Homeland Producer Howard Gordon had some nice things to say about Damian in an interview with TheFutonCritic.com.
JH: Switching gears to “Homeland,” as I read the script it was so easy to see Claire Danes in the lead role of Carrie Anderson.
HG: When we sat down to write it, “Temple Grandin” (the HBO TV-movie that won Danes an Emmy and many other awards) was on that week and we started calling the character Claire when we were breaking the story. We were really picturing her in this part so the fact that we actually got her turned out to be really fantastic and, aside from being a pleasure to work with, she really investigated the role. We’re cutting it right now and I think we’ll know from Showtime probably in early March at the latest whether we’re going forward.
JH: How was it different for you to write a female lead after writing Jack Bauer all those years?
HG: That’s a good point and I think it’s one of the big distinguishers and it’s one of the things that we’re sensitive about is not doing “24.” “24” is this adrenalized, compressed thing, pedal-to-the-metal suspense thriller and this is a willfully slower story with a very different character at the center of it. Jack had a family and that was something that always pulled at him and this is a woman who is very much alone in the world in the context of being a woman of a certain age who hasn’t made those connections. She’s a very different character and we approached her differently. She’s bi-polar, which presents its own set of problems in terms of her work but it’s also this double-edged sword. It’s a very different construction. And then, of course, the family drama of Brody’s return – and we have Damian Lewis from “Band of Brothers” and “Life” – the guy is unbelievable. He’s really, really one of the best actors I’ve ever worked with.
The Misanthrope‘s run ends this Saturday! 😥 I hope everyone who wanted to see it, got a chance to attend a show – and chat with Damian Lewis afterwards! Click here for another ‘meeting Damian’ story at the Yahoo! group. (Thanks to Anette of Germany for sharing her story!)
Reviews are starting to come in for HBO’s The Pacific, the new 10-part WW2 mini-series that begins this Sunday, and Damian Lewis is still drawing high praise for his performance in Band of Brothers:
Alan Sepinwall in The Star-Ledger:
There’s no performance quite on par with Damian Lewis’s star turn as the quiet, decent company leader in “Band,” but the three leads all take advantage of their showcase roles to craft characters that transcend both war movie cliches and the actors’ own mixed backgrounds. Seda (Falsone from the later years of “Homicide”), like Lewis in “Band,” finds a way to make his characters’ innate heroism and super-competence into something absorbing.
Maureen Ryan in the Chicago Tribune:
“The Pacific” focuses throughout on the experiences of Robert Leckie (author of “Helmet for My Pillow”), Eugene Sledge (author of “With the Old Breed”) and decorated Marine John Basilone. But, as was the case with “Band of Brothers,” the most memorable characters in “The Pacific” are the ones played by the actors with the most charisma (“Brothers'” Richard Winters could have seemed impossibly prim and perfect had he not been played by the effortlessly interesting Damian Lewis).
Robert Philpot in the Star-Telegram:
Two things The Pacific lacks that Band of Brothers had: a strong lead character (Damian Lewis was fabulous in Brothers as Maj. Richard Winters) and a sardonic observer (Ron Livingston did some of his best work as Capt. Lewis Nixon), although Leckie does fill that role to an extent. But these are nitpicks when The Pacific does such a strong job of standing aside its slightly superior predecessor.
A few other press items:
Rob Thomas reviewing The Escapist in Madison.com:
The talented cast of British actors play it very straight; Cox is terrific as a tough inmate who knows the danger of betraying any sign of weakness to his fellow inmates, even as he aches for his daughter on the inside. Lewis, who usually plays good-guy roles on “Band of Brothers” and NBC’s “Life,” is fantastic as the effete, terrifying gangster who comes close to learning about the escape plan.
In an brief chat with InStyle, Keira Knightley says some nice things about Damian:
So how was it treading the boards with the gorgeous Damian Lewis as your co-star? ‘He’s an absolute sweetheart!’ she gushed. ‘As it was my first time on stage, the whole cast, especially Damian, was so supportive and patient with me.’
Gallery update: Click here at the gallery for pictures of Damian Lewis leaving Comedy Theatre and at The Ivy restaurant on Saturday.
Click below for Youtube videos of Damian at The South Bank Awards Show last Tuesday.
At the 1:20 mark:
At the 2:15 mark:
Damian leaving the Comedy Theatre last week:
Thanks to Ann and G for the headsup!
A couple more positive reviews for The Escapist which was released on DVD in the US this past week:
Amy Longsdorf of The Record
Brian Cox, so good as Hannibal Lecter in “Manhunter,” goes behind bars once again for a gritty prison drama with a whooper of a twist ending. Cox plays a lifer determined to break out of a London penitentiary in time to save his estranged junkie daughter from certain death. Brutally violent, the film benefits from fine performances by Dominic Cooper, Joseph Fiennes, Steven MacKintosh and Damian Lewis.
David Roark of Pegasusnews.com
The Escapist, however, exceeds the confines of its genre by relying on its characters and their realism rather than the formula, though without fleeing from stock elements, resulting in a raw and believable film that leaves you thinking. … Beyond realistic characters, Wyatt takes the genre a step further with metaphor. Though it’s subtle and slightly ambiguous, this element adds an interesting twist. Not to mention, the way it plays out is captivating.
Gallery updates: Damian Lewis and Helen McCrory attended The South Bank Awards Show on Tuesday. Click here at the gallery for pictures of the pair looking gorgeous!
Tom Russo of The Boston Globe:
What immediately grabs you about first-time filmmaker Rupert Wyatt’s British jailbreak flick is the fresh cast: Sympathetic lifer Brian Cox makes a dash for it with a group that includes Joseph Fiennes and Dominic Cooper (The History Boys). (Damian Lewis of Life is the bippy-topped kingpin of their gonzo, Mad Max-imum security pen.) What will keep you intrigued is their commitment to minimalist dialogue, which makes a terrific puzzle out of the story’s jumps back and forth between planning and execution.
Chris Ball of The Plain Dealer:
A convict serving a life sentence in a decrepit London prison becomes determined to break out when he learns his estranged daughter is terminally ill. He recruits some trustworthy inmates and hatches an elaborate scheme, but the biggest threat to his plan comes not from the corrupt guards but from the psycho prisoners who run the joint. This smashing 2008 thriller culminates in a satisfying surprise ending.
Billy O’ Keefe of the McClatchy-Tribune
Is there room for another no-nonsense prison escape film in a world that’s already seen so many? If it receives the level of care this one receives, then yes, yes there is. … All that energy instead goes toward assembling a roster of deeply engaging characters (Damian Lewis, Seu Jorge, Joseph Fiennes, Dominic Cooper, Liam Cunningham, Steven Mackintosh) who embody characteristics one expects from hardened convicts while still managing to avoid the usual stereotypes and pratfalls that undermine so many prison films.
- Visit the Warehouse for new photos of Damian Lewis outside the Comedy Theatre on January 8, 2010 after a performance of The Misanthrope.
There aren’t many men that manage to look sexy in a rumpled, checkered shirt! 😀
Click here for more onstage photos of Damian and Keira Knightley.
- Click here for the first still photo from Your Highness; Damian isn’t in this picture but the set and the costumes look terrific!
- Thanks to Monique for the news that French television network Cinecinema Frisson has been broadcasting The Escapist with Damian Lewis; check your local listings.