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The Double Life of Damian Lewis – April 29, 2020

Accidental TV Actor

by Chris Heath | GQ | May 2020 Issue

No actor has conjured the id of the modern American male quite like this highbrow brit who had expected to spend his life in the theater. Instead, Damian Lewis has become a stalwart of premium television, blurring the line between protagonist and antagonist – and emerging as one of the most thrilling actors of his generation.

Damian Lewis sits in the winter sun at a cafe near his North London home, trying to shut out the incessant blare of a nearby car alarm – “It’s annoying, isn’t it?” he exclaims, as though the pent-up politeness of denying this has finally become too much – while he considers how to answer questions about how he came to be the kind of person who has to answer questions like these.

By some combination of happenstance and aptitude, Damian Lewis has become best known for playing memorably imposing American characters on premium-cable TV shows. Most recently he has been the toxic financier Bobby Axelrod on the hedge-fund drama Billions (at press time, still lated to return in May despite the upheaval caused by the coronavirus); nearly a decade ago he was Nicholas Brody, the Marine returning from eight years as an al-Qaida prisoner, on Homeland; a decade before that he portrayed Major Richard Winters, the central character on Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg’s celebrated World War II drama Band of Brothers.

Continue reading The Double Life of Damian Lewis – April 29, 2020

Categories Audio Charity FeedNHS Helen Interviews Personal and Family Life Philanthropy Podcast

Podcast Guests: Damian and Helen Discuss FeedNHS Efforts on The Coronavirus Newscast – April 9, 2020

The Coronavirus Newscast

by Gingersnap | damian-lewis.com | April 9, 2020

Every day, Adam Fleming, Laura Kuenssberg, Fergus Walsh and Chris Mason bring us the latest on the coronavirus pandemic in the UK via the The Coronavirus Newscast. They discuss the latest public health information and how it is affecting our lives. On Thursday, April 9, 2020 Damian and Helen were guests on the podcast to share with listeners about their #FeedNHS campaign and their efforts to feed frontline heroes, hospital staff.

Listen here at about 21:30 in.

Here are some soundbites and highlights in transcription form:

Continue reading Podcast Guests: Damian and Helen Discuss FeedNHS Efforts on The Coronavirus Newscast – April 9, 2020

Categories Charity FeedNHS Helen Interviews Personal and Family Life Philanthropy

Damian Lewis Leads Restaurant Campaign to Feed Health Workers – April 9, 2020

Coronavirus Appeal With Leon Restaurants Will Supply 6,000 Meals a Day

by Richard Vines | Bloomberg | April 9, 2020

The actor Damian Lewis initiated a campaign with the Leon healthy fast-food group to raise £1 million ($1.2 million) to feed National Health Service workers partly to overcome a feeling of helplessness he felt under lockdown.

The FeedNHS campaign, in alliance with Leon co-founder and chief executive John Vincent, is currently serving about 5,200 meals a day to critical-care workers at London hospitals and aims to reach its initial goal of 6,000 daily meals sometime next week. The campaign has support from restaurant groups including Wasabi, Tortilla, Peach Pubs, Rosa’s Thai, Hop, Pizza Pilgrims, Franco Manca, Farmer J, Tossed, Haché, Abokado, Dishoom and Nusa Kitchen.

“Helen (McCrory), my wife, and I have friends who are in quite senior positions in the NHS and the clarion call kept coming from everybody that it was difficult to get fed during the day and do you have any influence?” said Lewis, whose awards include an Emmy and a Golden Globe for his performance as Nicholas Brody in the TV series “Homeland.” Most recently he’s starred as a hedge fund manager in “Billions.”

Lewis and McCrory, who appeared in the Harry Potter movies and “Peaky Blinders,” are in touch with Vincent daily after reaching out via a mutual connection. The aim is simple, Lewis says:

“When you have done four hours straight, working ventilators in PPE (personal protective equipment) gear, you can walk out and someone will hand you a hot, healthy meal,” he said. “We all want to do something that can help. Staying at home is an odd feeling, like being under house arrest, feels cowardly, oddly, even though it is the most important thing you can do.”

Lewis said he’s been experiencing a range of emotions during the coronavirus lockdown in a telephone interview from his home in Suffolk, in the east of England:

Continue reading Damian Lewis Leads Restaurant Campaign to Feed Health Workers – April 9, 2020

Categories Interviews Print Media Run This Town

Damian Lewis on playing Rob Ford – March 5, 2020

He Was a Troubled Soul

by Mark Daniell | Toronto Sun | March 5, 2020

Billions star Damian Lewis plays the late Rob Ford in the new political thriller Run This Town. But down the line from the U.K. to promote the film, he wants to make it clear that it isn’t a straight biopic of the former crack-smoking Toronto mayor.

“This is a film about the younger generation around him in Toronto,” Lewis says. “It’s about the younger millennials who were affected by working for someone like Rob Ford.”

Written and directed by Ricky Tollman, the film pools together ambitious journalists and editors alongside social-climbing political aides as it dramatizes the scandal that plagued Ford’s steward as Toronto mayor.

In reality, it was Globe & Mail columnist (then a reporter at the Toronto Star) Robyn Doolittle who broke the story. Tollman’s film gender-swaps the character, casting Ben Platt (Netflix’s The Politician) as a struggling reporter who chases the infamous crack video in a bid to get out of writing top 10 lists.

Aladdin star Mena Massoud and Nina Dobrev play two assistants to the mayor, desperately trying to keep Ford’s behaviour under control.

“The film is mostly interested in the aftermath and trauma of being so close to a human wrecking ball like that,” Lewis, 49, says. “What does it do to you when you work for someone who behaves that way? That’s what the film is about. Of course, the film is a thriller, too, because everyone is trying to find out exactly what went on, which is why I loved it.”

Continue reading Damian Lewis on playing Rob Ford – March 5, 2020

Categories Interviews Print Media Spy Wars

Lewis Pulls Covers Off Espionage – Nov 4, 2019

From Espionage to History

by Debashine Thangevelo | Cape Argus / IOL / International | November 4, 2019

Damian Lewis is a recognizable face on the big and small screen. Of late, he has been praised for his roles as King Henry VIII in Wolf Hall and Bobby Axelrod in Billions. He was also cast as Steve McQueen in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in…Hollywood. And let us not forget his role as Nicholas Brody in Homeland.

Having covered a gamut of genres, from espionage to history, it does make his latest stint as a narrator for History’s Damian Lewis: Spy Wars almost surreal.

“This Mossad mission, I’m sure 98% of people watching won’t have heard of this story. So, I think it’s a little glimpse through a window of what they did; it’s an incredible story. You will sit and watch and be utterly engaged. I think that’s true of all our stories. Even the Argo story – we come in from a slightly different angle with a bit more backstory, from the intelligence part of it rather than the film making aspect of it.”

On being a part of this project he adds, “As soon as you put yourself in front of a camera, or in front of an audience, as a performer, there’s a whole intricate web of thoughts that run through your head – how you want to be presented and how can you successfully be a credible part of your show, your story, whatever it is – and we had to work quite quickly.”

“I was flying in and out of New York from Billions and we had a budget, obviously, we had to be aware of.”

Continue reading Lewis Pulls Covers Off Espionage – Nov 4, 2019