Damian Lewis
"actor, dad, redhead and ping pong champion"
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 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?