Swirling in the big black cauldron of celebrity gossip is the quite interesting question of whether Lee Pace and Richard Armitage are an item. Is #RichLee a reality, or a figment of fanagination gone wild? Rumors abound, from second hand knowledge, ?hard? photographic evidence and glimpses of the truth from countless hours spent internet sleuthing and carefully watching every interview Pace and Armitage ever sat on together.
Lee Pace is Empire Magazine?s no. 32 on their sexiest man alive list. This was back in 2013, and his star has risen higher ever since. The other men on that list have girlfriends you can google, but search?Lee Pace Girlfriend? and google gives you Richard Armitage.
Among the recipes of hard evidence is Mr. Pace saying in a ComicCon interview ?[Richard] is an amazing man and I love him?. In a similar vein, Armitage answers the question, ?What comes to mind when you see Lee?? with ?That I?m a very lucky man.? Less obvious, yet more tantalizing for the possibilities it brings are the clothes sharing series. Whether they have worn the exact same coat or bought it at a two for one special, it?s hailed as a sure sign both men are more than just BFFs 4eva.
To add fuel to the flames, Sir Ian McKellen has outed Lee Pace in an interview about his fellow co-stars in The Hobbit franchise.
Just look only how many openly gay actors in the ?Hobbit? there were: two of the dwarves, to Luke Evans, Stephen Fry, Lee Pace. In ?The Lord of the Rings? I was the only one, next to it there was my make-up artist and one from the wardrobe team. That?s progress, right?
Despite this, Pace has never actually declared his sexual orientation in any public medium, although the closet he?s in is made of glass. Even more puzzling are speculations on Armitage?s previous life with long term girlfriend Annabel Capper and his declarations of wanting to start a family with kids in the pre-Hobbit era, which was when he met Lee.
But these are meager pickings beside the fan filled troughs of juicy RichLee rumors. Fuck it, in the big wide world of celebrity gossip where everything is speculation, we might as well go with the vaguely reasonable and the titillating but implausible. If we?re playing at this game already, why not imagine the sauciest scenario befitting a biopic in which the lives of these two men can play out.
Fans have concluded, if Lee Pace and Richard Armitage are dating, than Armitage must either have made up an entire life with Ms. Capper or he must be bisexual. A possibility that baits the imagination and brings on more mysteries than it solves.
What then, of Lee in his glass closet? What does it mean to be out? Do celebrities only come out when they kiss and tell all to their fans? Lee has nothing to hide for. Unlike the other leading men in the Tolkien franchise, he?s too different, too interesting, too quirky, too sublime, to play cookie cutter man-of-the moment leads; the types of roles Armitage and Luke Evans have hushed their queer to be considered for.
After taking on the role of the elegant transgender woman Calpernia Addams in his early twenties, Lee said in an interview that among his thoughts on being chosen for the part was, if his dad would kill him and if he would ever act again. Instead, he was nominated for a Golden Globe and won a Gotham breakthrough award, starting him along a career that has covered a wide and varied repertoire of roles.
Lee has indirectly given many reason for not coming out.
?Who cares about people?s personal lives?? says Pace. ?I mean, honestly. How are you then able to disappear into a role? Trust me, if I had something interesting to say about myself, I would.?
On screen or on stage, he?s not Lee Pace, he?s Thranduil, he?s Joe MacMillian, he?s Calpernia, he?s Ned. He?s immortal, he?s bisexual, he?s a woman, he?s a sweet small town boy in love with a girl he cannot touch. We might as well imagine whatever we like, and maybe that?s what he is. Maybe he doesn?t believe in labels, many queer people don?t. He whispers in the cacophony of wild speculation in an interview with long time friend, Big Bang Theory?s Jim Parsons, that in college, he was seeing a girl.
In the end, the Lee Pace + Richard Armitage story is a heart-warming, titillating, romantic choose your own adventure as played out by fans on Tumblr. ?Lee Pace is boring?, says Lee Pace himself.
?When you play the king of elves and alien warlords, little me is very uninteresting.?
Fandom begs to differ. Out there on the interwebs, the enigma has spawned data centres full of fantasy, longing and outright smut dedicated to Hollywood?s most openly closeted couple. Without even trying, Richard and Lee are characters in a story they didn?t audition for. Yet quietly, they write the chapters with every interview and each change of clothes, and every time that damn tie pin makes a comeback.