Damian Lewis
Actor, Dad, Redhead, and Ping Pong Champion
Categories An Unfinished Life Chromophobia Gallery Magazine Media Print Media The Forsyte Saga The Situation

Let’s Dance – Fall 2005

Damian Lewis at The Dorchester

by Natalie Theo | Factory Magazine | Fall Issue, 2005

Damian Lewis really wants to be Widow Twanky. Thankfully Factory has asked him to camp it up as an all-dancing James Bond hero for its shoot at the Dorchester Hotel’s London ballroom. “I went through a lot of pantomime when I was young – I mostly wanted to be Widow Twanky”. Well, as I say, thank God we are more 007 today. You see I am blushingly helping Damian Lewis into a pair of elegant black Ralph Lauren trousers, shirt and diamond studded De Beers cufflinks. We are tucked away in the dark refines of the Dorchester ballroom’s coat check cubicle.

The men’s loos are unavailable for trouser tucking. Better to be tucking him into a Ralph Lauren number rather than a figure moulding pair of panto tights. Lewis has gamely agreed to swirl six dashing young actresses dripping in De Beers diamonds and slinking about in Ralph Lauren eveningwear for the day with his very own barman, sent along on orders from Dublin courtesy of Jameson Irish Whiskey, to see him through. His lead role as Major Richard Winters in HBO’s Band of Brothers, produced and part directed by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, precedes a slew of feature films due for September and early 2006 releases: Lasse Hallstrom’s An Unfinished Life; Brides produced by Martin Scorsese; Lodge Kerrigan’s Keane; Phillip Haas’ The Situation; and Martha Fiennes Chromophobia. So I can’t quite believe Widow Twanky is the be all and end all of the ultimate hero situation.

Continue reading Let’s Dance – Fall 2005

Categories Colditz Media Personal and Family Life Print Media

Damian Lewis: ‘British women are weird’, Sunday Mirror, March 27, 2005

DAMIAN LEWIS: `British women are weird’ Actor and red-hot redhead Damian Lewis, 34, talks about his kinky fans, pinching girls’ bums, and why he’s a born liar.

by Louise Burke, Sunday Mirror, March 27, 2005

You star in new ITV drama From Colditz With Love, as a prisoner of war who joins the Secret Service. Are you a gadget man?

Damien Lewis: I like my sports car. I just got a little Mazda MX5 – it’s only a cheap and cheerful one really. It’s titanium, a sort of greyish colour. I’m not exactly obsessed by toys. I don’t have a plasma TV, just a normal one, though I suppose it’s still quite big. I do have an i-Pod, although I need to learn how to download my music. You can pay people to do that can’t you? I heard you can pay someone pounds 200 and they’ll download you 5,000 songs. I think I’ll do that, because to be honest, I’m a bit clueless.

Is it true you were asked to audition for the new Bond movie?

DL: That isn’t strictly true. I have never auditioned for the role of James Bond. It would be difficult not to consider it – helicopter rides to sunny locations and let’s not forget the Bond girls. Halle Berry was pretty good in that bikini, but my favourite was Grace Jones.

Continue reading Damian Lewis: ‘British women are weird’, Sunday Mirror, March 27, 2005

Categories Media Print Media The Forsyte Saga

Damian Lewis Interview, Sunday Express, May 25, 2003

Damian Lewis looks terrible. With his copper-coloured hair slicked back and his fair skin etched with lines, he could pass for 60. Which is a tribute to the make-up artists who have just aged him for 30 years for his part in The Forsyte Saga. Continue reading Damian Lewis Interview, Sunday Express, May 25, 2003

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 Band of Brothers Media Print Media The Forsyte Saga Warriors

Interview: The Charmer, The Times / Sunday Times, November 17, 2002

The Charmer

by Lesley White, The Times / Sunday Times, November 17, 2002

Smooth, confident and raring to reinvent himself, Damian Lewis is just the chap to play Jeffrey Archer, says Lesley White

When we meet on the Pinewood set of the slapstick satire, written by Guy Jenkin, creator of Drop the Dead Donkey, Lewis’s flaming red hair is dyed brown, the make-up department has achieved a not totally streak-free job with the fake tan, and, with his funky shorts, he is transformed not into Jeffrey, but a cross between an Ibiza raver and a boy scout. As Greta Scacchi is playing Margaret Thatcher, we can assume no attempt at impersonation is being made.

In some ways, Lewis, 31, and the celebrated fantasist have more in common than it might first appear. While the latter has spent his adult life embellishing his biography for public consumption, the actor went through a period of reverse self-invention. Rather than admit having attended Eton, for example, he told early interviewers that he went to boarding school, then changed the subject before they could ask which one. “I tried to sever all ties to my posh upbringing. It made me feel as if I couldn’t be a genuine moody actor. I’m desensitised to that now.”
Continue reading Interview: The Charmer, The Times / Sunday Times, November 17, 2002

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 Interviews Media Print Media The Forsyte Saga

Guardian Interview: Shooting Star – March 10, 2002

Shooting star

by Jay Rayner | The Guardian | 

Watching Damian Lewis leading the men of Easy Company to victory in Spielberg’s WWII epic Band of Brothers, you’d never guess he went to Eton and attended drama school with Ewan MacGregor. Now, though, he is returning to more familiar territory as the iconic Soames in The Forsyte Saga.

The middle-aged Italian waitress clearly does not recognise the actor she is shouting at or, if she does, she has had enough experience at being a sour-faced waitress not to show it. This is the second time she has asked Damian Lewis to choose what he wants for lunch and it is the second time he has asked for a few more minutes. ‘Look,’ she says, with a fearsome shrug, arms spread wide. ‘We are busy. You don’t order now, then the kitchen, it become busy. You wait too long for your food. You get cross.’ There is a convincing logic here: the small, smokey cafe in London’s St James’s is indeed already crammed with people.

Continue reading Guardian Interview: Shooting Star – March 10, 2002