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Rhondinella

Martin Freeman: Unassuming Everyman

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I personally think his performance as Watson is what holds this show together and grounds it in reality.  Especially in season 3. He's seriously underestimated, standing in Cumberbatch's formidable shadow.

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I agree. I realized during the graveside scene in the S2 finale that he's really doing the hard work. Cumberbatch gets to have all the quirks and be a weirdo jerk, but Freeman does the emotional work, and Watson is the reason we care about any of this stuff.

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Third'ed. Freeman is such an incredible talent, and as much as I enjoy watching Cumberbatch be all Cumberbatchly all over the place, Freeman is the heart. I think the third episode of season three really nails that.

Edited by stacey
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You only need to see his heartbroken reaction scene to Sherlock's fall in "The Empty Hearse":

"Let me through! Let me through! He's my friend...  he's my friend..." Just gorgeous.

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The first time I remember thinking, "Dang, this guy can act!" was during ep 1 of season 2, in the scene where he finds out Irene is still alive and urges her to tell Sherlock since he is heartbroken.  Freeman is magnificent in that scene.  It was also our first hint of how much he has come to care for Sherlock.

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The first time I remember thinking, "Dang, this guy can act!" was during ep 1 of season 2

On this comment, I decided to watch this one again with the distinct purpose of watching Martin Freeman in particular instead of the episode as a whole. Funny what you can grasp when you are watching for a specific purpose.

What I like most about Martin is what he says with body language and without dialog. His face speaks volumes.

What a great episode! Thanks for challenging me to watch with a different perspective.

Edited by BizBuzz
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It's also very interesting watching him during a table reading of the script.  I've seen one or two "behind the scenes" videos that show him and Cumberbatch just sitting and reading the script, and you can already see the emotion of the lines on Freeman's face.  He's just very, very good.  I think I almost want him to win an Emmy more than Cumberbatch (although that will likely never happen).

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Agreed! I think that it's harder to write or play Watson as a character who is interesting In his own right. (This opinion applies to any Sherlock adaptation.) Freeman's Watson, however, comes across as the kind of person who have been a fun, interesting person even if he never met Sherlock.

Edited by Lemon Tree
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Just re-watched Sign of Three and Freeman was fantastic. During the best man's speech you could just see how much he gets Sherlock and was just waiting for it to end. He knew something was wrong even before he heard "Vatican cameos". Watson really does hold it down and allow Sherlock to be Sherlock. I thought he was special in Ep 1 Season 1 when he shot the cabbie, I knew this was a new Watson and I loved him and Sherlock realizing it was John that shot the cabbie, great dynamic.

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Damn, I almost wish I hadn't clicked that link, rereader2! Richard III is one of my favorite plays & I so wish I could pop across the pond to see it, especially as I managed to miss Branagh's production of The Scottish Play at the Armory here in NYC.

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I've loved him in everything I've seen him in from Hobbit to Sherlock to Fargo.  He's so appealing on screen and even when he's playing a secondary character my eye goes right to him.  Love him.

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It sounds like he has an interesting take on Richard, for sure. (OTOH, I read The Daughter of Time at an impressionable age and then made the mistake of actually doing the research, so probably it's just as well I can't see it--I always mumble angrily throughout Shakespeare's Richard III!)

 

According to the Daily Mail (and a few other sites that wouldn't show their articles to non-subscribers), there is some disgruntlement at the mid-scene applause Martin's fans are bringing to the show. I understand their enthusiasm, but that could be annoying if you're trying to watch the play. (It's not a musical, where they expect applause mid-scene, after all.

 

ETA: One London Theater Tickets, the director of Richard III says the whole thing is a non-issue, it only happened once, between scenes, in the first preview. (Who knows, I certainly couldn't afford tickets even were I in London!)

 

And there's another review of Freeman in Fargo on Yahoo TV UK.

Edited by rereader2

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From what I've seen, the reviews haven't been that mixed.  They've been good to very good (all 3 & 4 stars) with one scathing review thrown in the mix.  Interesting that the BBC would spin it that way.

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I really enjoyed that episode of WDYTYA. I was a bit surprised that Martin and family didn't recognize the symbolism of the snake around the sword on his family member's military badge.  I thought it was a well known, universal, medical symbol. Interesting family history.

 

(I hope that was part of his family's story, I may be mixing them up because I did a youtube marathon of various celebs on that show. If not, ignore the comment.  I enjoyed his episode anyway.)

Edited by Anothermi

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Here's a clip from "Who Do You Think You Are", where Martin is trying to find out about his ancestry: 

 

 

There's more about the clip and the rest of the show in the YouTube notes and in an article at the Mirror website.

 

Don't know who did the closed captions but they're horrible unless you want a good laugh.  I especially enjoyed at 2:29 where the women apparently says "Richard with you Bollywood".  Thanks for posting it though, I didn't even know he was going to be on and I'd like to see what happens so off to see if I can find the whole show.

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Don't know who did the closed captions but they're horrible unless you want a good laugh.

They're the automated speech recognition thing that YouTube does, not anything written by a person.

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They're the automated speech recognition thing that YouTube does, not anything written by a person.

I know, I didn't really mean "who" as in single person, more of a colloquial who.  Maybe it's the accents that it couldn't handle.

 

Now if he had time to appear on that he should have time to get going on the next Sherlock!  Just kidding, he and Benedict are amazingly busy these days but I think they both deserve the recognition they're getting.

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I find that suspect.  I'm almost positive I've heard Martin deny earlier allegations of nuisance audience members.  Also, were it such a problem, the theatre could confiscate all cameras and phones before people entered -- I've had that happen for premiers at movie theatres, so I imagine a live theatre could do the same.

Edited by dusang

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I wonder if that was Amanda was talking about on twitter when she said people shouldn't believe what they read in the Daily Mail.  Which could be true for probably 99% of the time.  Though, I wouldn't be that surprised.  When I saw a show on Broadway recently, someone had to delete a picture they took of the set.

 

On a happier note, today is Martin's Birthday!

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There are multiple sources showing the new poster for Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, which features Martin: Here's the one on Hypable.

 

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Likewise, MANY sources report that Martin is to star in a BBC film about the Eichmann triel; here's the Digital Spy piece about it: Martin Freeman Eichmann drama to lead BBC's Holocaust memorial season.

 

I'm not sure I'm on board with the idea of a "Holocaust memorial seaon"--what, is it something it's okay to forget about the rest of the year?--but the film sounds like an interesting take on the trial.

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Here's a part of a trick with Derren Brown and Martin Freeman (with a little Amanda Abbington on the side):

 

 

It's part of a show in aid of Stand Up To Cancer; article on the RadioTimes website.

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More Hobbity things...

 

A clip from the film, featuring Martin/Bilbo:

 

Some red carpet interviews on the 3news website. (The first interview bit is beyond tedious, but the longer bit following is better.)

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If anyone is interested in seeing the Hobbit early (Dec. 11), in iMax, in Manhattan, the LA Times is having a showing.

 

Since the date on that is yesterday, I don't suppose there are any seats left, but free is free, so if you've a mind to try...

 

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From tv3: Martin Freeman says Bilbo Baggins is an everyday hero

 

(Yes, I know, I read the book.)

 

(But it's still true.)

Edited by rereader2

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From USA Today: Martin Freeman on being an 'SNL' newbie.

 

(Um, Martin? I think slightly more than 18 New Yorkers know who you are. Also, nationally-aired show. You'll be fine.)

 

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Martin seems to have done a series of interviews for the release of the Hobbit film...

 

E Online has video of Martin talking ending the series and not having read the books as a child.

 

3News (from New Zealand) has video of has a 4-minute video about being part of the Hobbit films and character analysis.

 

Malay Online has a video with brief interviews with various cast members interspersed with short film clips.

 

And there's a long print interview with Martin on the Khaleej Times website; he talks Hobbit.

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Long, very Hobbit-focused interview with Martin by TheOneRing.net. (So no surprise that it was a very Bilbo-focused interview!)

 

Martin (et al.) were on the Today Show this morning: Actors Ian McKellen, Orlando Bloom and Martin Freeman join director Peter Jackson and NBC’s Keir Simmons to talk about “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” which concludes more than a decade of movie-making. That's a video there, although I can't get it to play for me, but if it's just what aired on the show, it's very short.

 

On The Hobbit's Facebook there's a video in which  The cast of #TheHobbit describes what it was like to go back to Middle-earth #OneLastTime. There are some bits from Martin, and fewer, shorter bits from Benedict as well.

Edited by rereader2

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Did he even have five minutes?  I felt like they cut him off.  Or they were running long as they often do.  I also have a feeling that neither of them have watched Sherlock, or else MF (or his peeps) said Hobbit & SNL questions only.

 

This is going to be the first SNL I watch start to finish in years.  I always want to watch this show, even in the days when I was the targeted demographic.  The bass-o-matic, however, was a show-stopper for me, and I have never trusted them since.  I'll only watch recommended clips.

 

I do like how Freeman spoke of the Fact-That-Shall-Never-Be-Spoken-Of: they already have recorded four segments (although that could be something else as it's my understanding that script/sketch writing doesn't start until Tuesday).  

 

Mostly I had the feeling that HodaKGB vs Martin Freeman is a great example of how we are divided by a common language.

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