Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Dear Richard, you so can do a Romantic Comedy

Y'all know how fond I am of Richard Armitage. Lovely chap. Brings joy to so many.

There are many of us who would love to see him play a softer role--something like Harry Kennedy in "The Vicar of Dibley". Or possibly even a full-on Rom-Com. He doubts his ability to pull off such a role, but isn't above considering attempting comedy.

I think he could pull it off, as long as he plays the foil or the straight man. We (his adoring followers) are confident enough in his mastery of the craft to support him in an effort to attempt a comedy. He, however, isn't so sure, as he claims he's "probably not very good at rom-com."

It's because you're out of practice, dear. Here you are, playing all these dour roles with little chance to do some serious exploration of lighter roles.

We'd love to see him in another romance because despite some of the really nasty roles he's successfully pulled off, we still think of him as the original Mr Thornton (Mr Darcy's brooding twin). Even when he played sinister Guy of Gisborne in BBC's Robin Hood, he still managed to make hearts throb, not to mention loins ache.  (Admit it. BBC's Robin Hood was really The Guy of Gisborne Show.)

Even when he played Paul Andrews (cheating bastard), Ian MacAlwain (bro-code breaker), Percy Courney (adulterous bastard), Lucas North (lying spy), Heinz Kruger (evil spy), John Proctor (bad husband) and now Francis Dolarhyde (serial killer), our hearts still beat for him.

Possibly because in real life Richard's a sweetie. He's always got a kind word for us, encourages us to be better people in the world, and has that lovely un-self-centred attitude about him.

So yeah, he keeps getting cast in these "tough guy" roles. Not only get cast, but pulling them off rather well. No wonder he's not getting offered anything sweet and gentle. Unlike many actors, aspiring, mid-lister or well-known, he's not a one-trick pony. This guy played with the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Hands up, everyone who loved him in The Vicar of Dibley?

Could Richard pull off a rom-com?

I believe he can, and not just because I adore him to bits. Give him the right script, and he could do wonders.  He wants to play a romantic lead. We want him to as well.

Richard needs a high-brow comedy with erudite humour and a comedic love-interest who has great chemistry with him. The jokes must be three-stage, and every once in a while, Richard needs to deliver a punchline with a wry little grin. He would totally go to town on a project like that.

Alas, too many rom-coms are twee little things with pratfalls and cheap jokes and Seth Rogen and Jennifer Aniston.

Richard needs a comedy of cleverness. He needs to play opposite a female lead whose role is educated, clever, and not self-conscious. Oh, and a few subtly naughty jokes. Subtle being the key.

I wish I had the time to write a script like that.

That said, if ever one of my Romance novels fits that bill, I'll have my agent include a rider in my film rights contract that offers Richard rights of first refusal for the male lead.

Her Grace must ask Richard for a kiss some day. But not while he's wearing his Dolarhyde teeth.

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