Categories Band of Brothers Media Print Media The Forsyte Saga

A minute with… Damian Lewis, Woman’s Own, October 8, 2001

A minute with … Damian Lewis

by Tim Oglethorpe, Woman’s Own, October 8, 2001

A former Eton schoolboy, British-born Damian is set for international stardom for his role as American war hero, Dick Winters, in Steven Spielberg’s 10-part 65 million TV series Band of Brothers. He’s currently filming an adaption of the 1960’s television hit The Forsyte Saga

Tell us about Band of Brothers.
My character, American Dick Winters, is a leader of a crack paratrooper unit which paved the way for the Allied advance across Europe during the Second World War.

How tough was the preparation for it?
They treated us, as much as possible, like real soldiers. We spent 10 days in boot camp in Aldershot. It was tough -getting up at 6am, doing 80 press-ups, going for a run, taking a cold shower and then continuing the day in much the same way. But I think it was necessary to do. It created a bond among the actors playing the soldiers and it also made us physically fitter. Continue reading A minute with… Damian Lewis, Woman’s Own, October 8, 2001

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Acting Tough, Daily Mail, October 6, 2001

Daily Mail Weekend Supplement
6th October 2001

Acting Tough

British actor Damian Lewis beat off hundreds of rivals to land the lead in BBC’s Band of Brothers, Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks’ £86 million WWII epic which has caused critical controversy for overplaying America’s role in defeating the Nazis. In this compelling diary, he tells of his own battle to win the role of American officer Captain Dick Winters, his agonizing first meeting with Hanks – and the extraordinary filming regime, which turned actors into men of war.

LATE AUGUST 1999: Call from my agent. Hollywood’s coming to town. Hurrah. Another chance to record myself on tape for some big blockbuster which will gather dust on a shelf in LA. ‘But this is different,’ my agent, Stephanie Randall, stresses, ‘It’s Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg. They’re seeing everybody, and they want you to play an American. This is gonna be huge.’

DAY OF AUDITION: I head off on my motorbike. It rains on me. I arrive, soaked, having found the only parking spot left in Soho to park my bike. I walk down some steps into a colourless basement.

Continue reading Acting Tough, Daily Mail, October 6, 2001

Categories Band of Brothers Media Print Media

Places to go… People to meet, Daily Telegraph, October 5, 2001

Places to go… people to meet

by Emily Bearn, Daily Telegraph, October 5, 2001

Damian Lewis is an Old Etonian who plays an American war hero in Spielberg’s latest epic, and dreams of being the next James Bond. Emily Bearn meets the young contender

DAMIAN LEWIS (if the actor’s publicists in London, New York and Los Angeles are to be believed) is destined to be pretty big – he is already big enough to turn up for our interview two hours late. We have arranged to meet at the Midland Hotel in Manchester, which has been Lewis’s home for the past six months while he has been filming a new adaptation of Galsworthy’s The Forsyte Saga for ITV.

Journalists and photographers are milling around the hotel’s palm-fronded foyer, being sporadically debriefed as to Lewis’s whereabouts by Michael, a member of his publicity team, who is directing operations from a mobile telephone. We are plied with complimentary croissants and told that the delay is attributable to Lewis’s intense filming commitments, coupled with a recent unscheduled appearance at the Manchester Royal Infirmary, where he had his appendix whipped out.

Continue reading Places to go… People to meet, Daily Telegraph, October 5, 2001

Categories Band of Brothers Media Print Media

Command Performance, The Sunday Times, September 30, 2001

Command performance

by Jeff Dawson, The Sunday Times, September 30, 2001

Jeff Dawson meets Damian Lewis, the British star of Spielberg’s Band of Brothers, the most costly TV series ever.

Tony To, the executive producer of Band of Brothers, reckons Damian Lewis is like “a young Steve McQueen”. At the very least, the actor turns up to our interview on a motorbike. “I love it when they talk like that,” he laughs, wrestling off his waterproofs in a north London Thai restaurant. “I mean, Steve McQueen’s the epitome of cool, isn’t he? Raced his car, shagged women…”

Aged 29, posh (his words), blokey, but ultra-confident in that public-school way, these are strange days for Damian Lewis. In one breath, he will refer to the house he shares with his brother in London’s unglamorous Kensal Green. In the next, he’ll mention his new chums “Tom” and “Steven”, tossing off their names as if they were a pair of drinking muckers rather than Messrs Hanks and Spielberg. It’s under their patronage that he has suddenly found himself paraded around Hollywood as the Next Big Thing. Continue reading Command Performance, The Sunday Times, September 30, 2001

Categories Band of Brothers Interviews Media Print Media

Damian Lewis Interview, Sunday Telegraph – Sept 30, 2001

Bananas and Marmalade 

by Emily Bearn | Sunday Telegraph | September 30, 2001

Damian Lewis is an Old Etonian who plays an American war hero in Spielberg’s latest epic, and dreams of being the next James Bond. Emily Bearn meets the young contender.

Damian Lewis (if the actor’s publicists in London, New York and Los Angeles are to be believed) is destined to be pretty big — he is already big enough to turn up for our interview two hours late. We have arranged to meet at the Midland Hotel in Manchester, which has been Lewis’s home for the past six months while he has been filming a new adaptation of Galsworthy’s The Forsyte Saga for ITV. Journalists and photographers are milling around the hotel’s palm-fronded foyer, being sporadically debriefed as to Lewis’s whereabouts by Michael, a member of his publicity team, who is directing operations from a mobile telephone. We are plied with complimentary croissants and told that the delay is attributable to Lewis’s intense filming commitments, coupled with a recent unscheduled appearance at the Manchester Royal Infirmary, where he had his appendix whipped out.

When he eventually arrives, Lewis looks calm, robust and fairly confident of the fact that he is one of the swifter-ascending stars of the small screen. He is dressed in jeans and a slightly grubby grey shirt; his orange hair is damp or fashionably slicked, and his freckles suggest he has been in the sun. He is 30, but has the sort of pleasant, negotiable looks that mean he could pass himself off as a decade older or younger. After Lewis has dispatched Michael into the Manchester drizzle to buy him bananas, we retire to a suite in which the bed has been replaced by a table bearing yet more croissants. Lewis eats two, with the rapacity of a man who has missed breakfast, pausing between bites to explain the etymology of marmalade.

We are here to discuss Band of Brothers, an American Second World War drama in which Lewis plays Major Dick Winters, the hero who led an élite US Army corps as it parachuted into France on D-Day. The ten-part series (which swallowed a budget of about £86 million and will be screened by the BBC this week) was produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks and has been attacked for — as one British tabloid put it — casting an “unashamedly American slant on the Second World War.”

Continue reading Damian Lewis Interview, Sunday Telegraph – Sept 30, 2001

Categories Band of Brothers Media Print Media

Everyone’s talking about…, The Observer, September 30, 2001

Everyone’s talking about…

by Duncan Turner, The Observer, September 30, 2001

Damian Lewis in Band of Brothers

When Steven Spielberg decided to produce a mini-series based on the real-life heroics of US infantrymen in World War II, getting into the cast was the hottest ticket in town. To much surprise, Old Etonian and RSC graduate Damian Lewis emerged with the leading role.

Band of Brothers tells the story of a company of US paratroopers who landed in Normandy in 1944 and fought their way across Europe, ending up at Hitler’s mountain retreat at Berchtesgaden in the spring of 1945. Lewis plays the company’s commanding officer, Major Richard Winters, and his performance led the New York Times to praise his ‘big Burt Lancaster eyes and grave face’ that allow him ‘to evoke Winters’s humanity and accessibility, as well as the mystery and reserve that emanate from all good leaders’. His Pennsylvanian accent is impeccable and his speech and gesture have the terse economy of the battle-hardened soldier.

Continue reading Everyone’s talking about…, The Observer, September 30, 2001

Categories Band of Brothers Media Print Media

Company of Men, The Times, September 29, 2001

Company of Men

by Tom Dart, The Times, 29 September 2001

Not even Damian Lewis understands Why spielberg and Hanks Have cast an old etonian as a second World war gi. But He’s not complaining.

At first, it seems his energy comes from adrenaline, nerves, but there is nothing remotely nervous about Damian Lewis. Athletes and politicians would pay good money for a dose of the 30-year-old Londoner’s drive and effusive self-confidence. His voice is rapid, distinct and animated. We talked in a restaurant in Manchester, where Lewis is currently filming The Forsyte Saga for ITV. He has appeared in the West End and on Broadway, but is best known for his television work -in the BBC’s Hearts and Bones and Warriors, where he played a British soldier in Bosnia. His latest role is as another soldier, but on a different scale. Lewis plays Lieutenant Richard Winters, the lead in the Second World War epic Band of Brothers, a ten-part television “event” from the American channel HBO, which starts on BBC2 this week. Continue reading Company of Men, The Times, September 29, 2001

Categories Band of Brothers Media Print Media

Band of Brothers: Too close for comfort, The Guardian, September 24, 2001

Band of Brothers: Too close for comfort

The Guardian
24 September 2001
by Matt Seaton, The Guardian, September 24, 2001

With talk of the US drafting men to fight its ‘crusade’ against terrorism, the second world war mini-series, Band Of Brothers, has suddenly become all too relevant. Matt Seaton reports from the set

Captain Dye of the US Marine Corps stubs out another Marlboro and pauses to consider the question of what he did when he retired after 22 years of military service.

“The mafia wasn’t hiring,” he says dryly, “so I went to LA.” Continue reading Band of Brothers: Too close for comfort, The Guardian, September 24, 2001

Categories Band of Brothers Media Print Media

Brothers in Arms, Time Out, September 19, 2001

Brothers in Arms

by Tom Howard, Time Out, September 19, 2001

Spielberg’s $120 million WWII drama ‘Band Of Brothers’ comes to BBC2 next month. The series may be awash with American heroism, but its trump card is rising British star Damian Lewis.

The famous British inferiority complex- normally aired after sporting occasions – has never been as misplaced as our reaction to ‘Band Of Brothers’. American films such as ‘U-571′ tried to rewrite history, but this $120 million ten-part HBO-produced series is rigorously accurate. It’s the story of Easy Company, a crack American unit who parachute into Normandy in 1944, and then, at least according to the Daily Mail and others, proceed to win WWII single-handedly.

Continue reading Brothers in Arms, Time Out, September 19, 2001

Categories Band of Brothers Media Print Media

The Art of War, Salon, September 8, 2001

The Art of War

by Gary Kamiya, Salon.com, September 8, 2001

HBO’s massive and bloody miniseries, “Band of Brothers,” attempts the impossible and nearly succeeds.

The history of serious movies about war, from “Paths of Glory” to “Johnny Got His Gun” to “Apocalypse Now” to “Saving Private Ryan,” is a history of attempts to do the impossible: turn the unthinkable into art. The problem, always, is truth. If a work of art about war does not tell the truth, it is obscene — but how can one tell this truth? And what is it, anyway? Is it a former human being who has been turned into pieces of bloody meat by large fragments of metal? Or is it the soaring words of Abraham Lincoln: “That from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain …”? Falstaff or Prince Hal? Hideous death or trumpets and brass? What form, what story line, what aesthetic approach can capture war’s nihilistic horror and still contain some larger meaning?

Continue reading The Art of War, Salon, September 8, 2001

Categories Band of Brothers Media Print Media

Easy Company’s Hard Times, Los Angeles Time, August 26, 2001

Easy Company’s Hard Times

by Susan King, Los Angeles Times, August 26, 2001

HBO’s ‘Band of Brothers’ miniseries re-creates the bonds forged in a unit of American GIs during bloody European fighting in World War II.

HOLLYWOOD — It’s hard not to be struck by the silence when watching Tom Hanks’ war, as played in the 10-part HBO miniseries “Band of Brothers,” which begins Sunday.

Although millions were spent in filming the series, which aims to capture the three-year odyssey of the U.S. paratroopers of Easy Company up to and through D-day and on to the ultimate defeat of the Germans in World War II, the result is a study in how powerful restraint can be. Shot from the point of view of a fighting man, “Band of Brothers” puts one in the trenches, in the chaos and often in the silence of war. Continue reading Easy Company’s Hard Times, Los Angeles Time, August 26, 2001

Categories Band of Brothers Media Print Media

This American Platoon is Led by a Brit, Los Angeles Times, August 20, 2000

Damian Lewis survived a slew of tests to win the role of a war hero.

by DAVID GRITTEN, Los Angeles Times, August 20, 2000
HATFIELD, England — “I’ve really screwed up my hearing,” grimaces Damian Lewis. “I should have had earplugs in.”

The mud-spattered Lewis, in a World War II paratrooper uniform, has spent the morning shooting blanks (24 for each take) from an M-1 rifle at a crowd of extras dressed as German soldiers.

It is a deafening business, and everyone else on set either wears earplugs or covers their ears whenever director Tom Hanks yells “action!” Continue reading This American Platoon is Led by a Brit, Los Angeles Times, August 20, 2000