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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.

Sorkin had made the introduction. The hedge-fund manager and Lewis were doing most of the talking. “Does your business have a societal benefit?” Lewis asked. He wanted to know what made a hedge-fund manager more than “a paper shuffler.”

The hedge-fund manager said that he and his peers basically function as market-based regulators—that they have a financial incentive to expose wrongdoing. Sorkin had set up other audiences for Lewis with financial machers. One of them urged Lewis to consider an underperforming company with entrenched management or a sclerotic board: an activist investor, even if he came in and cut things and fired people—well, that’s capitalism.

Read the article at the New Yorker