Categories Homeland Print Media

Homeland Declassified: An Oral History of Never Told Tales – Jan 16, 2020

Battles, Backlash, CIA Meetings

by Michael O’Connell | Hollywood Reporter | January 16, 2019

Claire Danes, Mandy Patinkin, Damian Lewis and the creators of the era-defining Showtime drama — now entering its eighth and final season — reveal in The Hollywood Reporter’s oral history never-told tales of a show that smashed records, captivated presidents and predicted everything from terrorist attacks to Russian election hacks.

“What keeps you up at night?” That’s the question Homeland showrunner Alex Gansa annually posed to Washington insiders before putting fingers to keyboard on a season of his Emmy-winning Showtime drama.

What began as a slick spy thriller driven by a potent sexual chemistry, courtesy of leads Claire Danes and Damian Lewis, evolved into an exposé on the greatest dangers to an America that finally had some distance from 9/11. Threats from ISIS, the surveillance state and Russian interference punctuated clandestine meetings with the intelligence community — part of a yearly writers and cast symposium in D.C. affectionately dubbed “Spy Camp.”

The series, loosely developed from an Israeli format by Gansa and longtime collaborator Howard Gordon (24), became an instant and bona fide success when it premiered in 2011 to 2.8 million viewers and unanimous critical acclaim. Boasting a murderers’ row of writers, each a showrunner at one time, the drama catapulted Showtime and studio Fox 21 to an echelon of prestige TV they previously couldn’t reach. It swept its first Emmys (with six awards total) and those first seasons had both the Obamas and Clintons soliciting screeners.

Continue reading Homeland Declassified: An Oral History of Never Told Tales – Jan 16, 2020

Categories Appearances Media Print Media

Damian Lewis Talks Career and Craft at SAG-AFTRA, Fan Fun with Damian Lewis, May 4, 2016

Damian Talks Career and Craft at SAG-AFTRA

by JaniaJania, Fan Fun with Damian Lewis, May 4, 2016

source: Getty Images

Creativity is a strange beast. At its narrowest definition, it is the skill of creating something original and new using nothing but one’s imagination. But that would exclude a lot of us from the act of creativity, wouldn’t it? How many of us are capable of conjuring up some idea, art, or thing completely from scratch? An impossible task, even for the creative geniuses among us. Nothing is truly original. It’s all about processing what has come before and presenting it in new and “creative” ways. “Creative problem solver” is one of those phrases you see on resumes a lot. Try telling a mathematician or a software engineer that what they do doesn’t involve creativity and you’re bound to get an earful in exacting detail of just how wrong you are. Thus, not an easy thing to get a handle on, creativity.

Read the rest of the story at  Fan Fun with Damian Lewis

Categories Band of Brothers Billions Homeland Media Personal and Family Life Print Media Theatre

Blue Blood, Blue Collar: Damian Lewis’ Transformations, The New Yorker, January 18, 2016

The actor probes his characters, but his method isn’t Method. “I’m Damian Lewis, not Daniel Day-Lewis.”

 Photograph by Pari Dukovic for The New Yorker

At a corner table in the dining room of Marea, a restaurant on Central Park South, the conversation was smooth but disputatious. Three men in suits were drinking red wine and eating pasta that cost thirty-four dollars a serving. One of them was a hedge-fund manager, a famous short seller. Another was the financial journalist Andrew Ross Sorkin. The third man, in from London, was the actor Damian Lewis.

Sorkin had made the introduction. The hedge-fund manager and Lewis were doing most of the talking. “Does your business have a societal benefit?” Lewis asked. He wanted to know what made a hedge-fund manager more than “a paper shuffler.”

The hedge-fund manager said that he and his peers basically function as market-based regulators—that they have a financial incentive to expose wrongdoing. Sorkin had set up other audiences for Lewis with financial machers. One of them urged Lewis to consider an underperforming company with entrenched management or a sclerotic board: an activist investor, even if he came in and cut things and fired people—well, that’s capitalism.

Continue reading Blue Blood, Blue Collar: Damian Lewis’ Transformations, The New Yorker, January 18, 2016

Categories Homeland Print Media

Damian Was Third Choice to Play Homeland’s Nick Brody – Jan 12, 2016

Damian Lewis had to fend off Ryan Philippe and Patrick Wilson to play Homeland’s Nicholas Brody

by Sarah Doran – RadioTimes – January 12, 2016

Source: Showtime

Showrunner Alex Gansa reveals the British actor wasn’t top of the list of Showtime’s potential leading men for the espionage thriller.

He may now be one of TV and film’s most famous redheads but did you know Damian Lewis very nearly missed out on his role as Homeland’s Nicholas Brody?

 When casting for the US show began, Lewis wasn’t Showtime’s (the network Homeland debuted on) first choice for the role. In fact, he wasn’t even the second, despite showrunner Alex Gansa’s determination to see him step into Brody’s shoes.

“When we first brought him up, everyone was very negative about the suggestion,” Gansa told The New Yorker. Their hesitation had a lot to do with the failure of Life, a cancelled NBC police procedural drama in which the British actor had played the lead character.

“That carries a pretty big stigma,” Gansa said. “The network really wanted Ryan Phillippe; Patrick Wilson passed. I kept talking about Damian until I got a call from the head of the studio saying, ‘Look, Alex, please do not bring up Damian’s name again.’ Hanging up the phone in my office – I think we were two weeks from the start of principal photography – I was like, Are we going to cast Ryan Phillippe in this role?”

That’s right. A non-Lewis Brody very nearly happened. We know, you guys. We know.

Continue reading Damian Was Third Choice to Play Homeland’s Nick Brody – Jan 12, 2016

Categories Homeland Media Print Media

Damian Lewis on the Season Finale of ‘Homeland’, New York Times, December 16, 2013

 Damian Lewis on the Season Finale of ‘Homeland’ (Spoiler Alert!)

Dave Itzkoff, New York Times, December 16, 2013

Nicholas Brody, the Marine and prisoner of war turned sleeper agent turned congressman played by Damian Lewis on “Homeland,” was all but a ghost in the most recent season of this Showtime thriller. Having gone on the run at the end of Season 2, Brody was largely absent from Season 3 — except for one episode, in which he resurfaced in Caracas, Venezuela — and then in the year’s final arc, he proceeded to make up for lost time.

Continue reading Damian Lewis on the Season Finale of ‘Homeland’, New York Times, December 16, 2013