Categories Interviews Media Print Media

New interview in The Times

 

The actor has no regrets about leaving Tinseltown for the mean streets of Manchester — and a spot of fishing

It’s given that most actors don’t have two ha’pennies to rub together. The London-born actor Damian Lewis seems keen to show he’s not one of them — during the interview he holds two pounds coins, clicking them together to punctuate points he is making. It might be a nervous affectation or a show of ostentation. Given the shiny blue suit and polished brogues that he is wearing at BBC TV Centre, it might well be the latter. This is after all, the actor who was thrust into the spotlight in the epic Spielberg- produced mini-series Band of Brothers in 2001, became an overnight sensation, the most famous screen redhead since Shirley Temple, and was whisked off to Hollywood in the wake of that show. But Hollywood didn’t quite work out, and after some dud films and a cancelled TV series, he is back in Britain, his latest role in a BBC TV film Stolen, an earnest, quietly moving film about child trafficking.

Is he drawn to these more serious subjects? After all, in 2004 he starred in the intense film Keane, about a man who loses his daughter, which was hardly a laugh a minute.

“You saw that?” he says. “That makes two of you. The answer is yes and no — after Band of Brothers I made a film called Dreamcatcher, about aliens exploding out of people’s bottoms, so I do like a bit of popcorn with my caviar. It was very exciting, it was a big studio movie, an $80 million movie, and it was … it was awful! And a film I just did, Your Highness, is sort of like Porky’s meets a medieval spoof. Toby Jones, he was so upset, he was so unhappy to be in it. I had to talk him down from the ledge a few times — he has to wear a naked suit where he has no penis.”

 

Read the rest here.

Categories Interviews Stolen

New Guardian Interview: Damian Lewis: Top of the cops


He made his name playing troubled soldiers and driven detectives. Why has success left Damian Lewis so unsatisfied? He talks heroism and home life with Maddy Costa

Subtlety and restraint are Damian Lewis’s hallmarks as an actor. His ability to convey a character’s innermost thoughts with just a flicker of an eyebrow is even more impressive when you discover how animated he is in real life. When we meet, in a chi-chi members’ club in west London, he has a pint of coffee working through his system, and that natural energy is comically amplified. His accent careens from Prince Charles to Jamie Oliver, as he talks about his guilt at not doing more theatre, the appeal of playing policemen and soldiers, and the satisfactions of domesticity; he alternates between supreme self-confidence and genuine horror at what he thinks is coming across as his own solipsism.

Some of this internal tussling stems from his turning 40 this year. This has, he says, encouraged in him “a new-found seriousness about what I do”, as well as a desire to “explore more than just the showing-off element of acting”. His latest film, Stolen, which screens on BBC1 on Sunday, is visibly the work of a man muzzling his ego. Stolen revolves around three children who have been trafficked to the UK; Lewis plays Anthony Carter, the detective inspector attempting to trace their whereabouts. Though Carter is central to the narrative, the character’s range is limited. “He needs to be undemonstrative and unshowy,” explains Lewis. “The focus needs to be on the children.”

What grabbed him about this part was the story’s political dimension and the promise of the director, Justin Chadwick (who made The Other Boleyn Girl), that the finished film would be visually arresting. Usually, Lewis says, he likes working in TV, despite the lower wages, because “narrative is everything. I like the precision of the storytelling, and that it’s done through characters.” Stolen was an opposite experience: he is proud of the film because of the way it looks – there is a poetic quality to the camerawork that raises it above a bog-standard issues drama.

Read the rest at The Guardian.

Categories Interviews Media Personal and Family Life Print Media Stolen

Damian Lewis: Top of the Cops – June 27, 2011

Damian Lewis: Top of the Cops

He made his name playing troubled soldiers and driven detectives. Why has success left Damian Lewis so unsatisfied? He talks heroism and home life.

by with Maddy Costa – The Guardian – 27 June 27 2011

Damian Lewis
 ‘I wasn’t humble enough’ … Damian Lewis. Photograph: Graeme Robertson for the Guardian

Subtlety and restraint are Damian Lewis’s hallmarks as an actor. His ability to convey a character’s innermost thoughts with just a flicker of an eyebrow is even more impressive when you discover how animated he is in real life. When we meet, in a chi-chi members’ club in west London, he has a pint of coffee working through his system, and that natural energy is comically amplified. His accent careens from Prince Charles to Jamie Oliver, as he talks about his guilt at not doing more theatre, the appeal of playing policemen and soldiers, and the satisfactions of domesticity; he alternates between supreme self-confidence and genuine horror at what he thinks is coming across as his own solipsism.

Continue reading Damian Lewis: Top of the Cops – June 27, 2011

Categories Homeland Interviews Stolen

New interview, ‘Stolen’ broadcast date, ComicCon panel


  • New interview on the Metro.co.uk website:

    What research did you do into trafficking for this role?

    I went to a police trafficking unit and spoke to the man who set it up. Trafficking goes on all around us. There are people being trafficked in and out of the country at an alarming rate and it’s difficult to bring prosecutions because they often come in with valid passports. After they arrive they’re smuggled off into the shadows and face exploitation.

    Was it disappointing when your US police series Life was cancelled?

    Yes. The work was terrific and the creator of the show is incredibly talented. I had a wonderful character and the storylines were interesting. It was fun living in LA for a couple of years but you work very hard and very long hours. I was starting a family and was away from them a lot. Goodness knows how people do it for seven years in those long shows. Cable shows are different because they have shorter runs so you have five months of the year to do other things.

    Why did you want to become an actor?

    Acting was something I instinctively did and liked. I was happier acting than doing anything else. I was disenchanted by the idea of university and decided to try for drama school. I came out of drama school, got work, kept working and I’ve been incredibly lucky since.

    Was there a particular performance that inspired your interest in acting?

    I put on a production of The Long And The Short And The Tall with some friends at school and played Wackford Squeers in a production of Nicholas Nickleby. My dad used to take us to see West End musicals as holiday treats – things like Guys And Dolls. I loved the theatre as a kid and still do.

    Read the rest @Metro.co.uk.

  • According to online tv guides, Stolen will broadcast July 3rd from 9:00pm – 10:30pm on BBC1!

  • Showtime will have a panel at this years Comic-Con (July 21) and debut an “exclusive first-look” at Homeland. Morena Baccarin will introduce the trailer. No Damian apparently. Source

Categories Gallery Interviews Messages

ES Magazine article


Damian Lewis and Helen McCrory are both featured in this week’s ES Magazine and talk about family and their old party animal days.

Helen and I partied very, very hard before we met and then we collided at the Almeida in 2004 [in Five Gold Rings] and together we partied even harder. We used to lose entire evenings listening to jazz at Ronnie Scott’s. We love to dance, and when we weren’t out we’d put on music really loudly and dance around the house, just the two of us.

I proposed to Helen in Paris. I tried to do it on the Pont Neuf – I was sweating bullets and wrestling in my overcoat pocket for the ring, which had got stuck in a little Cellophane bag, but when I finally got it out, a gaggle of Japanese tourists surrounded us like a flock of seagulls, taking pictures, and the moment was totally destroyed. I now take Helen back to Paris for three days without our two kids [Manon, four, and Gulliver, three] every February for our anniversary. We walk about the city, and sit in bars drinking rosé.

Click here to read the rest.

Update: I’ve added screencaps from the e-dition to the gallery.

Small update from Michael, Damian’s assistant: Damian left the UK on Wednesday and is now in Charlotte. According to the Homeland Casting Facebook, filming starts on June 14th.