Damian Lewis
Actor, Dad, Redhead, and Ping Pong Champion
Categories Fashion and Style Friends & Crocodiles Pillars of the Community Print Media

Guardian Interview: It’s a Wrap

From Fendi to Gucci and Armani Inbetween

by Hadley Freeman | The Guardian | March 3, 2006

Actor Damian Lewis has shone on screen – but can he take centre stage in this season’s patterned shirts? Hadley Freeman asks him.

‘You’re making me trendy, aren’t you?” the actor Damian Lewis accuses us, with the cheeky smile of a man fond of being the centre of attention. “My God, the Guardian is going to make me trendy!” This extraordinary sentence is prompted by an equally extraordinary garment: a short-sleeved, button-down shirt by Fendi, seared down the front with chunky red and blue stripes and a most alarming chain print. It is, to my eyes, the spit of the sort of top my 90-year-old grandfather used to wear on the golf course in Miami. Lewis looks up for reassurance. I, with my usual photogenic tact, curl my left upper lip, scrunch my nose and shake my head. But Clare, the stylist, is adamant it will work – “you know, with a jacket” – and Lewis regards her suspiciously.

Lewis, 34, is one of Britain’s hardest working and highest profile actors. He is fitting in this shoot between international promotional tours for Stephen Poliakoff’s television drama Friends And Crocodiles, acting in the Ibsen play Pillars of the Community at the National Theatre, and preparations for producing his first feature film.

Since being nominated for a Golden Globe for his role in Band Of Brothers, he has played an impressively diverse range of characters, including Soames in The Forsyte Saga, Jeffrey Archer in Jeffrey Archer: The Truth, and Benedick in the BBC’s modern adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing. But he is probably most recognisable for the fiery patch of splendid ginger hair, an attribute that increasingly dictates his wardrobe as he gets older: “I used not to care at all and wear pinks and greens, and that’s so clichéd – red hair, green clothes. Now I tend to stick with dark colours,” he says, plucking at his dark blue Gucci (“but understated!”) shirt.

Continue reading Guardian Interview: It’s a Wrap

Categories Charity Events Gallery Helen Music Personal and Family Life Philanthropy Rock Star Video

Damian Lewis as Elvis Presley – July 19, 2005

Berkeley Square Ball for The Prince’s Trust

by Gingersnap | damian-lewis.com | July 19, 2005

Damian, an Ambassador for the Prince’s Trust organization, performed his famous Elvis Presley impersonation on stage during The Berkeley Square Ball at Berkeley Square on July 19, 2005 in London, England. The fundraising party in aid of The Prince’s Trust has not taken place in several years, but this year was hosted by Vince Power as 700 guests tuck into a dinner prepared by chef Jamie Oliver.

More pictures here:

Continue reading Damian Lewis as Elvis Presley – July 19, 2005

Categories Dreamcatcher Media Print Media The Forsyte Saga

PBS Masterpiece Interview with Damian Lewis, May 2003

From a Repressed Tortured Soul to a Possessed College Professor

by Staff | PBS Masterpiece | May, 2003

Whether they realized it or not, viewers of the popular Steven Spielberg/Tom Hanks miniseries Band of Brothers were watching an English actor in the starring role of Major Richard Winters, the taciturn American hero of an airborne unit during World War II. The real Major Winters is salt of the earth from Pennsylvania. The actor Damian Lewis is from London’s Abbey Road and attended Eton. Otherwise, you’d never know the difference.

While on hiatus between the production of series one and two of The Forsyte Saga, Lewis played Jonesy, a possessed college professor in the forthcoming film of Stephen King’s Dreamcatcher.

Lewis recently talked by phone from London about the Forsyte remake, Soames’s inner life, and what it’s like to play an alien.

Continue reading PBS Masterpiece Interview with Damian Lewis, May 2003

Categories Print Media The Forsyte Saga

I’m Not as Screwed Up as Soames – April 4, 2002

I’m Not as Screwed Up as Soames

by Daphne Lockyer – The Evening Standard – 4 April 2002

Damian Lewis has been parking his motorbike somewhere in the bowels of London Television Centre. As a result of his wind-blown journey he is trying to instil order into his appearance as he approaches, running long fingers through a mop of messed-up hair that is, rather dramatically, the colour of blood oranges.

What with the whiff of tungsten and motorbike oil and all that Easy Rider stuff, it’s difficult for a moment to imagine him as Soames – the quintessential, lavender-scented, tightly corseted, late 19th century man – in Granada TV’s much-vaunted remake of The Forsyte Saga. He just seems too, well, modern.

“Ah, Soames,” he says, sitting down now, rubbing together chilly, bluetinged hands. “Dependable, upper-middle class, privately educated, solid, fastidious, arrogant, meticulous, emotionally repressed … I had to button myself down considerably when I was playing him.”

For all that, some of the adjectives at least apply to Damian himself. He’s an Old Etonian, after all, and there’s a certain classy self-assurance about him that only a very expensive education tends to buy.

“I can see why they cast me,” he says, “but I’m a lot more ef fusive than Soames – a lot less screwed up. I also don’t express my dangerous side by expecting my wife (if I had one) to flip onto her back and think of England.

“There is something quite pinched and ugly about the character, the kind of thing that meant you needed a couple of drinks at the end of a day playing him to shake the guy off. But I didn’t dislike him – I wouldn’t have been able to play him if I did. If I thought he was just a Machiavellian bastard, I wouldn’t have given him any chance to redeem himself. And as far as I’m concerned, no character, including Soames, should ever truly be beyond redemption.”

Continue reading I’m Not as Screwed Up as Soames – April 4, 2002

Categories Band of Brothers Dreamcatcher Forsyte Saga Hamlet Media Print Media The Forsyte Saga

Damian Lewis Interview: USA Weekend Magazine – March 10 2002

Black Hawk Down, Elvis, Steve McQueen, and Broadway

by Evelyn Poitevent | USA Weekend Magazine |  March 10, 2002

“Band of Brothers” star Damian Lewis, 31, has been touted by everyone from the “New York Times” to “People” magazine as Hollywood’s new golden child. And rightfully so. The British actor — a veteran of London’s Guildhall School (where he studied drama with Ewan McGregor and Joseph Fiennes), the Birmingham Repertory and Royal Shakespeare Company (where he befriended Ralph Fiennes) — has not only proved himself worthy of the stage during the last decade, but has also made his mark on British television (BBC’s “Warriors” and “Hearts and Bones”). “Band of Brothers” brought him to American audiences — and rest assured, that was just the beginning. We caught up with the humorous, fun-loving (yet humble) redhead, who’s currently filming a Stephen King thriller, “Dreamcatcher,” in Canada. Continue reading Damian Lewis Interview: USA Weekend Magazine – March 10 2002

Categories Interviews Media Print Media Warriors

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…

Continue reading Fighting Talk, New Woman – October, 1999

Categories Hamlet Media Print Media Theatre

Hamlet: Swordplay the Serious Way, New York Times, July 2, 1995

Hamlet: Swordplay the Serious Way

By Matt Wolf, theater critic and journalist in London, New York Times,  July 2, 1995

LONDON— “A HIT, A VERY PALPABLE HIT!” cries the courtier Osric during the climactic duel of “Hamlet.” And in the Broadway production now at the Belasco Theater, those hits are palpable indeed.

Productions of “Hamlet” are often distinguished by verse speaking or physical design. Jonathan Kent’s current staging, imported from the Almeida Theater Company in London, offers an additional virtue in the face-off between Hamlet (played by Ralph Fiennes) and Laertes (Damian Lewis). Beginning on a white rectangular fencing mat, the fight soon spills beyond it, weaving among the chairs of Claudius’s dismayed court as the two combatants become increasingly fevered.

Continue reading Hamlet: Swordplay the Serious Way, New York Times, July 2, 1995

Categories Media Print Media

Great British Hopes: Damian Lewis – Feb 11, 1995

Great British Hopes: Damian Lewis

by Kate Bassett – The Times – 11 February 1995

Damian Lewis

Profession: Actor

Age: 23

Claim to fame: The New York Times hailed him as “The new Ralph Fiennes? The next Hugh Grant?”

Distinctive features: Six foot three. Flaming red hair. “I wasn’t aware of my hair until critics started talking about it as part of the performance,” says Lewis good-humouredly. “Maybe there’s a whole play going on on top of my head.”

Continue reading Great British Hopes: Damian Lewis – Feb 11, 1995

Categories Hamlet Media Print Media Theatre

Who Will Be The New Ralph Fiennes, The Next Hugh Grant? – Jan 1, 1995

Who Will Be The New Ralph Fiennes, The Next Hugh Grant?

By Matt Wolf – New York Times – January 1, 1995

LONDON— NOT LONG AGO, DANIEL Day Lewis and Kenneth Branagh were the British names on everyone’s lips when it came to actors; more recently, Hugh Grant and Ralph Fiennes have dominated Hollywood’s imagination. Which raises the inevitable question: Who among current British actors are poised to become the next Hugh Grant and the next Ralph Fiennes?
Categories Hamlet Media Print Media Theatre

Hamlet in the Park – June 17, 1994

Hamlet in the Park – Theatre

by Alastair Macaulay – Financial Times – June 17, 1994

This most excellent canopy the air, look you . . . It makes a difference to when you can see the firmament Hamlet is talking about, and here is one of the gains of watching Hamlet in the Open Air Theatre in Regent’s Park. With the sky above he counts himself king of infinite space; amid the theatre he might be bounded in a nutshell. Continue reading Hamlet in the Park – June 17, 1994

Categories Hamlet Media Print Media Review Theatre

Prince Who’s Fit For a King: Paul Taylor Reviews Hamlet at the Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park – June 15, 1994

Prince who’s fit for a king: Paul Taylor reviews Hamlet at the Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park

by Paul Taylor – The Independent – 

There are some actors who approach the role of Hamlet via a rigorous apprenticeship in parts that have more than a smack of the Prince of Denmark: Konstantin in The Seagull, say, or Oswald in Ghosts. One such is Simon Russell Beale who is to play Hamlet, at long last, for Sam Mendes. At the opposite extreme are those actors who find themselves pitched in at the deep end early in their careers and prove that they can swim with precocious bravura.

At the Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park, there is now an egregious example of this latter type in Damian Lewis, who tackles the role in Tim Piggott-Smith’s otherwise patchy production. Lewis has all the stage presence and captivating instincts of a Michael Sheen. Long-limbed, in a black bum-freezer jacket, he reminds you a little of a Dickensian hero.

Continue reading Prince Who’s Fit For a King: Paul Taylor Reviews Hamlet at the Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park – June 15, 1994