Recently released transcripts of a conversation between British actor Richard Armitage, who guest starred as serial killer Francis Dolarhyde on season 3 of NBC’s Hannibal, and the show’s producer, Bryan Fuller, have once again embroiled the Armitage fandom in controversy. The conversation, while salty at times, with references to “fluffers” and where the sun does or doesn’t shine, became exponentially more controversial when Bryan Fuller revealed his intent to clone the popular actor from a pubic hair retrieved from modesty patches worn by Armitage on-set.
Rather than subduing the pandemonium that was all-but-guaranteed to arise from such a statement, Armitage likened the plan to experimentation in Jurassic Park, and even offered to submit an additional, larger sample of hairs for the cloning experiment by donating bag of hairs he himself had collected during epilation of his legs in preparation for the application of Dolarhyde’s prominent dragon tattoo.
Amongst the fandom, the proposed plan to create clones of Richard Armitage garnered many enthusiastic proponents, and just as many indignant detractors. “Oooh, the more, the merrier, I say!” gushed one fan, gazing at a large collage of Armitage images on her computer screen. “I would request that at least one clone be designated as a full-time audiobook narrator!” added another. “The neat thing is, with several clones at his disposal, Richard can deploy clones to work on all sorts of roles! Roles to meet every individual fandom member’s fantasies. That Clairmont vampire role, maybe James Bond, definitely some brooding period drama heroes… this would basically allow Richard to get so much more done in his career! It would even free him up to work on all those artsy-fartsy independent films he so enjoys but never seems to get released!”
Despite Armitage’s own willingness to clone himself from his leg hairs, many argue that clones of pubic hair origin, as proposed by Fuller, having sprung from an inarguably erogenous zone, would likely make the best lovers. Speculation about the clones’ origins seems to be a popular topic among the fandom, with many fans advocating beard-origin clones, and others campaigning for clones derived from clean-shaven cheeks. Other ladies have asserted that the clones should be acquired from Richard Armitage’s alluring nape curls, and a few quirkier ladies rather enjoy imagining clones sprung from his unruly cowlick. “You know the gold standard has to be when they roll out the rarefied Left Nipple Chest Hair edition!”
One fandom member lamented what she called “an appalling lack of understanding of the basic biological principles of cloning” by Bryan Fuller, Armitage, and the fandom. “It hardly matters which hair or indeed which type of cell is used to isolate the Armitage genome… a clone is a clone is a clone, my friends. There will be nothing more or less enticing in a clone derived from Richard’s nape curls than a clone derived from Richard’s nose hairs! Seriously, what’s far more interesting is the inherent promise of returning to natural nose phenotype! I’m all for the clones if it means we get Richard’s old nose back!”
Predictably, many of those who oppose Fuller’s decision to clone Richard Armitage cited various religious or mystical beliefs. “The time of one’s birth determines the configuration of planets in the birth chart, which in turn affects one’s destiny. If the natural timing of conception and birth is somehow changed or manipulated, as in the case of cloning, the birth chart and therefore the clone’s personality and destiny, must be altered accordingly! It’s imperative that Fuller’s team of geneticists have a thorough astrological consultation before they proceed!” cried one admirer, paging through a large volume of charts and planets.
“Richard is one-of-a-kind and created by God… in fact I daresay he’s one of God’s finest creations! There will never be another Richard Armitage, and it’s nothing less than blasphemy to try to re-create him!” was the fervent cry of another Armitage admirer. Others who agreed that Fuller’s plan to clone the 6’3″ actor was morally wrong reluctantly wondered if the Hannibal producer’s depravity had “rubbed off” on Armitage. “I had long ago agonized that involving himself in an evil show like Hannibal, a show that glorifies murder and aestheticizes cannibalism, would have a damning spiritual influence on Richard. Now this conversation with the show’s producer provides indisputable evidence. Cloning himself! The very concept illustrates the depths to which Richard has fallen!” said another long-time fan, wiping a tear from her eye as she spoke.
Still other fandom members were leery about the outcome of Fuller’s Armitage Clone project, stating that simply creating genetic clones of the beloved actor may not have the desired effect of “the more, the merrier” that so many of his fans are celebrating. “If you’re not already watching Orphan Black, you should be! Yes, Richard Armitage clones would share identical facial features and some general character traits, but who’s to say they’d even wind up in the entertainment industry? It’s impossible to predict how they’ll act or what they’ll do! I don’t see how Bryan Fuller can be so sure that they’d turn out to be lovely gents with a heart for people and a social conscience anything like what we all know and love about Richard! And what if they grow up with anything other than a seductive British accent?”
Other fans were eager to point out more mundane concerns about the proposed Armitage clones. “Doesn’t anyone realize that clones don’t just spring up into fully formed, delicious men with drool-worthy thighs and deep chocolatey voices? As far as I know, there’s not an accelerated growth rate associated with clones, so these clones would have to be born and go through all the normal stages of development. Who really wants to do diaper duty on an Armitage Clone baby? Who wants to put up with the terrible twos? And for heaven’s sake, who really wants to revisit the gawky teen years while waiting for the mature and sexy man that we know his DNA is capable of? Come on, ladies! We all know that Richard Armitage seems to just get better with age… most of us’ll be long gone by the time those clones hit their super-sonic-sexy-stage, won’t we?”
Richard Armitage, his agent, and Bryan Fuller were all unavailable to confirm or deny plans to go forward with Fuller’s cloning agenda. In light of the controversial nature of the project, the cloning of Richard Armitage could be postponed indefinitely, sources believe. Still others postulate the entire conversation may have been nothing more than a publicity stunt designed to give the fans something to talk about as everyone waits for news of a new project, or the release of any number of completed projects, to occur.
One fandom member scratched her head, quietly convinced that news of the cloning project was neither a concrete plan nor a publicity stunt. “Um… I just thought Richard and Bryan Fuller were… like… #onlyjoking.”