There were dozens of screencaps made from the brief promo video titled, About Strike Back Origins, but I didn’t see the images below in any of them. These images show what I think is a decidedly discomfited Richard Armitage, made so by Dan Percival’s comment, practically cutting Armitage off, that John Porter “f-cked up.” The more I watch this scene the more convinced I am that Armitage wished Percival had used some other word, or just shut up. A moment earlier, he was looking at Percival speaking, then abruptly when he heard the words, , turned away and looked down – way down, and then reached or moved forward, as though he couldn’t get far enough away.
I guess he hasn’t watched much Cinemax. Just prior to the promo airing on TV, Cinemax aired a feature called Final Cut which had Michael Fassbinder, Ridley Scott and javier Bardam talking about their film The Counselor. Explaining something or other about his performance, Javier Bardam says he just wanted to ” try not to f-ck it up,” then he said, ” I can say that, right?” Someone off screen answers, ” It’s encouraged.”
So, maybe that was what Dan Percival was remembering when he practically cut Richard Armitage off twice as he was explaining the incident that got John Porter decommissioned and stated, “he f-cked up.” (Video is embedded at conclusion of Post)
Dan Percival, himself, didn’t seem that easy about his choice of phrase- he mumbled it and closed his eyes, as if to wish it away.
I’m not suggesting that Richard Armitage doesn’t use the word in his every day life. I don’t know. John Porter used it several times and just about everyone I know says it. I use it. A lot. But whatever the reason for his reaction, I thought Armitage wasn’t happy about it and to me, it showed. (Someone might argue that he was upset by the characterization that what Porter did was wrong, but I would disagree).
The video was edited down to half its original length for the TV airing. We don’t know in what order the conversation occurred, so we don’t know when this particular colloquy took place relative to everything else, but I suspect it was early on, when they were describing the story and setting up the relationship between the first series and the current one. It makes, sense- first talk about the show- then give us some behind the scenes insight.
Poor editing also accounts for the odd opening of the video. I didn’t know what to expect when I watched it, but I it sure wasn’t an opening with Richard Armitage, in almost mid-sentence, talking about the scene in which John Porter shoved ( or carefully placed) a pen knife up his “bum,” captioned, Richard Armitage’s favorite scenes from Strike Back Origins.” Armitage broke into giggles as he recalled what must have been shock and disbelief on the Assistant Director’s face when he teased the A.D. into thinking the actor was actually going to do it rather than act it. Too bad he did break up because we never got to hear the A.D.’s reaction, though it was fun to watch Richard Armitage’s enjoy his own prank. He was more successful in a piece that was cut, when, using irony, he says in words or substance , that Andrew Lincoln did great comedy playing Collinson ( is there a more humorless character?). He seems funniest with a quick retort or repartee.
You can’t get more behind the scenes (ahem) than a story like that, and Max shows a lot of this in their weekly bits between the stars of the current Strike Back. Still, I was annoyed that this was how the clip opened.
But not as annoyed as I was that the piece was edited to half the size of the original. I get that time is a factor, but I thought the story about Andrew Lincoln pulling Richard Armitage back into the helicopter was the type pf thing Cinemax would like. Since Cinemax airs tidbits with their stars after each episode, it’s possible that more of the video will surface after episodes to come.
Dan Percival’s description of Collinson’s “complex” character seemed off to me – I never thought he was complex, and I detected amusement on Richard Armitage’s face as he listened to Percival. But not as much amusement as when he sat there and listened as Percival tried to tie together the new and old series.
Overall, the two men did the job they were probably tasked with. It can’t be easy to be that enthusiastic about work you’ve done three years ago.