Jun 24, 2010

In the blink of an eye...

 I really like that blinking thing Richard's characters do when they're frustrated or worried. 
Does anyone know what I'm talking about?  Not to worry... I shall explain!

So the blinking thing is usually a 3-blink eye spasm/movement
(actually, I have no idea how many blinks in a row there are on average during this particular
RA facial expression) that usually occurs following a furrowed brow and turn of the head.
It's oh-so dramatic and very sexy.  Plus, it highlights those long lashes.

Side note: Guyliner also highlights Richard's long lashes,
but not all of his characters wear eye make-up, you know.

I've noticed that one of my favorite vidders, Delicate Blossom, features 
many-a blinking thing in her videos.  For a visual example of what I've been trying to
explain, check out her "Stranger in Moscow" vid, which I have featured before.  Lucas North's
blinking thing makes an appearance several times in the first 20 seconds alone! 
*Be sure to pause the blog's background music (bottom of screen) before viewing.* 

I pretty much like all of DB's vids and this is a new fave added to the list.
JP is hot.  And he does the blinking thing like Richard's other characters.
I first saw this vid featured on RA Frenzy's blog, so I have to give her a virtual high five.
(Since that's what we Americans do, right?)  Which makes me wonder... British buddies, what do
you do to celebrate with each other?  Nod your heads at one another? Do the chicken dance?
I need to know these things on the off-chance I ever meet Richard Armitage in person. 
Or maybe he'll just get a high five... after I give him a big hug and talk his ear off.
(Richard, if you ever see a young woman with a huge, goofy grin, long, curly auburn hair,
and pale skin that will never ever tan, don't take any chances... just hide. 
Especially if she's pregnant at the time and wearing a Stick-Figure Richard
t-shirt. And especially if you have any food in your hands.)

Wow... sorry for that tangent there.  Now I'm hungry. 
But before I sign off... back to Delicate Blossom.

I LOVE the background on her YouTube channel.
It is made up of this lovely JT collage which I could stare at all day:


MillyMe said...

American culture has long been exported to every corner of the globe. Norwegians do the high-five and often incorporate buzzwords and phrases in English into their everyday conversations!

Richard's blinky thing has been discussed before on a Spooks forum, with some finding it irritating and others endearing. I belong to the group that finds it cute! I'll need to study the vids posted here in greater detail to find out when it is he uses it. Does it denote intense emotion?

Charlotte H. said...

I love his little blinking thing. It's such a small gesture, but it conveys so much. I adore it.

Debra said...

It's funny that you should mention it.

The "blinking thing" always adds a little something to his characters. I first noticed it in North and South.

I started picking it up in everything else of his that I have watched him in.

I absolutely LOVE it!!!!!

I'm glad that I'm not the only one.

Sue said...

Yes, I'd noticed this blinking thing! At first I thought it was Richard's own nervous kind of twitch, especially as he finds it difficult to make direct eye contact with someone he is talking to at times, but no, now I think it's a crafty invention by him, with the intent of driving his fans wild!!!Little tinker!

tyme_4_t said...

Nat - you make me laugh!

KiplingKat said...

I think it denotes intensity because I have also noted him using it when the character is surprised by something or when trying to emotionally connect to someone. He uses it most frequently as Lucas (it has shown up in other characters, but not all of them and I have not noticed it as frequently as I have in Spooks), and Lucas blinks rapidly like that when talking to Ben after Ben's first undercover assignment in series 7, and also a few times when he was suddenly assimilating a piece of unexpected information.

@Rob said...

Never noticed this before! Thanks for making me laugh with ..."Especially if she's pregnant at the time and wearing a Stick-Figure Richard
t-shirt. And especially if you have any food in your hands.)"

The image of a pregnant woman with a SFR tee going after NOT RA but his sandwhich is priceless. You are the best!!!

@Rob said...

Thanks for making me laugh..."Especially if she's pregnant at the time and wearing a Stick-Figure Richard
t-shirt. And especially if you have any food in your hands.)"

The image of a pregnant woman, wearing a SFR tee, going after not Mr. Armitage, but his sandwhich just made me laugh. Too funny!

Sue said...

As my old mum used to say "I could eat him on a jam butty". I could an all!

Judith Johnson said...

U R correct, Delicate Blossom's vids are wonderful but especially Stranger In Moscow which also highlights the lovely bow his lips make and is my favorite of all time (except maybe Rude Boy).

If you decide to manufacture and sell SFR tees, put me down for 2!

Joan Crenshaw said...

Stressful morning relieved by the image of Richard blinking delightfully at chatty pregnant very-white woman in SFR teeshirt, hugging him with the SOLE purpose of stealing his sandwich. Can we add your other beautiful boys clinging to your legs?

Avalon said...

I really wish you would do a post on Guy's sniffling during the first series. He doesn't do it much in the second series and by the third, it is totally gone. Haven't you all noticed he sniffs often, you now.... like cocaine users do, not that RA is one of those, lol, that is NOT at all what I am saying. I am sure there was some reason he did, I just wish someone would explain it to me. I would do a post but Nat, you would get more responses and I am VERY curious if others have opinions as to why he does that somewhat agitating habit.

Phylly3 said...

I think he does that "fast blinking thingy" to show that he is thinking deeply about something -- trying to work out a problem. That's what I've noticed anyway, and of course he has LOTS of problems to solve on SPOOKS so that might be why we see it more there.
I remember commenting on Servetus's Blog trying to figure out how RA is able to so enthrall us with his performances and I got a little silly...imagining that the blinking was actually a type of ancient code that only some women can decipher (his fans)! LOL http://meandrichard.wordpress.com/2010/04/08/just-found-this/

Unknown said...

@Nat as always you crack me up! Thank you!!!

Re the blinking and tilting head thingy, has anyone noticed him doing this in interviews? I wonder if its something he purposely does for his characters or is it something he does unconsciously? My guess is he does it IRL but who knows!

Twinkling Moon said...

@Nat, you are hysterical as ever! I love how you acknowledged that although "guyliner" helps bring out those eyes and lashes,it ain't always needed! Also, I'd pay to see a vid of pregnant Nat with a SFR Tshirt on, running to RA and stealing his chocolate cake *wink, wink*

Regarding the blinking thing, funny you should post about this. Yesterday I was watching the special features in the DVD for Series 7, and they interviewed the producer/writer/director too I think, and everyone talked about the casting of LN and how RA was the guy for the part because LN is very different than Adam; LN is more withdrawn, the actors even said that RA is intense and keeps to himself a bit, and the writer/producer said that he brings so much to the character because even though he may not be as extroverted, everything is going on in his eyes and you can tell that there is a lot going on back there.

I think that's why in so many of his projects the camera does zoom in on his eyes, he draws everyone in with them because RA has very expressive eyes and they convey so much. I tend to agree with @Sandra, I don't think his eyes/blinking are just an acting tool, I think that is a part of RA's natural intensity which comes across in his characters.

Judith Johnson said...

I think RA blinks in real life because he is introverted and it is a defense mechanism during interviews. Blinking is also one of the signs of lying and when he is in character, it is probably a subconscious manifestation of the fact that he is acting in a way contrary to his real nature.

@Avalon-I had never really thought about the sniffing until you mention it. It is an annoying habit that some folks have. Since it abates with time, maybe he had an allergy that was agravated there in that Hungarian forest. However I have also known folks that did it unconsiously and it can drive you crazy. There used to be perfectly lovely librarian in the Special Collection that did it and drove me crazy, however if she had looked like GoG I could have overlooked it!
Since we are having this discussion, what about the scleral show under his irises? I think he does it on purpose to gain sympathy for his characters. It is kinda weird but effective. "look back at me"

Phylly3 said...

@Avalon -- I think I read in one of his interviews he said he used the sniffing to make Guy really unattractive, and well, with the way his part changed, I guess being unattractive wasn't really an option.

I have been perusing a lot of screencaps from Season 1 and 2 lately and it has struck me how Lucy Griffiths really did a great job showing her distain for Guy. I think a lot of his fans (myself included) were projecting their Guy-love onto her when (of course, she never had it). Except for a couple of rare moments where she smiles at him or perhaps admires his bod (who wouldn't?), she really does remain true to Robin, so I guess I don't understand all the Marian hatred out there.
(Sorry, I went off topic there.)

Anonymous said...

@phylly Interesting, I haven't read that about the sniffing.

OT:I don't think we projected our love on her, I agree that in S1 she made pretty clear to Guy and us she didn't like him but she changes towards him in S2, I don't believe it changed into love either, she was attracted to him and not so 'repulsed' by him through second half of S2.
(I don't hate Marian by the way :), my only problem is with 3.13.)
It'll be nice to have a post featuring Marian's gestures, to discuss this further.

OML ;)

Sue said...


I agree I didn't hate Marian for choosing Robin over Sir Guy, to be honest she'd have been a fool to choose a manipulative murderer just because he had a nice pair of pecs and gorgeous thighs (oh dear I've just shot myself down in flames again!).

As Sir Guy said to Robin "she is stirred by me" and let's face it who wouldn't be, but lust is one thing and love quite another. Love endures, lust gradually fizzles out after the first flames have been extinguished and dies. (Wouldn't have minded getting burnt a little mind!)

There was always something deeper between Robin and Marian, they were equals and understood each other's feelings. Above all they were honest with each other, a good basis for spending your life with someone I'd say wouldn't you?

pi said...

I noticed the blinking as well. As I understand it, sudden rapid blinking is connected to emotion, whether it's fear, shyness, nervousness, relief, discomfort, a person is about to cry, etc. It's a huge response to something just said. It communicates so much about the inner processes of a character- you know there's something going on. I think that Richard Armitage does that especially well, living in those active silences.

Phylly3 said...

Great comment pi! I agree totally.
Keep adding your opinions -- nice to see you here!