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Damian Lewis’ Path from Band of Brothers to Billions – March 23, 2018

Damian Discusses His Most Pivotal Roles

by Emily Zemler | LA Times | March 23, 2018

Source: LA Times – Photo by Genaro Molina

“I am interested in the imperfections in people,” Damian Lewis says. “I’m interested in the contradictions and in the moral struggle that often exists in all of us.”

This sensibility threads through many of the actor’s film and television characters, particularly his current role as shrewd hedge fund manager Bobby Axelrod on “Billions.” The Showtime series returns for its third season tonight, bringing us even closer to understanding what exactly makes Bobby tick.

“He’s a fiercely loyal man,” Lewis says about Bobby. “He’s ruthless. He’s extremely competitive. For him, the game is everything. The playing of the game is the thing — and it is a game, so winning the game is paramount. He enjoys it.”

The role is a big shift for Lewis, 47, who got his start on British television before coming to the attention of American audiences in Steven Spielberg’s World War II epic miniseries “Band of Brothers.” Although Lewis has since had several career-defining roles, particularly as Nicholas Brody in “Homeland,” that project lingers as one of his most important projects.

“Some jobs are just gigs, but some jobs have the ability to be life-changing,” he notes. “They just alter you in some small way. ‘Band of Brothers’ was definitely one of those.”

Here Lewis discusses several of his most pivotal roles:

Bobby Axelrod, “Billions” (2016-2018)

“What attracted me to Bobby Axelrod was to get to play a man who is willing to do whatever it takes to get what he wants and see where that takes him personally. To find out, during the course of the show, how corrupting that is on a man who is prepared to cross one line after another. What does it do to one’s soul? I saw that as potentially where it was going. And it’s enormous fun. He’s a form of gangster and it’s fun playing that kind of guy.”

Continue reading Damian Lewis’ Path from Band of Brothers to Billions – March 23, 2018

Categories Homeland Print Media

Homeland Overhauled – Feb 28, 2018

Six Shows That Were Seriously Overhauled After Their Stars Left

by Sam Ashurst & Morgan Jeffery | Digital Spy | February 28, 2018

If it’s broke, try to fix it. No one can do the same job forever, and actors are more keen to stretch their legs than most – doing different things is basically the job description. But sometimes telly shows want to carry on after their star leaves, going to drastic lengths to extend their shelf life.

Here’s some shows that managed to survive losing their star, thanks to some major plot overhauls.

Damian Lewis – Homeland

Source: Showtime

Damian Lewis was very much at the heart of Homeland when it started out – the first season was all about the investigation into his character Nick Brody, a US marine who’d been corrupted by terrorists, while the second run saw him exposed as a traitor and explored his redemption.

Come the third season, though, it was clear that the show’s writers were running out of things to do with him. Lewis appeared in just half of that year’s 12 episodes as a fugitive Brody, before Homeland took the bold decision to kill him off.

Continue reading Homeland Overhauled – Feb 28, 2018

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Rake Magazine Interview: A True Leading Man – Feb 15, 2018

Easy Company

In an exclusive interview with The Rake, Damian Lewis tells Tom Chamberlin why we all, in spite of ourselves, love an anti-hero.

by Tom Chamberlin | The Rake Magazine | February, 2018

Source: The Rake Magazine – Photo by: Kalle Gustafsson

Lewis – from Life to Homeland, Wolf Hall to Billions – has become the finest purveyor of modern drama’s moral ambiguities. In fact, writes Tom Chamberlin, if you can think of an actor who has influenced our golden age of television more than him, speak up…

Among the more ambiguous archetypes of the celluloid age, that of ‘leading man’ is perhaps the least defined. Far from the specific criteria of commedia dell’arte and melodrama, in which the characters are demarcated (bad guy = black hat and moustachioed, etc.), the leading man is purely subjective. Arguably he is the origin of celebrity, pulling screen presence into the limelight of fame. But the list of leading men over the years has shown that no colour, size, hair, manner or cultural identity has ever had dominion over the sobriquet. That is until Damian Lewis entered the fray. For Lewis is a man who, above anything else, is an exemplar of leadership and integrity at a time when the acting world could use a dose of it.

Damian Lewis takes charge of rooms when he enters them. Photoshoots with celebrities are often led by either the photographer, who squeezes every image he or she can from the available time; the stylist, whose job is to make sure a well-curated variety of clothes appears in the magazine; or the publicist, who tends to be the powerbroker. The ‘talent’ can often struggle through the day (except, of course, former Rake cover subjects), regarding the experience as a necessary nuisance. Not so with Mr. Lewis.

Continue reading Rake Magazine Interview: A True Leading Man – Feb 15, 2018

Categories Homeland Print Media

A Forensic Analysis of Homeland – Feb 8, 2018

Homeland: Is the CIA Drama Actually Any Good? (A Forensic Investigation)

by Gavin Haynes | The Guardian | February 8, 2018

Source: Showtime – Photo: Everett/Rex Features

We armed our writer with some DVDs and a few cups of coffee and he came back with a definitive answer to one of TV’s biggest unanswered questions. Homeland is famous for two things: Claire Danes’ capacity to act by wobbling her face, and being maddeningly uneven. Terrorists come and go: who could tell a Bibi Hamed from a Saad Massoud in the long game? But inconsistency remains. So as the show resumes later this month, when you look at it across six seasons, is Homeland actually any good? The question has never quite been resolved. Until now. Six seasons, one metric. Goodness.

Season One

UPSIDE

What’s striking now about Homeland’s debut is how slow it is. Rather than what it became – a frantic hail of bullets falling amid a fog of sarin gas – this is a psychological turn about the alienation of a returning PoW.

DOWNSIDE

A climax that’s a touch random. Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis) attempts to turn the vice president into strawberry jam with his suicide vest, before mammalian evolutionary programming saves the day, via a last-minute phone call from his teenage daughter – as if The Godfather climaxed with the Monty Python foot coming down on Michael Corleone.

Verdict: 57% good

Continue reading A Forensic Analysis of Homeland – Feb 8, 2018

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Vote for Damian Lewis – Who’s the Best Drama Actor Emmy Winner This Decade? – Oct 4, 2017

Who’s the Best Drama Actor Emmy Winner This Decade? [Poll]

By Kevin Jacobsen – Gold Derby – October 4, 2017

The Best Drama Actor category at the Emmys has gone to many deserving men since 2010. After a decade of multiple victories for actors like James Gandolfini (“The Sopranos”), James Spader (“The Practice”/”Boston Legal”) and Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad”), the 2010s have thus far featured refreshing turnover, with only one repeat win in eight years. The decade began with Cranston accepting his third consecutive trophy for playing Walter White in “Breaking Bad.” That streak was broken when Kyle Chandler picked up his Emmy for playing Coach Eric Taylor in the final season of “Friday Night Lights.”

Damian Lewis in Homeland – Source: Showtime

“Homeland” fever struck in 2012 as Damian Lewis won his Emmy for playing corrupt soldier Nicholas Brody on the Showtime drama. 2013 was a shocking year with buzz split between Lewis and splashy newcomer Kevin Spacey for the first season of “House of Cards.” The award went to neither — instead, Jeff Daniels surprised for his role as Will McAvoy in “The Newsroom.” 2014 was another competitive year, with Cranston taking on the men of “True Detective,” but Cranston pulled off one last victory for his iconic performance. After seven years of being the bridesmaid, Jon Hamm finally won in 2015 for his equally iconic role as Don Draper in “Mad Men.” In 2016, Rami Malek won for playing troubled hacker Elliot Anderson in “Mr. Robot.” Sterling K. Brown then prevailed this year for his emotional performance as Randall Pearson in “This Is Us.”

Continue reading Vote for Damian Lewis – Who’s the Best Drama Actor Emmy Winner This Decade? – Oct 4, 2017