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The Devil’s in the Details: An analysis of Proctor’s physique (strictly for scientific purposes)

This post contains spoilers with regards to the plot/scenes of The Crucible, so if you are yet to see the play, I suggest you give it a miss.

It also a shameless fangirl approach to Armitage/Proctor, so if you’re sensitive to the issue of RA objectification, I’d give it a miss too 😉


Now that my adventure is well and truly over, I guess The Crucible genie is out of the bottle and there are so many thought I’d like to share.

There have been a few post requests here and there, so I would consider it rude not to fulfill my obligations as a raving fangirl, take one for the team and lay some issues to rest.

I’d like to try to give you a thorough head to tail toe analysis strictly for the sake of you understanding the character of Proctor better 😉

 Let me also tell you about one of my most favorite scenes and have it serve as a backdrop to some Armitage musing if that’s alright by you…


Proctor is by far the largest physical presence on stage, and I’m including the metal frame bed and large wooden table 😉

This is no doubt exaggerated by how tiny (TINY, I tell you!) all the actresses are and the ease with which he throws them around the stage like ragged dolls (I’ve never been one for liking it rough, but this play has brought to light a new fetish…).

The costumes and minimalistic set design, not to mention the choreography, create an air that can be described in no other terms than haunting, but I’m not letting myself get distracted by rambling on about how beautiful it all is, so let me proceed…

Richard’s hair is closely cropped, I’d venture a guess that it’s his natural hair colour although I noticed no silver threads, so either he’s lucky or has given his mane a helping hand.

For those interested in the thickness, it looked pretty darn run-your-fingers-through-it worthy, even when wet.

Beard is thick and luscious, eyes piercing and those lines running vertically down his forehead very pronounced.

Nose suits his face beautifully, even if there may be a tad less of it than a year or so ago (allegedly).

BTW, if you’re wondering what accent comes flying out of his mouth, I’d say it’s most reminiscent of John Standring.


Proctor wears a heavy coat, ever so slightly reminiscent of Lucas North’s peacock coat, that accentuates his huge physique.

The coat has clearly been mended on the back (a detail I greatly enjoyed) and the mean part of me had a passing thought: Sure, poor Goody Proctor was probably sat by the fire mending it as her not-so-goodie husband was rolling in the hay with Abigail 😉

Let me give you a moment to contemplate the image of John and Abi rolling in the hay… yup, Ok, let’s move on…

The scarf is a nice touch as I do enjoy a man who can accessorize and it’s all about the colour coordination, people!

Richard Armitage as John Proctor

Anyway, under the coat you can see a dark grey shirt, loose enough to allow a quick peek at the chest situation.

As I was quite fortunate to have Richard stand centimeters away from me as he delivered his lines on more than one occasion (and yes, I did get a fair amount of RA spittle on me, not complaining), I could take a closer look at the neck and chest situation.

Very hairy. Very very hairy.

Although I’m a fan of a nicely shaved chest, something tells me waxing wasn’t that big in Salem at the time and Richard certainly kept it authentic in that regard.

Also hairy- his arms, although I think any fangirl worth her salt knew that already, the hairs on his arms are quite light, so it’s only when they catch the light can you fully appreciate the manly jungle 😉

I also couldn’t help but notice something I’d focused on in RA pics before- how his middle finger is not much longer than his index or ring finger.

I think (although I can’t say for certain as I did have an intense play to focus on at the same time and there’s only so much I can register at any given time) that it’s more pronounced in one hand.


I’d get a good look at the thumb and especially the thumb joint as Richard would have his hand clenched in a fist, probably ready to punch those nasty faux witches!

Left the binoculars at home, so can’t say much about the nails, sorry…

We’ve done the north, let’s proceed south.

Pants baggy, baggy, bloody baggy, much to my disappointment.

It wasn’t really until Richard got physical on stage (and luckily there’s no shortage of those moments) that you can spy on a thunder thigh muscle, an outline of the Armi buttock.

If I could change one thing about the play, I’d ask the costume designer to rethink the shape of those trousers to a more viewer-friendly line 😉


Boots- oh, those boots, with the legs of the hip hop pants tucked in!

I’m not sure whether I found them so alluring because we’ve seem Richard sporting a similar pair in RL, but there’s just something about a big BIG man wearing sturdy weathered footwear.

He takes them off and throws them around a tad, much to the horror of the people sitting closest to the line of fire of said boots.

Bare feet- anyone who knows me will tell you I’m not a foot person.

If you’re big enough to use them for walking, that’s my cue to start ignoring them, so maybe I’m not the best judge.

Let’s just say as men’s feet go, these aren’t bad.

By the time Proctor takes his boot off, his sockless feet are a tad squashed and knackered, but I found nothing offensive there perhaps a small bunion developing on one foot and that’s high praise from me.


Now, onto one of my favorite Proctor/RA scenes (unfortunately no visuals):

It starts with John’s wife Goody (short for Good Wife) Proctor carrying a big water jug and filling a big bowl.

The scene is quite powerful as she pours the water slowly and you can hear it trickling and splashing.

She then proceeds to take a lamp and go upstairs.

Proctor returns home after working in the fields all day, put’s his gun and whip down, tastes his wife’s cooking, scowls and proceeds to add salt to it.

It’s actually quite funny as he later in the scene compliments her on how well the dish has been seasoned, cheeky beggar 😉

Not that it’s important, but the food is real and you can clearly smell it as it’s stirred in the pot and later served up on a plate.

I wondered whether it’s one of those microwave meals that they heat up right before and whether they serve up a different one every so often.

For Richard’s sake I hope they do (although the smell was the same on both nights) because he does end up taking at least 3 spoonfuls before the scene ends.

It smelt quite meaty, but then I guess it’d be weird to get a whiff of chicken tandoori considering the historic context.

As a joke they should serve sushi one night, a good ol’ california rolls that Proctor ends up having to add wasabi and soya sauce to 😉

Talking about smells, I’ve always wondered what RA might smell of.

I’d heard about fresh linen and soap, but needed to verify it for purely scientific purpose, you understand.

Throughout the play whenever the actors would move closer I’d get this lovely smell of cologne.

I was beyond excited that Richard seemed to have broken his usual perfume pattern, or non-perfume pattern as the case may be, as I like a man who smells yummy and I do come from a family of perfumers.

It wasn’t until the end of the night when I leaned in to give the lovely Ms H a goodbye hug did I realise it was actually her, sat 2 seats away, that smelled so beautifully.

Oh well, I’m just happy someone made the effort 😉

Anyway, let’s get back to business:

Proctor walks in, clearly knackered after a day in the fields and proceed to take off his heavy coat, boots and shirt.

He walks up to the bowl and kneels in front of it.

Now, if the water was heated prior to the scene, the chances are it had cooled down in the process, poor Richard, but then he only washes the top half of his body, so he should be thankful for that, the audience not so much.

Anyway, the scene was quite beautiful from the front and, better still, there was nothing else happening on stage at that time, so I didn’t feel at all guilty gawking at Richard (really, how long can you stare at a wooden table and chair…).

If I may digress, I’m not the only one who felt guilty following Richard throughout the play and would, on occasion, divert my attention  onto someone else, out of human decency if nothing else, especially seeing as the other actors were all worthy of attention.

Anyway, Proctor gives his neck, face and chest a good scrub, no soap, and then proceeds to give the ol’ armpits a wash, Lucas North style.

This moment is unbelievably intimate as your eyes follow his hands while trying to drink up the outline of his silhouette and curves.

As I had mentioned before, Richard is simply huge on stage and this is exemplified by the fact that he’s kneeling by and crouched over a large bowl.

The shoulders are incredibly strong, as is the chest (seriously, where has he been hiding it all these years!) and the dripping wet hair which doesn’t fully dry throughout the scene made me wish someone would switch the sprinklers on throughout the play.

After he’s done, he wipes himself down with a towel, not very thoroughly though, and proceeds to put on a light white shirt.

Now, I don’t need to describe what the end result of wet RA body+linen shirt is, let’s just say if this were a wet T-shirt competition, Richard would be my winner, hands down 😉

I had the pleasure (and believe me, pleasure it was!) to see this scene from the other side and I can’t lie, it made an even bigger impression on me.

You can see him crouched over the bowl, back so wide you could pitch a tent on it (although I’m not sure why you’d want to…), the action of kneeling accentuating his thighs and rump.

If seeing a beautiful man wash from the front was powerful, Yowza!, it was staggeringly intimate from the back.

I won’t ever publicly reveal my exact thought that stormed through my mind as I watched (probably with my gob wide open drawing flies), only that it occurred to me this is an angle that probably only lovers get to see of one another.

As I tried to find at least one picture available online that would illustrate this scene and found none, it hit me that they’d keep it close to their chest (pun intended) and use it to knock the female part of the audience out.

And that they did…

That’s all for today’s RA leering, hope you enjoyed it and I shall be back to write more about Richard’s interaction with the female cast which is truly worthy of a mention 😉

About Agzy The Ripper

Sew, Rip, Repeat... and love each moment of it! Join me as I embark on a myriad of sewing and crafting shenanigans.

60 responses »

  1. Vircarious leering. It works pretty well after all. I’m surprised that you say his chest is very hairy, because when we’ve seen hair on his chest, it hasn’t been so. Hmmm, and what about that hairline that goes down to the navel?

  2. Oops, I meant Vicarious.

  3. And again, all the right details! It feels almost like we were there, spit and stew included! 😀

  4. Woof!

      • Soooooo wish I could see it 😥

        • Let me just say, it ain’t over till it’s over and who the heck knows what good fortune will fall upon you by the time Proctor takes his final bow. As I’ve said before, stranger things have happened and the fact that I managed to see it just proves it!

          • Thank for the boost of confidence 🙂 but I don’t have a passport or money so its impossible :/

          • Oh Honey, I know what that’s like. Luckily we’re in the EU so I travel using my ID and I ended up solving my dire April financial situation by getting the tickets as a name’s day gift, using up my Hobbit savings and a short-term loan to cover other costs.
            Believe me, the moment Richard announces a Broadway play (which I have no doubt he will), I shall be fuming that I vowed not to visit the US until I’m no longer required to obtain a visa, nor will I be able to dig up enough cash for a plane ticket and accommodation.
            Sadly we can’t have it all, but we can have one heck of a ball enjoying what we do have! 🙂

          • Yeah I live near NYC so its pretty easy for me 🙂 so I guess that’s good. Yeah I’m just hearing such amazing things about the crucible so I sooo want to see it.

          • Mark my words, you’ll be reporting on seeing RA in a NY play. Then I shall be ridiculously jealous but will appreciate any details you can share 😉 BTW, he’s confirmed that he now lives in New York (my heart is still aching a tad about that but Oh well…), so it might be a question of popping down to the local deli to encounter him, the odds of which are significantly higher than for me!

          • With all of the incredible raves it’s been getting, I’m truly hopeful for a NYC run next year… It’s not to much to ask, is it??? And maybe those of us in the States can go as a group one night and comfort each other… AND prevent each other from storming the stage. 😉

          • I can see NY theatre in his future, it seems like a logical step, especially seeing that he did clearly say: I live in New York in yesterday’s interview, which btw made me cry a little inside. I love NY and lived there myself, but as an European I just don’t want to give RA away. Don’t you have enough hot men on the other side of the ocean?
            Having said that, you do have Justin Bieber and the Kardashians, so I’m guessing you’re trying to balance things out 😉

          • We also have the reality shows “Sister Wives” (pologomy) and “The Real Housewives of…” (tacky new money and drama). Funny thing about the HW of Atlanta: they all live in the outer suburbs.

            ANYhoodle, my point is that we need RA more than y’all do right now. That said, we appreciate the share!

  5. All the pertinent details- a stirling reporting job!

    • Why, thank you, I tried to cover the basics 😉

      • You did that very well. I felt like I was getting spit on and not minding a bit. I would have loved to see him shirtless, and otherwise. Seeing the play would be great, he is so good in it, but, just seeing “him” would have been the icing on the cake. Thank u.

        • The shirtless scene was a wonderful addition to the screenplay and undoubtedly a nod towards Richard’s beauty and a way of fulfilling or fangirling needs.

  6. armitagebesotted

    Thank you thank you thank you! You are so funny!! Please keep writing!!! (What about the kiss, the KISS?!?)

    • hehe, I’ve left RA interactions with female cast members for dessert, so will probably write something up on Wednesday. I’m clearly trying to saturate you all with my gibberish so you’ll be happy to see the back of me 😉

  7. You’ll be back to write more???

    (waiting in front of my computer, fingernails in mouth)

    Truly, thank you for this. I just can’t swing the ticket to London, so this is a little festival for my brain. ❤ Sighs aplenty over here!!

    • Thanks so much 🙂 It’s my absolute pleasure to share these tidbits with you and I think everyone knows I need no added incentive to gawk and rave over Richard 😉

  8. Is it weird that I’m jealous no spit sprayed me? Given that I was next to you but one.

    Ha ha! You thought *I* was Rich, smelly-wise? That’s hilarious. Although I refuse to name my smelly, I will say it’s meant to be unisex.

    Totally loving your description and have to say I had not noticed the finger fact (better go again to check that out) (I wish) but disagree with you on one thing: feet. Not pretty. Not pretty at all, and, as I have already reported, rather flat to boot (groan, pun not intended).

    • if Ra’s feet are the only thing a little off about RA, then I am fine with it.

      • Yep. I’d go along with that. Not much else to find fault with, that’s for sure.

        • Dancer’s feet, maybe? He was a dancer when his feet were forming.
          (There’s a lovely close-up photo of those looooong legs ending in not-bad feet.)

          • Having gotten to know a dancer/teacher/choreographer well, dancing does tend to take a toll on a person’s feet. Even though he’s been away from it professionally for a number of years now, the toll may have already been taken by the time he left musical theater.

          • May be, like I said I’m not a feet person, so I’m hardly the appropriate one to judge. I would venture a guess that feet change with age (like those horrid bunions) and that’s what we can observe, unless in previous RA pics they were photoshopped ;). It may have simply been the question of not wearing socks with those heavy boots that left marks on his feet.

        • 🙂 Great minds…

      • My thoughts exactly! Not a foot person anyway, so even if they radiated beauty, I still wouldn’t focus on them anymore than a glance to be able to report back. As I said, not bad feet and they seem to take him where he needs to go 😉

    • Your perfume wasn’t unisex, it was unisexy 😉

  9. Thank you! I enjoy reading all of your comments and it is truly the next best thing to being there. No passport and no money means you (and others who share their experience) give me my only opportunity of seeing RA in The Crucible. I love all the details you give; all the things I must know! I can’t wait for the next installment ;D

    • Oh, Ms Tree, I’ve said it before, this is the first time I got to experience something RA first hand and had always relied on the rapports and kindness of others to get my Armitage fix. I’m just happy I could do my bit and give a little back 😉
      Ps. Mark my words, your time WILL come!

  10. i felt like I was sitting next to you, Thank you!

    • If it meant more RA fans could see the play, I’d even let you sit in my lap during the play 😉 Sadly the Old Vic staff seem very professional and I doubt they’d stand for it!

  11. Agzy, so good to finally read about your Crucible impressions. Great post. You actually know exactly what a (fan)girl needs and we can fully rely on your delivery. You made me even more excited (if that is possible after all) to check all those details for myself. I’m so much looking forward to my visit to London around Richard’s birthday in August. Anybody else there that time??
    Really liked your pictures from the stagedoor. First I’d thought you’re having a Pixie hairdo now (dig short hair!!). Still love your new look. Quite different to Dec 2012, but than it was freezing cold, and we were all covered and wrapped up to our red ears!! 😀

    • Too funny, I was thinking about you just yesterday and was meaning to email. I just KNEW you wouldn’t get the Crucible chance pass you by 🙂 You are going to love it!
      I was also thinking about how they are going to organise the Into the Storm press stuff with the play being performed 6 days a week. This is supposed to be Warner Bros’ popcorn summer hit of the year and they will no doubt expect him to plug it, in the US especially. As far as magazine/newspaper interviews, that’s done ahead of time, but won’t there be TV interviews and red carpet obligations? I am keeping my fingers super crossed that it all works out.
      No pixie do, I only cut my hair dramatically short after a tough breakup, but I’ve been cleaning up my life considerably and needed something new to mark the occasion, hence the fringe 🙂

  12. Agzy, I am just now getting a chance to read this–delightful. Educational AND entertaining! This former teach and reporter (still doing some of the latter) gives you an A +++! I always suspected he might have a fair amount of chest hair when he stopped the waxing . . . his hair-free chesticles were always lovely, but I don’t mind a more hirsute Armitage one little bit. Ms. H reckons he might have been been blonde as a small kiddie, judging by how fair those oh-so-strokable arm hairs are . . . *sigh* To have RA’s spittle land upon ye, girl. *sigh*

    • Well, the RA spittle was a nice experience (didn’t manage to bottle any up, darn it!), but then I did end up being spittle showered by the other actors too, so I guess that’s the yin and yang of life (or as Eddie from Ab Fab would say: Ying and Yong, Ping and Pong).
      And I agree with Ms H, most certainly a fair haired lad when he was younger, though I disagree with her assessment that he’d let himself go a bit in the midriff. Sure, maybe there’s no six-pack, but there’s also no fat to speak of. There’s literally a cute roll of skin when he leans over. In comparison to that, my stomach looks like it’s constantly smiling up at me 😉

  13. All of my salacious questions answered! Esp. about the furry chest *details* (Oh, he has said in an interview that he would like to say ‘no more’ to waxing, and that stylist of his says “Never show chest hair unless you’re at a salsa bar in Mexico.” ( Harrumph, she also says only wear crew-neck t-shirts.
    So’s anyhoodle, this was FANTASTIC. And you are my new RA blog hero for this post!

    • I’m not a fan of men going all ape chest, but somehow RA makes it work 😉
      I agree that wearing low cut tops with a hairy chest might be a stylist no-no, especially that RA seems to enjoy wearing different necklaces. The combo might be little too latino lover for my taste!

  14. mujertropical

    Thank you for confirming the existence of a happy trail. 😉

  15. Well, I saw ‘The Crucible’ last night and can second everything everyone has said about it. It was mind-blowing! I must confess my primary motive in seeing it was to see RA live – as an actor and as a person – something I have waited nearly 10 years for. I was not disappointed. However in keeping with the spirit of your post, Agzy, there was one thing about RA that I was disappointed about – THERE WAS NO CHEST HAIR!!! (or arm hair for that matter)

    Now – I was sitting in the stalls in the 8th row & he was facing us during the strip and wash part – and I must confess to unashamedly looking forward to this bit. However as he took off his tunic I realised there was no chest hair! I know I was sitting further back, the lighting was dimmed and I wear glasses but there was no mistaking its absence (sob!) I’d be very interested to hear what others saw who have seen the play this week. If I’m mistaken a visit to the opticians is in order plus another viewing of the play from a closer seat! My theories as to why he is ‘hairless’ are: (not to be taken seriously!)

    1) the director has decided the hirsute look doesn’t suit the role
    2) it has been very hot in London recently (yesterday’s temp was 29C) so he’s decided the only way to remain comfortable under all that heavy clothing is to have it all off
    3) he’s heard that some have gotten over excited at the sight if his hirsuteness & this is detracting from attention on his performance…

    So Agzy you were VERY fortunate to have seen what you saw! And of course I’m not the least bit envious/jealous! (much!) Shame there’s not any photos of the scene pre-hair removal… sigh…

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  17. Fabulous! Thanks so much for sharing your impressions!

  18. This is very very very late but I loved every word of it! Thank you Agzy!

  19. Six years! You probably do not get notifications for comments on your blog anymore, but just to say that today is a RA Blog Reunion and it would have been lovely to hear from you again – you moved on to great things, I am sure. But I am still thinking fondly of you and all the hilarious and witty blog posts of yours. Lots of love!


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