Damian Lewis
Actor, Dad, Redhead, and Ping Pong Champion
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

Categories Band of Brothers Dreamcatcher Forsyte Saga Hamlet Media Print Media The Forsyte Saga

Damian Lewis Interview: USA Weekend Magazine – March 10 2002

Black Hawk Down, Elvis, Steve McQueen, and Broadway

by Evelyn Poitevent | USA Weekend Magazine |  March 10, 2002

“Band of Brothers” star Damian Lewis, 31, has been touted by everyone from the “New York Times” to “People” magazine as Hollywood’s new golden child. And rightfully so. The British actor — a veteran of London’s Guildhall School (where he studied drama with Ewan McGregor and Joseph Fiennes), the Birmingham Repertory and Royal Shakespeare Company (where he befriended Ralph Fiennes) — has not only proved himself worthy of the stage during the last decade, but has also made his mark on British television (BBC’s “Warriors” and “Hearts and Bones”). “Band of Brothers” brought him to American audiences — and rest assured, that was just the beginning. We caught up with the humorous, fun-loving (yet humble) redhead, who’s currently filming a Stephen King thriller, “Dreamcatcher,” in Canada. Continue reading Damian Lewis Interview: USA Weekend Magazine – March 10 2002

Categories Band of Brothers Media Print Media

Man of the Month: Damian Lewis, A Brit of the Action, GQ UK November 2001

“British women are just the best,” announces Damian Lewis, who you will soon know as Lieutenant Richard Winters from BBC2′s Band of Brothers. Moments later he ruminates about getting to grips with his first pair of fake breasts in LA. “I almost let out a yelp,” he says. “I thought, ‘These are like footballs!’”

One can forgive Lewis for obsessing over the female form. Last year he spent eight months with thousands of mud-caked grunts on the set of Tom Hanks’ and Steven Spielberg’s 70m pounds companion to Saving Private Ryan. Even his Eton College education couldn’t prepare him for the testosterone on the set of the ten-part WWII drama.

“Actors can be flaky, but the bonding was almost spiritual,” he says. Continue reading Man of the Month: Damian Lewis, A Brit of the Action, GQ UK November 2001