As I try to keep my grubby fingers on multiple fandom pulses, a while back I came across this interesting piece of news:
Benedict Cumberbatch is set to play Richard III in the second series of Shakespeare’s History for BBC2.
Ordinarily, one could skim over this little morsel if it wasn’t for the fact that playing the role of Little Richie Plantagenet, Yo! it’s York in the House, has been a dream of Armitage for some time, a goal he has mentioned in countless interviews throughout the years
and I am too lazy to link to a single one of them, so you are welcome.
It got me thinking about what it must be like to mold your career at a time when another British actor, especially one younger than you, seems to be thriving, even making it onto Time 100 Most Influential People list.
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love the direction in which Richard’s career is heading (seriously, chuffed as chips or rather Chops!) and I like the fact that being an Armitage
Admirer Well-wisher still feels like a member of an exclusive club with a well-kept secret of exquisite taste in men, but when you’re vying for the same parts, heading to the same auditions as the likes of Cumberbatch or Hiddleston, when you stand back and watch their notoriety soar, does it smarm a bit?
To what extent do you compare yourself and your opportunities, casting options, accomplishments to others?
Although I would really dislike the notion that RA is pushing for a glitzy Hollywood career and therefore abandoning projects that made me fall for him in the first place, I can’t help but wonder if he ever questions why them and not him.
Some projects that we felt would be perfect for Richard but went to another actor are easier to swallow, like casting Aidan Turner in Poldark, with others having another actor portray Matthew Clairmont in A Discovery of Witches would be much harder to accept (seriously, have you read it? Matthew is perfect for Armitage), but having Cumberbatch play Richard III feels…personal…
Don’t get me wrong, Cumberbatch is huge right now and it makes sense that if the producers would jump at the chance to cash in on that.
I have little doubt he will do a superb job and I will certainly be amongst the swarm of people who know that anything Ben is in is definitely worth checking out as the man does not disappoint.
Then there are those arguments that maybe RA is just a little long in the tooth to play the king who died at 32, that this particular ship may well have sailed.
But a part of me, the one that is blinded by the sense of
my very own distorted need for justice, the fan who wants Armitage to make him dreams come true, is disappointed and my little naughty fangirling green-eyed monster is having a field day.
To ease my discomfort, here’s a brilliant manip from Fan-Art from KingRichardArmitage:
An image of what could have been and, hopefully may still be,
after all Frodo did take the ring to Mount Doom against all odds, right?
Oh, and just so you know- had you chosen me Queen of the World like I have requested repeatedly, not only would you have Fridays off from work, but I’d also give Armitage the right of dibs on every single Richard III project.
In other words, if you liked it then you should have put a crown on it…