Q&A Damian Lewis, king of PBS’ ‘Wolf Hall,’ talks of a TV reign
by Yvonne Villarrea
Damian Lewis is the king in PBS‘ “Wolf Hall,” but he’s not the star. After meeting his demise as Brody on Showtime’s “Homeland,” the 44-year-old English actor is getting the royal treatment and suiting up in opulent garb to play famous and often misportrayed Tudor tyrant Henry VIII.
But Lewis’ Henry is merely a supporting player in the six-part “Masterpiece” miniseries. Based on Hilary Mantel’s novels, the series aims its focus on the savvy Tudor advisor and fixer to the king, Thomas Cromwell (played by leading stage actor Mark Rylance). “Wolf Hall” begins its PBS rollout on April 5.
It’s quite a time to be an actor on TV, wouldn’t you say? There’s broadcast, cable, digital…
Oh, yeah. A lot has happened in the last 10 years, heck, just the last three years. I am the first to say that I’ve benefited enormously from it. I came of age as a male lead actor just as the TV landscape dramatically shifted.
I didn’t know “Homeland” was going to be “Homeland.” I just did it because it was a terrific script and they pitched me the story line and I was like, “huh, that’s interesting.” And I knew who was going to be involved with it — an A-list of terrific people. As long as you keep doing that, there’s a chance that it might become a “Homeland.”
Then the drawback is, after doing a show like that, all eyes are on you on what you do next.
Oh, definitely. People are saying, “Oh, Henry VIII, interesting choice to shake the Brody image.” I’m like, “this is not a strategy, this is an accident.” I did three other things before I did “Wolf Hall,” it’s just that this is coming first. There’s this sort of cloud that hangs where people are like: “How long can you keep the heat of ‘Homeland’ going?” People have short memories is the truth, and Hollywood loves the new and shiny.
Read the rest of the article at the LA Times