KRA in the News
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Leicester Mercury – Newspaper Version
Gemma Peplow, Leicester Mercury (23.01.2013)
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Leicester Mercury – Online Version
Gemma Peplow, Leicester Mercury (23.01.2013)
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Full Interview with Gemma Peplow, Leicester Mercury
Full interview answers by Roswitha Gerhart from KRA to questions by Gemma Peplow, Leicester Mercury:
Can you tell me a bit about yourself and why you set the group up?
I have worked in publishing for years and specialize in online and digital media. With that background, I knew how hard it is to find backing for ambitious projects, especially when they concern history.
The most people will say about history when asked is that they did not like the subject at school, but then they are astonished when a film shows them how gripping and interesting the events of history really can be.
How many people are involved in the group? Are the members from all over the world?
We are not a clearly defined group, but rather a group of fans of Richard Armitage spread all over the world, with a common goal. Among those fans, an ‘inner circle’ of bloggers and fans have come together online to plan what to do, whom to interview or invite to activities, and how best to spread the word about our efforts. We’ve planned, for example, an annual KingRichardArmitage Week in August, around Mr.
Armitage’s birthday, which also is the anniversary of Richard III’s death at the Battle of Bosworth. But beyond this group, we have many supporters, who contact us about their interests, design material, spread the word and help out, without wanting to be directly involved in the planning of the website or the petition project itself.
Where did you hear about Richard Armitage’s plans for a film about Richard III?
Mr. Armitage mentioned his interest in doing a film about King Richard III in several interviews, starting in 2007. Some of those comments are collected here on the website:
Why did you set up the petition and what are you hoping will happen with it?
For some time, fans had been discussing Mr. Armitage’s interest in King Richard III on blogs and forums, but without much or any support or interest from the industry. In the summer of 2011, another blogger, DarlingDarling, and I got together and we were brainstorming about how to do something to support the idea and Mr. Armitage’s interest in King Richard III — but without pressing on him any kind of outcome that he would not like. We wanted to call attention to his ideas and show larger audiences that his fans and others supported them. So we came up with the petition idea to show our support and cast light on the already existing interest in the King Richard III production.
With the petition, we hope to give Mr. Armitage space to develop the project in the way he wants, and also give him some backing to show to investors, to demonstrate that people around the world, and not just his fans, are already interested in his film project about King Richard III. The interest already is worldwide, as the signatures really come from all over the world, though naturally the English speaking countries are represented most strongly.
What interests you about the story of Richard III?
Personally, I’m interested in Richard III because history has not been fair to him. However his life really happened to have been or what he might have done, the subsequent historiography and literature have made him unrecognizable. So Richard III strongly arouses my sense of fairness and justice. As I studied history at the university, Mr.
Armitage’s mention of his interest in the subject immediately got my full attention. I looked into the topic and time period more closely, as the late Middle Ages in England had been discussed during my studies, but were not a closer research topic for me at the time.
Why do you think it should be told in a film?
In my view, film is the only way to show the truly scale of the subject — the significance of Richard III’s grand ambitions and the disastrous defeats. Film can make history live by turning into story, and if historical knowledge about Richard III is to reach new audiences nowadays, it needs filling with life and blood to be the fascinating and gripping story it can be. Film can do that better than anything. But a film done by Richard Armitage would be most ideal.
It’s a very special coincidence that Mr. Armitage feels a personal connection to Richard III, having been born on the anniversary of his death. But more than that, Mr. Armitage also has the imaginative ability to bring history and characters to life and give them a fully developed personality that reveals all their characteristics, good and bad. The ability he has shown over and over again to show the good impulses in “bad” characters and vice versa, while still making them into individuals the audience can connect with and wants to discover more about, is a wonderful gift. And a talent of this sort will be essential to enriching this film project. This for me is the ideal way to recreate Richard III’s story for a modern audience.
Were you a fan of Richard Armitage before his comments about a Richard III film? What do you like about him?
Yes. I had not seen Mr. Armitage’s comments about King Richard III at the point when I became fan, although his first comments on the topic had already been published. I became fan at the end of 2008, through media interviews with Mr. Armitage preceding the broadcast of series 7 of “Spooks”. For me the whole development of becoming a fan was surprising, as I had never been one before, but Mr. Armitage astonished me with his thoughtful acting as well as his polite and impressive way of answering interview questions. I just wanted to see more of his gripping acting and his interviews and could not get enough.
Can you also tell me how old you are?
Yes, though: woman and their ages! I am about the same age as Mr. Armitage.