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Damian Lewis: the man who would be king, The Telegraph, January 18, 2015

Damian Lewis: the man who would be king

It’s been a toff life, all right, so who better to play Henry VIII in the keenly awaited ‘Wolf Hall’

Damian Lewis arrives at the Sun Military Awards in Greenwich

Damian Lewis arrives at the Sun Military Awards in Greenwich  Photo: Rex Features

By William Langley
18 Jan 2015

Where would British acting be without all those cruelly maligned posh boys to brighten it up? Benedict Cumberbatch is in absolutely everything, Eddie Redmayne, with a Golden Globe fresh under his arm, is heavily tipped for an Oscar (assuming Benedict doesn’t bag it), and this week sees Damian Lewis in the most anticipated TV drama for years.

The 43-year-old Etonian, uncharitably described a while back as “the upmarket ginger actor”, plays Henry VIII in Wolf Hall, the BBC’s £7 million adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s two best-selling novels about the machinations of the Tudor court. Lewis’s portrayal of the king is a striking contrast to the blubbery, mutton bone- tossing caricature of Henry, just as Mantel’s central character, Thomas Cromwell, is eloquently reclaimed from the image of the low-born, duty-burdened bovver boy.

Slender he may be, but Lewis recognises his broader qualifications for the role. “I think there’s no question,” he told the Radio Times last week, “that it helps having had the kind of schooling that I’ve had, to play a king. Just the way, the sort of court structures, the hierarchies, the way they’re set up. It’s something I feel I implicitly understand.”

Read the rest of the article at the Telegraph