Disclaimer: As some of you may know, the author is something of a Joe stalker, so I cannot promise that the below will be unbiased, critical, or even necessarily in recognisable English.
OK, important news- there are like 300 people on instagram with the name Joe Armstrong, and NOT ONE OF THEMis Joe. Now that that’s out of the way.
Oh hey, it’s another acting dynasty! Joe’s dad is the lovely Alun Armstrong, veteran of New Tricks (and Les Mis, Sweeny Todd, Braveheart, Bleak House, and about 7000 other things) and, I am told, beloved of women of a certain age. I am currently 28 and I adore him, so I assume that I am included amongst that number
Nose and Nose Junior
Prior to Robin Hood, Joe had cut his teeth in a number of TV productions, including roles in Between the Sheets (alongside future RH alumni Richard Armitage), Blackpool, and the British TV classics of Midsomer Murders, Foyles War, the Bill, and similar. He was also a member of the National Youth Theatre and as well as appearing in NYT productions in 1998 and 2003, he continued to appear on and off stage alongside his TV work.
Sir, your continued refusal to sing and dance is concerning everyone
2006 gave Joe a series-regular part as our very own Allan A Dale (or Allan A. Dale if you believe his agents. What does the middle A stand for, guys? Is he Allan Awesome Dale? Allan ). It’s possible that I am biased, but Allan seems to be something of a fan favourite- he’s a cheeky chappy and he has the brains of a shoe, and on top of all of that he gets a healthy topping of Angst, Betrayal, Redemption, and Comedy Sidekicking pretty much every other episode. But don’t take my word for it- there’s a whole Allan tag out there, just waiting for you to embrace it.
There’s no such thing as overusing a gif
As an added extra, while filming Robin Hood Joe also appeared in the 2007 TV film Service, which is available online, and which I highly recommend you watch because it is the most bizarre and wonderful thing I have ever seen.
You know those robot bees? You know the Black Mirror episode about the robot bees? Then you’ve seen Joe recently! Don’t know what I’m talking about? Get on Netflix pronto! and cry
No-one tell him that they’re actually now making robot bees.
Joe’s had a pretty decent run since Robin Hood, appearing in (to name a few), the award-winning Happy Valley (as a drug dealing farmer), The Village (as Bairstow, he of the nice hat and terrible morals), Land Girls, Public Enemies, and, of course, as Hotspur in the Hollow Crown’s production of Henry IV Part I, along with Alun Armstrong (playing his father), Michelle Dockery, Harry Lloyd, and Mr Hiddleston, who some of you seem to have heard of.
Above: the whole reason I’m even on tumblr
Fun fact! Did you know that Harry Lloyd plays Hotspur’s brother in law in THC, and also appeared as Hotspur’s grandson in Wolf Hall? Hotspur would not approve
Joe also appeared in Closer to the Moon, a fantastic Romanian-American film, alongside Mark Strong and Harry Lloyd- Will and Allan are keeping it strong even now.
It’s a beautiful day to rob a bank.
He’s been on stage pretty much solidly from 2009 – 2015, recently appearing with Louise Brealey (she of Sherlock fame) in Constellations and Husbands & Sons, and with Maxine Peake in Miss Julie, and he was briefly rumoured to be dating Sienna Miller after appearing with her in Flare Path. He’s been twice nominated for his stage acting- once for Orphans, and once for the Print Room.
Joe was also on screens last Christmas in To Walk Invisible, sporting some truly terrifying mutton chops, and is next appearing as ‘Gildas’ in Sky’s upcoming series Britannia, about Celts and Romans. It has David Morrisey as a Roman, so I’m super excited, although as yet there is no release date (unless someone wants to prove me wrong and make my day).
Fun fact! IMDb lists his trademark as ’striking blue-green eyes’, which beats my contribution of ‘is good at accents and I like it’
For my own part, I first started watching Robin Hood because I wanted to ‘see what Hotspur from the Hollow Crown had done,’ and I’ve never looked back. If you only know him as Allan, or as that guy in the tutu from Hustle, give him a go. His back catalog is weighty and his face is amazing.