Part One is here:
Hello, here is my response to K to Q of Guylty’s challenge.
K. Have you met RA Have you got a photo to share? What did you say to him? I’ve been lucky enough to meet him twice. The first time was after a performance of The Crucible where, sitting together in front row seats, my companion had mortified me by reading the programme from cover to cover, noisily turning the pages, throughout the performance instead of watching the play – and Richard was only a few feet away. Afterwards I joined the queue at the stage door. At my turn, RA seemed to give me a surprised look (I was paranoid that he thought I’d been the one absorbed in the production notes but he was probably just shell-shocked from his performance). He signed my programme and said something like “Aw, God bless!” in response to me saying how much I’d enjoyed his performance. This was my best attempt in my nervousness at photographing his face (unsuccessfully – it shows his torso and hand – but it was the highest shot of his body that I took).
I was so flustered that afterwards I was very nearly killed, near the Old Vic, crossing the busy road when the lights were red.
I also met him, with some lovely fellow RA appreciators, in Leeds at the Sunday afternoon showing of ‘Urban‘. Richard arrived looking tall, thinner than expected and incredibly handsome. We all shuffled fixatedly towards him like zombies in Night of the Living Dead. It was Remembrance Sunday and he asked if anyone had a poppy and someone happily gave him a poppy pin. These are some photos I took of him when I was near, ones that are almost in focus and don’t have my thumb obliterating his face through nerves and excitement.
[I’ve cropped some people out of these images for their privacy but happy to provide images if required. I think that’s Candida Brady peeping above the phone in the bottom-left image.]
Eventually, he turned the full power of his laser-gaze upon me. He was kind but treated me rather as though I had a learning disability (understandably in the circumstances). I mumbled that I was having problems with my phone for the selfie, as my hands were shaking. He said, “No no, you don’t want to do it like that, you’ll be taking the people in front!” and pointed at the phone settings. He then said something like “That’s right” or “There you go”, or even “There, there,” when I took the photo with him. He stood with his hands resolutely fixed behind his back, rather than clutched tightly around my waist, which I would have preferred (not that I’m complaining, it was wonderful just being near him). We were a large crowd and he gave time to everyone he could until we all had to go in for the film.
When I saw the selfie later it was just of me so, in effect, I’d asked Richard to stand next to me while I took a photo of myself. This was when I contacted Guylty, who had been there, to ask if she might have taken photos of RA that might have included me and gave her a description. She pointed me in the direction of some images that others had posted online – and I found a couple. I’m determined to get a good photo with him one day.
L. What would be a deal-breaker ? I can’t think of anything he could say or do that would be a deal-breaker unless in the unlikely event he became a fire-and-brimstone religious zealot, made racist comments or had far-right views. Pre-Thorin, I would have said growing a beard but that hasn’t put me off – although it is crime to hide his magnificent jaw-line.
Perhaps, if by some strange twist of circumstance, he turned out to be a long-lost brother but even then I’m not sure that would put me off …
M. Russian, German, French – which was best? I don’t know enough Russian or German to tell if Richard does these well. His French is good, with the odd inaccuracy. I love hearing him speak other languages: Raymond de Merville speaking Franglais and Lucas’s Russian are particularly seductive.
N. Which accent /language would you like to hear RA speak in a future role? I’m hoping for some Hungarian in Berlin Station but I do miss his British accent, particularly his northern accent, and have a soft spot for the way he says ‘Nothin’.
O. Casual RA or dressed to the nines? In leather! (Actually I like both styles, as long as he isn’t too fussily dressed.)
P. RA on big screen or TV? I’ll take either in preference to audio or animation. He’s obviously larger on the big screen but there’s usually not so much of him quantity-wise. I miss the exciting anticipation of seeing him, week after week, in a TV series where he appears in many scenes, so roll on Berlin Station.
Q. Third season of Berlin Station or not? So yes, although it is far from perfect. I found the tone of the second season really quite disturbing in that it gave the far-right characters an easy ride. They also don’t seem to know what to do with the Daniel Miller character. It has been ill-defined so far and so I can’t grasp what it is supposed to be (perhaps this was a problem with the different directors) but he was as stunning as he has ever been in the first season – heart-stoppingly so.
The beard tempered my enthusiasm somewhat in the second season, and I’m resigned to its appearance in the third. That said, I can’t wait to see Berlin Station. I do worry though, as others do, that his commitment is preventing him taking better roles.
To be continued.
Please let me know if I have used any of your images and I will either remove them or credit.
Thank you for reading.