Categories Homeland Interviews Media Print Media

Damian Lewis happy to be troubled in ‘Homeland’


Damian Lewis has played a vast range of characters, from emotionally racked fathers to villainous aristocrats. But his recent television projects suggest that he’s developing a specialty: prisoners who find life outside to have its own considerable challenges.

In NBC’s quirky series “Life,” Lewis played an ex-cop released after years of being wrongly imprisoned. And now in Showtime’s “Homeland,” which premiered Oct. 2, Lewis takes on the role of Marine Sgt. Nicholas Brody, who is rescued after spending eight years in Afghanistan as a POW. Although he returns home a war hero, he is obviously troubled. A CIA agent believes Brody may actually be planning a terrorist attack against America.

“These two men do seem to have similarities,” said Lewis recently by phone during a break in the filming of the drama, which is winding up production of its final first-season episodes in North Carolina. “They both seek revenge. There’s a vigilantism to both of them.”

Brody in the initial episodes is ominously quiet, conveying a turmoil beneath his haunted expressions, highlighted by strikingly blue eyes. “He’s a controlled explosion,” Lewis said.

The British actor, who makes his home in London with his wife and two daughters, has been delighted with the twists and turns in “Homeland.” It stars Claire Danes as driven CIA agent Carrie Mathison, who is battling her own demons as she obsessively pursues her suspicions about Brody. The series also features Mandy Patinkin as Mathison’s mentor.

“I’m surprised by the honesty of the writers — they have remained true to what they had originally pitched to me,” said Lewis, who undertook extensive research, including talking with former soldiers, reading firsthand accounts about post-traumatic stress disorder, and studying the Koran.

He’s invigorated by the complexity of his character and the series’ post-Sept. 11 perspectives: “This is really an explosive and controversial character. And what’s important to me in this piece is that any preconceptions about who’s bad and who’s good are challenged. The world is revealed as less black-and-white than some people believe.”

Executive producer Howard Gordon said he and fellow executive producer Alex Gansa (they previously worked together on “24” and “X Files”) felt that Brody was the most difficult of the main characters to cast and the most difficult to play. “Part of it is not knowing who he is and knowing who he is.” He called Lewis “an extraordinary actor with an all-American face, which is astounding because he’s British. He takes the role very seriously, and he’s done his homework.”


Read the full interview at the Los Angeles Times website.

Categories Homeland Interviews Media Print Media

‘Homeland’ Star Dishes on Charlotte – Oct 5, 2011

Hiking, Swimming, and Southern Cooking

by Staff | Charlotte Observer | October 5, 2011

During a day of filming at a cabin on Lake Norman, Lewis took a few minutes to talk about the show and Charlotte.

Q. How are you enjoying Charlotte?

I’d never been to the state before, so it’s been a novelty. We’re staying in a great neighborhood in SouthEnd, and I’ve gone out of Charlotte and I’ve seen the countryside, and I’ve been to see some music here. I’ve got my belly full of some of your Southern cooking.

Q. How are your kids adjusting?

I have two small children, 3 and 4 years old. They love it. They learned to swim here.

Q. Tell me about your character, Sgt. Brody.

Brody is a U.S. Marine sergeant who went missing in action shortly after enlisting. He’s lost in Iraq, presumed dead, and then they find him having been a prisoner of war in an al-Qaida cell. … That’s the premise of the story – whether he is or isn’t a threat, and if he is, whether she’ll (Danes’ character) catch him in time.

Q. It’s interesting that the director included flashbacks with Brody. What do you think they add to the show?

Flashbacks used well are very powerful and certainly in a show like this, a mystery and a thriller. They can illuminate, obfuscate or create an ambiguity. You see Brody committing an atrocity he’s forced to do. It has a huge psychological impact on him. It helps you understand his character a little better after he returns home.

Q. What’s it like playing an American? You’re very convincing.

Thank you. I’ve played Americans a lot. The first time was in “Band of Brothers,” and I was very conscious of Americanisms, and concentrated hard to have an authenticity. When I’m at work, I speak in an American accent all the time, not just when I’m on set. When I leave the house, I become an American and I stay that way all day. It’s sort of become part of me.

Q. How do you like working with Claire Danes and Mandy Patinkin?

She’s a sweetheart. She’s smart, funny, talented and a really good cook. I love talking to (Patinkin) about old theater stories. He’s invited me hiking a couple of times, and I get to hear his whole repertoire in the mountains as we go walking along.


Categories Homeland Interviews Print Media

Damian Lewis Bikes in His ‘Homeland’ – Oct 5, 2011

From Recycling to Bicycling 

by Gerri Miller | Mother Nature Network | October 5, 2011

When he’s home in London, Damian Lewis bicycles everywhere because it saves money as well as energy. “We have a congestion charge in London. If you take your car to the center of town you gotta pay 15 bucks,” he explains, noting that parking is another $7 an hour. But lately, Lewis, who recycles wherever he’s living, is in North Carolina, shooting Showtime’s new drama “Homeland,” playing a Marine newly returned home after eight years as a POW and suspected of being “turned” by terrorists who held him captive.

“I enjoyed the contradiction that someone who’s a hero in the nation’s eyes could be that person. That’s a thrilling premise for any show,” says Lewis. “It’s not just about the CIA catching terrorists. It’s a character piece about multiple complex issues, like identity on a political, national and spiritual faith-based ideological level and mental frailties, and how one reconnects with family. As fun as it is to just just be in a thriller I was intrigued that it wanted to tell a broader story.”

His character, Sgt. Nick Brody, has come back to a wife who thought he was dead and has taken up with his buddy (Diego Klattenhoff). “It’s overwhelming for both of them and I’m glad we’re addressing that in a serious way,” notes Lewis. Other plot elements show him behaving erratically and resisting the Marine Corps’ wishes for him to be a poster boy for heroism and re-enlist, all the while being watched on planted surveillance cameras by CIA case officer Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes), who’s convinced he’s hiding something (one of the rather unexpected things he’s hiding is revealed at the end of the second episode).

Lewis, last seen on American TV in the NBC series “Life,” about a wrongly incarcerated cop who returns to the force after years in prison, sees similarities between that role and his current one, noting that both are about men held captive for a long time and return from the experience changed men. But “Homeland” being a cable show, there are certain differences. “I show my ass a lot more,” he laughs. Cable also doesn’t require the seven-year contracts common in network television. “That’s more problematic from a family point of view, because we’re not going to go live in L.A. for seven years,” he explains. “I told my agent, ‘If a great cable show comes along, let me know.’ I’m so lucky this one did.”

Read the rest of the original article at Mother Nature Network

Categories Homeland Interviews Media Print Media Interview


Question: What attracted you to this show and this character?

DAMIAN LEWIS: Well, what I read was a thrilling psychological and political thriller with a CIA agent convinced that this hero who returns, having been a POW with Al Qaeda for eight years, might have been turned by them and is a terrorist. I just enjoyed the contradiction that someone could return a hero in the nation’s eyes, but possibly not be that person. That is a thrilling premise. That is a great set-up, for any show. As the first chapter of your novel, that takes you to the next chapter.

This show is not just about the CIA catching terrorists. It’s not about that. It’s a character piece. It’s about more complex issues. It’s about family and identity. It’s about identity on a political, national, spiritual, and faith-based ideological level. It’s about identity on a more intimate, localized level, in regard to family and relationships with your loved ones. It also deals with mental frailties. It deals with mood disorder, in Claire Danes’ character. It deals with post-traumatic stress disorder, in my character. It deals with how one reconnects with family. The motif of parents and children runs through the piece. As fun as it is to just be in a thriller, where you jump from one incident to the next, I was intrigued by the fact that it wanted to tell a broader story as well.

If you’d gotten the same role and it was 22-episode run that was much more grueling and a much bigger commitment, would you still have been interested in the part?

LEWIS: That is a conversation that the networks have repeatedly, as to whether they should start producing 12-part series, instead of these 22 to 24 episode series, in order to get the stars to come do their shows. It’s a big commitment to ask someone to work on one role for nine or 10 months of the year. It does affect your decision-making, definitely.

How do you compare this to previous roles that you’ve played?

LEWIS: Oddly enough, there are similarities with this show Life that I did for NBC, a couple years ago, about a man who goes away. In the case of Life, he was sent to prison and spent 12 years there, and came back a changed man, in some way, from his experience. In this show, he’s a prisoner of war for eight years, and he comes back a changed man. I’m still very sad that Life didn’t go longer. It was one of the better shows on TV, that year. If you look at what NBC had, it was definitely one of the better shows that NBC had. NBC was crazy to cancel that show.

In England, we can’t make this kind of TV. We don’t have the resources. We actually don’t have the writers to write it. We don’t have film and TV language in our DNA, in the same way you guys do here. The big concept, in telling it compellingly and entertainingly, but in a psychologically real and complex way is something we don’t come up with as often as you guys do. So, for me to be here is a thrill.

Do you feel that cable is a little bit more freeing?

LEWIS: Well, they show my ass a lot more. I’ve noticed that. And, I’ve seen Morena’s tits, and that’s weird. But, that’s Showtime. No. If cable wants to distinguish itself from network, just by showing tits and ass, literally, then that’s sad. At times, you do wonder, if that’s the only distinction. It’s like, “Well, we haven’t seen anybody’s bottom in three episodes, so we need to write that scene.” But, is that really so important? No. For personal reasons, because I’m a Brit, I live in London. I don’t mean this grandly, but it was never my intention to live in L.A. and do a big network show. I did Life because it was just so good and I couldn’t say know to it. I really just wanted to do it.


Read the full interview at

Categories Homeland Media Print Media

Damian Lewis Collider Interview About Homeland – Oct 1, 2011

When Your Kids Pee on You and Television Shows Your Ass More

by Christina Radish | Collider | October 1, 2011

In the new Showtime dramatic thrillerHomeland, premiering on October 2nd, Marine Sgt. Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis) returns home to a hero’s welcome after eight years in enemy confinement.

Even though Brody’s wife, Jessica (Morena Baccarin), and two children are shocked, they are happy to learn that he is still alive. However, brilliant but volatile CIA Agent Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) isn’t buying his story, instead believing that Brody has been turned and is now working for Al Qaeda. With America’s national security at stake, what follows is a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse, leading everyone Carrie knows to question whether her conviction is based on fact or is the product of a delusional obsession. Continue reading Damian Lewis Collider Interview About Homeland – Oct 1, 2011

Categories Homeland Media Print Media

Damian Lewis on Homeland – Interview, Time Out Chicago, September 26, 2011

Damian Lewis on Homeland | Interview

The English actor calls Showtime’s Homeland “contentious.” Classic British understatement?

Continue reading Damian Lewis on Homeland – Interview, Time Out Chicago, September 26, 2011

Categories Homeland Media Print Media

Homeland – Stars on Cursing and Getting Naked a lot, Film Review Online, August 29, 2011

Homeland – Stars on cursing and getting naked a lot

omeland - Claire Danes and Damian Lewis

Homeland – Claire Danes and Damian Lewis speak to the press during the TCA Session held on August 4, 2011 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, CA © 2011 CBS Broadcasting, Photo Mark Davis