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Fighting Talk, New Woman – October, 1999

Love Wars

by Staff | New Woman | October, 1999

Ioan Gruffudd and Damian Lewis play soldiers in a new BBC drama, so we thought we’d check out their basic training in the love wars.

We love a man in uniform, and they don’t come much better-looking than Ioan Gruffudd, 25, and Damian Lewis, 27. They’re officers in “Warriors”, BBC’s new hard-hitting series about Bosnia. But if they were really in the army, would they lead the charge or get beaten up in the showers?

Right, you ‘orrible men, we’re taking you over the NW emotional assault course to see what you’re made of…

On the Starting Line: At the beginning of a relationship do you aim to stay the course, or trip over your laces at the first bend?

Ioan: I stay the course. I have in the past and will again. I’ve got a good track record.

Damian: Honest, open relationships are the only way forward for men in the Nineties, so I stay the course. That said, I trip at every hurdle, stagger to the next, bundle myself over that and maybe have a swift ale on the way.

Over the Wall: What was your earliest hurdle?

Ioan: Leaving Wales and coming to London for the first time. I missed my mum. Flying the nest was a big step and I was lonely.

Damian: Mine was when I was little and on holiday in America. I realised after we’d left that I would never ride my lovely little white horse, Smokey, again. I wept.

Through the Mud Crawl: What’s the dirtiest trick you’ve ever pulled on a woman?

Damian: Faked an orgasm.

Ioan: Why’s that so low? It happens to me all the time.

Damian: Okay, how about giving your new girlfriend the presents the previous one gave you back when you split up?

Ioan: Pretty bad. Mine’s not phoning. Saying ‘I’ll call you’ and never doing it.

Dodging the Tyres: Ever had to tread really carefully through a situation?

Damian: Telling my brother that I’d accidently flushed his hamster down the loo. We had such a bad fight.

Ioan: Telling my mum that’s I’d broken the grandfather clock playing rugby with my brother. She was very upset and cried.

Across the Rope Swing: What’s the most heroic thing you’ve done for a woman?

Ioan: I washed a girlfriend’s car in the middle of the night. I did it when she was asleep so she wouldn’t have to get up early to go to the car wash. And I only had a dishcloth to do it with. That’s love for you.

Damian: I was walking along the beach in Spain with a girlfriend when she twisted her ankle. So I carried her through the sand dunes to the car park. It was a half-hour walk. She was almost too heavy, but that says more about my strength than her weight.

Tackling the Balancing Pole: Ever walked a tightrope between two women?

Damian: Not without a safety net. Only as a calculated risk, never a blind gamble.

Ioan: No. One at a time. I’m not capable of anything more complicated.

Taking the Fall: Ever been wounded by a woman?

Ioan: Yes, of course. It only took half an hour to heal. No, it took a couple of months, actually. And she’s forgiven. I always forgive.

Damian: I’ve had someone throw things at me. She was so good she could have been a pitcher for the New York Yankees. I was only just quick enough to get out of the way.

And the Final Sprint: What situations do you bolt from?

Damian: Usually ones involving arguments in the kitchen. There’s always a fall-out over the fact I like to put sultanas in my sheperd’s pie.

Ioan: Love.

Damian: Yeah; ‘Ioan, last seen looking for love in Kentish Town.’

The Finish Line: OK, they made it through in one piece, but would they stand a chance at real boot camp?

Damian: I would probably be beaten up in the showers for leading the charge in the wrong direction.

Ioan: I would refuse to get out of the shower in the first place. So I’d be pulverised.