1 - This week's Thursday Thirteen is a celebration of Richard Armitage's birthday, which rolled around last Sunday.
Like many, many people I first discovered this actor when I settled in to watch North & South, a BBC miniseries set in Victorian northern England. If you have not seen it yet - walk, don't run to your nearest movie provider and do yourself a HUGE favor.
2 - From there I went on to gobble up three seasons of BBC's Robin Hood.
His portrayal of extremely gray character Guy of Gisborne took me places I'd never thought I'd go. He somehow made a self-absorbed, opportunistic brute into a tragic, redeemable soul.
3 - These two preceding roles did not prepare me for his charming turn in the 2006 Christmas Day double episode of The Vicar of Dibley.
His character arrived to end the series by sweeping Dawn French - and all the other Dawn French's out there - off our collective feet.
4 - Because I knew he would be joining the cast of Spooks (MI-5 in North America) my husband and I decided to catch up on the previous six seasons first.
Not only did that bring me two marvellous predecessors to Richard's character of Lucas North (Matthew Macfadyen's Tom Quinn and Rupert Penry-Jones' Adam Carter) but it made Richard's ultimate arrival exceedingly bittersweet.
5 - His latest action/adventure/spy game role is in a series based on the novels of Chris Ryan, a former member of the British Special Forces.
Strike Back aired in the UK in May of this year, and has been released on DVD and Blu-ray. International broadcast is to be announced. My amazing hubby has already delivered this series to me for our viewing pleasure. Thumbs up from both of us.
6 - As many of you know, Richard is the model for my dark fantasy character Scorpius. He is front and center in my mind as Scorpius' story reveals itself to me. I find it easier to cast actors as my characters. Then I 'download' the actor's mannerisms, physical appearance and voice into my mind, and simply run that program when I'm writing about that character.
7 - And I have a ninth season of Spooks in which to lose myself.
"This year is very much about identity," Armitage admits. "Because they're turning Lucas inside out, so he's not who we thought he was – which was kind of a surprise to me as well. It's almost like what you've seen so far is only part of the picture." - guardian.co.uk
8 - In response to the assertion that he has become many a writer's muse, Richard says:
"Much as I would love to take credit for ‘launching writing careers’ the credit is Elizabeth Gaskell’s" (for her creation of the character of John Thornton in North & South.) - Vulpes Libris
9 - What would Richard's dream role be?
"A series about Richard III," he says. "That's something I really want to do. A prequel to The Tudors. That's what I dream of doing." - tv.com
10 - In the meantime, no rest for the wicked:
A second series of Strike Back has been ordered by Sky 1, which will keep Richard busy as soon as season 9 of Spooks wraps up.
11 - In between military training and the filming of waterboarding scenes for all his various spy roles, Richard has racked up an impressive array of voiceover credits. Among many projects are the three Georgette Heyer audiobooks he's narrated - The Convenient Marriage, Sylvester and Venetia.
12 - "I think I've perfected my serious face," Richard says. "I can do 'confused and angry' or 'utter panic'. If I could do 'humorous' that would give me three faces to pull." - Reader's Digest
13 - "I have fun with the baddies," says Richard. "Because I can really delve into my naughty side." - Radio Times
VA Bookworm 87 says How incredibly ironic! The original post that drew me to your blog ages ago was your "Thursday Thirteen - 61 - 13 Truly Marvellous Things About Richard Armitage"! And here I am again reading about how awesome he is :) You're the only person I know who obsesses about him the way I do! lol
Nikita Banerjee says He is hot!
Joanna D'Angelo says Julia - I do believe you have made my day! Also - you should make RA a regular feature. Like RA Day or something. ;)