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Rake Magazine Interview: A True Leading Man – Feb 15, 2018

Easy Company

In an exclusive interview with The Rake, Damian Lewis tells Tom Chamberlin why we all, in spite of ourselves, love an anti-hero.

by Tom Chamberlin | The Rake Magazine | February, 2018

Source: The Rake Magazine – Photo by: Kalle Gustafsson

Lewis – from Life to Homeland, Wolf Hall to Billions – has become the finest purveyor of modern drama’s moral ambiguities. In fact, writes Tom Chamberlin, if you can think of an actor who has influenced our golden age of television more than him, speak up…

Among the more ambiguous archetypes of the celluloid age, that of ‘leading man’ is perhaps the least defined. Far from the specific criteria of commedia dell’arte and melodrama, in which the characters are demarcated (bad guy = black hat and moustachioed, etc.), the leading man is purely subjective. Arguably he is the origin of celebrity, pulling screen presence into the limelight of fame. But the list of leading men over the years has shown that no colour, size, hair, manner or cultural identity has ever had dominion over the sobriquet. That is until Damian Lewis entered the fray. For Lewis is a man who, above anything else, is an exemplar of leadership and integrity at a time when the acting world could use a dose of it.

Damian Lewis takes charge of rooms when he enters them. Photoshoots with celebrities are often led by either the photographer, who squeezes every image he or she can from the available time; the stylist, whose job is to make sure a well-curated variety of clothes appears in the magazine; or the publicist, who tends to be the powerbroker. The ‘talent’ can often struggle through the day (except, of course, former Rake cover subjects), regarding the experience as a necessary nuisance. Not so with Mr. Lewis.

Continue reading Rake Magazine Interview: A True Leading Man – Feb 15, 2018

Categories Homeland Print Media

A Forensic Analysis of Homeland – Feb 8, 2018

Homeland: Is the CIA Drama Actually Any Good? (A Forensic Investigation)

by Gavin Haynes | The Guardian | February 8, 2018

Source: Showtime – Photo: Everett/Rex Features

We armed our writer with some DVDs and a few cups of coffee and he came back with a definitive answer to one of TV’s biggest unanswered questions. Homeland is famous for two things: Claire Danes’ capacity to act by wobbling her face, and being maddeningly uneven. Terrorists come and go: who could tell a Bibi Hamed from a Saad Massoud in the long game? But inconsistency remains. So as the show resumes later this month, when you look at it across six seasons, is Homeland actually any good? The question has never quite been resolved. Until now. Six seasons, one metric. Goodness.

Season One

UPSIDE

What’s striking now about Homeland’s debut is how slow it is. Rather than what it became – a frantic hail of bullets falling amid a fog of sarin gas – this is a psychological turn about the alienation of a returning PoW.

DOWNSIDE

A climax that’s a touch random. Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis) attempts to turn the vice president into strawberry jam with his suicide vest, before mammalian evolutionary programming saves the day, via a last-minute phone call from his teenage daughter – as if The Godfather climaxed with the Monty Python foot coming down on Michael Corleone.

Verdict: 57% good

Continue reading A Forensic Analysis of Homeland – Feb 8, 2018

Categories Awards Homeland Media News Poll Print Media

Vote for Damian Lewis – Who’s the Best Drama Actor Emmy Winner This Decade? – Oct 4, 2017

Who’s the Best Drama Actor Emmy Winner This Decade? [Poll]

By Kevin Jacobsen – Gold Derby – October 4, 2017

The Best Drama Actor category at the Emmys has gone to many deserving men since 2010. After a decade of multiple victories for actors like James Gandolfini (“The Sopranos”), James Spader (“The Practice”/”Boston Legal”) and Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad”), the 2010s have thus far featured refreshing turnover, with only one repeat win in eight years. The decade began with Cranston accepting his third consecutive trophy for playing Walter White in “Breaking Bad.” That streak was broken when Kyle Chandler picked up his Emmy for playing Coach Eric Taylor in the final season of “Friday Night Lights.”

Damian Lewis in Homeland – Source: Showtime

“Homeland” fever struck in 2012 as Damian Lewis won his Emmy for playing corrupt soldier Nicholas Brody on the Showtime drama. 2013 was a shocking year with buzz split between Lewis and splashy newcomer Kevin Spacey for the first season of “House of Cards.” The award went to neither — instead, Jeff Daniels surprised for his role as Will McAvoy in “The Newsroom.” 2014 was another competitive year, with Cranston taking on the men of “True Detective,” but Cranston pulled off one last victory for his iconic performance. After seven years of being the bridesmaid, Jon Hamm finally won in 2015 for his equally iconic role as Don Draper in “Mad Men.” In 2016, Rami Malek won for playing troubled hacker Elliot Anderson in “Mr. Robot.” Sterling K. Brown then prevailed this year for his emotional performance as Randall Pearson in “This Is Us.”

Continue reading Vote for Damian Lewis – Who’s the Best Drama Actor Emmy Winner This Decade? – Oct 4, 2017

Categories Band of Brothers Billions Homeland Media Personal and Family Life Print Media Theatre

Blue Blood, Blue Collar: Damian Lewis’ Transformations, The New Yorker, January 18, 2016

Original article at the New Yorker

Blue Blood, Blue Collar

Damian Lewis’s transformations.

The actor probes his characters, but his method isn’t Method. “I’m Damian Lewis, not Daniel Day-Lewis,” he said. Photograph by Pari Dukovic for The New Yorker

At a corner table in the dining room of Marea, a restaurant on Central Park South, the conversation was smooth but disputatious. Three men in suits were drinking red wine and eating pasta that cost thirty-four dollars a serving. One of them was a hedge-fund manager, a famous short seller. Another was the financial journalist Andrew Ross Sorkin. The third man, in from London, was the actor Damian Lewis.

Continue reading Blue Blood, Blue Collar: Damian Lewis’ Transformations, The New Yorker, January 18, 2016

Categories Homeland Print Media

Damian Was Third Choice to Play Homeland’s Nick Brody – Jan 12, 2016

Damian Lewis had to fend off Ryan Philippe and Patrick Wilson to play Homeland’s Nicholas Brody

by Sarah Doran – RadioTimes – January 12, 2016

Source: Showtime

Showrunner Alex Gansa reveals the British actor wasn’t top of the list of Showtime’s potential leading men for the espionage thriller.

He may now be one of TV and film’s most famous redheads but did you know Damian Lewis very nearly missed out on his role as Homeland’s Nicholas Brody?

 When casting for the US show began, Lewis wasn’t Showtime’s (the network Homeland debuted on) first choice for the role. In fact, he wasn’t even the second, despite showrunner Alex Gansa’s determination to see him step into Brody’s shoes.

“When we first brought him up, everyone was very negative about the suggestion,” Gansa told The New Yorker. Their hesitation had a lot to do with the failure of Life, a cancelled NBC police procedural drama in which the British actor had played the lead character.

“That carries a pretty big stigma,” Gansa said. “The network really wanted Ryan Phillippe; Patrick Wilson passed. I kept talking about Damian until I got a call from the head of the studio saying, ‘Look, Alex, please do not bring up Damian’s name again.’ Hanging up the phone in my office – I think we were two weeks from the start of principal photography – I was like, Are we going to cast Ryan Phillippe in this role?”

That’s right. A non-Lewis Brody very nearly happened. We know, you guys. We know.

Continue reading Damian Was Third Choice to Play Homeland’s Nick Brody – Jan 12, 2016