Monday, March 12th
In the beginning, Richard Armitage made scores of fans -- and he keeps on making them!
• To kick off the fandom chain, Didion converts friends to Armitage love
• Phylly3 reports on her fandom experiences
• In the Hobbit chain, Ana Cris writes on her recent film location visit
• Mrs. E.B. Darcy speculates about what our hero will do in An Unexpected Journey (spoilers!)
• King Richard Armitage chain begins with Maria Grazia on a film adaptation of Richard III
• Beginning the fanfic chain, fedoralady explains fanfic's mainstream appeal
• In the freeform chain, Fabo files an eyewitness report on Richard Armitage's visit to U.S. accent school
• jazzbaby1 wonders "what were they thinking?" re: Lucas North's women
• and ChrisB opens the Armitage Alphabet, with "A is for Action"
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Richard Armitage & History & ActingMr. Armitage talks about history and his way of research in his Christmas Message to his fans (3rd December 2007).
[...] Richard III is still very much in development, I am weighed down with history books in my determination to uncover as much fact as possible before we embark on telling his story, which will ultimately be a fiction!
An interest in history is quite closely connected to an interest in literature, and interest in literature quite often leads to an interest in the implementation of the literary creations.
History is the art to find the background of the stories someone wrote down and the time they were created, so literature and history come together in one art to bring the creations to life in a performance or film-adaption. (Though, I must confess, most modern theatre productions do no longer make that connection immediately recognizable.)
To understand the full meaning of a play, to some great extent the historical background is researched, to understand
- the motives of the author, but also
- to understand the motives, the author wanted to give his roles on their way to the audience
- to find out more about the time and its rules which made the depicted situation and its specific outcome possible.
So, history for an actor mostly consists of history of literature, which, especially for all English speakers and Mr. Armitage in particular, who has his own history in the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), means :
|I could not find the original source, so took the image|
from Nat's blog at ArmitageFanBlog.
History and the occupation with times past always held another fascination than just to find something out about literary works we have from past times. It is also the wish to discover, where we came from and what formed our present in the way it is. History also is a way to search for solutions, the past perhaps can already tell us and which may help us in our present time.
One historian of my acquaintance once brought it down to a point: "A scientist, confronted with a problem, thinks the problem must be a new one, as he does not immediately know the solution, so he goes and calculates, draws back in his laboratory and tests.
A historian confronted with a problem, does not think the problem is unique, but goes into the next bookshop or library and searches for the solution someone else already found for him."
The historian believes, the problem lies in a more general constitution of human nature. This is also a central point of research for performers, as they must be avid observers and researchers of human weaknesses, strengths, motivations and motives. What gets people to act and what motivates them to keep quiet and go along with certain situations?
That Mr. Armitage gets the small motivations for his roles so very right is one of the reasons he is able to keep his fans hooked and get them to return and re-watch his acting again and again.
But this requires a deep research into what motivates his character in a certain situation and that means historical research into a person’s reasoning and self-justification to a great extent and also sociological research into the background, social behavior of groups not one’s own. Even his contemporary roles require the same attention for detail and research as roles are separated from oneself either by social standing or time and so the actor is not immediately familiar with the small and significant behaviourisms of a group his character belongs to.
Mr. Armitage's performances show us, that he does his research admirably well and so the characters he playes become wonderfully alife for us.
<< Tomorrow's FanstRA-post will continue with the topic 'history' for actors by comparing "Fantasy & History" - Have an enjoyable FanstRAvaganza 3 Week ! >>
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