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.”
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.
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
“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