Damian Lewis: My Family Values
The Homeland actor talks about going to boarding school aged eight, why his family notion of duty is not always helpful and how his mother told him not to marry an actor.
by Joanna Moorhead – The Guardian – April 14, 2017
I grew up in London, one of four children. We were a very loud family, not a lot of listening, plenty of talking. My mum was a hearth mother, she loved to gather us all around her – Sunday lunches were a big thing. She was very good at thinking on her feet – people used to say she should go into politics.
My dad has always been very theatrical. He never worked in the theatre – he’s always worked in insurance – but in another life and another time, he could have done that. His love of the theatre meant I was always going to shows and plays as I was growing up; and then I started acting at school.
I went to boarding school from the age of eight – first to prep school, then to Eton. One thing that kind of education teaches you is community living: there’s little retreat. That’s why people come out of it and talk about lifelong friendships forged in the furnace. The cut and thrust of a successful school can be very bonding. I was always encouraged to be on teams at sport; I got a lot from that. Would I send my son to Eton? I might.
My parents came to see me in a play at Eton when I was 16. And then, when I said I wanted to try for drama school, they knew there was enough passion there for them to be brave and back me. Both of them said: “Go for it.” I remember my mother saying: “I’d rather you went to drama school to do something you love than go to university and get a second-rate degree in something you haven’t loved doing.”
Read the rest of the article at The Guardian