Celebrity or Actor?

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I’ve been involved in a discussion about the Sunday Times article with the headline “I Know What I Am Selling”  http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/culture/arts/article1429089.ece

The author appears to be disparaging Richard Armitage because he has taken roles which are less than, shall we say, intellectual? Roles which reduce him to the role of male “totty”?  For USA readers, that means someone who is appreciated solely for his/her physically appealing characteristics. Which most Richard Armitage “well-wishers” know is true/not true. We know he has taken roles which are less than challenging at his level of acting expertise. Still, he does know “what he is selling”. You sell what the market wants. He has the handsomeness to sell. Why is it wrong for him to sell it??

In recent interviews he has explained that his career in television and movies is what got him to the point of being considered for the role he has long coveted – John Proctor. That role has garnered the most positively exciting reviews of his career! He reportedly puts his all into the role, which he has always done, no matter the trivial nature of the role. I will see the play in August, so I hope to report this from direct observance. This role is a worthy one. Full of  psychological and emotional complications,  the role of John Proctor demands all of Richard Armitage’s skills. Physical, psychological, emotional.

Thanks to this role, Richard Armitage has truly become a star. A verifiable star. An actor who has been judged admirable by major publications, according to United Agents website:   The Arts Desk showered the production with praise, enthusing: “Armitage makes a fine job of John Proctor – a roaring, contrarian beast of a man who shouts because he cannot be heard” whilst The Telegraph applauds: “[he] proves an exhilarating stage actor, with blazing eyes and a righteous fury about him, as well as his manifest decency. His deep guilt about his brief affair with Abigail is powerfully caught, and his final reconciliation with his wife, beautifully played by Anna Madeley, who admits her own part in their troubles, proves extraordinarily intimate and moving.”

Should he be ashamed of his past work? Are you kidding? Those of us who have become his fans, or well-wishers if you prefer, have done so because of his past work. Are we “innocent” as per the Sunday Times article? Are all the publications who gave the production and his performance FIVE STARS innocent deluded by his “handsomeness”?  I think not. Richard Armitage is an ACTOR, not a celebrity. Get it right next time, Sunday Times!!

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About NYCPAT

From New York City. Anglophile, theater-goer, love books, music and LIFE.
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