whatever the reason. Please forgive me! Not thinking clearly yet this morning. I should have said I was disappointed in the production, which I was truly. Forgive me!

      • guylty says:

        LOL – no, I didn’t really undress Fiennes with my eyes – not that much of a fan. And snooze fest, yeah – the two girls I went to see the play with had professed to be HUGE Fiennes fans – and duly nodded off during the play. In the front row no less. Talk about embarrassing *hahaha*.

      • Marie Astra says:

        Oh no! Well, I must say that I saw Hugh Jackman quite a number of times on stage in a show I didn’t like all that much but he was so mesmerizing that I had to keep going back!

  4. AgzyM says:

    If that’s what men look like in the suburbs in Oklahoma, I’m moving! Actually, I’m not, I dated a guy from there once. he was so so. Plus don’t they have tornados there or something…. oh…. nevermind πŸ˜‰

  5. Perry says:

    BTW, I don’t think the name has been officially changed yet. Do you know diferently MarieAstra? Is there something I missed?

  6. Perry says:

    I meant “differently” We need all the “effs” we can get.

  7. kelbel75 says:

    just so you know, this discussion caused me to have a Richard-as-teacher dream last night! I wasn’t actually the student, so it wasn’t sordid or anything πŸ˜‰ but there was a hug involved, so it was enjoyable πŸ™‚

  8. guylty says:

    LOL – just thought I’d paste this here as a little contribution re. nailing that accent. He’s quite good with British ones. Loved the Scottish Tyrannosaurus… http://youtu.be/W5wag–kIvM

  9. obscura says:

    I don’t know how/if/what I feel about this…I do know that once I start watching something he does, I seem to get immersed in the character to the extent that I “forget” the actor behind it – I suppose that’s the point of the exercise for the actor :). To make “ordinary guy” a compelling character might be a really challenging task.

  10. I think playing a suburban dad is a breather role for him – considering his previous roles of spy, SAS soldier, henchman and dwarf. It allows him to expand his acting repertoire which won’t have him pigeonholed into costume or fantasy roles like Orlando Bloom ended up in.

    Suburban dads where I live and where I work (both beach cities) are hotter than hell and so seeing RA in this role is not a stretch for me at all. Playing a regular guy is also not as easy as many think, compared to playing dwarves, soldiers, spies and evil henchmen. I think RA mentioned once about how some roles he’s read remind him of himself in real life, and as an actor, it’s the challenge of playing a role that may seem like him in real life, but also making sure it’s separate from the real him (hmmm…don’t know if that made any sense LOL) that would make this role quite interesting.

    • Marie Astra says:

      The thought I had was that a suburban dad is not what he is in reality, it is a role he is playing. Just gave me pause that he would play a character that’s part of my everyday life. I’m not expressing this well. LoL

      • kelbel75 says:

        he’s larger than life to you in his normal roles, which is part of the appeal, the escape aspect of it all. outside of his acting, you know he’s a regular guy but being British and maybe his background or personality,etc. is still different from what you’re used to encountering everyday. when he takes a role that forces you to jumble him together with real life, so to speak, it kind of takes that appeal of “different” away or at least tarnishes it a bit. am I close, or way off base? πŸ™‚

      • Marie Astra says:

        I guess that must be it. Not that there’s any tarnish, just an odd feeling. Since I’m sitting in a meeting right now I should probably wait to respond more fully. LOL

      • I totally understood what you meant πŸ™‚

        I think my point is that sooner or later he would have played this role anyway, but one thing I’d like to add is that many of the actors we see as anything other than suburban dads actually are πŸ™‚

        Now I’m not saying RA is, but for the sake of longevity in the business this is a good role for him to take and show his mettle.

      • Marie Astra says:

        Yes. I agree. I was thinking about actors who are suburban dads. But I don’t think that’s RA.

      • Okay, I think I get what you and others mean now.

  11. Good that you brought this up to discuss. I have imagined a bit that Gary Morris might be a little like John Porter as loving and concerned father. The nature of Strike Back did not allow for an examination of that aspect of his character, beyond seeing how much he misses and thinks of Lexie. But we still identified and felt quite strongly with Porter’s pain there, as we could see it clearly. IE: when Porter thinks he is about to die, he prepares mentally and thinks to Lexie out loud. I
    Although I hope to see how he handles concerned, heroic father or see some deeper insight on how a widower copes with the potential for another catastrophic and emotionally crippling family loss, I fear that much of the film might actually concentrate on the storm and just physically surviving it. I’m okay with that, really, but I would be wanting more after leaving the theater.

    But then again, I always want more when it comes to Richard, so…

    • Marie Astra says:

      Somehow I can’t see him taking a project that doesn’t have some interesting take on his character. Probably mostly special effects, though. I thought of Porter too, but he was no suburban dad!

      • I believe that also, so there is hope. And as Porter, that is true that he was soldier/hero first (unfortunately for the family, but great for us viewers really). But is “suburban dad” any less exciting than “soldier reduced to security guard”? Or even “shy farmer who longs for love quietly”? Might be some similarities in the more pedestrian aspects of those characters.

        And I am purposefully avoiding the “American” point of reference here. I really don’t want to touch on any speculation where concerns his embodying an American or the accent. I think much has been said already that would not really be new from me anyway. But Richard the man would probably compare himself to the everyday Khaki-wearing bread-winner, I’ll just bet. What we as fans want is usually for him to be something entirely different. But this character could be the “new” different from what we tend to expect from him.

      • Marie Astra says:

        I guess it comes down to your definition of suburban dad!! To me that’s just not RA no matter how khaki wearing he is at heart! :D. Also to your other point – never enough!! Want more!! πŸ˜€

      • So what do you see him as? Now you’ve got me curious.

      • Marie Astra says:

        A dedicated actor. Not a family man.

      • That’s a very wide open general statement. But I’ll leave it at that.

      • Marie Astra says:

        At least up to now he hasn’t been a family man. That could always change!

      • Servetus says:

        John Porter?

  12. Marie Astra says:

    I meant RA himself hasn’t been a family man – i.e. he has concentrated on his career and not put his energy into having a family.

  13. Pingback: β€œInto the Storm” and Into Our Hearts, Richard Armitage Saves Lives, September 19, 2013 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #449) | Something About Love (A)

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  15. Peggy Kincaid says:

    Okay I think all of you have had very good points here. Richard has played normal everyday men but I am guessing here that he wanted to play a family man and that might have been the allure with this part to a degree. He has said that he does want to marry someday though I think that was some time ago and he has also said that he isn’t sure that he can really see himself in that position given his career as well either. So who knows what he is thinking now that he is 42. Is he feeling time slipping by? This isn’t the first role playing a father or a married man certainly. Someone no doubt will ask eventually what appealed to him in this role. I don’t see him having any problem with the accent given that Brits are fantastic at this sort of thing. Americans don’t do it as well I’m afraid when the tables are turned. This is a group film basically and the story is more about the students than it is about Richard unfortunately. They are beefing up the film now I think because of him and his rise in popularity but originally it wasn’t really about him at all.

    We forget too that actors often take roles because it means they get paid. No one talks about it as much but it is true. That goes for big and small actors often. You have to be really, really huge to not have to work many less than exciting movies. He is looking to get as much exposure and experience as he can. I wonder what he would feel hearing fans saying that he simply doesn’t seem to be a family man sort. To me he can play just about anything he wants but I understand what all of you are saying as well. I find it hard to get past his being British really. He is British to me and I love that. To me he just looks British and that is fine with me. I love the voice and I don’t really want him to be American either. Seems silly but there it is. He hasn’t always been an action figure certainly and we know he must know he can do drama very well as hero and villain. I’d like to see him try more comedy which he seems to think he can’t do well.

    The saving thing for this film is the fact that if it doesn’t do well then it isn’t going to really make him look all that bad because it really wasn’t meant to be his film anyway. If they’d left it alone I suppose that would have been seen right off but now they are intent on adding more and much of it is with him which all of us will love but may not guarantee a better box office.

    • Marie Astra says:

      Hey, Peggy! Thanks for commenting! Seems like he took this role for other reasons than playing a family man, but who knows. I hope the film does well and brings him more to the attention of the American public.

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