But then I came across this Tumblr post and I felt an inkling of doubt. "Wait, people call Martin Freeman chubby?" I pondered. My reaction: You know that part of Love Actually where someone in the Prime Minister's Cabinet has just called his secretary chubby and Hugh Grant's character - the Prime Minister - says, "Ooh, would we call her chubby?" THAT is my reaction. Sorry, can't seem to find a clip or a gif of it, so my lame description will have to do. But here's Hugh Grant dancing instead:
Okay, back to our regularly scheduled Martin Freeman.
And then I found this, the mother-lode. The super-potent blog of Martin Freeman hate. I didn't really know how to react. I was stuck at this for a while:
But I just can't quite get over my initial shock. Because I mean, why would you say these things about anyone? Famous, infamous, average Joe - doesn't matter. I can't think of any situation where saying these things would be okay. And while most of it is subjective (Freeman's performance as Watson, his appearance) other parts are really... strange. Like the repetitive insistence that Benedict Cumberbatch hates Martin Freeman (unless you're Cumberbatch or Freeman, I'm pretty certain it'd be impossible to know this) and that Freeman is a racist. Okay, so can't confirm the friends thing. But I CAN look up the stuff about the racism.
I found this Tumblr post on it and, from there, tracked down this article where the posted comment came from. Okay, okay, I can see why people think his comments on multiculturalism might come across as racist. But I'm not convinced that's exactly the case.
This article is from the Daily Mail. Yeah, this Daily Mail. I don't pretend to be an expert on journalism (actually, that's a lie; I totally do - I've been writing journalistically since I was ten and have been a pompous know-it-all about it ever since; blame my father) but this looks like one of the least legit news websites I've ever come across. And upon Googling "The Daily Mail" I found this article: Daily Mail has a pernicious, lying agenda, says Jon Snow: Murdoch titles are not the only wrong-doers, veteran broadcaster tells Leveson Inquiry. Ah. Now we're getting somewhere. So Murdoch owns the Daily Mail. Why am I am not surprised?
|A screen shot of The Daily Mail's home page as of 3:40 pm CT today. I like that Kim Kardashian is a leading headline.|
So, I can't say I, a would-be journalist, hold The Daily Mail to a very positive esteem. If the best you've got to call Martin Freeman racist is this interview, then I'm finding your allegation rather lacking. (Besides, the article is rather hard to read. It just seems rather poorly organized and I'm confused by the quotations marks - when is the author quoting Freeman or quoting Freeman quoting someone else? It's a bit bewildering. And, can I ask why under one of the photos, the reporter finds it necessary to say: Freeman rarely uses computers and doesn't drive a car. Really? That's important? Also, the dude makes a movie with Gwyneth Paltrow and it's more important that he gets to snog her and that he can't drive than what sort of acting performance he's giving? Methinks this articles priorities might be a tad bit off. )
What I'm implying from all of this is that The Daily Mail's interviewing accuracy and reliability seem a bit...dubious. I am unlikely to base an actor's entire reputation on one interview they do. Quotations could be taken out of context. Explanations could have been dumbed down or cut out all together. There is something incoherent about the article and that's often due to how the interview was pieced together as a printed text. I don't know Martin Freeman so I can't speak for him; maybe he really said what was printed exactly as he said it. And even then, his comments don't read as really racist to me. He has a point about multiculturalism polarizing people; if we become too focused on differences more than similarities, it can cause more harm than good; but, as he says, differences should be recognized and colorblindness is no good. At least that's how I read it - well, after read it over a few times. Seriously, I think it's the article; it took me several read-throughs just to figure out what was being said.
So, long story short - don't know, can't know, so I'm going to focus on what I do know (and get out of some of the really heavy shit for a few minutes): Martin Freeman is damned good actor.
Okay, okay, so I've seen a pathetically small amount of his work. But from what I HAVE seen, I like it. A lot. And considering I cried tears of joy when I saw the trailer for The Hobbit in the theater this weekend, I'm pretty sure that movies going to bloody brilliant (yes, I cried. I'd already seen the trailer but I wasn't expecting to see it before Brave and BAM there it was. And I had an embarrassing fangirly moment of absolute giddy joy. I'm sorry; I have serious hobbit feels.)
He, like Cumberbatch and Hiddleston, appreciates the fans. And his girlfriend, Amanda Abbington, is also very appreciative (as highlighted in the link) and also pretty BAMF (seriously, read this interview with the Baker Street Babes. I don't care what the Martin Freeman hater has to say about her; she seems to legitimately care about the fans, which is pretty fantastic. I mean, we're not always so easy to love, sending weird fan letters and creating pornographic fan art (which they are fully aware of - and appreciate), and doing exceedingly strange things in the name of art and fandom. So their interaction with the fan community is really inspiring and considerate.
And, because I'm getting rather silly here, I really love this picture:
So, there you go; some Martin Freeman appreciation after all this time (since this blog is named from him, after all). It's interesting me (and maybe this is my blogging bias) but I have a harder time coming across posts (especially text posts) linking to interviews and quotes from him. He likes his privacy so maybe that's why. But back to the opening of this post, I see a lot about Hiddleston and Cumberbatch's looks and a lot of stuff about Freeman looking like a hedgehog or being made out of kittens and rage. Once in a while I'll stumble across something that talks about him being attractive or cute... but the rhetoric feels different. Why is Martin Freeman cute and Benedict Cumberbatch sexy? Why am just asking this now, when I was going to try to wrap this post up?! Well, I'll consider that for next time...
And now that we're at the end, I've decided to refrain from ending with a picture of hedgehogs that look like Martin Freeman because... well, Martin Freeman is not a hedgehog. But here's something far more ridiculous: rabbits that look like me.