Damian Lewis
Actor, Dad, Redhead, and Ping Pong Champion
Categories Media Personal and Family Life Pillars of the Community Print Media

Damian Lewis: Q&A, The Guardian – October 28, 2005

Damian Lewis: Q&A

by Rosanna Greenstreet | The Guardian | October 28, 2005

Damian Lewis was born in London in 1971. He was nominated for a Golden Globe for his role in the second world war drama Band Of Brothers. He plays Benedict in Much Ado About Nothing, part of the BBC’s Shakespeare season, and next month stars in Ibsen’s Pillars Of The Community at the National Theatre. He lives in London and Wales.

Here is his Q&A:

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Autumn, long walk, fire, bottle of red.

What is your greatest fear?

Death.

Which living person do you most admire?

Roger Federer – unearthly talent combined with killer instinct.

What has been your most embarrassing moment?

Not appropriate to mention here. I was 15 and had only one thing on my mind …

What makes you depressed?

Terrorism.

What is your favourite smell?

Welsh air.

Continue reading Damian Lewis: Q&A, The Guardian – October 28, 2005

Categories Media Personal and Family Life Print Media

Damian Lewis: My London – Oct 28, 2005

From Brolly to Woolly

Staff | Evening Standard Magazine | October 28, 2005

Where do you live and why?

Camden. I’ve always liked this part of London. I remember, when I was younger, I used to make it along to the Electric Ballroom in Camden High Street on a Friday night and jump up and down to the rock music.

How long have you lived there?

I’ve lived in North London all my life. I grew up in St. John’s Wood, although I was at boarding school a lot of the time. Afterwards, I returned to London to study at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. I was at Guildhall at the same time as Joseph Fiennes, Ewan McGregor and Jude Law.

What was the last play you saw in London and did you enjoy it?

As You Like It at Wyndhams Theatre with my girlfriend Helen McCrory and Sienna Miller. Helen’s performance as Rosalind was quite stunning — I loved it.

What have been your most memorable London meals?

Long Sunday lunches in great pubs with good wine and good friends. I also like eating at The Wolseley on Piccadilly. I can’t really tell if I’m in a Viennese brasserie or a car showroom — but it’s very grand.

What do you miss most when you’re out of London?

The magnificent views of the city when you’re standing on the top of Primrose Hill or from Waterloo Bridge — they’re breathtaking.

What is your life philosophy?

Be brave. Regret nothing.

What items are in your winter wardrobe?

Long johns and woolly socks — especially if it’s going to get as cold as everyone is predicting this winter.

Which aftershave do you wear?

Acqua di Gio by Giorgio Armani or something by Christian Dior.

What are your current projects?

I’m currently rehearsing for a Henrik Ibsen play at the National Theatre called Pillars Of The Community, which opens on 1 November. Then I’ve got Much Ado About Nothing, which is on BBC One, also on 1 November. And there’s my film Keane which is being screened at the London Film Festival. I play a man struggling to come to terms with the disappearance of his six-year-old daughter.

Continue reading Damian Lewis: My London – Oct 28, 2005

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

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

Categories Band of Brothers Media Print Media

Becoming an American Hero: British Actor has won Acclaim for his role in ‘Band of Brothers’, The Record, October 21, 2001

BECOMING AN AMERICAN HERO: BRITISH ACTOR HAS WON ACCLAIM FOR HIS ROLE IN `BAND OF BROTHERS’

by Virginia Rohan, The Record (Bergen County, NJ), October 21, 2001
21 October 2001
by VIRGINIA ROHAN

Every day during the filming of “Band of Brothers,” Damian Lewis diligently worked with a dialect coach because he was determined to sound like a flesh-and-blood Yank.

“My American accent, before I did ‘Band of Brothers, was kind of wishy-washy, a cross between John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart,” Lewis says in a crisp, unmistakably British voice. “I feel quite comfortable doing a straightforward American accent now. I was kind of an honorary American for last year.”

Mastering Ameri-speak is one of many impressive feats Lewis pulls off in HBO’s 10-part World War II miniseries. The London-born actor, virtually unknown in America before this role, has won critical acclaim for his poignant and convincing turn as Richard Winters, the laconic lieutenant who quickly emerged as the leader of U.S. Army’s Easy Company, 506th Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division.

Based on historian Stephen E. Ambrose’s bestseller of the same title, “Band of Brothers” follows this disparate group of men from their paratrooper training in Georgia to their amazing sweep through Northwest Europe from their harrowing jump into Normandy on D-day to their fierce, bloody fight in the Battle of the Bulge to the capture of Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest in Berchtesgaden. Continue reading Becoming an American Hero: British Actor has won Acclaim for his role in ‘Band of Brothers’, The Record, October 21, 2001