Are Richard Armitage’s tattoos real in Netflix series Stay Close?

Darcy Rafter January 4, 2022
Are Richard Armitage’s tattoos real in Netflix series Stay Close?
Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for AT&T

The latest adaptation from one of Harlan Coben’s novels has just landed on Netflix. Stay Close premiered on Friday, 31 December and the question on everyone’s mind is, “are Richard Armitage’s tattoos real”?

Stay Close happens to be the fifth adaptation to hit Netflix from one of Coben’s books, previously fans have watched Safe, The Stranger, The Woods and The Innocent.

Throughout the eight-episode series Stay Close, Richard Armitage can be seen sporting tattoos and they suit him so much fans are convinced they’re real. The reality for his character is his life is about to get turned upside down following the disappearance of his girlfriend.

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Are Richard Armitage’s tattoos real?

No, Richard Armitage’s tattoos are not real. They are part of his character in Stay Close, Ray Levine.

In Stay Close, Richard’s character is covered in tattoos and, although he may have joked the tattoos are real, the actor hasn’t gone through hours of pain to get inked up for the role. Instead, Armitage admitted to Virgin Radio they are fake. He said: “I was really tempted! I left them (false tattoos) on one night and I got home, and I was like, ‘Could I actually do this?’ and then by the morning, I’m like, ‘Nah, they look a bit grubby!’ 

Richard also revealed there was a design process behind creating Ray’s tattoos in Stay Close. In the same interview, Richard explained: “Designing those tattoos was brilliant because we looked at different parts of the location, maps, things in his life he was trying to piece together, and we created this visual design for his arms, which I thought was great.” 

Who does Richard Armitage play in Stay Close?

Richard Armitage is part of the main cast and plays the character Ray Levine. Ray used to work as a documentary photographer. However, he started working as a paparazzi photographer when his career started to go downhill.

Everything well and truly comes crashing down when he receives the unexpected news his girlfriend has gone missing. He gives up everything to go looking for her.

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Harlan Coben’s Netflix adaptations explored

Richard Armitage has appeared in other Netflix adaptations of Coben’s novels. He appeared in The Stranger at the end of January 2020. In The Stranger, Armitage played lead character Adam Price who is told his wife Corrine is faking her pregnancy.

The Stranger and Stay Close are unrelated, as is his character and storyline. Armitage admitted he would have loved to have seen a season two of The Stranger but the possibilities of Stay Close excited him. In an interview with Radio Times, Armitage explained: “I would love to have gone back to do season two, but it was a closed story. So when the opportunity came to do another one with the same team, same writer – different cast, obviously – it was a no brainer. I said ‘yes’ immediately and then started reading the book and just thought, ‘here we go again’. It’s a complete page-turner.”

In 2018, Netflix committed to a deal with prolific author Harlan Coben to turn 14 of his novels into series or films. Coben fans certainly have plenty to look forward to!

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Darcy is an experienced journalist passionate about celebrity culture and entertainment. After gaining a degree in Media and Communications at Goldsmiths University she has also become a social media specialist, always keeping informed on the latest trends. With almost five years of experience in media, her expertise is analysing platforms such as Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. When she's not tracking the latest trending content, she’s watching films and eating lots of chocolate.