Richard Armitage’s current ‘do: Aesthetically Alexandrine

So you didn’t really expect me to let the BAFTA Tea pix to go unanswered did you?  If I thought Richard Armitage’s tease of nape curls at the Wellington premiere of World’s End were reminiscent of Alexander the Great’s famous waves, his most recent appearance with a full head of luscious, long waves is the coiffure of the conqueror

Roman period Alexander portrait Compare to profile from BAFTA Tea in LA (Getty Images)

Roman period Alexander portrait
Compare to Richard Armitage profile from BAFTA Tea in LA (available at Getty Images)

Over the years, there have been several screen incarnations of Alexander the Great which have been memorable – not necessarily for the intended reasons.   Richard Burton starred as Alexander in the 1956 release, Alexander the Great:

 Those curls are not quite right...

Those curls are not quite right…

This film was released in the heydey of the sword and sandal epics and it is ambitious in it’s scope – staying relatively true history, but (and I love “old” movies) it is deadly dull in spots and rife with hyperbole in others.  I used it in a class once…once.  (Incidently, Burton was only 31 when he played Alexander, pictured above – I would have guessed he was older, but he packed a lot of living into those years I think)

There was a rather marked revival of films set in antiquity after the success of Gladiator (2000), so I guess it was time for a new version of Alexander’s story…enter Oliver Stone with Alexander in 2004.  It looked good on paper…all star cast including Val Kilmer, Jared Leto, Angelina Jolie, Anthony Hopkins as an elderly Ptolemy and Colin Farrell as Alexander.

Closer, but still not right...

Closer, but still not right…

I was skeptical…not so much about Farrell, I think he really nailed the destructive self indulgence that plagued Alexander, but more with Jolie, cast as Alexander’s scheming mother Olympias (even though she is only a year older than Farrell)  I could have lived with a very young looking mother (my almost grown son has a very youthful mother 😉  ) but the weird accent for Jolie, the flashbacks, the excruciating soliloquies…ughh – Alexander was famed for being a leader who inspired men to follow him against all odds – Not this Alexander.  And…he hair was nowhere near curly enough!

I know I’m kind of belaboring this point, but I would really love someone to make a film about Alexander that successfully blends the actual history with film artistry.   Just keepin’ it classical!  Although….I am rather curious to see what Richard Armitage would look like as a blonde.  🙂

25 comments on “Richard Armitage’s current ‘do: Aesthetically Alexandrine

  1. Servetus says:

    OK, I admit when I saw the title I thought this was a bit of a stretch, but you’re right, it’s really not a jump at all. Mr. Armitage and his untamed locks, perfect for the man who wept because there were no more worlds to conquer!

    • obscura says:

      I don’t have to be right, but I sure like it ;). The visual aspect is striking isn’t it…it would be almost like S3 Guy, boozy, tortured, disillusioned…ahh, the potential for angst is endless!

  2. Marie Astra says:

    Mmmmm. Yes. I thought of Alexander when I saw that hair, too. But not really wanting to see RA as a blonde. Nahhh.

  3. Perry says:

    He’s too old to play Alexander and I’m glad of it. I’m thinking I would hate Richard as a blonde, and then I wonder why. He has the perfect coloring for it.

    • obscura says:

      I wouldn’t disagree with you, although, Burton played him at 30 looking 45…why not Armitage at 45 looking 35? It’s all academic anyway right? …how do you feel about his natural lighter brown hair with sunny streaks from time outside commanding the phalanx? 😉

      • Perry says:

        There are some shots or stills, maybe they’re even edited “manips” of Thorin where his hair looks very light ( or is it the spider webery – not sure) but he doesn’t look bad. Maybe if it were gradual. Other actors have changed color for roles and for fun and I’ve gotten used to it- I never could accept Colin Farrell as a blonde. I guess I’d have to wait and see. I prefer him with dark hair- but I would be open-minded, or try to be. As I say, he has light skin and eyes-but a rather dark beard. I;m thinking Viking again.

        • obscura says:

          I could get with Viking…he has the size to pull that off too – have you watched any of The Vikings? I liked the first season a lot. I know what you mean about Farrell. with that yellow blond hair, especially with his very dark eyes. I know that sources describe Alexander as fair, but I think our understanding of ancient descriptions of color s not always very precise. Fair could mean anything from light brown to truly blonde, and points in between.

  4. guylty says:

    What the?????? That’s uncanny!!!! Just reacting to the top two pics right now. Will read when I wake up again in six hours time. Oh my, should our dream come true and Richard star in a nice little period piece set in ancient Greece? I feel ficlets coming up…

  5. i.f. says:

    Alexander had to suffer a miserable death at the end of his young life. I would love to see him in historical costume, and he seems to love characters wit a tragical end – so that would fit (although I would wish him a project with a happy end).
    The only image of Alexander the Great that sticks with me is from the mosaic in Pompeji. So I never had an association with a blond guy. Mr. A. turned blond? Can’t picture that.

  6. guylty says:

    Ok, good morning again. – I really think that RA has quite the Greek look on him. Dyed hair or not – the black hair and the pale skin and *that* nose is really Greek to me. Plus, he rocks the physique that goes with a sandal-and-skirt-drama. To my shame I have to admit that I have not seen any of the recent films set in ancient times, mostly because of the people who starred in them. Farrell is annoying at the best of times, but in blonde? *ugh*.

    • obscura says:

      Wholeheartedly agree…he could totally pull it off, I don’t think the “guinea gold” hair color is really necessary 🙂

      IMO, you haven’t missed much – my favorite thing to snicker about in that film was the ridiculous amount of innuendo surrounding Alexander’s sexuality…the tortured looks between him and Hephaestion, his obviously hinted affair with beautiful male slave…it was so over done and I’ve never been sure why…in 2004, I’d have thought that a filmmaker would have jumped at being able to openly develop the bisexuality that was common in the Greek world. It wouldn’t have a secret been in Alexander’s lifetime, it’s not now…why be so coy? IDK, I found it really annoying.

      Farrell? I’m no film critic, I think he did a decent enough job, but was perhaps encouraged to excess.

  7. Would you believe I didn’t sleep all night waiting for your blog on his curls? I didn’t think so. Loved it. On a filmy critic note (of which i am not) I enjoy watching the old hokey Hercules and Jason movies only because I love Ray Harryhausen monsters, but with CGI now I think RA could do a great Sinbad—yes–no?

  8. obscura says:

    *snort* I posted this at 5pm CST, so you wouldn’t have had to wait up long 😀 There is a certain level of cheesy monster that is really necessary to make a good B movie! It would be hugely fun to see him in a swashbuckling role like that…although, I think it would need to really be deliberately campy…Like the Prince of Persia, but entertaining 😉

  9. […] Richard Armitage’s hair, and Alexander the Great. […]

  10. […] Richard Armitage’s current ‘do: Aesthetically Alexandrine ( […]

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