What is He Thinking??


judiang and RA

zan and RA

After reading Armitage fans Judiang’s and zan’s accounts of attending the cast party for the Pinter/Proust staged reading at the 92nd St. Y, it has really been nagging me that Richard Armitage seemed so curious about them. They both report that he was very aware that they, acknowledged fans of his, were present. And that he kept looking over at them. What was he thinking??

RA and Grace

Richard Armitage and Sheila, one of my favorite pics!

This is kind of along the lines of what occurred to me after Lady Oakenshield’s encounter with the man in Australia in May. She recently shared her story again HERE. At the time I was pondering the impact his fans have on him. What can you be thinking when a person comes up to you and says “You are so wonderful, just give me your signature on this, just take a picture with me, I love you, you’re great and thank you, thank you, thank you”?  Do you just think, <sigh> let me get this over with? Do you think, Wow this is pretty nice? Do you think, Who is this person?


Lady Oakenshield with Richard Armitage in May 2013

It inspired me to write this POST called Dreamlover. I’m no poet, certainly, or a writer, but Dreamlover expresses what I think about the fan/star dance. It’s intimate and unknown at the same time. Let’s not fool ourselves, attraction is powerful. If I am attracted to you, it means something. Richard engaging with fans must feel SOMETHING. Based on descriptions and photos he doesn’t seem to be annoyed. He seems to be, well, happy! Is he playing a “role” – “movie star greeting fans”? Or is he being his normal self, engaging with people who happen to be fans in the same way he engages with people who may not be his fans? I think the latter.

Servetus has been thinking about something like this as well HERE. Of course, her exploration is about how she feels looking at Armitage engaging with fans, not imagining what he is thinking, which is what interests me.  I find it fascinating to think about the experience of being someone who is beloved by strangers. If it were me, I  would be so interested to know who these people are. Maybe he doesn’t think about it, but I imagine/hope he does.

This is all speculation and just my thoughts, but since I have been a fan so often, the interaction of fan with star is very interesting to me. I know Morrighan’s Muse has often said that stars are just ordinary people, but to fans they are not. We are in awe of them, we can’t believe it when they even look at us, we are happy to just see them in the flesh, to confirm their reality, to get their attention for even a brief moment. It’s an exchange of energy! Zap! Anyone who has engaged with their celebrity “crush” can attest to that!!

When I was interacting with Hugh Jackman back in 2004, any interchange I had with him was PACKED WITH POWER! The fact that he seemed to recognize me from one encounter to the next was pretty amazing. I feel that he acknowledged me and, although what the hell difference does it make?, it meant a lot to me at the time. I imagine a lot of the folks who interacted with RA last week feel the same way.

I am a big fan of Dorothy Dunnett’s “Lymond Chronicles”. Lymond is a 16th century hero. He saves France, Scotland, and Russia at various times, as well as friends and family. Many also die, sadly. He is a charismatic man with extraordinary abilities. And flexible morals. He is one of my favorite fictional characters. One thing that Dunnett has him acknowledge is that he believes that *ordinary* people interacting with him enriches that person’s life. So that, although normal life can be, well, boring, when one interacts with a charismatic personality, life becomes vivid and exciting. That’s what I think about interacting with *stars*. Even though it is business as usual for them, it is an exciting *moment* for those of us who are not privy to that level of energy. (The first book of the Lymond Chronicles is “The Game of Kings”. HIGHLY recommended, with the caveat that you must KEEP READING when you feel like giving up. It’s a challenging book!!)

OK, time for a pretty picture.

RA pinter proust kiss

I saw something FINE when I saw Richard Armitage interacting with his fans – at the Pinter/Proust event, at the various DOS premieres, in Sydney in May, at last years AUJ events….and on and on and on. No one has ever reported him to be nasty or impatient with them. He is invariably polite and pleasant, although maybe more enthusiastic at some events than others.

Love you, Richard Armitage!! For all of us who have yet to *interact* with you – we all are wishing we have the chance! We, your *fans*, are so grateful for your gracious acceptance of our admiration. We want nothing more than to make you happy, because you have given so much that makes us happy.

RA waterstones smilingAnother great pic:



Thanks, rashisama!



From New York City. Anglophile, theater-goer, love books, music and LIFE.
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39 Responses to What is He Thinking??

  1. Lovely post, Marie! I loved this. LOL at gratuitous Swann picture….

  2. guylty says:

    The question is really quite fascinating to ponder. I have no idea. My interpretation changes every day. If I were in his shoes, I’d be curious. But I’d probably also be aware of the impossibility of knowing even just a fraction of the people.

    • Marie Astra says:

      Of course! But still, it’s so interesting! Especially for particular people who you have a unique interaction with. Like Lady O and Meri, Perry, Zan and Judiang and others through the years. Who are they?? Interesting to think about.

    • Marie Astra says:

      I guess it depends on the circumstances – how distracted he is. Sometimes he might be more interested than others. He was clearly interested in judiang and zan! LOL

  3. Servetus says:

    Reblogged this on Me + Richard Armitage and commented:
    Check it out.

  4. rashisama says:

    That’s not me in the picture 🙂 I just took it

  5. rashisama says:

    (and personally I like to think he’s thinking “Oh, what a gorgeous lady! I must get to know her better! Hopefully she’ll leave some trace of who she is and how I can find her)

  6. Peggy Kincaid says:

    Well actually there is someone who has had a shall we say poor experience with Richard. I just read it today on AA. She as in Madrid and while he was certainly not nasty to her he was less than kind it seems, certainly not the Richard we are all used to hearing about. I am guessing there are others out there who have had such encounters and I don’t find that all that unusual. No one is perfect every single encounter. I’d say that yes Richard enriches our lives when we get the chance to interact with him and I believe that to a small degree each fan encounter also enriches his. I too wondered what he was thinking when he kept looking over at them. There are a number of scenarios that went through my mind. He glanced at them so often i really wondered if he was trying to figure out why they were there at all or who they were. Sure they were fans but I’m not sure that after seeing so many different ladies that evening that he would remember every single one of them so perhaps he was just wondering why they were there. No matter the reason though he certainly appeared to be quite happy when they told him how much they enjoyed the reading.

    • Marie Astra says:

      I’m sure there are folks who have had less than ideal interactions. People tell me all the time about stories they heard about Hugh Jackman that are not nice. Still over all they seem to be good.Who knows, really? Unless someone talks to him about it!

    • Servetus says:

      I read that and I’m sorry she had a poor experience. But I think she failed to account for rule #4 of the celebrity encounter playbook:


      I’m not a celebrity, but I tell my students, just because I’m in my office when you happen to come by doesn’t mean I’m automatically available to you; I am, however, available at officially scheduled times. Who knows what plan he had for that time in the airport; maybe he had to go to the bathroom. Or maybe he was intentionally or unintentionally rude; that is one possible conclusion, but it is not the necessary conclusion. The evidence is insufficient for the conclusion she drew, IMO.

      • MaryJaneZigZag says:

        I haven’t read the negative encounter story (AA is what? Sorry, I have the dumbs today) but I think the Celebrity Encounter rules that you’ve linked here, Serv really go a long way to keeping everything positive. It’s tough when you build something or someone up in your head so much and reality doesn’t quite line up. And with meeting celebs, it’s most often a one-off thing so you’re never going to get that “balancing” encounter. I’ve really enjoyed the stories from everyone who went to the Pinter-Proust production! Such a great time & I’m really happy for everyone who seized the chance to see The Man! 😉

      • I haven’t read the Madrid encounter either – I’m not on the AA forums. (My curiosity is piqued, however!)

        Thanks Servetus for the link-love! I do stand by those rules to this day. ^_^ Tough love.

      • Marie Astra says:

        This is the thing I’ve said about not going up to someone when they have an expectation of privacy. Even in a public place like an airport, you don’t expect someone to come up to you. But like you said, who knows.

  7. Kathy Jones says:

    Maybe he was trying to figure out how “fans” crashed the inner sanctum. If I had fans that worshiped me,(oh wait, I have 4) I would like to ask them “Why me? What did I do to make you a fan of mine? I would like to ask a lot of questions like that, Unfortunately, those kind of questions might seem self-centered or conceited. But I think anyone would be curious as to why they have devoted well wishers. How could you not be interested in why people like you and who those people are? And celebrity or not, it is a question we seldom ask. It is embarrassing, or unseemly or not cool, but perhaps Richard would like to know too. So his beautiful blue gaze wandered to Judiang and Zan as he wondered about who they were and how did they become enthusiastic well wishers. Hey, I think there is a fanfic in that sentence.

    • rashisama says:

      I gave him a letter I wrote kind of answering those questions. I said basically what I admire about him and his work

      • Kathy Jones says:

        That is really sweet of you. I am also in awe of someone who really knows how to plan ahead. I would not have thought to write a letter to him in advance. I would not have the presence of mind to have a pen or something for him to sign or even my cell phone.

      • Marie Astra says:

        I think that is very common! I didn’t bring anything with me to the event. Even though it turned out that I COULDN”T stay because of my friend, if I had stayed I wouldn’t have been “prepared”! I’m thinking of writing him a letter now, though.

      • Marie Astra says:

        Hi, Rashisama! Thanks for the comment. Good on you for thinking ahead! I wrote to him and told him all the thank you’s I had in my heart. Don’t know if he actually read it, but I did get a signed form letter in the mail. Not quite the same thing as meeting him and looking in his eyes.

    • Marie Astra says:

      Yeah, that’s probably it – he was wondering about the connection between fan girls and party goers. Or he was really attracted to them and couldn’t keep his eyes off them. I prefer that answer. 😉

      • rashisama says:

        @Kathy he’s very easy to talk to (in my opinion) He made me feel comfortable. He’s a sweet guy and very patient so, I think you’d have time to fumble for your phone haha! The reason I wrote a letter is because I knew I wouldn’t be able to say alllll that I wanted to say. I actually had the letter written for the Hobbit Fan Event in November but I wasn’t able to get it to him so, I was happy to finally be able to hand it to him directly.

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  9. Peggy Kincaid says:

    I agree with you Kathy. I think that would be the basis for an interesting conversation but that isn’t going to happen anymore than our being able to ask him how it feels to have all of this and how his family feels. Everything falls under “personal” it seems. I’m sure Richard would like to know and that is exactly what I think he was thinking there. He might have remembered seeing them on the other side of that rope and now there they are at the party. That would seem odd to him but he didn’t come over to ask of course. Too shy to do that sort of thing but he’d be figuring that it had something to do with him I’m sure. Or he just might not have remembered them and knew that they weren’t part of the party and wondered how they got in. There are a dozen possibilities there but he wasn’t going to stop forward to ask and start anything but couldn’t resist looking again and again…. Judiang and Zan were perfectly behaved of course so he has good memories of that and of their praise of the reading and his part in it. Yes, definitely a good fanfic there, almost writes itself.

  10. lisa gelinas says:

    The way Richard speaks of his fans and the Armitage Army in interviews, it sounds as though he has a great appreciation. I tend to believe that those who have a not so good interaction, perhaps crossed the line in some way? If you are respectful of their time, they are usually respectful in return. But, hey, everyone has their cranky days. I can only hope I meet Richard one day, and I better have a letter ready to hand over as I know I will be too in awe to spit out anything that resembles the English language.

    • Marie Astra says:

      It is hard to be coherent in the presence of a celebrity crush! I know I have experienced that! I would not approach someone unless they were clearly relaxed and seep open to a approach. If they seemed preoccupied or busy, I would leave them alone. I would not want someone to bother me when I was feeling rushed or put some kind of obligation on me when I was in my personal space. I guess you can’t really know how someone is feeling, so best staying away unless you have a good sense of it.

    • Marie Astra says:

      Hi, Lisa! Thanks for the comment. I know what you mean about a letter. I wonder when it came down to it if I would be able to say ANYTHING to him! LOL

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  12. Christabel says:

    Very interesting post, but honestly I’m commenting to ask you if you are my separated-at-birth twin because in this post you managed to mention two of my all-time favourite things (besides RA, of course), Hugh Jackman and Lymond! I really think your comment on Francis is spot-on and catches the essence of the character. It was nice to read someone’s else opinion on him.

    • Marie Astra says:

      LOL! Christabel, we are women of good taste! I loved Lymond long before HJ and RA. Bought Game of Kings in a used book store and then HAD to find the rest! Yup, charismatic men are my downfall. 😀 Thanks for commenting!

  13. Ok, I had to add the Lymond chronicles to my library! Thanks for mentioning!

  14. Meg says:

    This was a very interesting post, thank you. I’ve recently have been kind of infatuated with Richard because of Castlevania, I love his voice and how he played the character. I’m very happy to hear so many nice stories about him, makes me like him even more. I do also wonder what they’re thinking, I would be thinking “What do you see in me?”. Thank you for this!

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