Original article at WSJ Magazine
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Damian Lewis and Mark Rylance revel in a new take on king and countryman in Masterpiece Theatre’s Wolf Hall.
Damian Lewis’ Inspiration for Wolf Hall’s Henry VIII: ‘Wills and Harry’
Damian Lewis reveals the unlikely inspiration behind his portrayal of Henry VIII
by Hannah Furness and Gaby Wood – The Telegraph – 21 January 2015
As he plays a handsome Henry VIII, pacing his palaces as he negotiates a split with Rome, one might have thought Damian Lewis would turn to the history books for assistance.
But the actor has disclosed an unusual inspiration for his part in Wolf Hall: The Duke of Cambridge and his brother, Prince Harry.
PBS’ ‘Wolf Hall’ Starring Damian Lewis Could Be TV’s Next Great Antihero Story
by Ryan Lattanzio – Indiewire – 19, January 2015
Will Henry VIII be Emmy winner Damian Lewis’ first, great post-Nick Brody role? Directed by Peter Kosminsky and written by Peter Straughan (one half of the Oscar-nominated “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” duo), this six-part BBC drama adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s hit novels “Wolf Hall” and “Bring Up the Bodies” will broadcast stateside on PBS April 5.
Lewis plays the eighth Henry opposite top-shelf Shakespeare thespian Mark Rylance, playing the King’s ruthless counselor Thomas Cromwell. Claire Foy, Mark Gatiss, Charity Wakefield, Joanne Whalley and Jonathan Pryce, who was recently seen as a narcissistic asshole professor in Alex Ross Perry’s “Listen Up Philip,” head up the sprawling cast.
Damian Lewis’ Henry VIII in Wolf Hall Has Killer Calves
by Jasmin Rosemberg – Variety – 19 January 2015
Henry VIII, infamous King of England in the sixteenth century, is often remembered for his gluttonous form, his string of wives, his disharmony with the Pope and his brute beheading spree. But Damian Lewis, star of the BBC’s new miniseries “Wolf Hall” — a six-part adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s prize-winning novels that will premiere in the UK on January 21 and on PBS’s Masterpiece Theatre on April 5 — plans to introduce you to a different sort of monarch.
“He was generally regarded as the preeminent sportsman of his era,” said Lewis on Sunday afternoon, at a quaint tea held at the British Consul-General Chris O’Connor’s Los Angeles home to honor the series. “He was one of the best hunters, horsemen, jousters, archers. And he was an incredibly trim, fit man — very proud of a fine pair of calves that he had. He used to boast that his calves were better than Philip the Fair’s of France.”
How did Lewis, fresh off of “Homeland,” hone his own physique for the role? “I stuck handkerchiefs down there,” he joked (of his calves), before adding, “No, I wore boots to cover them up.” He also grew a beard and donned square-toed boots, which he thinks “might set a new fashion.”