Aurora Boreali

Collecting shiny pretty things.

I deduce, Watson, you hate being an everyman | The Sunday Times

incurablylazydevil:

Martin Freeman won an Emmy last week for his role in Sherlock but summons up the fire of his new stage role as Richard III to warn against seeing him solely as a sardonic Englishman

by Josh Glancy 

Freeman as Watson with Benedict Cumberbatch’s SherlockFreeman as Watson with Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock (BBC)

If they were having a race to the top, Martin Freeman would be the tortoise and Benedict Cumberbatch would be the hare. Cumberbatch, tall and unconventionally handsome, brimming with public school charm and swagger. Freeman looking like a bloke you’d meet down the pub. Cumberbatch hared to global stardom, but Freeman is running his own race; slower, less ostentatious but ever so successful.

Since their Sherlock bromance first captivated the nation in 2010, this unlikely duo have conquered Hollywood and the world. Their careers have become strangely symbiotic: Sherlock Holmes and Dr John Watson, Bilbo Baggins and Smaug the dragon, little and large. So it was no surprise when the pair won awards at last week’s Emmys. Cumberbatch as Sherlock pipped Freeman in Fargo for outstanding lead actor in a mini-series or a movie, but Freeman picked up outstanding supporting actor in a mini-series or a movie for his role as Watson.

Freeman was reading in bed when he received the news in a text from his agent. Did it feel like a bit of a consolation prize? “Yeah, I really hated it,” he says. “No, really, we’re all very pleased for each other. We all win because it’s all good for Sherlock. For a British show to be doing that well is a thrill. I emailed Ben in the morning to congratulate him and he rang me later on.”

Such is the on-screen chemistry between Cumberbatch and Freeman, there has been widespread suggestion that the Sherlock-Watson relationship is about more than just solving crimes and banter in Baker Street. Much of China is convinced the pair are lovers.

“It’s not just in China — plenty of places, plenty of households,” he says. “I don’t really quite know why that has caught on. It’s now taken on a political dimension to it. What started as a bit of fun — a slightly irreverent, sly, mocking thing — has now turned into, for some people, if you don’t think they’re gay, then you’re denying they’re gay and you are somehow homophobic. I mean genuinely — it’s that strong. It’s very odd, the fact that it has become a po-faced, political thing.”

Where does this relationship, at once fractious and deeply affectionate, come from? “Chemistry just happens or it doesn’t; you can’t work at it, you can’t manufacture it. Obviously it helps if people have got their chops about them and can actually do the work. But there are plenty of good actors who you could put together who don’t have that chemistry. We were lucky. It just worked.”

Freeman wasn’t in Los Angeles to collect his award because he is playing Richard III at the Trafalgar Studios in London’s West End. Cumberbatch wasn’t there either, leading Sherlock’s co-creator, Steven Moffat, to joke that he was “too big to come the Emmys”.

The suspicion with Freeman was that he doesn’t much fancy the gilded backslappery of Hollywood. “Look, if I wasn’t doing a play, I would definitely have been at the Emmys — I don’t mind all that. It’s nice for a little holiday, but it’s not my life. I think most of the people who were there, it’s not their life either. Everyone basically goes home to their family and puts the kettle on.”

Freeman has come a long way from playing the sales representative Tim Canterbury in The Office, but the critics have been quick to draw a thread through his work. Tim, John Watson, Bilbo Baggins, and Lester Nygaard in Fargo. The everyman, the ordinary guy everyone can identify with, the middle-of-the-road Englishman; sardonic, wry and slightly low on self-confidence.

Freeman isn’t convinced. In fact, he’s a bit fed up with it. He is generally polite and good-natured, but the merest mention of the word everyman rouses his ire. “People ask, ‘Is there any difference between Tim and John Watson?’ Well, I’m afraid if you can’t see that, you’re a f****** moron. People have no business writing about the art of television if they can’t see it.

“I’m not denying you can’t find a thread between the parts I’ve played, which you could probably do with every single other actor working. Whether it’s me or Daniel Day-Lewis — he’s not often going to play a bit-part waiter. I think a lot of it is Pavlovian; people see what they want to see.

“I have played some things that have a thread in them but that’s never been my plan. To be honest, I’ve played lots of other things, and they’ve not been that famous, they’ve not been huge hits.”

Freeman, here playing Bilbo Baggins, says it is wrong to suggest he plays only one kind of characterFreeman, here playing Bilbo Baggins, says it is wrong to suggest he plays only one kind of character (Warner Bros)

Freeman’s gig as Richard III is one of these less-famous roles. He’s garnered mixed reviews, with some critics suggesting his performance is “underpowered” and “lacks all spark and charisma”.

Is he less well suited to playing a king? “What I’m able to play in Richard III is something that I’ve had about me for as long as I’ve been acting. It’s a surprise to other people but that’s always been in there. It was all that stuff that made me want to act, it wasn’t thinking, ‘Oh, I want to be a lovelorn everyman.’”

He doesn’t have Cumberbatch’s swagger, but Freeman has plenty of confidence in himself and his acting ability. The remarkable journey of the tortoise and the hare will continue next year, when the pair are reunited for series four of Sherlock. The character of Watson has married Mary Morstan, who turned out to be a gun-toting secret agent with a murky past.

Will Sherlock leave them alone to be happily married? “Presumably not. It’s the tensions within those characters that make the show. Now that Mary is very much part of the setup, that can’t be a happy, or rather a straightforward, thing. Without the tension between John and Sherlock there is no show. So no, it won’t be un-rocky.”

(via mazarin221b)

sakibatch:


"It’s not like it is in the movies. There’s not a great, big, spurt of blood and you go flying backwards."

I don’t really like how this turned out but idk what else to do. Oh well. :T

sakibatch:

"It’s not like it is in the movies. There’s not a great, big, spurt of blood and you go flying backwards."

I don’t really like how this turned out but idk what else to do. Oh well. :T

(via dixiebell)

prokopetz:

grrspit:

nessanotarized:

nativefemboy:

thartist72:

“In 2002, having spent more than three years in one residence for the first time in my life, I got called for jury duty. I show up on time, ready to serve. When we get to the voir dire, the lawyer says to me, “I see you’re an astrophysicist. What’s that?” I answer, “Astrophysics is the laws of physics, applied to the universe—the Big Bang, black holes, that sort of thing.” Then he asks, “What do you teach at Princeton?” and I say, “I teach a class on the evaluation of evidence and the relative unreliability of eyewitness testimony.” Five minutes later, I’m on the street. A few years later, jury duty again. The judge states that the defendant is charged with possession of 1,700 milligrams of cocaine. It was found on his body, he was arrested, and he is now on trial. This time, after the Q&A is over, the judge asks us whether there are any questions we’d like to ask the court, and I say, “Yes, Your Honor. Why did you say he was in possession of 1,700 milligrams of cocaine? That equals 1.7 grams. The ‘thousand’ cancels with the ‘milli-’ and you get 1.7 grams, which is less than the weight of a dime.” Again I’m out on the street.”

powerful Black Science Man

Exactly.

“I teach a class on the evaluation of evidence and the relative unreliability of eyewitness testimony.” Five minutes later, I’m on the street.
This is a good illustration of what’s wrong with the US criminal justice system.

I’m more struck by the second anecdote, in which he was evidently disqualified from jury duty for displaying the ability to do math.

And his willingness to use his ability to point out the (prejudicial?) use of milligrams instead of grams because it made the amount of cocaine sound greater.

prokopetz:

grrspit:

nessanotarized:

nativefemboy:

thartist72:

“In 2002, having spent more than three years in one residence for the first time in my life, I got called for jury duty. I show up on time, ready to serve. When we get to the voir dire, the lawyer says to me, “I see you’re an astrophysicist. What’s that?” I answer, “Astrophysics is the laws of physics, applied to the universe—the Big Bang, black holes, that sort of thing.” Then he asks, “What do you teach at Princeton?” and I say, “I teach a class on the evaluation of evidence and the relative unreliability of eyewitness testimony.” Five minutes later, I’m on the street.

A few years later, jury duty again. The judge states that the defendant is charged with possession of 1,700 milligrams of cocaine. It was found on his body, he was arrested, and he is now on trial. This time, after the Q&A is over, the judge asks us whether there are any questions we’d like to ask the court, and I say, “Yes, Your Honor. Why did you say he was in possession of 1,700 milligrams of cocaine? That equals 1.7 grams. The ‘thousand’ cancels with the ‘milli-’ and you get 1.7 grams, which is less than the weight of a dime.” Again I’m out on the street.”

powerful Black Science Man

Exactly.

“I teach a class on the evaluation of evidence and the relative unreliability of eyewitness testimony.” Five minutes later, I’m on the street.

This is a good illustration of what’s wrong with the US criminal justice system.

I’m more struck by the second anecdote, in which he was evidently disqualified from jury duty for displaying the ability to do math.

And his willingness to use his ability to point out the (prejudicial?) use of milligrams instead of grams because it made the amount of cocaine sound greater.

(via continentalfuckfest)

Tom Lehrer

—The Elements

macabredanse:

cheaperthanmedication:

There’s antimony, arsenic, aluminum, selenium, 
And hydrogen and oxygen and nitrogen and rhenium, 
And nickel, neodymium, neptunium, germanium, 
And iron, americium, ruthenium, uranium, 
Europium, zirconium, lutetium, vanadium, 
And lanthanum and osmium and astatine and radium, 
And gold and protactinium and indium and gallium, 

And iodine and thorium and thulium and thallium. 

There’s yttrium, ytterbium, actinium, rubidium, 
And boron, gadolinium, niobium, iridium, 
And strontium and silicon and silver and samarium, 
And bismuth, bromine, lithium, beryllium, and barium. 

There’s holmium and helium and hafnium and erbium, 
And phosphorus and francium and fluorine and terbium, 
And manganese and mercury, molybdenum, magnesium, 
Dysprosium and scandium and cerium and cesium. 
And lead, praseodymium, and platinum, plutonium, 
Palladium, promethium, potassium, polonium, 
And tantalum, technetium, titanium, tellurium, 

And cadmium and calcium and chromium and curium. 

There’s sulfur, californium, and fermium, berkelium, 
And also mendelevium, einsteinium, nobelium, 
And argon, krypton, neon, radon, xenon, zinc, and rhodium, 
And chlorine, carbon, cobalt, copper, tungsten, tin, and sodium. 

These are the only ones of which the news has come to ha’vard, 
And there may be many others, but they haven’t been discavard. 

Is it sad that I’ve memorized half of this?

(via songstersmiscellany)