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Cumberbatch to play Richard III or the case of my little green-eyed monster

Shakespeare's First Folio Edition To Be Sold

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…

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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:

RichardIIIa

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…

A Discovery of Witches and a perfectly vampirical Armitage

I know I promised you the results of the RA Silent Auction this weekend, and I’m bursting to wrap things up and share the final tally, but I’m still waiting on a transfer from a winner who has just opened up her Paypal account and banking stuff is making her, me and us wait.

Secondly, my usual posts like Arty Farty Friday and Stereotype Sunday will be suspended for December.

There’s so much happening in the RA world, not to mention my trip to London this Wednesday and Christmas right around the corner, there’s only so much scheduling a blogger can do.

Last but not least, I’m very excited about the Berlin première tomorrow!

I wasn’t too enthralled with the world premiere (sorry LA), and I really hope that we Europeans can muster up some more energy and welcome The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug with less of a fizzle and more of a bang.

I’m counting on my RA friends to wave the flag, take plenty of pictures and report back 🙂

Matthew Clairmont Armitage

Rarely do I read a book and a character jumps out as one that would be perfect for Richard to play.

I’ve often wondered how I would feel about Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South had I read the book first and saw the BBC series second.

Of course I’ll never know, but I’m pretty sure Armitage for Thornton and Daniela Denby-Ashe for Margaret wouldn’t have been my obvious casting choice and yet they worked perfectly in the series.

I’ve heard Armitage Admirer sharing which protagonist they’d like to see Richard portray on screen, but the one that stuck with me was the character of Matthew Clairmont  in A Discovery of Witches.

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The Debrah Harkess book had been lingering on my Kindle for some time, always “the next book to read after I finish the current one”, I kept overlooking it until a few days ago.

I’m not sure if all the fandom chatter that Armitage is perfect for Clairmont actually swayed my judgment, but holy cow, Armitage is soooo perfect to play the dashing ancient vampire.

For those who have not yet read the book (I’m in the middle of it, so no spoilers please!), you can find the synopsis here, but I’ll focus on why Richard would be perfect for the part.

By the way, the film rights to the book were purchased by Warner Bros., but I haven’t found any details as to what their plans for this project is, nor have I dug up any info regarding the cast, so a girl can dream 🙂

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Before my dear readers start complaining that I’d dare wish for Richard to be cast as a vampire, this book is not your run-of-the-mill paranormal juvenile book where girl meets vampire, they fall in love, he wants to kill her stuff.

Professor Matthew Clairmont is an ancient vampire who looks like he’s in his 30s and is gorgeous: very handsome and tall, with wide shoulders and narrow hips, athletic and sturdy.

Did I mention Matthew does yoga?

He’s a scholar, stylishly dressed in expensive garb who drives an expensive old car and is a wine connoisseur.

He’s also ridiculously charming and has the air of a gentleman from a bygone era.

At this point of Matthew’s description I think his similarities to John Thornton are obvious.

And it doesn’t stop there: Clairmont is incredibly protective of the woman he falls madly and dangerously in love with (or, as the book describes, he’s mating her).

Matthew Claimont Richard Armitage

He’s enthralled with Diana, very much like Thornton is with Margaret, delighting in her scent and going out of his way to keep her safe, even against his better judgment.

He’s torn between his deep feeling for her, who he is at the very core and the danger his emotions could entail.

His passion for the woman he loves drives him half-mad, especially that it’s the first time he feels so strongly about another being, despite having relationships in the past.

A chunk of what I’ve read so far takes place in the Bodleian library in Oxford and what a lovely setting it is for the plot.

An Armitage aficionado will ask which of Richard’s incarnations best suits Clairmont physically.

The obvious choice would be either season 8 Lucas North or John Mulligan, but in truth I see Matthew just as Richard is now, out and about promoting DOS, with his comfy cardigans and Hugo Boss jumpers, his hair a little longer, a smile fixed on his face.

I can only hope, against all hope, that if/when the casting for A Discovery of Witches rolls around, Richard Armitage’s name will be included in the mix.

UPDATE:

If you would like to check out why Richard is perfect for the part of Matthew, go to Armitage 4Clairmont.

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