Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Amazing Mr. Armitage

Hello, Dear Friends.  I want to say "Thank You" for the very sweet comments you left on my Father's Day tribute.  I always appreciate your visits and your input.

Today, I'm sharing a different type of piece than I normally write for my blog.  There are a couple of reasons for that.  Firstly, I would love to be able to show some more home decorating pics, but right now, our living room and dining room look like an episode of hoarders.  It's quite disheartening.  My sweet hubby helped me take everything out of our linen closet, so that I could do some long overdue purging and re-arranging, and part of that stuff is still in the living room.  Yippee.  (You'll notice the absence of exclamation mark after "Yippee")

Secondly, our son is living back at home now since he graduated from college last month.  He'll be living here until such time that he's able to find a job, and right now things aren't looking too promising on that front.  We're all learning to adjust to our new lifestyle.  He was used to living around all his friends and people his age in a lively, thriving university environment.  Now he's stuck back at home with the old fuddy duddys; i.e., Mr. and Mrs. Forest Manor.  In addition, he's been hogging using my computer a lot, so I haven't been able to blog as much as usual.

So, no tablescapes, recipes, home decorating, or pretty garden photos, etc.  I wondered if this post would be appropriate in a forum of family-friendly blogs where we mostly focus on house and home; but a change can be fun sometimes.

  Sooo...I'm going to write about my latest celebrity crush/obsession.  In addition to his handsome, chiseled features, and blue, blue eyes, he has the most wonderful voice.  I don't often get gaga over actors; I'm picky that way, and I don't like celebrities who have big egos and are always in the limelight.

Yep.  For those of you who are serious BBC fans, you may have seen this face before.  This is Richard Armitage in his role of John Thornton in "North and South."  Oh. My. Goodness.  I just saw the four-part mini-series a few weeks ago, and if you haven't seen it yet, I hope you'll make an effort to rectify that situation ASAP.

It's a wonderful story based on the classic novel by Elizabeth Gaskell.  It's full of interesting historical info. about England during the Industrial Revolution; in addition, it's a wonderful love story, and we all know that no one does period dramas quite like the BBC.  And don't forget the romance.  :)

John Thornton's character in "North and South" reminded me very much of Mr. Darcy in "Pride and Prejudice."  He was a very brooding, serious character, but a good man and worthy of respect.

I have to tell you, however, that the first role I saw Richard Armitage in was not John Thornton in "North and South," but this one...

 Sir Guy of Gisborne, BBC America's "Robin Hood."

In this 2006 BBC America adaptation of "Robin Hood," Richard Armitage played the evil Sheriff of Nottingham's henchman, Guy of Gisborne, and he was a real baddy in this one.


When I first found out the BBC was doing a remake of Robin Hood as a weekly series, I was anxious to watch it because I enjoy seeing these legendary figures brought to life.  This version had a more modern, hip take on the original, but it was still a fun hourly episode.  The first season got basically good reviews, but after Season Two, I quit watching when they killed off a main character (not Sir Guy, by the way) and the show was cancelled after Season Three.

If you've never seen this show, it was definitely not the old-fashioned, Errol Flynn kind of version of Robin Hood and his Merry Men.  It had an edgy style of humor and featured much more brutality from the Sheriff of Nottingham and his "enforcer" than I was used to seeing.  It didn't however, show blood and gore or gratuitous sex, as it was being shown during prime time television slots, both here and in the U.K.  The scenery was beautiful (filmed on location in Hungary), the sets were very realistic, and the music was good.

After several episodes of "Robin Hood" in which I was rooting for, of course, the title character to be re-united with Marian, I happened to take a good look at Sir Guy of Gisborne.  Wow -- how had I missed this before?  I guess I missed him because he wasn't playing the title role, but what an interesting face.  Since he was also trying to woo Maid Marian, I started noticing him a lot more.  :) 



After I stopped watching "Robin Hood," I basically forgot about Mr. Armitage.  Our son was in high school, and life was very busy.  Fast forward to 2013, and my husband was channel surfing one Saturday night, and he came across another BBC show, "MI5" or "Spooks" as it was titled in the U.K.

Lucas North in Spooks/MI5


Well, whaddaya know?  Guess who?  ;-D  "Gosh Honey, I can't help he keeps turning up on all the BBC series.  You don't mind if we watch it do you?"  Hubby didn't mind too much, since this was a fast-paced action show that really kept us on the edge of our seats.  Mr. Armitage played an even different style character in this series.  Unfortunately, we came in near the end of the series, so we missed a lot of the history of the characters; but he really surprised us in this one with his portrayal of an MI5 operative who isn't at all what he seems.

After watching "Robin Hood" and "MI5" I told my husband that I'd really like to see Richard Armitage play the good guy for a change.  I read an interview that he'd done with "The Telegraph" in 2011 in which the journalist notes "...he's six foot something and mostly consists of granite and stubble.  But the voice is on the quiet side, and he radiates an air of proper humility.  So why is he never Mr. Nice Guy on screen?

To which Armitage replied, " I suppose I'm a bit mean.  My face on camera doesn't lend itself to happy nice guys.  I think it's just that my bone structure looks menacing.  I don't smile that often."


Okay, maybe he has a point.  :)  But then I watched "North and South," and I was so impressed that this man is not just lovely to look at, but is quite a versatile actor.  Ladies, you know that sometimes nothing appeals to us quite so much as just watching a good romance.  I'm a pretty good sport about watching lots of things with my husband (sports, car shows, sports, DIY shows, sports, comedies, sports), but every now and then I take control of the remote and escape into a good, old-fashioned chick flick.

And guess what?  Richard does laugh and smile, quite charmingly, I might add.



source - Pinterest
Having fun filming Vicar of Dibley

His guest role of Harry Kennedy, the handsome stranger in "The Vicar of Dibley" is definitely one of my favorites.  This was such a cute, funny plot, and he pulled it off perfectly.



So there you have it folks -- the Amazing Mr. Armitage.  You might want to know what Mr. Forest Manor thinks about this whole celebrity crush thing.  He's actually okay with it.  He finds it rather amusing, I think.  One of the many things I love about Mr. Forest Manor is his self-confidence; he knows he's Number One in my heart.  :)

As always, thanks so much for stopping by, and thanks for indulging me in this different kind of blog post.  I hope you're all having a great week and a great summer!  And about all that eye candy -- you can thank me later. ;)



  1. This is great, Denise. I can't believe my husband has missed this one. I will be sure to share this with him. You did a lot of research.

    I am sure your son will get a job before you know it. Think positive!

  2. Hi Denise, I didn't know about the North and South series on BBC. I'll have to look into it.
    We have a son living with us now, too. He's the one that had the spinal disk fusion back in September. It does change things a bit! Hopefully your son will find a job soon. xo

  3. I don't think I've ever seen (or noticed) him before. I can see why you would have a crush, just based on the pictures.

    I guess I will totally embarrass myself and tell you who my latest crush is. Believe it or not, it's Jase Robertson on Duck Dynasty. Seriously.

    When people first started talking about that show, I wasn't even REMOTELY interested in it. I don't do reality shows, and the clips of it that I saw didn't appeal to me at all. I thought it was sort of Honey Boo Boo-ish. Then, I caught an episode one time, and then another, and then suddenly this very nonredneck woman got hooked. I got such a kick out of the Jase character, and when I read what he's like in real life, well... I started to get a crush.

    My husband is beginning to wonder if he needs to grow a beard.

    There. Full confession.

    Also: I went through exactly what you're going through when my older daughter graduated from college. It turns your life topsy turvy. My best advice is to pray, pray, pray, and then to figure out proactive things the two of you can do together. For us, we started looking for furniture for an apartment we were "believing for" at junk stores, etc. and working on them.

    May he find a job very soon!! I *get* it!

  4. Praying for your son to find a job. It's rather discouraging out there I know. I have a niece who graduated from college on the beginning side of this decline who is still stuck in a low-paying, unpleasant job. Sad state of affairs for all the young people in the country these days.

    So Mr. Armitage...I have only seen him in North and South. He didn't make an impression on me one way or the other. He is very tall, isn't he?! Tall, dark, and handsome...hope that Mr. Forest Manor is one of that variety. =D

  5. He is definitely easy on the eyes. And he reminds me of someone thought I just can't put my finger on who at that moment. I may need to check out North and South.



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