Categories Audio Helen Music Personal and Family Life Podcast

Helen Dishes About Damian on Desert Island Discs – June 28, 2020

Helen McCrory on Desert Island Discs Podcast

by Gingersnap | damian-lewis.com | June 28, 2020

Helen McCrory OBE is one of the most versatile and critically acclaimed actresses working today. On screen she has played Anna Karenina, Cherie Blair (twice), Harry Potter‘s Narcissa Malfoy and the Peaky Blinders matriarch Aunt Polly. Her theatre roles range from Yelena in Uncle Vanya to Euripides‘ Medea.

A diplomat’s daughter, she spent her early childhood in Africa before continuing her education in the UK. After a bruising and unsuccessful audition at the Drama Centre in London – she was instructed to find out more about life before learning to act – she travelled to Italy where she discovered art and love and came back to try again. This time she passed the audition.

In 1993 she made her mark in Richard Eyre’s production of Trelawny of the Wells at the National Theatre and went on to perform leading roles on some of London’s most prestigious stages, winning two Olivier Award nominations. She was awarded an OBE for services to drama in 2017.

She met her husband, fellow actor Damian Lewis, when they both starred in a play called Five Gold Rings. In response to the Covid-19 pandemic Helen and Damian, together with the comedian Matt Lucas, co-founded the Feed NHS campaign which raises money to provide hot meals to frontline NHS workers.

On BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs podcast that aired June 28, 2020, Helen McCrory shared eight music tracks, one book and a luxury item she would want to take with her if cast away to a desert island.

Continue reading Helen Dishes About Damian on Desert Island Discs – June 28, 2020

Categories Billions Music Print Media

Billions & Bangers: Showtime’s High Finance Drama is a Stealth Love Letter to Music – May 3, 2020

Becoming Fluent in the Musical Language of Billions

by Al Shipley | Complex | May 3, 2020

At a time when TV prestige dramas often have 90-second opening credits with an epic theme song and lavish visuals, Billions on Showtime has an unusually short and simple title sequence: an ominous aerial view of Manhattan, soundtracked by a queasy low electronic pulse, in and out in about 15 seconds. The show’s score and theme music is by Eskmo, an electronic producer associated with labels like Ninja Tune and Warp Records, who puts moody, unobtrusive beds of sound under the dialogue-heavy show about powerful hedge fund manager Bobby Axelrod, his company Axe Capital, and the public officials trying to catch them breaking the law. But Billions, which returns with the Season 5 premiere on May 3, has gotten increasingly flashy with its nods to music since the Season 2 scene that featured a lengthy discussion of Jeff Tweedy and Jay Bennett’s creative chemistry in Wilco.

Increasingly, Billions has been rife with moments where music didn’t just provide an emotional backdrop but memorable dialogue. “Dollar” Bill Stern (Kelly AuCoin) belted out the opening verse of Bruce Springsteen’s “Atlantic City” when Axe Capital hatched a plan involving “the chicken man” who sets prices in the poultry industry. Politician Chuck Rhodes (Paul Giamatti) air drummed to Al Green and offered a critical breakdown of 1977’s The Belle Album. And when Attorney General Waylon Jeffcoat (Clancy Brown) tried to intimidate Rhodes’s corrupt father into a confession, he said that he has a witness “singin’ like Hank Williams the elder, tellin’ us all about your cheatin’ heart.”

Continue reading Billions & Bangers: Showtime’s High Finance Drama is a Stealth Love Letter to Music – May 3, 2020

Categories Helen Interviews Personal and Family Life Print Media Summertime

Damian and Helen Together On Stage Again? Hints Were Dropped! – Aug 9, 2019

Damian the Husband: Organizing Road Trips, Planning Surprise Birthday Parties

by Gavanndra Hodge | The Telegraph | August 9, 2019

She’s straight-talking, hates housework, dresses to kill, and lives life her way – convention be damned. Turns out Helen McCrory has plenty in common with her badass Peaky Blinders character Polly.

Helen McCrory, the multiple-award winning actor, is holding what looks like a moist slice of turkey. ‘What is that?’ I ask. ‘It’s a face mask, darling. £1.99 from Superdrug,’ she says, rubbing it against her neck. ‘It’s going to make me look like a teenager.’

We are standing outside a café on the Regent’s Canal, cyclists and prams whizzing by. McCrory is wearing a floral tea dress, silver Zadig & Voltaire boots, sunglasses and a VIP wristband from a Bob Dylan concert she went to, five days ago. ‘I am never taking it off,’ she says.

There is a sort of rock-star swagger to Helen McCrory, 50, a charismatic, don’t-give-a-damn cool with her chipped red nails and posh-voiced sweariness. She likes to party, to wear top hats and vintage frocks, and there is the inevitable doubling of glamour that comes from her marriage to the actor Damian Lewis (Brody from Homeland, more recently Bobby Axelrod in Billions), with whom she lives in a tall, narrow house in Tufnell Park with their children Manon, 12, and Gulliver, 11.

But what is most thrilling about McCrory is not the husky wit, the famous friends (‘Have you seen Andrew [Scott] doing Present Laughter? Now that is how you do Coward’) or the fact that she ran an acid jazz club in Islington one summer in the early 1990s – it is her talent.

She brings a furious precision and intensity to the roles she takes: Medea and ‘Lady M’ on stage; on screen, Anna Karenina, Narcissa Malfoy, Cherie Blair and the gangster matriarch Aunt Polly in Peaky Blinders, the fifth season of which is soon to start on BBC One. Critics compete for the glowing adjectives when describing her performances – ‘superb’, ‘majestic’, ‘simply wonderful’. In 2017 she was awarded an OBE for services to drama.

Continue reading Damian and Helen Together On Stage Again? Hints Were Dropped! – Aug 9, 2019

Categories Events Helen Music Personal and Family Life Summertime

Damian and Helen Attend Bob Dylan and Neil Young Summertime Gig – July 12, 2019

 Teen Cancer America Suite

by Gingersnap | damian-lewis.com | July 12, 2019

Damian, Helen, and Darren Strowger attend the Teen Cancer America Suite at Bob Dylan and Neil Young’s British Summertime Gig in Hyde Park on July 12, 2019 in London, England. The evening’s event was one of the biggest shows of this summer. Neil Young took the stage from 6:00-7:45 p.m. and Bob Dylan played from 8:30-10:15 p.m.

Categories Helen Interviews Magazine Personal and Family Life Print Media

Helen Discusses Damian, Marriage, and Those Bond Rumors – Feb 24, 2019

What’s the Story Helen McCrory?

by Cole Moreton | Event Magazine | February 23, 2019

She stars opposite a legendary Hollywood heart-throb in the ambitious new BBC drama MotherFatherSon, but Helen McCrory was never going to swoon over Richard Gere. ‘I was a naughty girl,’ says the actress with a chuckle, explaining why she didn’t fall for Gere’s clean-cut charms like so many her age – 14 – when his first hit, An Officer And A Gentleman, came out in 1982.

‘I was a Jimi Hendrix girl. I liked my rock ’n’ roll. I liked the naughty boys – Bob Dylan was going to wake me up in a harem in Morocco. So it wasn’t that I didn’t have a crush on him, I didn’t see the films.’ ‘I knew who he was, of course,’ she says. ‘But I had a crush on Adam And The Ants back then. It was all London, it was all street, it was all edgy, it was all the smell of carbon monoxide and marches and DMs.’

Gere plays a very powerful man with deep secrets. Could she challenge Gere? She nods. ‘It was constantly a work in progress. I come from the British tradition, which is all about the script. The word is God. He comes from an American tradition, where you improvise around it. I’ve never worked with anyone like that.’

She does know – and is proud to say – that she was given her part long before her more famous co-star. ‘I was cast six weeks before Gere was! MotherFatherSon: it’s in that order for a reason, as in every family!’

McCrory and Lewis have a son and a daughter, Gulliver and Manon, who are 11 and 12. They live in a Victorian townhouse in north London, having tried Los Angeles for a while before returning home.

Continue reading Helen Discusses Damian, Marriage, and Those Bond Rumors – Feb 24, 2019